1988 Mazda 626 un known 2.2 NA from North America


Takes a lick-en and keeps on tick-en


Burns oil and the rate of 1 quart per week.

Seats are falling apart due to what I do.

Engine lacks the power that I had read about.

Performance parts are hard to find.

General Comments:

After installing the largest tires I could get under the car I can now take it off-road on fire roads and back roads and safely rally it without destroying the undercarriage or engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th August, 2004

1988 Mazda 626 GLX 2.0 from Finland


An average performing well designed vehicle


The car idled high (2000 rpm) when cold. This was due to a faulty air sensor. The idle return to normal when warm though.

It would eat a large amount of oil, half a liter every 2 months.

It leaked oil from the head gasket as well.

The in dash clock would flash on and off over bumps, but would keep the proper time despite this. This was fixed with spraying some Wd - 40 on the clocks wiring harness.

General Comments:

The build quality of this vehicle was in my opinion quite outstanding. Especially when I compare it to my previous vehicle (Opel Kadett).

Fuel consumption was quite good in this car. 500 km on 50l of gas with a mix of half city and half highway motoring. And a constant heavy foot I might add!

I stopped by my local mechanics shop and he told me that the Japanese spend triple the amount of time developing their cars when compared to European automakers. I cannot prove this of course, but I believe it to be true. Especially when comparing it to my previous vehicle.

All in all it was roomy and a well thought out design inside and out.

My complaints about this vehicle are few.

Slow electric windows that squeaked when fully closed.

Minimal performance for a 2 liter engine @ 109 hp didn't exactly blow my socks off.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th August, 2004

1988 Mazda 626 2.2i petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A good all round car


The Heater Core started to leak so I disconnected the heater. This seems to be a problem with these models. It is too hard to fix because the dash would need to be removed

The Clutch started to sink to the floor this was caused by the slave cylinder leaking. I rectified the problem myself for the cost of $48.

The car also has an oil consumption problem, but a change to a thicker grade of oil can fix that.

The drivers seat squab broke which was replaced by a secondhand seat from the wreckers for $20.

A pickup in the dizzy also was not functioning properly which cost $200 from an auto electrician to rectify.

General Comments:

The car is very quick and stops well also.

It has a very functional interior especially in Lift back form.

The seats are of a semi sports variety which are comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd July, 2004

1988 Mazda 626 LX Touring 2.2 Fuel Injected from North America


An excellent high performance family car


After just four weeks of driving it, the left front stabilizer link bolt sheared off. (It was rusted). I replaced the links on both sides for $10 in parts and two hours of elbow grease.

Driver's seat height adjuster broke a day after I took possession. A cracked bracket in the frame will require welding. Not urgent, since it's now stuck at the desired height. However, the seat does rock a bit, especially on hard acceleration and braking.

The center console lid/armrest broke its fragile hinges in no time. I unbolted all of the console plastic aft of the shifter, haven't missed it yet.

I hear a lot of tapping noise from the hydraulic lifters until the engine warms up, but I suppose that's to be expected. Dealer estimates $900 to replace all twelve lifters. I won't bother yet.

Radio has a lot of noise on AM, as if something internal is poorly soldered. Lots of static on bumps.

General Comments:

The car was in excellent condition when I bought it (for $2500) from the original owner. He had all the routine maintenance done, and he gave me the invoices for everything, so I feel pretty comfortable about its reliability. I was amazed to see the high cost of parts and labor, so I plan to do most of the routine work myself: timing belt, brake pads and shoes, etc.

The fit and finish are still excellent, and there are no squeaks of rattles from anywhere (even the suspension)!

The engine oil consumption is quite reasonable (I added only half a quart after 1500 miles of "hard" driving).

No fluid leaks from anywhere.

The steering is fast and perfect, just light enough to make parking a breeze.

The handling is pretty good, even with the previous owner's no-name brand tires. When they wear out, I will invest in some really good tires for even better handling. This should also improve the wet braking, which is scary with the cheap rubber.

The car still has its original shocks. It handles and rides better than my old Saab 900!

The air conditioner works effectively, as well as the power gimmicks, except for the sunroof that needs a little nudge in order to tilt.

The engine's torque is plentiful, giving excellent acceleration even in fourth gear. Cruising at 90 mph in fifth gear is effortless. Those two intake valves per cylinder were put to good use. The engine never seems to run out of breath.

The five speed shifts smoothly, and there is always the right gear for every driving condition.

Fuel economy is pretty good, averaging 27 mpg combined city and highway (with my aggressive driving).

The interior still smells like new and is very roomy for such a small car. Excellent legroom in the back seat.

The driver's seat is very firm, but a bit narrow for my big behind, but it is still good for long drives. The adjustable lumbar support and recliner help a bit.

The hatchback combines with a roomy trunk for packing stuff on long trips.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th October, 2003