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Mazda 626



  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Could we bring back the 1993-1997 626? Unfortunately, I think Mazda made a mistake by going to the larger, softer, plusher, kinder 626 we have seen since '98. I liked the smaller, sportier, lighter 626. Oh, and can we have the MPS concept version from Europe? I remember something about all-wheel drive and a blown 2.5L with something like 275 horses galloping through a 6-spd manual transmission... Please.... :-)
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    why the Capella never made it to these shores. With the 2.5L(I know, it's a 2.0L V-6) and a much lighter, tighter car, the Altima would be dead in its tracks. Must have had something to do with the fact that they were confined to build it with parts and labor from Detroit(no hard feelings).

    As long as we are dreaming, how about a Millenia 2.3L in a 626? Turn the boost up a hair, add a 6spd and stiffen the ride up. Hmmm, I may have some spare parts around here, anybody have a donor car?

  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    I was thinking along the lines of going back to Mazda's roots in the U.S. and having a 626 Type R or Protege Type R with the 13B or 20B motors in them. That'll bring some definite Zoom to the line-up. There's nothing like humming along at 10,000rpm... I miss my RX-7... Not very practical, but it was a blast to drive! Any word on an RX-5 Miata? We know the 13B fits in it, so why not?
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    I know it wouldn't make much sense in the new Ford global family, but have there been any talks of resurrecting the Amati nameplate or bringing the Eunos line to the US?
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Or I meant Amati.

    It's dead as dead goes. Mazda learned the hard way in 1993/94 that they just aren't big enough to support 2 sales channels.

    Rotaries(eyes light up):
    I talked to an engineer one time who worked on a project to put a 13B in a Prote. His English wasn't the best, but a grin like that crosses all borders. :)

    Don't expect the rotary in anything here but the coming(fingers crossed) RX-8.
  • Generally, what was taken away from the suspension in the '98 redesign was restored for 2000; there's still the matter of the extra 200 lb or so (and about 2 mpg, in my case), but I don't think I lost anything in tossability by switching from a '93 to a Double-Ought. The same Major Annoyance Zipping Down Alleyways stunts I used to pull, I still can.
  • qz2000qz2000 Posts: 2
    I saw a Mazda 626 here. 1997, LX, leather seat, ABS, moonroof, 37,000 miles ... Dealer asks $11,000 first and now decreased to $10,000.
    But I do not how reliable for this year's 626? And what is the reasonable price for this car?
  • theparallaxtheparallax Posts: 361
    The new Tribute may be on a Mazda platform, but the car seems to have a lot of Ford content in it. Just look at the interior - there is NO WAY that thing is a real Mazda. The switchgear is Ford, the way the door closes is Ford, the plastics used inside is Ford, the powertrain is Ford, and I can go on and on.

    The new MPV has only had 2 recalls if I can recall. One was a voluntary bumper recall after IIHS tested the 5MPH bumpers on the van, and another was the incorrect sticker in the door jamb.

    Take a look at the MPV, then look at the Tribute. You will see a world's difference in the way everything is put together. The interior on the Tribute screams 'cheap' and 'tinny' compared to the MPV's interior.
  • qz2000qz2000 Posts: 2
    I forgot to mention above it is auto. But after reading the posts, I was scared. I checked the carfax and it was first registered as lease from 97/06/01 to 00/06/01. Then it was auctioned. So I do not whether I still have manufacturer warranty.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The 626/MX6/Probe were all based on a Mazda chassis, engine, and transmission. Well, except the lame CD4E automatic, which is the only Ford component, and proves my point!

    I don't mind Ford using Mazda parts and engineering, but the other way around bugs me. Mazda is exorcising any and all character from its cars.

    The Tribute uses a Ford engine and trans. Go to the Tribute boards and read up on the troubles their community leader has had with his.

    I just want Mazda to remain Mazda. Sharing some parts is probably inevitable, but I think their effort with the MPV was far better than with the Tribute (and preliminary reliability ratings agree).

  • The factory warranty on any '97 has almost certainly expired by now; it's three years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. If there's an extended warranty involved, you'll have to check with the issuer thereof.

    I like the '97s, but at that point, only some of the CD4E transmission modifications were in place, so I have a certain amount of squeamishness about the I4-auto combination.

