Review 3 of 255
, from Chicago, IL, US|
Year / Model Reviewed:
2001 /626 LX 4cyl
good quality, good & responsive handling, roomy, pleasant looking, comes standard with all the nifty stuffs.
ABS & side-impact airbag is not standard, pricy if without the discounts, 4 cyl.
I was looking for a new to 1-yr-old mid-size & down. The order of importance for me is comfort (driving & interior room), price, mpg, and power. All else being equal, I would sacrifice comfort a bit for something doesn't look like one of those zillions of Taurus & Accord on the road. Test-drove 626 LX4, Camry 4cyl, Taurus, Accord DX4, Civic, Focus SE. Bought the 626.
The 626 is the only stick & I find it fun to drive. Everything feels right and the steering is precise. 4 cyl is lacking in power during stop-and-go suburb driving but a stick allows me to ramp up the RPM at low gear when I feel like it. Highway driving is smooth and quiet - the main noise is the low hum from the engine, which is fine for me but others may want something quieter. The factory tires are Brigestone Turanza and have quite a bit of grip.
The exterior looks great, has a somewhat up-scale look but also a down-to-earth, natural feel in it. The car stands out among the countless Taurus/Accord but it is not deliberately flashy. The interior is roomy and comfortable - I specifically pay attention to the size of the interior when choosing a car because, while I am 5'5, my brother is a 6-feet-tall basketball player. Some reportedly have problem backing because of the low-front-end design but I found no problem and can see blind spots clearly and easily as well. Some other nitty-gritty stuffs that are great: standard AM/FM/CD, oscillating vents, 60/40 fold down rare seat with fold down armrest, big trunk.
If they were the same price, I would have chosen the Camry, which accelerates faster and is quieter. At the time, though, the price tag for the 626 I test-drove was way below invoice even after consumer rebate. Looks like the dealer have got a huge factory rebate/incentive not listed in the consumers report, maybe because not many people in the suburb would consider a stick. The car has only 7 miles on it when I test-drove it (added 30 doing that).
Overall, it's a great car, fun to drive (especially if you get the V6), comfortable, roomy, doesn't look like "one of those" on the road, and doesn't look deliberately flashy either.
Similar Products Used:
Handling: Good-Camry 4, 626 LX4; Fair-Accord DX4, Taurus, Focus SE, Civic
Driving comfort: Camry 4, Taurus, 626 LX4, Accord DX4, Civic, Focus SE
Noise: Quiet-Camry 4, Taurus; Fair-626 LX4, Accord DX4; Noisy-Civic, Focus SE
Interior room: Taurus, Camry 4, 626 LX4, Accord DX4, Focus SE, Civic
Exterior look: Focus SE, 626 LX4, Camry 4, Taurus, Accord DX4, Civic