by Mazda 626 owner from MN on January 31, 2009
The 1994 is considered the lemon of the series (i.e. the 1993 and 1995 models were considered to be better made). I personally was pleased with mine after many frustrating years with GM, Ford, and Chrysler cars. I bought mine new and held it for 12 years and 220,000 miles. It was a manual transmission car and I never had to replace the clutch. Because I used the gearbox to slow down, I only had to replace the brakes once. I had my car the whole time in NJ and did not see many around there. I have since moved to MN and noticed this model is still a common site (meaning there are alot of 10 - 15 year old Mazda's still running). Interesting, I've consistently got 32-40 mpg (and am not known to be a slow driver on the highway). I replaced it with a Corolla (automatic transmission) in which I get 30 mpg if I'm lucky. I think this demonstrates that manual transmissions still provide significant gas savings. The three consistent problems I had with this car were the battery life [My first three batteries through Mazda lasted only two years each(the 3rd one exploded). I bought a PEP Boys battery that then lasted the remaining six years I owned the car], intermittent check engine light that mechanics couldn't diagnose (note, the computer diagnostic interface with the 1994 model is outdated - 1995 has the modern diagnostic computer interface), and catalytic converters (I replaced them twice and was faced with another replacement when I threw in the towel). Why did I get rid of it? - Because I drove it to the ground. I brought it in to the NJ State Inspection and found that I needed $1,000 of repairs (yes - the catalytic converter mentioned above) along with the brakes I replaced six years earlier and the timing belt that was long overdue (not a state inspection failure but something needed if I didn't want to get stranded on the road). I did have one break down while owning this car. The water pump broke. After I had the car towed to the mechanics shop, they said that they recommend this be replaced when they replace the timing belt. This statement annoyed me because they were the ones who replaced my timing belt 20,000 miles earlier and had not recommended the repair at the time.
Purchased a New car
Uses car for Commuting
Does recommend this car!!
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