Owned this car for 11 years. I purchased
car used as a dealer demo with 7K on it. At first thought I had a lemon, door trim peeled off, radio broke, O2 sensor went and a sway bar linkage broke, thankfully all under warranty.
Now in its 12th year the car has given up the ghost and is a rolling zombie that refuses to die!
This year had to replace the CV boot and axle
(my fault regular maintenance would have spotted cracked boot and saved me $), the oil pan rusted out, front struts gone, check engine light is on,
exhaust almost rusted out and engine leaking oil from a gasket. Saying all this I still loved it. Has out lived all my other cars and cost the least in maintenance.
This one is a nice V6 4 door midsize sedan. Nice design, not too fancy, has all you need. Performance is very good with the V6. gas milage might need some improvement. Seem to be pretty reliable.
You won't go wrong if you get one
I bought my car four years ago with a little over 70,000 miles on it. In that time, the only big repair I've had to make is replacing the axles due to the CV boots, which were busted when I bought it. Other repairs were minor, including new spark plugs, plug wires, new battery, and a valve cover gasket. Regular maintenance has kept it on the road and relatively problem- free. I trust it to get me to work and back and to occasionally drive almost the full length of Texas and back, which I've done a few times now. The car isn't sexy, but the looks have held up for close to ten years now. Not fun to drive because of the 4 cyl engine. It's just a tool to get from A to B, and it's done it well.
From an appearance standpoint, this generation has the best lines compared to previous 626s, and the interior has an inviting look to it, plus it's roomy and comfortable with a great stereo. If you want a car full of high- tech toys, you'll be disappointed. The luxury/power features this model has (ES-V6) have been in luxury cars since the '80s. Reliability is good, except the radiator needed replacement @ 110K. I've heard complaints about the transmission but so far I've had no issues with it @ 156K. The V-6 runs horribly on 87 octane, it needs at least 89. I'm getting clunking from the rear suspension, most likely bushings/struts needs replacing.
I bought this car from kee max several years ago, the engine blew before I made it home (less than 15 miles). Kee max buys cars from auction and puts them directly on their lot. After spending approx $2500 on a new engine, this car keeps going and going. It now has over 144,000 miles and still going strong.