1998 Mazda 626 LX 2.0 petrol


Unrivalled economy and reliability


Radiator started to come apart.

Locks can be sticky.

Occasional blue smoke from the exhaust when cold.

Usual wear and tear - brakes, exhaust, suspension, oil and belt changes.

General Comments:

This car was about 9 years old when I acquired it. I got it for a good price and it served me well for 10 years.

To look at it stood out due to very nice alloy wheels and the fact it was a saloon in a very dark metallic green, looked almost black in anything but direct sunlight (most 626's you see were hatchback models with wheel trims in a dull color).

Interior was nothing special with black plastic everywhere, but it was nicely laid out and comfortable with all electric equipment. My only complaint was the ride was a little too firm, and I hated the fiddly climate controls. To drive it handled good and acceleration was decent while doing 40 MPG.

To sum up, at nearly 20 years old and approaching 200,000 miles, I suppose it won't last forever and I will likely scrap it soon, as that smoke isn't getting any better and neither is the radiator, but I think I got my monies worth out of this car to say the least, and will likely replace it with something similar. A mate of mine has a Honda Accord from the same year and says this review can be pretty much copy and pasted for his car. The late 90s was an incredible time for cars of this type - all family saloons and executive cars have high ratings in reliability from this era.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th September, 2017

12th Dec 2017, 21:51

100% agree, these were good cars, I had a similar Mazda 626 that didn't die until it was about 20 years old with 180K on it. The car was as dull as hell in every way, but you can't put a price on reliability and durability.

19th Dec 2017, 22:35

The 1990's was an exceptional time for reliability of cars in this segment. Most cars I had from that era never gave me any major trouble.

You have to be realistic though if considering a 90s car today - rust is going to be an issue. Unless it's been oil waxed and never used in winter. Still, get any car well inspected, especially Japanese cars, they were above average in reliability, though they seem to rust earlier than other cars.

Never had a Mazda, but I kept my beloved 1998 Nissan Primera long term, but it finally came to the end of its life with rust failing it at last MOT test time. I will miss it, seems not too long ago I bought it and it served me well. 2018 is just around the corner and I can't believe I had it for so long - almost made it to 20 years old!

1998 Mazda 626 LX 2.0i 16v


Very good Japanese built, but not USA!



General Comments:

Excellent car, all the negative reviews for the Mazda 626 on here seem to come from the USA, and those cars are built somewhere else I'm sure...

This car is 10 years old and nearly done 100,000 miles and it's still going like new.

In the UK, we have Japanese built Mazda 626's, and they are very reliable, well equipped cars.

Handles very well - bit of a bumpy ride though, better at speed, unrefined around town.

Lots of space. Nice interior.

Looks good - I have saloon with alloys not the usual hatchback ones you see.

Very reliable so far. Economical 2 litre engine (about 35 MPG) and goes well when you need to.

Overall a nice car, can't fault it. Shame you guys in the USA got badly built versions of them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th March, 2008

23rd Jun 2008, 13:13

I'm looking for a 626 and have been recommended it. Good to know that we in the UK have different cars than the US otherwise I would be reconsidering.

24th Jun 2008, 06:16

I'm not so sure that the cars are different. I think it's just a case that people in the U.S. run up more miles because things are farther away. In the U.S., people drive an average of 12,000 miles per year and commonly 15,000-20,000 miles. A 10-year-old car with less than 100,000 miles would be considered relatively low mileage, which means that things have not had a chance to break down yet. Probably your test will come in the next couple of years when you approach 120,000 miles.

1998 Mazda 626 2.0


Excellent, except the rear vision


Bought second hand. Been a dream car. Will be very sad to replace it.

Poor rear visibility makes it easy to bump into obstacles.

Front electric window motor burnt out at 146,000 miles. Rust damage only just starting to appear, but it has been routinely garaged.

General Comments:

Utterly reliable - has never failed to start first time.

Good performance.

Very poor rear vision, e.g. when reversing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st November, 2007

1998 Mazda 626 GXi 2.0


Good value in the second hand market


The clutch needed needed adjusting and is still very heavy.

General Comments:

It does not feel very steady on the road and especially when cornering.

The acceleration is disappointing.

It was the same price as a 1.6 Astra, a year younger and had many more extras on it, so good value for money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 13th January, 2002