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Mazda 626

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Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Looks pretty sporty. I like it. They should do an MPS level Sport Wagon, with more power.

    Guess it's half way between the two. Sized like a hatchback, though it does stretch a bit further back than the sedan does.

    That's cool - more gear fits inside.

    -juice
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That pic shows my point the best. Look at how much roof there is behind the C-pillar.

    Who cares, though. Looks pretty nice in that color and from that angle.

    -juice
  • Hi,just got back into the conversation - I purchased my '00 Mazda 626ES V6 fully loaded except for fog and abs and as it is silver i did not elect for the gold package. I had that on my '98 and in 18 months it started to peel. I do have the pinstripping. I paid $19,900 after rebate and all negotiations before sales tax. I purchased my car in Rockland County, New York. Thought I got a great deal. My 1st problem so far is the drivers seat (leather) needs to be replaced as it cracked at 2500 miles. I hate leather - never again.
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    I too bought a 'doubleought' Mazda.How do you say
    the new millenium? This was my First New Car and
    am throughly pleased.Our LX has a 4 banger and a
    left leg flexor.Does your 6cyl have a clutch?
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Many dealers find it cheaper to have the factory chrome emblems painted gold which does not last. I have never seen the factory gold emblems peel. Check with your dealer to make sure that the accessories they put on the car are factory. If they are, they are covered under the factory 36/50,000 warranty.

    :)
  • First the Good News - This discussion group is markedly free of complaints, so evidently most of you are satisfied with your Mazdas. And quite frankly, so I'm I - to the point of being thrilled (626 I/premium pkg). And now for the bad news. Do you know that Ford is planning on putting the 626 on the Contour platform, and the Protege on the Focus platform? Now, it may not concern most of you, but unfortunately I owned a '98 Contour V6. And yes, it was the worst car I've ever owned - in the shop for every 4-6 weeks for recalls and other malfunction, including a cracked flywheel. And when is was on the road it road like a logging truck. Now, don't take this as an exception, view the facts and how Ford operates. Look at the number of recalls on the Contour and the Focus. And notice a few things. For example, the Focus was brought over from Europe and one of the things that Ford did was put drum brakes on the rear - in Europe the car has disc all around. And what was one of the first recalls on the Focus - the rear brakes. I think the latest recall on the Contour is for engine compartment fires. Another example, the fan motor switch or relay shorted out in my Contour and filled the passenger compartment with smoke. So, I drive home in the cold with the windows open, get to the dealer, and find out the some $4 switch smoked the wires to the fan (I believe this was eventually another recall). Now, I may be incorrect, but this is what you get when you have cost accountants making automotive decisions. Yes, they save a $1 a switch, but in the end they pay via recalls and lost customers. But enough of my rant - and correct me if I'm wrong on any of this - for the sake of better informed auto buyers. And yes, I know that Ford owns 50% of Mazda - But look at the dependability of Jag - I believe it's suffering.
  • I am a 00 626v6 owner who is very satisfied with my car; this is not my first mazda or the only one in my family. This having being said, as a mazda fanatic, I am a bit concerned that upcoming mazda models will become nothing more than Ford cones (sharing the same engines, platforms etc). In so doing, I think Mazda may lose that distinctive 'quirkiness' that sets it apart from the me-too' hondas, toyotas etc. I've included some links describing the impending replacement of the 626 and the protege (I thought this model was doing very well) with newly-developed models, bearing new names. I believe this development is great and hope they get it right with the 626 this time around (in terms of hp, torque, looks, etc).

    What do other 626ers think? It would be nice to get some discussion going via this forum. It's been very quiet here lately.


    http://www.detnews.com/2001/autos/0103/21/b01-201985.htm

    http://www.latimes.com/business/20010321/t000024407.html

    http://www.usatoday.com/usatonline/20010321/3159469s.htm

  • I used to own an '84 Mercury Cougar with the dreaded 3.8 V6; it was truly a Ford Cone. :)

    A few notes on the articles proffered:

    Who finds the 626 "disappointing"? It's still the top seller in the entire US line, and if it's not moving as many units as a Ford F-series pickup, well, neither is anything else. The current 626 is, however, getting old, and Mazda has been replacing them on a five-year cycle all along, so a new car in 2003 has always been part of the plan. The biggest problem continues to be that Mazda needs a four-cylinder car to draw bargain hunters, but nothing in the company's current box of four-bangers - not even the 155, um, I mean 143-hp Miata mill - is sufficient to motivate the 2900-lb (more or less) 626 with any degree of authority, which definitely casts a pall over the entire Zoom Zoom thing. Of course, with two sixes in the model designation, it should be obvious what the engine offerings should be: a six, and another six. Not going to happen, though. The new 2.3 in the B2300 truck is good for 150 hp, which should be considered the minimum number of ponies acceptable. I like the current 2.0, but I think it will serve out the rest of its days in the Protegé.

