For the market outside of its domain in Japan, Mazda produced the Mazda 626 family car. It was based on the Mazda Capella which was mainly sold in Japan. This new vehicle replaced the 616/618 and the RX-2 in 1979 and this was sold up until 2002. What took up the place of the Mazda 626 was the Mazda 6. In Asia, Australasia, and in Southern Africa, the Mazda 626 was sold under the name Ford Telstar.
This vehicle made its first public appearance in 1979 as a rear wheel drive compact. It had a 75 hp 2.0 liter SOHC straight-4 G/MA engine that had automobile magazines comparing it to a BMW engine. The vehicle sported a split-folding rear seat that increased cargo capacity and flexibility to the maximum level. This vehicle has been a top seller since its production.
In the year 1998, the Mazda 626 had gone through a dramatic change in its entirety. All models had either a five-speed manual transmission or the optional four-speed automatic. It had a wheelbase that was enlarged to two inches and the sedan type had 2.4 inches longer, and around a half inch wider. Along with that came the V6 engine that took traction control and engine mobilization to another level. From that time on, changes had been constantly done to the Mazda 626 to further improve its performance and user appeal.
In 1999, the Mazda 626 experienced a shuffling of its equipments. Mazda dropped the base DX sedan and in its place added up a four-cylinder version of the top-line ES that came with trimmed leather. For all trim levels of the Mazda 626, keyless entry became a standard, along with variable-intermittent wipers, and a power antenna. The following year, this vehicle had an option list. The list included front side airbags, and ABS. Its four-cylinder engine gained five horsepower more. All trim levels held rear-seat heater ducts, and some of these levels had heated mirrors although others had this as an option. The final year for the Mazda 626 came in 2002 before it was entirely replaced by the new Mazda 6.
Overall, the Mazda 626 held a quiet and refined stance. Its engine and wind noise were muffled well. It has a firm and absorbent ride quality. It holds a precise steering and good braking. It has large doorways that allows for an easy entrance or exit. It is a competitive vehicle when talking in terms of its visibility, driving, seating, and its dashboard layout. Its interior exudes a tasteful and understated look. It has roomy compartments within its dashboard and console and its map pockets.
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In a nutshell, the Mazda 626 suffers from road noise and a low performance of its automatic transmission. However, this is quickly dispersed by its V6 engine’s perfect acceleration, quality steering and handling, and a superb build quality that only the Mazda 626 has to offer.