Mazda's 626 is a sporty alternative to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. V6-powered Mazda 626 models cost less than the hot Nissan Maxima, while four-cylinder 626s compare well with the Nissan Altima. So consider Mazda when shopping for mid-size import. Be different. Extensively redesigned last year, the Mazda 626 is an attractive sedan, though, like the Camry and Accord, won't attract a lot of attention. More important, it comes with a much stiffer body structure than pre-2000 models, so it rides, handles, and stops better than ever. Its stiff chassis and well-tuned suspension give it a sure-footed feel that'll encourage you to press down the accelerator pedal as you exit a tight corner. And when you do, you'll appreciate the power Mazda engineers have coaxed out of the optional V6 engine. In short, the 626 is more fun to drive than most of the mid-size competition. Further refinements for 2001 include a new, modular audio system. Like all Mazda products, the 626 comes with three years of free roadside assistance and slightly longer warranty coverage (to 50,000 miles); Mazda says its dealers will even provide a free loaner when and if your 626 requires warranty repairs.