Used 2002 Mazda 626
- Sharp steering and handling, simple interior design, V6 engine can be ordered with manual transmission.
- Styling that could still use more excitement, shortage of horsepower when compared to other family sedans, silly optioning process requires an automatic transmission.
Edmunds' Expert Review
A bland bread-and-butter sedan that's not big enough for families and not sporty enough for enthusiasts.
The Mazda 626 has been somewhat of a wallflower these past few years, watching the Ford Taurus, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry receive the most attention from people looking to buy a four-door family sedan. Rightly so, since the 626 isn't big enough to appeal to families or sporty enough to appeal to enthusiasts.
The 626 comes in three trim levels: LX, LX-V6 and ES-V6. While by no means visually exciting, the 626 still manages to be an attractive sedan. LX models have 15-inch wheels as standard, and the ES-V6 gets 16-inch wheels. The ES-V6 also comes with leather seating, an eight-way-adjustable driver seat and heated side mirrors.
Mazda prides itself on building cars that are fun to drive. Aiding the 626's cause is a sporty suspension. Equipped with MacPherson struts up front and Mazda's Twin-Trapezoidal Link (TTL) suspension at the rear, the 626 grips confidently on twisty roads, while out on the highway, the suspension manages to soak up nearly every pothole without jolting passengers into instant kidney failure. The 626's steering and braking are also up to the task of providing a more rewarding experience than your average family sedan.
For power, the LX features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing a meager 125 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. The 2.5-liter V6 puts out 165 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque, far less power than primary competitors. Mazda does offer a manual transmission for both engines, making the 626 one of few family sedans available with a V6 and a stick, but stupidly forces buyers who want options like a moonroof or Bose speakers to order an automatic. So much for that whole "zoom-zoom" philosophy.
Inside, passengers are treated to a clean interior package. It's not exactly luxurious, but most of the controls are positioned for easy reach. Climate controls are easy enough for a four-year-old to use, with two large knobs for fan speed and temperature and two rows of push buttons to control venting, air circulation and air conditioning.
Seating is reasonably accommodating, but front passengers will be disappointed with the lack of lumbar support and headroom. Rear-seat occupants have a better deal, with good headroom and width for two, a set of cupholders, extra storage in the fold-down center armrest and magazine pockets in the back of the front seats.
Next year, a larger, more powerful, dynamically redesigned 626 is expected to debut. So for now, this relatively weak effort is expected to steal buyers who might otherwise be shopping for the perennially hot Honda Accord, the redesigned Toyota Camry and the amazingly competent Nissan Altima. The only way Mazda will be able to do that is to offer heavy incentives. If the deal is something you cannot pass up, the 626 will please the same way butter might when spread on Wonder Bread. But only if you're really hungry.
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Features & Specs
Used 2002 Mazda 626 Overview
The Used 2002 Mazda 626 is offered in the following submodels: 626 Sedan. Available styles include LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), ES-V6 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M), and LX-V6 4dr Sedan (2.5L 6cyl 5M).
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Should I lease or buy a 2002 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.