1988 Mazda 626 2.2L 4 cylinder from North America


One of the best used cars I've ever owned


Replaced leaking valve cover gasket.

Replaced radiator.

New oil cap for valve cover.

Paint is flaking off of engine hood.

Uses ~1/2 quart of oil every 2-3 weeks.

Sunroof pop-up tends to stick, but slide mechanism works great.

Radio and climate control dashboard lights are out.

In-dash digital clock works occasionally.

Lowest fan speed for heat/AC stopped working.

Had to replaced bolt for power window assembly on passenger side door.

General Comments:

I bought this car from my parents for $700USD when I was in a tough spot and needed basic transportation after my previous car went south.

Despite its problems, this car is working on ~150,000 miles of service and still starts and runs great.

I drive it ~50 miles/day to work and home, its no speedster, but it will get me to where I need in one piece with still 25-30mpg of fuel economy.

This is the second Mazda I've owned. The first was a '79 GLC wagon, and it was just as reliable and fun as this car. Mazda's rock, period.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th August, 2006

1988 Mazda 626 2.2L EFI 4 cylinder from North America


This car just keeps running!!


Has an oil leak and burns some oil as well.

A/C needed to be recharged at 230k.

Gas gauge doesn't work.

Clutch slips when it gets really hot.

General Comments:

This car is a tank!! I paid $350 dollars for it in 2000 and it has never broken down.

It's old and the paint is oxidized, but it just runs and runs and still gets 21-23 MPG.

In the time that I have had it, I have only had to put tires on it once and recharge the A/C. I do have to add a quart of oil every couple weeks due to the small leak, but that's no big deal at all. For 235k, it's still got a lot of power (for a 4cyl) and the tranny shifts just fine.

I drive the heck out of this car too. I run it to red line frequently, take hard corners, and often spin the tires on it. It's my "Beater" car, but it just keeps on running!! I love this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd June, 2006

1988 Mazda 626 GLX Estate 2.0L 12v carburettor from Australia and New Zealand


One (long) word - Indestructable


Spring in carburettor broke so it ran way too rich while warming up. Was like this for over 12 months til it was properly diagnosed.

Alternator and power steering pump overhauled recently.

Rust is starting to eat around the windscreen.

Other than the above, just general maintenance over the last 14 years and 205,000 k's (car has 275,000 total k's now).

General Comments:

This car has been incredible. We purchased it in 1992 when it was 4 years old. It was NZ built so it was quite basic as it was aimed mainly at the commercial fleet buyer. No air-con or power windows although it does have central locking and power steering.

The auto box has been serviced once since we bought it and it still runs like it did in 1992. I don't mean overhauled either, it was just a fluid change. It isn't the smoothest auto and it can be a bit jerky, but it feels solid and strong which is probably why it's lasted so long. We've had Mitsubishi's that have had smoother auto's, but they're absolute rubbish reliability-wise.

Believe it or not, it still has the original exhaust. Maybe because it doesn't have a catalytic converter which aren't required in NZ. I've heard they produce water vapour which can rust out the system. It also has it's original radiator and suspension.

Performance wise it does as it's told. No more no less. It isn't a sports car so if you accept that and don't try to drive it like one, and keep up the routine maintenance, these will last forever.

This car belongs to my parents and I've been so impressed with it that when I moved to Australia I bought the same model, but a 1993 version (same as 1988 to 1992 model, but with the newer Mazda logo on everything). It was built in Japan and it has the 2.2L multi-point EFI engine (it's a manual too so it moves along quite nicely) and power everything. It now has 241,000 k's and it too has proven very reliable and I've only had to do routine maintenance.

Highly recommended, it's a shame the models following our 2 don't seem to have been designed so well, the quality of the automatic transmissions in the later ones leaves a lot to be desired from what I've heard and read.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th June, 2006