1998 Mazda 626 LX 4 cylinder from North America


Pretty good


60,000 miles; a starter.

89,000 miles; timing belt.

General Comments:

I bought the 98 626 LX with a 5 speed manual in 2001 with 45,000 miles on it. It had a salvage title because of a front end collision. It was $8000 so I bought it... Seemed like a good deal. It looked like it had all been fixed properly.

At about 60,000 miles I had to have the starter changed for like $300... Since then it has been flooded twice in the Houston weather... the first time was $3000 worth of damage, and the second time was $1300, but that was paid for by the insurance.

I always have the oil changed with Mobil 1.

At 89,000 miles the timing belt broke, but that was my own fault for not getting it done before it broke at 60,000. It have to have a new cam cover because of that, so a $300 preventative cost me $900... my bad.

Other than it sounding like the spare bouncing around in the trunk (which it isn't) from the rear suspension, my only other thing has been replacing the plug wires an unusual amount of times. Paid a little extra for Bosch this time, and it seems to be fine. The car still runs great.

All in all, for as many years as I have had it (7), and the fact with the floods and it being totaled before I bought it, I think it's held up pretty good... but I'm also in a warm weather state... these might be more suited to the south than the north.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st April, 2008

1998 Mazda 626 LX 2.0i 16v from UK and Ireland


Very good Japanese built, but not USA!



General Comments:

Excellent car, all the negative reviews for the Mazda 626 on here seem to come from the USA, and those cars are built somewhere else I'm sure...

This car is 10 years old and nearly done 100,000 miles and it's still going like new.

In the UK, we have Japanese built Mazda 626's, and they are very reliable, well equipped cars.

Handles very well - bit of a bumpy ride though, better at speed, unrefined around town.

Lots of space. Nice interior.

Looks good - I have saloon with alloys not the usual hatchback ones you see.

Very reliable so far. Economical 2 litre engine (about 35 MPG) and goes well when you need to.

Overall a nice car, can't fault it. Shame you guys in the USA got badly built versions of them.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th March, 2008

23rd Jun 2008, 13:13

I'm looking for a 626 and have been recommended it. Good to know that we in the UK have different cars than the US otherwise I would be reconsidering.

24th Jun 2008, 06:16

I'm not so sure that the cars are different. I think it's just a case that people in the U.S. run up more miles because things are farther away. In the U.S., people drive an average of 12,000 miles per year and commonly 15,000-20,000 miles. A 10-year-old car with less than 100,000 miles would be considered relatively low mileage, which means that things have not had a chance to break down yet. Probably your test will come in the next couple of years when you approach 120,000 miles.

1998 Mazda 626 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Excellent, except the rear vision


Bought second hand. Been a dream car. Will be very sad to replace it.

Poor rear visibility makes it easy to bump into obstacles.

Front electric window motor burnt out at 146,000 miles. Rust damage only just starting to appear, but it has been routinely garaged.

General Comments:

Utterly reliable - has never failed to start first time.

Good performance.

Very poor rear vision, e.g. when reversing.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st November, 2007

1998 Mazda 626 LX from North America


Good looking and efficient


The transmission failed a few months after I bought the car. I have found out that this is a common problem with the 626 model that can be prevented with a transmission fluid cooler. After having the transmission repaired I have had no real problems.

General Comments:

The 626 is a nice looking, comfortable, and very efficient car so long as you take care of your transmission. I would recommend buying one, but make sure to have your mechanic or transmission shop check it out first.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th August, 2006