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Mazda 626



  • barich1barich1 Posts: 143
    If you get the 626 WITH THE V6 ENGINE, the transmission is a Mazda unit and is very reliable. The four cylinder engine's automatic is actually made by Ford and has a bad history; however, it was supposedly fixed for the '98 and up models. The manual transmissions in the I4 and V6 are both Mazda units that are reliable. The I4 and auto combined are rather sluggish anyway, so go with the V6 and never look back!
  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    I'm lovin my 626...granted I reside in rural
    west central Il in a town of 11K with no
    traffic hassles. SheandI enjoy the personal
    selection of RPMs.I'll never look back.
    Thumbs Up
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    .... IS SWEET!!! Best part is it costs thousands less from any competitor that offers V6+5spMT combo, domestic, european or japanese!! I'd never look back!

    In any case, word of advice is stay away from the I4+AT combo.

  • 4u24u2 Posts: 17
    I am glad that everyone is enjoying their 626. I am happy about this since this is the only new car that I am considering buying new.

    Here's a question: How's insurance on a '00 Mazda 626 LX V6. I read in a book that there is a surcharge. Is this true? If so, why?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  • mfnmannmfnmann Posts: 1
    I bought a 97 626LX I4-auto from Carmax in March w/19k miles for $12,000. It's been trouble from day 1. Under warranty I've the exhaust manifold and catalytic converter replaced by the local Mazda dealer. The engine light just went off again and
    I'm not sure the car is worth the effort. I have
    an extended warranty but the hassle doesn't seem
    worth it. I think I bought a lemon. However, I also don't think Carmax did much checking of the car, so I KNOW I won't go back to them again.
    Anyone have problems with this model?
    How about with Carmax?
    (this contrasts with my previous car, a 91 Camry
    5 speed with 151k that still had the original clutch and transmission when I totalled it)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    4u2: get actual quotes. My wife's 626 costs more to insure than my Subaru Forester, but not by any significant amount.

  • johnlwjohnlw Posts: 28
    We got our 98 4cyl auto back from the dealer last week. They replaced the transmission. I had posted on this when it happened. It runs great now, really feels smoother than before. The dealer was quite good about it, we got a free rental for more than the allotted four days.

    My only concern is that I think they put a rebuilt rather than new transmission in the car. I don't know if this is kosher or not, heck--I don't know if it is worth worrying about.

    The gas mileage has never been great with this car, about 20-21 mpg. I wonder if the new transmission will cause an improvement? It really is a nice car, we hope it stays strong from here on out.
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    It's more than reasonable. I've checked out the insurance of the Accord 4cyc at the time the 626 costs ~ $200 less than Accord 4 per year. I am actually paying less on my brand new 00 626 LX-V6 than my 4 yr old del sol VTEC.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Accords get stolen a lot, that may be why.

  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    Insurance premium for Honda's are typically HIGH here in Toronto .... partially for the reason all Honda's are high on the theft list, and also the fact a lot of racer-boys like Honda's, and they get into accidents / get tickets .....

  • When we got our 99 LX V6/auto we had a hugh increase in insurance. Of course the car that was replaced was a 93 taurus with 150K miles and only had Liab. coverage. :) Seriously our agent told me that the taurus was a 3 on some sort of insurance scale and the 626 LX V6 was a 17. The higher being more expensive.

    Anyway we have had the car for almost 1 year and have put 20K miles on it. We have had only two problems. One was with a door rattle when we first bought it that was quickly fixed by the dealer. I know some have had problems with the dealer but my experiences have been pretty good. The second was when a elec. relay sensor(or something along those lines) went out and caused our a/c cooling fan in the engine compartment to run all the time. This is the fan close to the radiator. Anyway it happened while we were on vacation and fixed quickly by the local Mazda dealer. It honestly took less then 30 minutes. We are happy with the car and glad we got the V6. I only wish I had sprung some extra $$$ for the wheels and a sunroof. Maybe next time.

    BTW, my 626 color is called meadow green which is not a standard color. It is not the deep forrest green and almost looks silver or gray with a green tint. Does anyone else have this color.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I know what you're talking about. We saw that after we got our forest green model, and would have liked it better.

  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    Yes I like that color too ... it's similar to the color my friend had on his 93 Legend ... kind of a silverly green - very unique color.

    The metallic grey was my 1st choice when I bought my 00 but with a MT, there were very few choices... actually only 1, which was black, and is what I'm driving now =(

    Oh well, at least black looks nice after a wash ..... but it doesn't last long. Usually 2 days =(

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Black looks great when its clean, IMHO. Especially with tinting.

