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.
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