1998 Mazda 626 ES 3.2 V6 from North America


The 1998 626 ES V6 is an absolute GEM!


Antifreeze/coolant reservoir replaced (68,000 miles).

Repaired oil leak (68,000 miles).

Replaced brakes (50,000 miles).

Replaced alternator (48,000 miles).

Replaced timing belt (48,000 miles).

General Comments:

It seems there is a huge disparity between the the ES and the LX in terms of reliability and repair history. This ES has been a pleasure to drive.

Even all these years later, the 626 ES handles beautifully, with fast, smooth response.

The extra cylinders make pickup and merging into highway traffic a dream. This is the peppiest car going.

Leather interior still looks great and seats are comfortable. Even though car cabin design has changed tremendously over the years, this model holds its own against the bells and whistles.

Bose sound system is like the day it was delivered and yields superior sound.

All in all, this car has been a pleasure to drive - I wouldn't still own it if it wasn't!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th January, 2010

1998 Mazda 626 LX 2.0 from North America


Buy the manual transmission, never the auto!


I have done only maintenance on this car; timing belts, CV boots, oil changes.

General Comments:

While I know the automatic transmissions are terrible, the manual literally will not quit. Also for those who say their engine has failed, they probably let the Ford oil pan leak and starved the engine.

This four banger five speed combination is the best drivetrain you could want from a reliability standpoint. Do your maintenance, stay away from the automatic, and the motor will outlast any Honda.

I keep cars 7-8 years routinely, and if this one blows up tomorrow, it does not owe me a thing. I want to trade in on a pickup, but I can't bear the thought that this little Mazda will probably still be getting groceries long after whatever I buy next has been turned into a washing machine by the scrapyard. The little green sedan WILL NOT QUIT.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th January, 2010

1998 Mazda 626 from North America


Worst car and worst dealer ever


I have put thousands of dollars in repairs into this car, including $3000 for transmission failure.

It was definitely a lemon, and I absolutely hate the Mazda dealership and all of their representatives.

I will never purchase a Mazda again, and I wouldn't recommend this brand to anyone, especially based on all the comments I have read about them on the Internet.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th November, 2008

14th Nov 2008, 12:23

You know why? Mazda = Ford now :)

1998 Mazda 626 LX 4 cylinder DOHC from North America


A perplexing amount of trouble


I replaced both right and left CV joints, RH wheel bearing, jack shaft, sway bar links, rotors, pads, and brake shoes.

The exhaust rotted out, so I cut out the resonator and welded in a straight pipe.

Valve job, intake gasket, coil, wires, 3 sets of plugs, O2 sensor.

Had to unplug the EGR port in the throttle body, replaced all the motor mounts, replaced the injectors, added grounds, cleaned the MAF sensor, the IAC, and after that, it STILL idles crappy, hesitates and now it is using oil at a rapid rate.

It's losing power and dying when under any load, and has developed a ticking noise from the valve train.

All the door gaskets have fallen off and been re-glued, rust is starting all around the windshield, and the left lower control arm was just replaced because the ball joint failed.

The starter is now acting up and will need replaced.

Nice car otherwise.

General Comments:

Handles nice, rides great.

Good gas mileage when it runs.

Very poor overall build quality.

Looks sharp and always gets comments, nice factory spoiler.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th September, 2008

1998 Mazda 626 ES 2.5L V6 from North America


I love my 626 ESV6!


Right after we got the car the immobilizer coil went bad and the car had to be towed to the dealer for repair.

55,000 miles check engine light came on, bad O2 sensor.

65,000 miles replaced brake pads and tires

At 80,000 miles changed timing belt and water pump.

85,000 miles could smell burning rubber smell after driving on highway and it would hesitate and lurch, it needed a tune-up and transmission service. Also had to replace the sunroof switch @ $5...did it myself and it took 5 minutes.

Just replaced a CV boot and back passenger brake caliper along with brake pads all around.

Check engine light was also illuminating intermittently, code came back to EGR valve, cleaned it and will see what happens.

Only unresolved problem is a lighting issue... when I press the brakes the parking lights illimiate, when the headlights/parking lights are on the 3rd brake light is on, and when the headlights/parking lights are on the cruise control does not work... I think it is due to a faulty brake light switch, but not sure... Any suggestions.

General Comments:

I love this car. The stock Bose stereo is awesome. It zips around town in zoom zoom fasion. The car's coolest feature is the center ocsillating vents, keeps the ice cold air flowing throughout the car on hot summer days. Have not had too many problems with the car, mainly routine problems and wear and tear that is relatively cheap to fix. I don't think I would want a 4 cyl. though, other folk have had too many problems, and it is too slow for my zoom zoom spirit.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th July, 2008

15th Oct 2008, 13:05

Having the exact same issue with the parking and 3rd light on a 1998.

I went into the trunk and popped up the third light housing from there (no tools required), then inside the car I disconnected the power to the bulb and popped the housing back in.

That should keep us from getting needlessly pulled over.

I hope to sort out the issue and get back to this page with the answer.