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.
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