1999 Mazda 626 LX from North America


Good economic car, but with problems


I bought it at 20,000 miles and drove another 5000 miles for one year, mostly local. the mpg is only 20 or lower.

The windshield fluid cannot come out from one of the jet mouth.

The rear windshield heater is always hard to turn on, I have to push the button about 10 times and would get a lucky success.

Recently my car vibrates at 70 mph and higher. I did the balance and replace the left front rim. I don't feel the vibration from the steering any more, but from the car body, like the pedal and seat. I don't know what goes wrong now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th January, 2006

1999 Mazda 626 ES from North America


Let's call it Mazda POS!


Transmission overheated at 75,000 miles and Mazda and dealers know of the problem and only issued a service bulletin that was VERY expensive. Why does the customer have to pay for a faulty Mazda transmission?

Check engine light came on at 50,000 miles and dealers unable to identify problem or make it turn off.

Serpatein belt broke at 88,000 miles.

Brakes needed replacing at 22,500 and has needed replacing consistently. Thank goodness for breaks for life.

Right passenger CV joint boot was recently replaced. Now the left one is failing.

General Comments:

I put the first mile on my beloved Mazda. Now there is absolutely NO love!

I am NOT going to stand behind a car that the manufacturer will not stand behind.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th September, 2005

3rd Apr 2006, 12:22

I bought mine new. The check engine light has been on almost all the time for the past 5 years. This is very expensive as it is required to be off for inspection in my state. No matter what they replace, it only goes off for a couple days. Now the transmission is shifting randomly with the O/D light flashing. Apparently a common problem (100,000 miles) from what I read on here I probably need a new transmission. It's had a rough idle from the beginning - again repairs have little effect.

Would not recommend.

4th Jan 2007, 16:50

I have had a 1999 Mazda 626 for the last 6 years.

I have had a lot of the same problems I have read about.

At 66,000mi the O/D light started flashing on a trip and the transmission blew. Since I have put a new transmission in, I was coming back from Laughlin and the O/D light started flashing again. At a stop light the idle drops and the car shakes, it has been going on for a long time, repairs do not fix prob. or it is a very short lived fix. Brakes wear fast, have had bad calipers. I wouldn't recommend this car. I do believe that Mazda was ruined after Ford took it over. Ford makes great heavy duty trucks, but that is about it.

1999 Mazda 626 4 cylinder from North America


It looks great, and it's comfortable, but it's a Ford and the transmission is horrible


I am anticipating buying a new transmission for my 1999 626 within 2 years maximum, based on a transmission expert's comments when I took it in recently. The transmission had been slipping, and acting very strange. If it had been a standard I would have figured that it was slipping out of gear or the clutch was going out, but this is an automatic and what it was doing just didn't make sense. The repairman is a trusted friend of a friend, and ended up patching it up for free as much as they could, but he said it *will* go out and probably in a year or so. He said there are numerous problems with the transmissions in the FORD 626 and he's already replacing the transmissions in 2002's and 2003's.

Yes, that was FORD, not Mazda. Which is why I'm disappointed. I bought something that was misleading. A friend from Columbia said Mazdas were so reliable that it was one of the few cars (that and the Subaru) that are good in the mountians and rough conditions in South America, and that it should be really reliable. Well, theirs are actual Mazdas made in Japan. Mine was made by Ford in Detroit, and it's based on the Ford Probe's frame. The engine is Japanese and will last forever, but the transmission is poorly designed, weak, and prone to various failures. too bad I found that out after I bought it.

General Comments:

If it had a decent transmission this would be one hot car. The styling on mine is beautiful, it's black with some sporty molding and the nice wheel option, leather, and it looks beautiful. It's comfortable and has good acceleration. The gas mileage is reasonable for a mid-size car, and it's very roomy. I just wish I could trust it.

Maybe I'm prejudiced against american cars, but I've owned a Mitsubishi / Dodge Raider and a Toyota Corolla before. The Toyota was the best car in the world, but unfortunately I wrecked it. From now on, I'm sticking with Toyota, Subaru, or Honda. Period. Mazda is not necessarily the quality you would expect from a Japanese car, in fact the 626 is not Japanese at all. (Yes, I realize my old Corolla was made in partnership with GM, but it was so well built... and GM is fairly reliable anyway.) Forget the reputation that Mazda has for their other well-built vehicles; the 626 is a re-labeled Ford, not a Mazda. I don't plan on it lasting any longer than any other Ford would.

Such beautiful leather and options, a beautiful sunroof... it's such a pretty car and so comfortable. So why leave such a horribly critical show-stopper screwing up all the other beauty? If they would fix the transmissions, this would be one hell of a car. But since the transmissions go out so badly, forget it and buy something else that will last longer without major repairs of that nature.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th September, 2005

28th Sep 2005, 15:58

Your transmission shop is mistaken. The entire driveline, engine and the messed up transmission is Mazda. Same thing with the Ford Probe. Ford just built the body. That was a Mazda slip up, 100%, not Ford. Obviously, Ford has had its share of spectacular failures too.

I think you are genuinely being objective, but were given inaccurate information by someone with the popular belief that Japanese manufacturers can do no wrong. Mazda did in this case... the 626/Probe transmission has a notorious reputation.

The engines seem to be decent in terms of durability (my aunt, uncle, and cousin had three Probes respectively) but I know some repairs were more complicated and expensive than they should have been. I know in my cousin's Probe/626, the exhaust manifold had to come off to replace something very basic (might have been the alternator, but I do not remember), and as I recall, the component failed very prematurely. A coworker/friend of mine currently has a '97 626 (manual transmission model) who cannot get the check engine light to go off for anything. Runs great, but cannot pass inspection... a real problem.