The 2000 Mazda 626 needs some pizzazz. Originally introduced in 1998, this sedan looks bland even by sedan standards. In fact, the Mazda 626 seems to be sitting on a bench, waiting for its chance to shine, but without putting in any effort to be a big player in the market.
Styling looks bland; so does the horsepower. However, the Mazda 626 offers steering and handling surprises. If you want a vehicle that you might find in a rental parking lot, buy away. However, it may be a bit more exciting to buy an Accord or a Camry.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 2.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Mazda 626 LX, Mazda 626 LX V-6, Mazda 626 EX, Mazda 626 EX V-6
The 2000 Mazda 626 receives a few styling updates to the interior and exterior, but generally, everything remains the same.
The 2000 Mazda 626 adds a few new features. The grille, as well as the front bumper and headlights get redesigned. However, this redesign looks fairly bland and does not excite the imagination. The style of the 626 remains very similar to the original 1998 design. The wheelbase measures 187 inches, which remains a few inches less than the Honda Accord or Camry. This explains the limited interior space.
Exterior features include 15-inch alloy wheels on the LX and 16-inch alloys on the EX, power mirrors, a rear window defroster, power windows, power locks, and intermittent windshield wipers. Optional features include a power moonroof, power heated mirrors, an anti-theft alarm system, fog lights, and a rear spoiler.
The Mazda 626 has very few things going for it. The interior looks exceptionally bland, even for a sedan. It seats five passengers with two bucket seats in the front and a bench seat in the back meant for three. The back seat folds down to expand cargo space in the trunk.
The interior still looks the same as when the 626 debuted in 1998. Mazda makes a few minor updates this year. Side airbags provide a new option, as well as a new center console. A new rear seat armrest, rear heat ducts, and a graphics interface on the instrument panel become available.
Standard features on the LX include bucket seats, a center console, keyless entry, power brakes, a rear window defroster, tinted glass, a tachometer, cloth seating, cruise control, power steering, remote trunk release, a tilt steering wheel, air-conditioning, and an AM/FM/CD player. A power driver’s seat remains optional.
The EX adds leather seating and leather steering wheel trim.
Performance & Handling
The Mazda 626 comes with one of two engine types. The LX and EX come equipped with a standard two-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 130 horsepower. The LX and EX also offer a V-6 engine option. The 2.5-liter V-6 produces 170 horsepower. Both engines pair with a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic.
The structure of the 2000 Mazda 626 gets stiffer this year. Combined with the McPherson struts up front and the Mazda Twin Trapezoidal Link in the back, steering and handling improves. In fact, steering and handling mark two of the reasons that the Mazda 626 may float into your purchase radar.
Everything else remains bland though. It lacks horsepower, even for a sedan. The 626 isn’t sporty enough for enthusiasts and lacks the room that would compel families to drive it.
The 2000 Mazda 626 comes equipped with driver and passenger front side airbags. The NHTSA awards the Mazda 626 five out of five stars for driver safety. However, the rest of the safety tests result in a mixed bag. The NHTSA gives it four out of five stars for driver safety, and only three out of five stars for front and rear side-impacts. The IIHS gives the Mazda 626 its second best score, “Acceptable,? for an overall crash test score.
EPA Fuel Economy
Mazda 626, 2.0-liter, five-speed manual: 23/29 city mpg city/highway
Mazda 626, 2.0-liter, four-speed automatic: 19/25 city mpg city/highway
Mazda 626, 2.5-liter, five-speed manual: 19/25 city mpg city/highway
Mazda 626, 2.5-liter, four-speed automatic: 18/24 city mpg city/highway
- Great steering and handling
- Improved features
You Won't Like
- Boring design
- Lacks engine power
Bland in every way.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Daewoo Leganza
- Honda Accord
- Infiniti G20