    The Millenia looks to be dead, and it's perhaps just as well; this platform was conceived about ten years ago and nothing else is going to be built on it anyway, and with the rotary coming back, Mazda doesn't need two gee-whiz engines.

    I haven't been in any of the rebadged Ford Rangers that Mazda passes off as B-series trucks these days, but there's a decent amount of differentiation between the Escape and Tribute siblings, even with quasi-identical powertrains. And the current 626 has about 70 percent North American content, suggesting that a lot of these parts are showing up in Fords also, but hardly anyone who's driven a 626 seems to find it particularly Fordlike. (My old '93 had a mercurial temperament, but that's another issue entirely.) Even the CD4E transmission baked into these cars (and the Tribscape) seems to act like a Mazda slushbox, though I miss the old HOLD button. So I'm not that worried that the Essence of Mazda, whatever that's supposed to be, is somehow going to be diluted in a sea of Ford blue; if anything, we may actually see a Taurus learn to, um, Zoom.
  • cpearson1cpearson1 Posts: 30
    "Do you know that Ford is planning on putting the 626 on the Contour platform, and the Protege on the Focus platform"
    Don't believe everything you read on a forum, especially if it doesn't have references. Also make sure you have the latest Ford plan and not the previous version of it. I expect Ford to use some common platforms for Fords and Mazdas but they could use a Mazda platform for some sizes and a Ford platform for other sizes. The Tribute/Escape vehicle was developed by Mazda. The B series pickup was developed by Ford. The Ford Aspire was developed by Mazda and built by Kia. The other products sold in the U.S., at least for Model Year 2001, are still separate. There is no more Contour platform since the Contour is out of production. There is a new Mondeo platform in Europe which is supposed to be a big improvement over the previous Mondeo platorm.
  • I also took exception with the 626 being disappointing', as described by one of the articles. Just the fact that it doesn't sell as well as the big guys, doesn't make it a disappointment. I think it's a great car that has not been marketed well and needs more style, up and low-end torque to compete in the mid-size car market.

    In a way, I think windowphobe6 is right that Mazda has and probably will continue to rub(bed) off on Ford. The problem is ensuring that Mazda is influenced by the good things about Ford (and not the bad). The problem with the auto transmission in the 4-cylinder 626 (93-97), which Windowphobe6 is very knowledgeable about, is a debacle that should not be allowed to repeat itself. This problem, which hurt Mazda's reputation, has since been fixed in the ewer models.

    There's no doubt that Ford stepped in when Mazda was drowning and faced extinction; they've helped to keep the company afloat. Nonetheless, consumers who have had problems with American cars in the past tend to regard the link between Ford and Mazda as being problematic.

    Could anyone further elaborate on this platform business? Are Ford platforms inherently bad or good? What's the difference between Ford's and other platforms?
  • It's a mixed blessing. It's keeping General Motors alive; on the other hand, part of GM's ongoing image problem is having done so much of it for so long. But I'll get to that later.

    On this Contour business: the Contour/Mystique was in fact built as a US version of the '93-up Ford Mondeo, a European product. (And they, too, got the CD4E tranny.) Speculation has been rampant - I know, because I've done some of it - that the next 626 would be cloned from the next Mondeo. The Contour, regrettably, has been allowed to die, and the Mystique put out of its mysery as well, so if Mazda is really going to do the sixth-generation 626 (or whatever it's called) at Flat Rock on a platform to be shared with Ford and/or Mercury, the only thing North America may get out of the next Mondeo would be the new entry-level Jaguar. (And doesn't that sound funny?)

    Come 2004 or 2005, the Protegé and Focus will likely share a platform. I don't consider this a problem, since both of these cars are worthy. (I got some seat time in two Foci last year, and they can Zoom Zoom just fine, thank you very much.) Still, I don't expect them to be identical. Consider the one thing the cars currently share - the automatic transmission design, to which both companies contributed. Ford's 4F27E and Mazda's FN4A-EL have the same case and some of the same design parameters, but you can't bolt a Focus tranny into a Protegé, or vice versa.

    The CD4E story deserves more attention than it's gotten, and we may never know all of the horrible details, but this isn't the first transmission (not even the first Ford transmission) that had teething problems, and both Mazda and Ford could have done more, I think, for the customers who got stuck with version 1.0. There is a small community of '94-'97 Ford Probe owners who have dumped the CD4E and replaced it with a stick, something which is supposed to be next to impossible, but which I find curiously gratifying. And as for current CD4Es, well, I have one, so obviously I don't think it's a time bomb. On the other hand, I don't think much of Mazda's nonadvice on tranny maintenance, and I've said so more than once, and both Ford and Mazda know it.

