1989 Mazda 626 DX 2.2L In-line 4 from North America
A peppy and practical car
Right now the alignment is off quite a bit, the right front tire is showing wear marks on the outside.
Sometimes the car has a tendency to burn oil, it's an off-and-on thing.
Starting to rust a bit around the trunk and underside.
Trunk leaked, I think I fixed it by taking off the weatherstrip, putting some silicone in it, and replacing it.
Another danger from this is that the mounting points for the rear shocks can rust out, if you get a trunk leak, fix it quick, I just caught it in time.
The white reverse lights went out, some kind of wiring problem.
Alternator belt popped.
LCD screen on factory radio went bad.
Left the car sit for about a year, the e-brake locked up, couldn't get it to budge, drove around the block with the rear wheels locked.
Transmission has about had it, I think its me.
Speedometer is 5mph high at around 70, 3mph at around 40, not sure if it was always this way.
Getting a noise that sounds like valve tappet's, but I'm not a mechanic. Not sure what it is.
An '89 626 doesn't look like much, but I have really been impressed with the car. It has been a great first car to me.
The car has a lot of room for cargo, some people say there isn't much room, but I am 5'9" and it feels roomy enough for me. The rear seats fold forward to add space to an already large trunk. The front seats fold back to be even with the rear seats when you take off the head rests. This makes the back right seat a nice recliner, procedure on how to do this in the manual.
The handling is good for its class, tends to spin the tires a bit on turns and fast starts. Gives a good feel for the road, though the brakes need to be replaced about every 30-40K miles.
The engine is powerful for the class of car, but the transmission doesn't always deliver that power well. That may be due to my driving though, sometimes I press it hard. The Hold button on the stick makes the tranny feel more like a manual, you can downshift and control when it up-shifts better. The timing of the shifts is slightly odd, and the switch to second can be a little rough.
The car can accelerate off the line, and it also can get up to a pretty good speed. I have taken the car up to 120mph, it was shaking pretty bad then. Could have gotten it higher if the alignment and balance weren't so off.
If you like to drift a lot when driving, you can do it fairly easily in this car.
And for those of you who aren't of college age, this car runs great at legal speeds. The pedal seems to have a sweet spot at 40mph, the car loves that speed. I take it out at night and cruise at 40 for a few hours.
Gas mileage is about 25mpg, both city and highway for mine. The Power-Economy button doesn't seem to do much. Just a frill.
Cruise control works great.
This car seemed to only come out in one color, the only ones I've seen around town of the same year are all tan, most with maroon interiors, some with light blue.
The stock stereo is no good, the speakers blew, so I put in an Alpine head unit, and replaced the speakers with Infinitys. Sounds real good now, though I would have liked them to put the front speakers in the door instead of under the dash. They are only 4" and the highs are shot down to your feet, so you don't get highs or lows from the front, it has to come from the back.
Love the car, worth a lot more than blue book to me. It's no sports car, but its simple "family car" looks are deceiving. Great first car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th October, 2003