Last post on May 08, 2012 at 5:17 PM
You are in the Mazda 626
What is this discussion about?
Mazda 626, Sedan
Jul 10, 2000 (6:06 pm)
In theory, they fixed the AT for 1998 and made modifications throughout 1994-1997. It still isn't up to the level of Mazda's other AT that they use in the V6. But it is more reliable and I would recommend it only in the '98 and later models. Note, however, that I4/AT is apathetically slow.
I know some of you won't buy a Mazda again, but please let me attempt to change your mind. Mazda makes some of the most fun to drive, reliable cars on the road -- it's just that the 626 4 cyl. AT isn't one of them. The I4/manual and the V6 models, as well as the Protegé, Millenia, Miata, and possibly the MPV are reliable and great fun. Try one of those sometime. Also stay away from the B Series trucks, they are nothing more than Ford Ranger copies. Think "Ford Ranger" and you'll know the reliability of them.
Jul 10, 2000 (6:49 pm)
It's a shame to stop buying Mazdas because you detest a Ford tranny.
Kind of silly, actually.
#218 of 2044 Reliability and FTD .....
Jul 10, 2000 (7:32 pm)
I agree most Mazda's are Fun To Drive, however almost all Mazda's are under-advertised and under-marketted, thus resulting in low sale and poor reputation. The 626 is a perfect example to show this - it has been regarded as one of the sportier mid-sized sedan by all reviews, offers good value, pretty good reliability (except for the 4 cyc AT, which uses a Ford part) and its V6 offers more power than competitors' 4cyc models at ~ the same price, and the best part being you can get it with a 5sp MT. As R&T calls it, the 626 is one of the best kept secret in the mid-sized market. (though R&T intends to keep it that way, leaving 626 yet again out of all comparisons) The Miata is a FTD RWD roadster that offers the true roadster feel, though a little overpriced. The Protege has been selected as the most FTD compact sedan by C&D and finished in top 3 in comparisons by several other major car mags. The MPV .... well who cares about sportiness when you're buying a family van? = )
Most Mazda's are pretty reliable too, though they may not compare to Honda and Toyota. Here in Canada, Mazda actually offers a more superior warranty than H & T (3 yrs / 80,000km vs 3yrs/50,000 from both manufacturers. Better, Mazda Canada offers a 10 yrs warranty on drivetrain + engine after the 3 yrs b-to-b warranty's expired. I only found out all these AFTER I've purchased the car, another example of how Mazda under-advertises.)
All in all, I think most Mazda offer sportiness and reliability for very competitive price. (Honda too, except their cars aren't as competitively priced) Every car manufacturer would have lemons every once in a while, but Mazda is still way better than domestics and german cars in that regard.
PS- btw B-series trucks are nothing more than re-badged Rangers. The Mazda truck department has been 'absorbed' by its big cousin several years ago.
Jul 10, 2000 (8:38 pm)
Protoge also got a great review from Consumer Reports. I'd say it's got the best press among compacts right now.
The warranty Mazda offers here is also better than Honda or Toyota.
Finally, I don't think the Miata is overpriced, given the competition. And it just beat the new MR2 Spyder in a comparo.
#220 of 2044 Miata and MR2 (kind of off-topic)
Jul 10, 2000 (8:51 pm)
I think Miata is overpriced for what it is, unless you compare it to the MR Spyder. All Toyota's are overpriced, and the MR Spyder makes no exception.
The Miata has a MSRP of Cdn$26.9k MSRP, and that price does not include the hard top or other added features. The Honda Prelude, for comparison, is priced at Cdn$27.8k MSRP only. For sports car buyers the Prelude is only $1k more but offer more respectable acceleration, (1.8L engine producing 140hp on the Miata is very mediocre, and producing a 0-60 acceleration in the low 8sec range only. The Prelude is a solid 7.0 sec car), a lot more features like heated seats, heated mirrors, sunroof, CD, keyless entry with alarm .... all of which aren't stnd on the Miata. The Prelude is easily the best handling FWD car ever built, and for a non-professional driver it handles better than the Miata. For what it is, the Prelude offers a lot more performance for the $$. Likewise for the Integra GS-R (though new model is long overdue).
However, if you HAVE to buy a RWD convertible then Miata has the lowest price tag out there. I still remember when I was still in school Miata's started from Cdn$19k MSRP, which was a very resonable price though most things were options. Its price slowly creeped up as it sales did, and when I could finally afford a new car it was Cdn$24kMSRP, and doesn't even include A/C or hardtop. I eventually bought a del sol VTEC (cos I really wanted a convertible) which costed less and was much quicker in a straight line.
Jul 10, 2000 (9:42 pm)
That's just it, though. RWD is expensive, as are convertibles.
Preludes aren't selling well, and Honda may drop or merge that line with the Integra. The Del Sol was already cancelled, yet Mazda continues selling the Miata.
In reality the S2000 is more of a competitor to the Miata, though at a higher level in both price and performance.
#222 of 2044 S2000 and Miata?
Jul 10, 2000 (10:15 pm)
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 ....
Jul 10, 2000 (11:40 pm)
"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.
Jul 11, 2000 (2:03 pm)
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.
#225 of 2044 '98 626--paint job from hell
Jul 11, 2000 (3:34 pm)
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?