    In the winter, when the salt trucks come, it looks the worst!

  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    Just took my car in for the first mantainence yesterday at 6000km. I mentioned I noticed some glass-rattling sound in the back, and the dealer replaced the window regulators for me at no cost. The rattling was pretty minor and only happened when I went over big bumps, but now it's completely gone! The whole job took no more than 45 min and I'm pretty happy (compared to my old Honda experience, where waiting alone takes 45 min ..... thus I used to change my own oil ... )

    Anyways, after 6000km with the car I am still loving it. The followings are pros and cons IMO-


    1. Highway Power - it's simply great. I just leave it in 5th on the highway and there's always more than adequate power under my foot from 80km/hr up. FOr those instances when I REALLY need the power, downshifting to 4th and power RUSHES out.

    2. Handling - the 626's handling limit is high. The steering is sharp and accurate, it is a lot of fun to toss the car around twisties - and it'd be much better if the suspension isn't that soft.

    3. Comfort - the 626 is very comfortable for short and long trips. The seat on the 00's been revised you are not sitting on the floor (no more bathtub position), the ride is comfortable, suspension absorbs the shocks but lets you know what's going on. Interior is quiet even at highway speed (no need to turnup the volume on highway anymore!).


    1. Suspension- it's soft. Though the car's handling limits are high, the body exhibit a tad too much body roll during those spirited drives.

    2. Interior - well I'm getting used to it more, but I still don't understand why Mazda uses light grey as the primary interior color in all its cars (except Miata) .... I've always hated light grey interiors but well, at least the 626's interior design is otherwise ergonomic.

    3. Low end punch - it's not really a con, but just a comment. I remember when I test drove the car it seemed to have more low end torque than mine, especially around 2000-3000rpm range, which makes city driving a lot more fun. Either it's the fact power corrupts and I just constantly want more power, or there is a difference between the test drive vehicle and mine. I suspect one of the possible reason is the test car uses lower octane fuel (85) that gives better low end response but worse high-end. I've been using premium fuel as the manual suggests .....

    Anyways, love the car. If anyone's looking for a sporty, fun to drive V6+5spMT mid-sized sedan yet still is practical, comfortable,and roomy, I'd recommend to definitely give 626 a serious look. It's the 'unsung hero' in the mid-sized imports market, and for that it gives you best value.

  • mcdcmcdc Posts: 6
    My girlfriend has that color.

    I love the car, she hates it though, for no real reason. She says because of the CEL on, which is just o2, sensors need replaced.

    The real reason she hates it is because she paid $12K for it with 46K miles on it('96), and doesn't like paying that much. She drives a lot and thinks it will fall apart before she gets it paid off. I stopped trying to convince her so she is going to try and sell it for $10K pay off the loan, drive her '90 Probe GL which won't last long because she drove it into a flooded street, and eventually go over to the dark side and buy a Honda or Toyota(good cars but I don't like them), which she thinks she can buy a good used one with low miles for about $7K.

    I think she will be making a big mistake.
  • It really doesn't seem to pick up much steam until you pass 3000 rpm. Fortunately, passing 3000 rpm is as simple as a movement of the right foot. :)

    The torque peaks on both engines have generally been in the 4500-5000 rpm range, though Mazda eventually got around to recalibrating the four-banger for a little more low-end grunt (this would be, oh, 1998 or so), perhaps reasoning that buyers of the four were less likely to go exploring the top half of the tach.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    $7k for a used Honda? How used? 1992 maybe, but not 1996.

    A '96 Accord LX with the same mileage is valued at the same $12k she paid (per Edmunds), sans options. The V6 pushes that up to $13.5k plus options.

    She's dreaming.

  • skibry1skibry1 Posts: 174
    Our Freeport LX vists the 4k range regularly
    and I thourghly enjoy this area! I'm looking
    forward to playing in the mountains come snow
    Thumbs Up
  • breaksrbreaksr Posts: 9
    My 1996 Mazda 626 LX with the 4-speed automatic has been experiencing some problems when shifting. When changing from first to second or second to third the car lurchs and forces the passengers to be pushed back in their seats. This appears to be more noticeable when the vehicle is warmed up. I also noticed this problem appeared to start after bringing the car to Jiffy Lube for an oil change. The mechanic added transmission fluid even though the vehicle did not need it. I had the trans. fluid changed at the dealer a month later and the car still shifts abruptly. Not sure what to do now. I see a lot of other posts for transmission problems here and at
  • I'm in a dither. My new car quest has come down to a toss up between the Camry LE 2000 and the Mazda 626 ES V-6. For the money, the Mazda is a much sweeter deal, especially with all the options it includes. Toyota, on the other hand, makes one pay dearly for even the slightest bit of luxury. My concern is that this purchase will mark the only new car I'll be able to buy within the next 5-7 years, so it's simply got to last. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • The Mazda will cost a lot less up front and will be a lot more fun to drive. The Toyota is probably screwed together a little bit better and will get back part of that premium purchase price in ultimate resale value. I'd have no problem going for the Mazda, but then I already have one - seven years old, and runs beautifully, though not without a couple of hiccups along the way.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Warren: we chose the Mazda because the Toyota with the same equipment was several thousand dollars more. About $6 grand at the time.

