1997 Mazda 626 LX 2.3 from North America


Reliable car with a bad transmission


Transmission failed @ 108000 miles.

General Comments:

I bought this car as cheap transportation to work and it has been a good companion. It is an old car and I had to get the transmission rebuilt for $1500. The suspension is soft, the 4 cylinder lacks power and the car vibrates when the engine is in idle, so I need to shift to neutral.

Rebuilding the transmission seems to be necessary, so be sure to factor it into the purchase price if you plan to buy any 626 with around 100k miles on it.

Other than that, I'd get 98 or newer model next time. They have more power and run better.

The engine is great, all the electrics are working, and other than CV axles, water pump, belts and brakes, nothing seems to be too bad. I don't have any emission issues like I have with my Ford all the time.

In all, a great little car. Get a 6 cylinder or manual transmission, or look put for a transmission repair shop.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th February, 2008

1997 Mazda 626 4 cylinder from North America


Running Nightmare from day ONE. I would not walk, but run away from this car


Transmission would leak excessive amounts of tranmission oil.

Transmission would bang on shift.

Outside door handle paint discoloration.

General Comments:

I would not buy this car or any Mazda car again.

Depreciated value on Mazda vehicles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th December, 2007

1997 Mazda 626 GXi 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Excellent all-rounder with amazing reliability


Engine shutdown while driving - caused by a dodgy wire, which had been dislodged during a service.

No other issues at all, in over 20,000 miles!

General Comments:

I bought this car 12 months ago, in something of a rush, as my previous car had just had a clutch-bearing failure, which wouldn't have been cost effective to sort out.

It wasn't quite as quick as some I looked at (e.g. Peugeot 406 2.0T), but in terms of the interior and general feel, it was head and shoulders above the rest. So I went with it!

12 months later, I've been looking for a replacement, and it's been hard finding anything comparable to replace it! If it weren't for my high mileage (20'000 miles in the last year), I'd have kept it, but petrol hasn't been getting any cheaper (and it's been averaging 32mpg even on long runs on 97-ron fuel), so I've reluctantly moved onto a diesel.

So: it's got a nice interior, and reasonable acceleration - I suspect it's capable of getting to 60mph a bit quicker than the official 10.6 seconds! Top end isn't anything special, but it will steadily creep up past 70 on the speedo on it's way to the ton.

Handling has been fine - I've seen a lot of criticism of the handling, but I've never had any issues with it, save for the fact that the turning circle is pretty huge. But hey - it's a big car: parking and turning are never going to be as easy as when in a VW Polo!

Reliability has been superb - except for the issue noted above (ironically caused by the service - though this did mean that I got it diagnosed and fixed for free!), I haven't had a single issue.

All in all, I've done a lot of driving in it, and I've enjoyed it. Time will tell if my new 130bhp Mondeo TDi will enjoy a similar reputation...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th June, 2007

1997 Mazda 626 LX 4.0 from North America


I give it a 6 out of 10. It's a good, reliable, but temporary vehicle


I was extremely hesitant in purchasing this vehicle; the mileage was a bit higher than I wanted. I had it set in stone in my head that any car above 100,000 miles would be nothing but trouble.

I purchased it from a private owner; originally it was a leased vehicle, so I felt it may have recieved better maintenance for it.

I purchased my 97 Mazda 626 in December of 2005. It's good running car, I must say. The first three months were blissful - having a reliable car - but I became petrified one day when I was driving home from work and it began smoking. Turns out I had a busted water hose. It was not very expensive to have repaired. I was also told that my radiator failed check-up and would need to be repaired soon. To opt on the expensive maintenance I just had it flushed. It hasn't overheated since.

Throughout the rest of 2006, I had no other problems, I only had to address normal wear & tear (tune-up, few oil changes, brakes, tires, alignment)

As of now, a few weeks ago I had to have my power steering pump replaced - it cost about $150.

The air isn't the coldest, and the transmission will give me problems soon (the fluid is black). The owner told me he had just replaced it before I purchased it, and Mazda's are notorious for their transmission issues.

The engine is very strong though. The ride is okay...it's a little rocky aroung 60-70 mphs.

I would definitely consider getting another Mazda, just not a used one. For 2000 bucks I wouldn't expect it to last more than a few years.

General Comments:

Nice interior - it might need some custom improvements like a better CD player, tinted windows, etc.

The ride is a little bumpy, but this isn't a luxury car. It's the vehicle that gets you through college.

Not extremely pricey to maintain, but it cannot be neglected.

Its better than a Toyota Tercel. :-)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd May, 2007

26th Sep 2007, 13:52

Just to update - I'm at about 161,000 miles now and I've had the radiator flushed, back brakes put on, new tires, water pump replaced ($200) extensive tune-up including wires, plugs, valve cover gasket, pvc valve, radiator hose, and belts replaced; the day after my tune-up I noticed white exhaust coming from the tail pipe after a cold start for about 15 seconds. The car drives wonderful, but this concerns me. I added fuel injector cleaner and pray its not the head gasket. Also, the O/D light comes on sporadically and I have to cut the engine off and turn it back on to stop it from blinking. This only happens at highway speeds. I think its the trans, but I hope I can keep with this "temporary fix" at least until the end of the year.