1990 Mazda 626 LX Hatchback 2.0 8v from Germany


Reliable and affordable


Silencer broke at 80000 km.

Thermostat broke at 85000 km.

All 4 drive-shaft sleeves leaking due to marten bites.

General Comments:

In general the Mazda 626 is a good car. It is very reliable and tough, offers lots of room for passengers and luggage and has a satisfying performance at a reasonable fuel consumption.

As for the reliablity and quality, my 1990 model hasn't got any spot of rust, which is remarkable in our climate where roads are salted against ice in the winter.

The car is solidly constructed as well. I hit a deer with about 120 kph and just had to change the front bumper, hood and lights. The cooler and the frame didn't take any damage, I just still pull out some deer hair...

Unfortunately spare parts are quite expensive (just here in Germany?). I.e. the chrome bar on top of the front bumper is € 80 at Mazda, a set of front brake pads is about € 70 and a muffler about € 85. But with this car you won't need much spare parts anyway and most of them you can get at other manufacturers or from the scrapyard.

The engine is alright. It's not a rocket motor, 90 hp and 155 nm out of 2 litres aren't that stunning. It goes well in low and middle revs, but over 5000 revs just the noise increases, not the speed. It is still good enough for taking uphill autobahn parts with 180kph and the acceleration is good for some disbelieving looks.

It's character is a bit rough, but I don't feel disturbed by that. So you know it's really running.

The fuel consumption is alright, with a lot of city traffic I have a consumption of about 8 litres 91 octane fuel.

The driving comfort is really good. The suspension is rather smooth, but it has some problems with short hits like rails. The steering could be a bit more direct.

When you check out the handling, you know immediately this car was designed as a family car, so chasing it around bends will show it's limits quite soon. You will notice it's a honest understeerer. But due to a proper independent suspension it keeps always controllable.

About the design, well, to be honest I don't care much about that, to me things are nice or not, but I think it's not ugly.

All in all I can just recommend this car. You can get quite cheap ones, they're safe and reliable.

For the Germans: It's not that bad with the tax, you can get it down to Euro2 with a device changing characteristics of the cold engine, just the insurance is a bit expensive, Haftpflicht 21...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd June, 2004

1990 Mazda 626 LX Touring Sedan 2.2L from North America


A reliable car that holds on a lifetime.


I had to replace the brakes at 250,000 miles.

I had to replace the alternator belt at 246,000 miles.

General Comments:

This car is very reliable.

Mazda made cars are outstanding.

The car still has plenty of torque and power that I have only lost one time and that was to an 87 Supra Turbo.

The seats are really comfortable and I don't move when I have to turn hard because of the bucket seats.

I would definitely get another Mazda.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th January, 2004

1990 Mazda 626 DX 2.2 Gas from North America


A super reliable, good handling, comfortable bargain


I have done almost all the maintenance on this car myself.

CV joints were replaced at 186,000 (right) and 191,000 (left), and both replaced again around 300,000.

Alternator replaced at 210,000.

Brake rotors replaced at 240,000. We live in the mountains, so the pads were replaced every 35,000 miles or so.

Starter motor replaced at 310,000.

I burned a valve at about 345,000 but did not have the time or money to fix it. Finally, nine months later at 359,000, I pulled the cylinder head. The bad cylinder was completely worn out, due to unburned gasoline washing the oil off the cylinder walls. The other three cylinders still had the hone marks from original manufacture.

We put in a used engine & transmission (104,000) in the car at 359,000.

The tail light gaskets leak water into the trunk.

Accidents: Hit by drunk driver in 1977 Oldsmobile 98 - $6,600 damage. The car at 196,000 miles at the time, and thankfully, I convinced the insurance company to rebuild it.

Hit a dog on the Interstate at night $1,200 damage.

Hit a deer on the interstate at night, at about 390,000. Due to the age & mileage, my insurance company totaled the car. With the insurance payout, we bought the "wreck" and had it repaired, a few rust spots fixed and a complete (budget) paint job done at Maaco for a total cost of $1,000.

The radio quit at about 380,000 and was replaced with a used 626 radio.

General Comments:

Best car we have ever owned! Good handling, good gas mileage, super reliable, roomy.

Very comfortable front seats.

By the way, the original clutch was still good at 359,000. I had four kids learn to drive in this car, we lived on a mountain logging road with 14-18% grades, and I pulled a trailer frequently.

My daughter is current the owner of the car which now has about 410,000 on it. When she wants to upgrade, I want the car back. I'm sure I can get a half a million miles out of it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st December, 2003

19th Jun 2009, 09:11

This account sounds far-fetched and too good, but as a fellow 1991 626 2.2l mazda owner I believe you and hope to match you.

These cars are understated marvels of strong reliable performance. The auto's are only average for lifespan, but work nice. Front torsion arm suspension will bottom out when pushed, limiting otherwise impressive handling.