    $10,000 seems reasonable if it's in tip-top shape. ( has a nice little calculator in its used-car listings into which you can plug all the variables.)
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    You have forgotten a very early recall in the MPV that was quite serious! The fuel injectors were leaking fuel. What sit's below the fuel injectors? Oh, a nice, hot exhaust manifold. We thought it was the end of the MPV, especially for this type of problem at product launch. How does it sell today? Quite well, I'm happy to say.

    The difference in the vehicles boils down to where they were built/assembled.

    Close the doors on the Protege, Millenia, and MPV. They all have the same near-silent, solid thunk to them. No rattles or latch noise.

    Now close the doors on the 626, Tribute, and B-Series. They all have the same Ford-type ka-thunk-ka. There's some rattle of the door glass and you can hear the latch engage in its two latch levels.

    The first group is assembled in Japan. The second group is assembled in the U.S. Throughout those vehicles, there is a definite difference in build quality... from the body panels, to the paint, to the interiors.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    I have nothing against vehicles built/assembled in the U.S. I'm just pointing out the differences. Funny this is, the Ford Focus has amazing quality and refinement to it. Why Ford can't do that with their more expensive models is beyond me. But I would still buy a Tribute, B-Series, or 626 in a heartbeat. (OK, I lied. I would buy a 626 4-cyl 5-spd, or any V6 model, but NOT the 4-cyl auto... I don't like tow trucks).
  • Apart from the fact that they are sold in different markets, is there a difference between the Mondeo and Contour in terms of reliability, performance and engines? Also, why was the Contour recently discontinued in the US?

    The Edmunds review of the 626 seems to suggest that the Contour was a better car than the 626 in terms of handling, ride etc. Is this true?
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    The recall you mentioned on the MPV had to do with the wrong intake manifold that was installed on the engine here, BEFORE it went to Japan for vehicle assembly. That recall affected a relatively small number of vehicles and there were very few that were retailed with that problem.

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Having driven a 626 for a couple of years and then renting a Contour while on business, I can say that there is no comparison. The Contour felt like any other Ford while the 626 has that subtle Mazdaness(new word).

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Focus' reliability isn't up to par, though. It has lower ratings than the Mazda-based Escort it replaced.

    Contour was too small for US tastes. Other markets tend to prefer small, fuel efficient cars. Despite kind reviews from the press, it sold like freezers in Alaska.

    The Focus is roomier, and cheaper to boot. That's why it's succeeded where the Contour failed. I think Ford watered down the handling far less than they did in the US market Contour, also.

    Didn't Mazda have a tag line earlier, "It just feels right"? I think they called it Kansei (SP?) engineering.

  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    The Contour they mention in that review is the Contour SVT. Basically, it's a suped-up Contour by the same group (Ford's Special Vehicle Team, SVT) who customized the Mustang Cobra and the F-150 Lightning, and the soon-to-be-released Focus SVT. The Contour SVT was a V6 Contour SE with enhancements to the suspension, brakes, engine, transmission, exhaust, and wheels. I drove one. Very impressive! Nice smooth ride with super-flat cornering and a 200hp V6 that just would not quit! And that exhaust sound... you'd think you were driving a Mustang Cobra... Oh, but the body and interior... ugly as sin... and cheap materials... those perforated Navy blue leather seats were just plain awful...

    However... My choice of vehicle before buying my Protege ES was the Contour SE V6 5-spd. That was a total disappointment. It drives nothing like the Mazda's do... very Fordish. I even drove the Mustang GT 5-spd. Again, big disappointment. It's like driving a really cramped Taurus with a V8. It had a really stiff ride but couldn't corner to save your life and it had a turning circle of a Boeing 747. I really wanted a Miata, but I do require a trunk... Of course, I could buy a used '94 and add the supercharger... hmmmm. I've gotta run...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    No, get a 93. The 1.6l has far more mods available, and cheaper too. Turbo kit group buys for $1080, can't beat it.

    Though it's fun as-is, in stock form.

    Then just get a trailer. Seriously, they sell a Class I hitch for them that can support a 200 lb tongue weight and a 1000 lb trailer!

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