1989 Mazda 626 from North America
Best car I ever owned!!
These are all approximate miles as sometimes the mileage was recorded during the repair and sometimes not.
New battery at 100K miles.
New alternator at 150K miles.
New starter at 175K miles.
New CV boots, and front axles around 200K miles.
New radiator (she busted in the rain in bumper-to-bumper traffic) and a modulator (which may have caused the fan to quit working which caused the radiator to overheat & bust!) at 250K miles. Radiator ~$300 and modulator from a junkyard for $15.
Began drinking 1-2 quarts of oil between oil changes and escalated over the past year to 1 quart a day from around 200K miles.
These are things I view as major repairs.
At around 270K miles the blower fan began shooting small bits of insulation into the car through the vents and defrost, heat & air conditioning air was minimal. But with quick access of the fan from under the passenger side dashboard and removal of all the old yellowing insulation, it blows as good as the day it was new.
Since I bought this car as a salvaged vehicle (total loss by an insurance company) I questioned the 36K miles originally on the odometer. However, I can fully vouch for the remaining 236K that I have faithfully driven (highway, long commutes, long vacation trips) and in town stop & go.
Besides regular maintenance (oil changes, tune-ups, tire rotations, etc.) I feel I barely had to "put up" with any sort of inconvenience.
It is a 5-speed and I have NEVER replaced the clutch. She still shifts soft & easy so the transmission is probably good for another 272K miles.
I will complain (bitterly) about the reception of the radio (stock)! I can usually only pick up a station here & there and never for long. I don't remember when the scan button quit working so if you want to surf stations you have to use the tune button. But at least it came with a cassette player (state of the art in '89 I am sure!) and I have some consolation.
It is a smaller mid-size car, but accommodates about 5 people comfortably as long as they are not all adults in the back seat. Plenty of leg & head room, but I am 5'6".
The drivers side seat (all cloth interior) has only just begun to tear along a seam in the last few months.
Some sun fading is experienced in the back seat at the top of the seats.
There is not much fading to the paint, the carpet is still intact and the dash has no cracks.
I wish I had a console in the center to keep from loading up the glove box, but oh well.
I hate to give her up, but as it turns 272K she is burning a quart of oil a day and I know it's not going to last much longer. With an initial investment of $2350.00 US dollars, and a totaled maintenance record of $3500.00 US dollars over 6 years of ownership (not counting insurance, gas, & tires) this is by far the BEST car I ever owned!!!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th September, 2003