Last post on May 08, 2012 at 4:17 PM
You are in the Mazda 626
What is this discussion about?
Mazda 626, Sedan
#855 of 2044 Ford/Mazda Motors...
Sep 27, 2001 (10:19 pm)
I just read through about 300 posts in the Tribute board. Problems? Sure. Different from most models out there? No. My experience with Mazda's is that the 626 is the most troublesome model in the line-up, including the Tribute. Working at several Mazda dealerships, seeing a relatively young 626 on a tow truck is quite common. I sold a 2001 626 ES4 that came back on a tow truck two weeks later with a snapped axle shaft. It only had 420 miles on it.
The two Ford Duratec engines used by Mazda (2.5L and 3.0L) have both proven to be very strong and reliable engines. It would cost entirely too much money for Mazda to develop its own engine for use only in Mazda vehicles that can compete against the Camry and Accord 3.0L engines. The 2.5L, although a wonderful engine, is getting too old and inefficient compared to the competition's new engines. The Duratec engine series is an excellent family of engines and Mazda should, and will, take full advantage of them to save money (of which Mazda has very little) and to keep up with the rapidly advancing competition.
#856 of 2044 ABS only with auto?
Sep 27, 2001 (11:10 pm)
I was looking at the Edmunds info and it states that the 626 ES-V6 requires an automatic to order the ABS. How long has this been in effect? I think this really sucks as a lot of people actually buy the 626 for the fact you can get a V6 with a manual. Anyone else disappointed?
Sep 28, 2001 (6:41 am)
There are about 100 times as many 626s on the road vs. Tributes. So of course there will be more of them breaking down.
Also, the most common complaint is the Ford tranny.
Nevertheless, my problem isn't that Ford is necessarily unreliable, it's that Mazda loses its identity if they let all their models become Ford clones. So you're buying a Ford with a longer warranty, but that's all.
Now, parts sharing can be done successfully. Look at the Golf and the Audi TT - big differentiation. So hopefully Mazda will take a page from that book.
#858 of 2044 Actually juice
Sep 28, 2001 (10:14 am)
The real problem with the 4cyl auto was that they used common parts but different shift logic. Ford never had much of a prob in their vehicles as it was major slush box. Mazda tried to keep its identity, but the CD4E couldn't handle it. Good thing it's gone for good come '03 and Jatco returns.
Sep 28, 2001 (10:17 am)
Sounds good. I'm just glad I have a V6/5 speed!
Sep 28, 2001 (1:12 pm)
I can assure you that Mazda will keep its identity while platform sharing. Take a look at the Ford Escort ('91-'00) and Mazda Protege ('90-'98). They both sat on the Protege platform and shared their top-of-the-line engines (Mazda 1.8L DOHC BP-series, also used in the Miata). There was absolutely no identity crisis there. Another example is to take a look at the Kia Sephia. To this day, it still sits on the 1990 Protege platform and uses a derivative of the Mazda 1.8L BP-series engine. Again, absolutely no identity crisis.
The Escape and Tribute are pretty close. However, other than the drivetrain, the platform, body, and suspension were designed by Mazda. It was Ford's choice not to differentiate the Escape FROM the Tribute. The body cladding is different, as well as other styling differences (badging, grill, accents, wheels). The suspension, although basically the same, is tuned differently. Even the transmissions are tuned differently. The steering in the Tribute uses a quicker ratio. A simple test drive won't show their differences, but when really pushed hard, the Tribute handles and accelerates better. The interiors are basically the same, but the Tribute uses higher grade plastics and better seats. One would never guess that the Escape/Tribute sit on the 626 platform.
Other examples of currently succesful or planned, identity-keeping platform sharing are:
- Lincoln LS/Jaguar S-Type/Ford Thunderbird/2003 Ford Mustang (DEW-98 platform)
- Mazda 626/Mazda MPV (626 platform)
- Ford Mondeo/Jaguar X-Type (Mondeo platform)
- Mazda 626 replacement/Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable/Volvo midsize (new Mazda platform)
- Mazda RX-8/2004 Mazda Miata/future Jaguar roadster (RX-8 platform)
- 2004 Mazda Protege/2004 Ford Focus (new Ford/Mazda platform)
I have a lot of faith that each one of the vehicles mentioned above will have, or already have, their own identities.
Oct 01, 2001 (7:13 am)
Interesting example you mention, because I drove a '91 Escort GT with a Mazda engine for 107k miles.
The powertrain held up well and was fun to drive, but the car had lots of annoying problems. The fuel gauge was always wrong, pieces of insulation fell off from the doors and peeled off around the windshield. The motorized mice belts didn't work on the passenger side, intermittently not opening when they should. It has more squeeks than a mouse trap and rattled more than a snake. It had loose carpeting, and just generally poor fit and finish.
So maybe that's not a great example. I felt like it was a wannabe-Mazda.
I have only seen Escape up close, and the interiors looks cheap to me. Vinyl on the seats, exposed stitching, and the column shifter don't appeal to me one bit. The Tribute looks better, at least from the outside. I do like the idea of 200hp combined with its light weight.
The LS and S-Type are nice cars but there are some quality issues there. We'll see how the others fare, but I'm skeptical.
Oct 02, 2001 (12:28 pm)
"One would never guess that the Escape/Tribute sit on the 626 platform."
The Escape/Tribute rides on an all new platform, no parts shared with the 626. this is according to numerous reports when the pair were introduced.
Oct 02, 2001 (1:04 pm)
I heard the new platform was loosely based on the 626, also. Anyone have hard data?