    Buy the Mazda and invest the $6 grand. In 5-7 years your next Mazda will be FREE!

  • I am curious to hear from anyone who has compared other models to the Mazda 626 and ended up buying the Mazda. I was drawn to Mazda after seeing an ad for a 4 cylinder 626 that is fully loaded (leather, alloy wheels, power everything, CD player, etc) for $14,500. After visiting the dealer I learned that I did not qualify for this price since I was not a college grad nor a previous Mazda owner. After some negotiating the price got down to $16k from $17.2 but I ended up walking away because I felt I was suckered in by the misleading ad.
    I test drove the car and liked it, trying to compare it to my current 1991 Acura Integra and several other cars that I test drove. I'm a little hesitant though because of the postings about transmission problems. It also seems like the 6 cylinder is most popular. Any suggestions?????.....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Get the V6, even if it's the LX model. Then compare prices even without the rebates. It's a great value.

    • June 1986 - GA4-EL introduced in '87 626.
    • 1988 - First revision of G4A-EL.
    • August 1992 - F revision of G4A-EL; now 7 solenoids (instead of 4), rotor pump (instead of vane), no throttle cable. Fourth-generation 626 debuts for '93.
    • 1994 - Four-cylinder 626 switched to Ford CD4E.
    • November 1996 - Ford issues new pump plate and gasket for CD4E. New parts will work on old transmission.
    • August 1997 - Fifth-generation 626 debuts for '98, same old powertrains.
    • January 1998 - Ford issues new coast/forward clutch assembly for CD4E. New parts will not work on old transmission.
    • May 2000 - Ford begins installing CD4E on 2001 Escape/Tribute SUV twins.
    I am seeing fewer reports of failed CD4Es since the revisions. As they accumulate more miles, we shall see for sure, but right now, it looks like the worst may be over.
  • Well, yet another TRANSMISSION post it seems. In a nutshell,I like Mazda,looking for a low mileage 626...i see a 97 ES, loaded, auto trans with 26K miles for $13,000. Should I be worried about possible tranny problems down the road? This car is for my sister, and like anyone else, she does'nt need the hassle. Her price limit is about 13k...and this is a great value... but im worried about all the tranny postings here....any advice?
    Thanks in advance.
  • In this model year, the ES was V6 only, therefore it doesn't have the CD4E transmission that causes most of the gripes. $13k isn't bad, but you can probably come up with a leftover 2000 for not a whole lot more than that - how firm is that budget of hers?
  • chuck1chuck1 Posts: 1,405
    If you have one, (CD4E) you have a time bomb on your hands. That transmission was the SAME on all model years. So the '95 being poor and the rest OK makes no-sense whatsoever. I think you put too much "worth" in to publications. There are places where this transmission is talked about intensely, but due to Edmunds rules of use I can't give them to you. As I mentioned, I had three-two Failed because of that lousy CD4E transmission. Don't believe us on this board? Talk to any high quality tranny shop, they will tell you.
    Good luck!
  • We just purchased this car 2 days ago. Mazda was a late entry into our decision making process. We looked at the Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevy Malibu, and Olds Alero.

    Before test-driving and settling on the 626, we had narrowed the choice down to the Accord and the Malibu. My wife (this is her car) leaning toward the Accord, and me leaning toward the Malibu (primarily because the dealer is a friend of mine).

    Someone told my wife that we should consider the Mazda. We test drove the ES V6 that was loaded with a sunroof, 6 disc Bose CD changer, leather, etc. and were very impressed with the features/price and ride. We're not going to be turning any heads with the styling, but neither would any of the other cars we considered.

    We bought the car the next day. Our dealer was offering double rebate ($4000 total) which made the purchase price right at $20,000. This was comparable to the best deal that I found on the Internet.

    It's still early, but I think that we made a great choice. I have since talked to a couple of 626 owners, and have not heard any complaints.
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