I have had no problems with this car since I bought it three and 1/2 years ago. Just regular maintenance. It has been a very reliable car. I bought the car used and have put 60,000 miles on it. It still drives very smooth and handles great on the road.
Purchased new when the dealership offered invoice price and Mazda had a $2,250 rebate, a no brainer to purchase a V6 sedan for $17,000. Now 120,000 mies and looking to double that. Terrific MPG's 28 to 30 with an automatic trans. commuting 50 miles one way through the southern NY roads (25 MPG with 4 snow tires). No major mechanical problems to mention. Minor problems- automatic antenna finally broke after 6 years and CD player needed to be replaced once. Very good handling and response. If still going strong at 200k with preventative maintainence and no more hit deer, I will replace the timing belt again (about $350) and shoot for 300K.
V6 engine and gas mileage, swinging vents, stock stereo system is above average, good size trunk, comfortable driving position
No anti-lock brakes on my car, manual temperature control, it is either hot or cold no in between. next vehicle will have anti lock brakes and automatic temperature control ( 02 Mazda Millenia with same engine). The new design Mazda 6 is more of a head turner than a 626.
The 626 I bought new has performed well except for the air conditioning which I had problems with from week one. I experienced some belt trouble after 100,000 miles. It was caused by the harmonic balancer. Overall it has been a good car. The engine is a v6 and is a little loud.
I bought this car used in 2001. Had 35K miles on it. It now has 125K miles on it. It's a good car to get you from point A to B, and it looks nice if you keep it cleaned up. But its life span probably won't exceed far past 150K. I haven't had a wreck, and I've kept up the maintenance. At 100K, a/c vents started spewing plastic filter pieces (just annoying, swivel still works, but slowly). CV boots cracked, twice (clicking when turns). At 120K, the oil started leaking, engine began vibrating, a/c pulled too much power (engine vibrates when it's on, computer timing is off). Lots of problems, but at 125K, what can you expect from this quality of car.
Still looks nice on the outside (for a 626), good size, spacious on inside, lots of trunk room, gas mileage, swivel a/c vents, good value, repairs necessary but not too expensive (so far, my hubby has done them all).
Engine has always been noisy; I would list the other problems, but I'll sum it up to say you get what you pay for.