Used 1999 Mazda 626 Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1999

After a major makeover in '98, the 626 slides into '99 with only one major change: a new height-adjustable seat for the driver.

Vehicle overview

The 626 has been Mazda's bread-and-butter car for over 10 years but, unlike most sedans in it's class, the 626 offers more than just people-moving utility. In typical Mazda fashion, the company has injected a bit of soul into the 626 that helps make it a blast on twisty roads while still providing excellent interior accommodations and roominess.

This mid-priced sedan has seen a number of upgrades with the most recent coming last year. Changes included a larger interior, a more powerful engine, an improved transmission, and standard traction control on V6 models. In size and price, the 626 competes with a wide range of cars in the U.S. market, but offers more solid engineering and sporting performance than most.

Buyers can select from three trim levels: entry-level LX, uplevel LX V6, or top-of-the-line ES. A 125-horsepower four-banger motivates the LX, while higher trims get a 170-horsepower V6 engine. Either motor can be mated to your choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.

A CD player is standard on all models. Other goodies include antilock brakes, fade-out interior lighting and engine-speed sensing rack-and-pinion steering gear.

The 626 (built in Flat Rock, Mich.) was the first Japanese-branded sedan to be called a true domestic by government agencies, yet it remains as reliable as a Timex. With an upscale image and nimble handling manners, our favorite model is the ES V6 with a five-speed manual transmission. Order the ES Luxury Package and you get 15-inch alloy wheels with 205-60R 15 tires, a power moonroof, map lights with a sunglass holder, six-way power driver's seat, and an anti-theft alarm with engine immobilizer. It's the perfect grocery getting/entry-luxury/sports sedan for those who like to drive, but require the talents of a mid size car for day-to-day living.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.