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Mazda 626

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    They did Avalon-ize the Camry. The front and sides look OK, but the rear went down the ugly path that the Maxima and Taurus took.

    The 626 sketches look promising.

    -juice
  • I have owned Mazda's in the past and until recently, have had nothing against this company. However in the last few months I have had almost identical negative experiences in taking test drives of their vehicles.
    Last winter, I went to a car show and was generally impressed with the looks of both the MPV and the 626.
    Then in May I took a test drive of the MPV. I ended up getting an Odyssey because the engine was just too small. I know they're upgrading to the Tribute engine in 2002, but I couldn't wait that long.
    Yesterday I test drove a 626 V6. And again the engine is just way too underpowered.
    This company will not be competitive until they can put something under the hood. And they're losing ground when Nissan has a 175 HP V4 and a 255 V6.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    enough said
  • Although Mazda has typically stressed handling over hp, I don't agree that the 626v6 (which I own) and the MPV are underpowered. Even with the automatic, the 626v6 is quick, fun to drive and handles like a dream; the manual v6 is quicker and even more fun to drive. Mazdas are quirky autos that drive differently than the competition; they (at least the Protege and 626) demand to be driven hard to coax the required performance out of them (this has been my experience).

    Although the Odyssey has more 'power', it looks like a tank and is probably more difficult to manoeuvre (no offence intended); handling is probably not up to the MPV's level. Whilst Nissan offers excellent v6 engines, I don't particularly care for their looks and/or handling.

    To satisfy people who only care about numbers, the company is upgrading the engines in the 626, MPV etc. If you scroll through old messages, you'll see some of the planned changes for the 626's replacement.
  • It's not fair to compare Nissan Altima's 2002 model with the current 626. The altima just came out barely a month and its totally new. Their 2001 model only has 155HP max and no V6 compared to 170HP on Mazda's V6; DOH.
    When Mazda release their new 626 next year, it's going to have a 3.0V6 with roughly 210-220HP. Yes, it's not 255HP like the Altima has, but it would be more than enough to power the 626 to be a fun "drivers" car.
  • On the other hand, the 626 weighs less than the competition - by 100 to 400 lb - so the power deficit is somewhat offset. Even with the, um, V4. :)

    (I wonder how Volkswagen's W8 is going to play in Passatland?)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    A V6 5-speed 626 is definitely not "slow", not by any stretch of the imagination. Despite the power ratings, a V6 will easily outrun an Altima with the new 4 banger.

    Also, note that Nissan originally called it 180hp, but had to back off when the cars were much slower than expected. They now claim 175hp.

    I agree that the MPV really could use a boost, but I mean c'mon, it's a minivan. It's also several thousand dollars cheaper than an Odyssey. I've looked at both and one big difference is that the MPV's rear windows open. It makes other minivans seem like jail cells in comparison. I was also surprised to see a rather significant advantage in reliability for the Mazda, usually a Honda strong point.

    Sorry to break your heart, but the Odyssey just got a 30hp boost itself, for 2002, plus rear disc brakes. Someone like you (who desires big HP) should have waited. Major bummer. :-(

    -juice
  • I guess if you really wanted a performance minivan, then you would have bought a Dodge Grand Caravan ES with all-wheel drive, 3.8L V6, and AutoStick transmission. Not only will it outrun the Odyssey, but it will outhandle it as well. Reliabiltiy? Not an Odyssey strong point, which is strange for Honda. But once the 200hp 3.0L DOHC Duratec is placed in the MPV, I think it will easily outrun the Odyssey, since it is 800 pounds lighter!

    The Mazda 2.5L DOHC V6 looks weak on paper but is a blast to drive and a model of smoothness. At least Mazda will allow you to mate it with a manual transmission, unlike most of its competitors who claim to be performance oriented but then fail to offer a proper transmission. The Maxima is the exception, but it is easily much more expensive than the 626. Nissan is doing a Ride and Drive next door while I am typing this. I was out watching them run Accord's and the new Altima around some cones. The Altima sure accelerates quickly, but handling is certainly not a strong point as I watch it slide through cones and cover my ears as the tires squealed everytime there was a slight deviation from straight in the cone course. Meanwhile, the 4-cyl Accord (yes, they're comparing a loaded V6 Altima against a base model 4-cyl Accord) isn't as quick, but handles much better through the cones and probably completes the course in the same amount of time.
  • I would appreciate any advice. I am interested in buying a 98 626 ES V6 w/ 30000 miles. Price before haggling is 13990. Is this a good deal? What does the 30000 mile service entail/cost? Mazda has a certified used car program but dealers in my area do not advertise this and act cagey when questioned about it. I would like to get a 12/12000 warranty as I would get w/ a certified used Honda or Toyota. Does anyone have any experience w/ Mazda certifed used cars? One of the primary appeals of this car is the price, significantly lower than the V6 Accords and Camrys I have looked at. I feel hesitant about no extended warranty though.
    Thanks for any help!
  • You didn't say whether this car is a 5 speed or automatic. We have a loaded 2000 ES 5 speed with 30,000 mi. and have been only offered $13,500 on a trade. Our car has 6 disc changer, leather, roof, abs, traction control. It is a very nice car though. Mazda vehicles come with a 3 year/ 50,000 mi. warranty. Possibly the vehicle you are looking at would still fall under this warranty (if it has been less than 3 years since the vehicle was originally titled). I am not sure what the certified used car program is about. We haven't taken our car in for 30,000 mi. service yet. Hope this helps you a little bit.