    What makes a platform good? To my way of thinking, it has to be designed in such a way that the buyer of the stripper version isn't made to feel like a cheapskate for not having spent the extra seven grand (or whatever) for the higher-lux edition. A tricky business, but it can be done. Right now, a 626 with the V6 will blow right past my lowly four-banger on the straightaways, but I bet I can stay with it through the twisty bits; more money buys a bigger motor and (sensibly) bigger brakes, but decent handling is baked into this chassis. GM, on the other hand, would have made suspension upgrades optional and probably would have had the option-package designation painted on a quarter-panel somewhere. Ford knows better than that; even the low-end Contour was a decent ride. The Focus with the SPI engine is slower and grumpier but no less tossable than the Zetec-equipped version. And surely no one thinks less of the Lincoln LS for not being a Jaguar S-Type.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    First, Ford owns 33.4% of Mazda and not 50%.

    Second, when asked by the press who has the best built cars, Jac Nasser said, "the Japanese do".

    The original post mentioning all the platform sharing woes was just way off base. Don't forget that the Ford group includes: Ford, Linc-Merc, Mazda, Jaguar, Volvo, Range Rover and Aston-Martin. With Mazda and Volvo having hot beds of excellent engineering, expect some very nice platforms to emerge. Also, a platform sharing doesn't mean that the vehicles will look, handle or brake the same. It just means that that there are many shared components and it doesn't mean that Ford DNA will be in every vehicle.

    Platform sharing means that with higher volume, a maker can build better cars for less. I don't think anyone should fear the 2003 626 as I am sure it will be superior to the current version and it won't have the CD4E.

    :)
  • Thanks to all for the clarification on the platform and other related issues. It's gratifying to know that there are lot of knowledgeable people out there, who can explain some of these issues using everyday language. I guess we should not hurriedly mourn the demise of Mazdas' fun to drive factor and their overall reliability, as the relationship between Ford and Mazda deepens.

    On a side note, it would be nice to see a mx6-like coupe in the future, just in case any Mazda officials monitor this forum. Although I like the extra space in the 2000 626, I really don't need all that room. Since I like compact cars, I would have bought the protege, but since it doesn't offer a v6, I went for the 626.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    This concept scares me off. For example, we own a 626 and a Miata, but I wouldn't touch a Tribute, especially will the (scary) recalls it's already had.

    Wheels falling off? C'mon, is this normal for a Mazda?

    Also, it seems like we'll have fewer choices.

    We'll trade our 626 in for a non-Mazda if the new one is basically a Ford (owning two of those in a life time is enough for me).

    -juice
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    I guess the fact that the 626/MX-6/Probe were built on common platforms didn't scare you Juice. If you can get a hold of today's Automotive News, there is an excellent article on the topic. Their article makes it sound like Ford will be using Mazda's platform and not the other way around. As I said previously, there is engineering outside of Dearborn and Ford knows that.

    :)
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    I have heard a great many speculations on the platform future of many Mazda models. First off, I have to say that the 626 platform has served both Mazda AND Ford very well. The MPV is built on a modified 626 platform, as is the Tribute/Escape. Of course, in the past, the MX-6/Probe was built on the 626 platform. But, as good as it is, they do need to be updated from time to time.

    Cross-platform sharing is something that should be done. The Jaguar S-Type and Lincoln LS are built on the same platform. The upcoming Jaguar X-Type is being built on the Ford Mondeo platform. The 1991-2000 Escorts were built on the Protege platform. The current Protege is built on the Mazda Capella platform, and the upcoming RX-8 will be built on a modified Miata platform. Cross-platform sharing reduces cost significantly. And just because two cars share the same platform, it doesn't mean they'll use the same engine.

    Although I would love to blame the Tribute/Escape woes solely on Ford, I cannot. The Tribute/Escape are built on a Mazda platform, with most of their bodies and mechanicals designed by Mazda. The current MPV has gone through more than it's fair share of recalls, again a Mazda design with a Ford powerplant. One has to realize that these vehicles are all-new built in all-new factories with all-new equipment. Mistakes are expected, but not accepted. At least Ford/Mazda are recalling the vehicles right away, unlike some other companies which sit on the problems (GM and Mitsubishi come to mind) until a government agency forces them to take action.

    From some of the more recent reports I have read, the new 626 will ride on an all-new platform and serve as a basis for the next redesign of the MPV and the upcoming Nextourer-based cross-over vehicle. Besides, even if the 626 moves to the Mondeo platform, it will be all the better for it. The current Mondeo platform is a world-class platform, as is the Focus. Mazda can still bolt-on their own engines and suspension to them.
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