Used 1997 Mazda 626

1997 Mazda 626
List price range
1997 Mazda 626

Pros

  • Attractive styling, rear seat leg/foot room, sweet V-6 engine

Cons

  • Underpowered four-cylinder engine, tacked-on chrome grille
Mazda 626 years

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Mazda has been bleeding red ink for many years now, mostly due to home market sales woes. However, the company hasn't been igniting sales charts in the U.S. in recent years either, and we have a hard time understanding why. Mazda builds some of the most innovative, unique and fun-to-drive cars money can buy, yet they sit on showroom floors unsold.

Take the 626, for example. In size and price, it competes with a wide range of cars in the U.S. market, but offers more solid engineering and sporting performance than most. It looks good but somewhat bland, with flowing organic lines and an interesting dash layout. The 626, built in Flat Rock, Mich., alongside the Ford Probe (with whom the 626 shares its available V6 engine) and the Mazda MX-6, was the first Japanese-branded sedan to be called a true domestic by government agencies, yet it remains as reliable as a Timex. But it sits, while Altima after Accord after Lumina roll out of neighboring dealerships.

We think things are about to change for Mazda, now that Ford owns a controlling interest in the company and has trimmed fat from the model mix. This year, 626 models equipped with the 2.5-liter V6 engine get more power and torque, while basic LX models can be decked out with a new LX Appearance Package. The package includes two-tone paint, power sunroof, leather seats, chrome wheel covers, an anti-theft system and remote keyless entry. Audi systems have been revised, and two new colors (Mojave beige Metallic and Slate Blue Metallic) replace one old one (Sahara Gold Metallic).

Dual airbags, height-adjustable seat belts, and side impact protection that meets 1997 requirements are all standard on the 626. Anti-lock brakes are optional on LX and LX V6 models; they come standard on the ES. The best value is offered by the LX V6, which barely tops $22,000 when equipped with ABS and an automatic transmission. Better yet, the Mazda's V6 can be mated to a five-speed manual shifter, unlike comparable models from Honda and Chevrolet.

We like the 626's flowing interior design. Seating is comfortable, and the rear bench is roomy and supportive -- more so than that found in the Nissan Altima. Controls are well placed and highly legible. We're still debating the exterior of the 626. Some like the chrome accents and more prominent hood that debuted in 1996, while others liked this Mazda just as it was when introduced in 1993; crisp, clean and uncluttered.

We already recommend the 626 to folks who want a reliable, fun-to-drive sedan. With Accord-beating performance, Altima-beating interior accommodations, and Lumina-beating sophistication, how can you go wrong with the 626?

1997 Highlights

LX V6 and ES models gain power and torque, while the four-cylinder LX gets a Lexus-like trim package that includes two-tone paint, chrome wheel covers, leather interior, and other creature comforts. Audio systems are revised and two new colors debut.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Mazda 626.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Still Chugging Along
Teslan,05/06/2010
Two years on since I last reviewed this car. Yesterday I passed 180,000 miles! Incredibly reliable, comfortable and fun to drive. I hope to get 2 more years out of this gem, then I'll see about looking at the soon to arrive Mazda 2. By that point, I'll have been driving this car for 15 years. Mazda, head and shoulders above the other manufacturers, producing dependable enjoyable cars.
Built for the Long Haul
LongestMazdaOwner,05/16/2010
I am a proud 10 year owner of this vehicle. It has been very reliable throughout the years. After approximately 200,000 miles my transmission needed rebuilding which I thought wasn't bad considering the mileage. Also, I had to get my timing belt tensioner replaced a few years earlier, but overall, it has been a great car. I probably would get another one if the prices of the cars would remain low. Unfortunately they haven't and I am still driving my good old Mazda. I hope it will be around for another 10 years.
Good ol Mazda
johntesh71,09/22/2011
Had one of these as my first car, bought it with 197,000 miles and experienced one problem after the next. The car had horrible power steering problems, brakes went bad after one month, then the alternator left me stranded in a busy intersection. Once all the problems were fixed...Very reliable car, gutsy little engine and very well made. I was upset when this car got stolen from me only 6 months after buying it...but life goes on and so does Mazda....Zoom, Zoom!
My Car Gretta...
jkriley,01/19/2013
I've seen a lot of bad reviews on here about the mazda 626 and I just have to say mine has been through my sister and myself and it's still going. It's over 200,000 and we both have put little to no money into this car. After I get another car I plan on giving it to my father to let him drive it till it dies. It may have slight issues but it's over 15 years old so I can't complain. I think my alternator might be going bad now but I'm assuming it was never replaced before so for 200,000 miles and the little cost I've had to spend I say it's not bad.
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Features & Specs

MPG
23 city / 31 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
114 hp @ 5500 rpm
MPG
18 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
164 hp @ 5600 rpm
MPG
23 city / 31 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
114 hp @ 5500 rpm
MPG
18 city / 24 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
164 hp @ 5600 rpm
See all Used 1997 Mazda 626 features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver2 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    RolloverNot Rated
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    0

More about the 1997 Mazda 626
Used 1997 Mazda 626 Overview

The Used 1997 Mazda 626 is offered in the following submodels: 626 Sedan. Available styles include LX V6 4dr Sedan, ES V6 4dr Sedan, LX 4dr Sedan, and DX 4dr Sedan.

What's a good price on a Used 1997 Mazda 626?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 1997 Mazda 626s are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 1997 Mazda 626s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mazda 626 for sale - 4 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $21,210.

Find a used Mazda for sale - 9 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $19,413.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda 626 for sale - 8 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $20,716.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda for sale - 3 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $10,350.

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Should I lease or buy a 1997 Mazda 626?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mazda lease specials
Check out Mazda 626 lease specials