    Bill
  • Brand new to this discussion board... getting lots of good advice here. I've been thinking about buying a new 626 and saw here that there's a major overhaul for 2002. But I still don't fully understand what's happening with the 626 for 2002? When is the new model supposed to be available and is it worth waiting until then? Also, what changes will be made? Is there a place I can go to get all this info or does one of you already know? Thanks!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Welcome!

    Try this page on Edmunds.com: New Mazda Vehicles. And keep checking back here for more conversation.

    Good luck.

    Pat
    Host
    Sedans Message Board
  • The new 626 (it probably will be called something else) will debut in the Spring/Summer (??) of 2002 as a 2003 model. I think the 2002 626 is basically the same as the 2000 and 2001 models, with some minor modifications.
  • Thanks Pat - for the suggestion of Edmunds's new Mazda section. I'd already been there and noticed that Edmunds doesn't have any specs or reviews of the new 626 so I was hoping that someone here might have details on whether the modifications will be minor or major. My real question is whether it's worth waiting for the new version in Spring/Summer or buy a 2001 626 now?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My guess is the changes will be major. It'll move to an entirely new platform, and likely take on Ford engines.

    That's good and bad. The sketches I've seen show a gorgeous car, but reliability would be a concern. Also, the cars may get watered down if we just get handed down Ford powertrains.

    IMO it's hit or miss. The MPV is a hit and reliability scores are better than the Odyssey. The Tribute, on the other hand, kind of bombed (in terms of quality, not sales numbers) at its launch.

    -juice
  • For 2002, the 626 soldiers on basically unchanged for its final year. The only changes are the deletion of the ES 4-cyl model and a repackaging of the ES-V6. The LX will now be the only 4-cyl model available. The ES-V6 will no longer have the Bose audio system and moonroof as standard equipment. However, the base price will drop by $1,300. The Bose audio system, power moonroof, ABS, and side-impact airbags will now be availalbe as separate options or as part of the new ES Premium Package.

    For 2003, the 626 nameplate will be eliminated and replaced by a totally new vehicle. The platform is a brand new global mid-size platform designed by Mazda and will form the basis for Ford's global midsize vehicles such as the Taurus, Sable, Volvo midsize, Jaguar midsize, etc. The new platform is slightly longer and wider. It will be powered by the 2.3L DOHC Duratec I4 (designed by Mazda) which should produce about 150-160hp. The V6 will be the Ford 3.0L Duratec DOHC V6 fitted with Mazda's S-VT (Sequential Valve Timing, similar to Honda's iV-TEC, Toyota's VVTi-L, or BMW's VANOS) and other Mazda improvements. Its power output should be in the 210-220hp range. Both will be available with a 5-spd automatic transmission, and the 4-cyl will be available with a manual transmission (I have not heard about the V6). The 626-replacement will move slightly upscale to help fill in the slot left open when the Millenia is discontinued for 2003. The new vehicle should represent more luxury and performance than the Taurus and Sable.
  • The Tribute should prove to be quite reliable. The 3.0L Duratec V6 is an excellent engine and has seen use for years in the Taurus/Sable, Lincoln LS, and Jaguar S-Type. The Tribute was plagued by initial recall problems. The only engine recall involved faulty fuel-injectors that may leak. The MPV had that same problem in its first month of sales. Remember, the Tribute is an all-new design built in an all-new factory. Now that the initial "teething" problems have passes, I think the Tribute will show a reliability rating as high as the MPV.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I respectfully disagree. One peek at the Escape/Tribute Problems boards tells you the problems were more than just the initial recalls. I thought the CD4E would be the sore spot, but it actually seems that the engine itself is, if you read the owners' experiences.

    The LS has had its share of problems, and Jaguar is no longer at the top of the charts (that was very short lived).

    I was a bit surprised to see how well the MPV scored. It has the engine from the Contour, yet scored much higher than that model, or the Taurus.

    I don't like to see Mazda watered down like that. If Ford lets Mazda take the platform and engine development lead, then maybe.

    -juice
  • I am a first time poster. This board has a lot of useful information. However, I couldn't find an answer to the problem I am having. I have a 95 Mazda 626 ES with 108000 miles on it. Runs real smooth with great gas mileage (25 mpg). However, in cool weather (under 70F), I have noticed that the car shudders violently when I accelerate from a cold start. It's sort of like going on the shoulder of a highway over those mini speed breakers. However, it goes away once the engine is at normal operating temperature for 10 minutes or so. Has anyone experienced this and could someone enlighten me? Thanks a bunch. BTW, I really like the car. Had it for 4 months now.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Auto or manual? If it's a manual, it might be the clutch's pressure plate struggling to grab. That would mean a new clutch.

    On an auto I'd suspect a problem with the trans slipping.

    In either case, a fluid change is cheap and may help. The manual take 75w90 gear oil, and you could even go with synthetic. This is probably something you could do yourself. Check out the Miata.net garage; the 626 should be similar.

    The auto uses ATF. A full system flush isn't expensive, but I'd let a shop do it.

    -juice
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