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Mazda 626

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Comments

  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    Well, not until Mazda puts a more serious engine in the Miata. A 0-60 of 8.0sec, a qtrmile of over 16 sec just doesn't cut it for a true 'sports car'.

    The S2000 is really in the league of the big boys (M roadster, Boxster, SLK, TT ... ) in terms of performance. As a matter of fact C&D even ranked it above all those, while costing almost US$10k less.

    The Miata and MR Spyder are really in a class of their own as being fun to drive 'affordable' roadsters. The level of engineering sophistication shown in the S2000 is simply unmatched by Miata or MR spyder, which in essense are RWD cousins to the respective compact platforms (Protege and Celica).

    RWD isn't necessarily expensive. When Nissan still had the 240SX its price was very comparable to its FWD competitors (Prelude, MX-6, Probe GT, Celica .... ). Likewise, Miata was very affordable when it first emerged. At least it was thousands less than the prelude SR-V, which is how it should be priced IMO.

    Then again, I guess what is really driving up the price of these RWD convertibles is really low demand for sports cars these days, with the big hype shifting over to big SUV's ....

    #17
  • windowphobe6windowphobe6 Posts: 765
    "We got no speed, and we don't care!"

    130 hp is really not enough for the four-cylinder 626, and I don't care if it does weigh a couple hundred pounds less than the competition. (Then again, adding lightness adds flingability, nu?)

    I've been on this topic and related ones for some time now, and undoubtedly it's occurred to someone to ask, "Doesn't this doofus ever have any problems with his 626?" The answer, I regret to inform you, is Yes. Even as I type, my poor little green bucket o'bolts is being fitted with a new, or at least recycled, ECU; its decision-making capability was becoming increasingly erratic, and the components for which codes were set tested fine on the diagnostic bench. I can't help but wonder how many putative transmission failures are actually the ECU gone nuts. On the other hand, a brand-new ECU costs about as much as a transmission rebuild. I tip my hat to the service crew at the local Mazda store, and I hope they've called this one correctly, or I'm going to be in great pain.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I beg to differ. Sports cars don't necessarily have to be fast; that's what muscle cars do. The Miata is about hugging curves and having pure, unbridled driving fun. Look at the vehicles that traditionally occupied this niche, and they weren't 1/4 mile freaks.

    When it first emerged with a base price of $13,800 (I remember well), they were selling closer to $20k with options and dealer markups. Now I've seen them for as little as $17k with incentives and discounts. These are the good old days.

    Sadly, I agree with you on the demand side. The Tribute will probably outsell the Miata.

    -juice
  • mitch23mitch23 Posts: 3
    I bought my 626 new in 1999 after I got a great deal on a 98 model close out. Overall, I have happy with the car, with one notable exception...the paint job is falling apart! Let me preface this by saying that I wash my car religiously at least once a week at my neighborhood brushless car wash and have it wazed professionally every six months. On the downside, I live in Wisconsin where we have some exceptionally wicked winters etc..

    I noticed one day that three long/thin streaks of paint on the hood appeared to have melted away as if with acid. I took it into the dealer and they said it was probably bird poop or sap and not covered by warranty. I didn't buy it becuase although I park my car outdoors, I make it a point not to park under a tree. Plus, any paint job worth a damn should be able to handle bird crap for a week without melting!

    Later this year I noticed what appeared to be watermarks on the passenger doors. Except they didn't come out after repeated rubbing. It almost looks like the paint is bubbling up.

    The last straw was last week when I noticed more that the trunk's paint had several spots where the paint had turned palish white.

    What should I do? Is it normal for such a new car to have it's paint job falling apart at the seams?
  • barich1barich1 Posts: 48
    I have two '98 626s that I wash once a month if I am lucky. I have absolutely no problems with the paint on either. I also had no problems on my '97 Millenia and '89 626. You seem to have a rare defective paint job. I would complain very loudly until they fix it. What color do you have? Mine are Mojave Beige and Laser Red.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds like a lemon to me. Push for a new paint job. Our '95 model is fine.

    -juice
  • jgard1jgard1 Posts: 19
    Sounds as if there is a problem with the clear coat. I'd be pressing for a new paint job.

    The timberline finish on my 97 ES still looks fantastic, except for the few locations which have been inflicted with 'parking lot rash' :(
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    "I beg to differ. Sports cars don't necessarily
    have to be fast; that's what muscle cars do. The
    Miata is about hugging curves and having pure,
    unbridled driving fun. Look at the vehicles that
    traditionally occupied this niche, and they weren't1/4 mile freaks."

    True, I agree sports cars aren't just about going fast. Sometimes it's more fun to FEEL fast than just going fast. The LS400 is not a slow car but its acceleration is so isolated from the driver it's no fun to drive, and you might as well hire a driver to do it (and quite a lot of LS400 owners actually do). However, IMO sports cars have got to be reasonably fast, or else it loses its purpose. When Miata first came out, a 9.0 sec 0-60 time was pretty respectable, a 8.5 sec was considered FAST (the pocket rockets back then such as Civic Si HB, Escort GT, GTI ... were all in the ballpark). However, after all these years, the bar's been raised. Escort GT's been canned but the Civic Si(R) can do 0-60 in 7.4 sec, Integra VTEC in low 7 sec, GTI VR6 under 7 sec... But Miata is still a consistent 8-8.5sec car.

    And there's nothing wrong with not being a powerful car. I agree Miata's all about hugging curves and handling, in which it does very well. However, you consider a Prelue which costs $1k more and can go fast and handle, and then there's the Miata which can only handle .... that's why I said it's overpriced for what it is .....

    Then again, like you said, the Tribute will outsell the Miata and MR Spyder combined ....

    my2cents,
    #17
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    In that context, then, your comments make sense.

