"its a decent car for being 14 yrs old ofcouse its going through its repairs but the cost of repair is definitely doable i just switched the timing belt, water pump, headgasket, belts, seals, a radiator flush the alternator and a new battery all for 700 bucks.."
Pros: "fun to drive, comfortable, folding down seats."
Cons: "no cup holders in back seat, lifter noise."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned this car for several years, I purchased it with 135000 miles and have driven it up to 180000 miles It has a 5 speed manual transmission and has been fun to drive, It used to get close to 35 miles to the gallon, however lately Ive been getting closer to 31 mpg. Also lifter noise has become a bit of a problem. but beyond the noise the car still runs great. This car is also good for moving large objects, The back seats fold down and enable you to get surprisingly large things in the car. I have transported, windows, doors, and 10 foot boards in this car with the trunk closed."
"motor mounts wear out early (50,000 mi.) CVC joints (boots broke and replace all) Car shakes in idle, converters are expensive and it has two one on the manifold that cost $160 and one on the exhaust that is around $60. The Autotran. was jumping at start and shift itself from low to high gear, jerk, jerk, found to be a loose wire in tran panel under diff. somewhere. Repair was $160 (cheap) but never was the same. Just a run around town short distance car. When starting car it made a clank sound as if the flywheel was loose. Spent too much for repairs from 1998 to 2005. Should have dumped it after 3 years or earlier. Paint cracked on hood after 2yrs. interior held up really good but only one driver."
"1997 Mazda 626 5 Speed.
Bought new and pushing 140K miles have had practically NO PROBLEMS with this vehicle. Still shines nicely, interior in great shape, nothing rattling or falling off.
Runs great, has plenty get up and go and cruises easily down the interstate at 70-75mph with the AC blowing. I commute regularly from NY to PA and have no worries coming or going.
I have changed very little. Still has original starter, alternator, o2 Sensors, even the Gas filter! Never even suggested it would not start.
Purchasing a Mazda3 just becauuse after 10 years I would liek a change, but keeping this and will be for my son to drive and use through college.
If you can grab one for go for it, just make sure it is stick shift. At 138K I am on my 2nd clutch (changed it just before 100K) and the mechanic said I could've gone 20K more. I just changed it because I thought it HAD to be worn. Oh and amazingly I get about 35MPG... 230 miles round trip (mostly all highway) and put 6.1-6.5 gallons of gas, do the math!"
"My 1997 Mazda 626 LX is absolutley awesome. Besides Toyota's that I have owned this is by far the most reliable. It is great on gas and start every day. I use is daily for hospital and shut-in visits. I love the leather seats and styling. The white paint looks new and the ride is comfortable. The 4 cyl. does struggle climbing hills a little, but for value and gas mileage who cares. It is not meant to be fast or go off road but on a day to day basis it gets the job done. I would highly recommend this car!!!"