    Back to the 626...

    -juice
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    I did some research before purchasing my 00 626 LX-V6 MT. Most of the 94+ 626's problems are related to its 4 cyc AT transmission which is a Ford part really. Other than that, there were some minor hiccups (such as faulty O2 sensor, causing the engine light to come on but otherwise the car runs fine) when the model got revised in 98, but otherwise the car's pretty reliable. 626 is a proven platform with long history, and the revisions on 98 made it a bigger, quieter and more solid car than previous model.

    #17
  • barich1barich1 Posts: 48
    A word of warning: the '98 is missing a lot of features that the '88-'92 models had. Mazda was apparently trying to keep the prices low and removed:

    Variable intermittent wipers
    Seat height adjustments
    Map lights (The only light in the entire car is the single overhead light)
    The brakes squeak

    They fixed the brakes for '99 and added some of the aforementioned missing features. In '00 they added everything back and gave it a nice-looking freshening up too. If you miss any of those features (And you will, you don't realize how useful they are until they're gone) you may want to spring for a used '99 or a new '00. I personally haven't had any of the O2 sensor problems (BTW, I have TWO '98 626s that I bought at the same time.) In fact, the only problems on both of them so far are the squeaky brakes that the dealer can't fix on either one.
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    Apparently Mazda made 70 changes on the 99 model to get the 00 model. Mechanically the 00 has an improved steering, improved suspension, better handling from improved suspension and 16" rims (instead of 15" ... on V6 models anyways), and I think revised gear ratio for quicker acceleration. (1-2-3-4 are fine, but I'd rather have a real overdrive gear for 5th, esp the V6 is adequately torquey. I run ~ 4000rpm at 135km/hr (65mph?))

    Some of the nice interior features on the 00 include heated side mirrors (REALLY useful in the Canadian winter), windshield integrated antenna, height adjustable seats (I guess a lot of ppl complained about the low bathtub seating position on the 98), stnd CD player, keyless remote entry (but no alarm!!) .... I kindda like the black steering wheel and black shift knob on the 98 and 99's ... in the 00's the interior is just an endless sea of grey.

    And yeah, they still keep that swinging air vent mechanism =)


    #17

    (barich1 - you bought TWO 626's at the same time?! You must be a real 626 fan!! = )
  • barich1barich1 Posts: 48
    I had an '89 with 214,000 miles. It sort of spoke for itself.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    barich1: ask the dealer to "scuff" the pads and turn the rotors. My guess is your pads are probably glazed.

    -juice
  • barich1barich1 Posts: 48
    Well, one of them just had the pads replaced and the rotors machined as well (they were warped). It still squeaks. The other one only has 15,000 miles so far, and it's done it almost since it was new. I am satisfied with my dealer, though, they do a great job on everything else. I don't know what is wrong.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I wonder if the new ones have broken in? The wife's '95 model is on the 2nd set of pads up front (both Mazda pads), but we've never had that squeeking problem.

    -juice
  • jgard1jgard1 Posts: 19
    Mazda must have only done some minor tweaking to the gearing. My 97 ES turns 3800 revs at 120 kph in fifth. I also have mixed feelings about the height of the "overdrive". On long x-country hauls a true overdrive would be nice, but having the ability to cruise in town in 5th and pass anything on the highway w/o having to downshift is also nice. (which must be handy for you #17 where in the GTA everyone is passing you if you are not doing a buck twenty!)

    The earlier versions (i.e. mine) also have the nice black leather shifter and steering wheel combo.

    p.s. 135 kph = 84 mph
  • mcdcmcdc Posts: 6
    Anyone with a Automatic 4cyl, I highly recommend a transmission oil cooler, and fluid changes at 30K or 1 year, and use Mobil 1 synthetic.

    The 93-97 Probe SE with the automatic, is the same engine/trans. People with those have had the same problems with the transmission. Some have had rebuilds, some haven't but it seems like the majority put the coolers on, and the trans. lasts longer and dont break.

    Yes they already have a cooler, but it is built into the radiator, and not as effective. I installed one on my girl friends '96 626, and the shifts seem smoother, but after driving a while I feel the new cooler(I have it using both)and it is very hot. This is a $30 part and takes about 1 hour to do, watch the hose sizes though, and you want the fluid to go through the old cooler 1st come out to the top of the new one, and drain back into the trans from the bottom. Also get a Chiltons before doing this, so you know which line is in and which is out.

    Finally, I heard the reason the trans. fails is the heat, these transmissions heat up, and as the fluid gets old/dirty it can't handle the heat as well, thus warping the brass components on the inside. So my advice - Trans. oil cooler and regular main. with mobil 1.
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    "On long x-country haulsa true overdrive would be nice, but having the ability to cruise in town in 5th and pass anything on the highway w/o having to downshift is also nice. (which must be handy for you #17 where in the GTA everyone is passing you if you are not doing abuck twenty!) "

    True .... well you pretty much have to be 130 to avoid being tailgated on the fast lane on 404 .... = )

    But then, the 4th gear and 5th gear are so close I can hardly tell the difference. I keep thinking I'm in the 4th gear when accelerating at 100km/hr from 5th gear, because it is so powerful for a 5th gear. Meanwhile there are times when I'm cruising at 80-90 in the city on 5th and think I'm on 4th ....

    I guess I wouldn't mind a short 5th gear as much if gas is not as expensive =(


    #17
  • hebenstrhebenstr Posts: 11
    My local dealer (just north of Houston, TX) will sell me this model for $4k off MSRP (about $1.7k UNDER dealer invoice). Does this sound like a good deal? Also, does anyone have thoughts on the 1AB Safety package option (ABS, side air bags, traction control)?
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