Mazda 626
Vehicle Make/Model Specifications:
Make: Mazda
Model: 626
Mazda 626

The year 1998 brought the fifth-generation 626 thus indicating this car had an impressive run at it. By this point it was now on the GF platform, again built by AutoAlliance International in Flat Rock, Michigan. Its MX-6 and Ford Probe derivations were gone. One may be wondering where this all began. The Mazda 626 is an automobile produced by Mazda for the export market. It is based on the Japan-market Mazda Capella and was the replacement for the 616, the 618 and the RX-2 in 1979. It was sold for quite some time until 2002, when the new Mazda6 took over as Mazda's large family car. In total, a mind-boggling 4,345,279 626s and Ford Telstar models were sold worldwide. The 626 was sold as the Ford Telstar in Asia, Australia and Southern Africa, but this has since been replaced by the European-sourced Ford Mondeo. While in Europe it was always considered a large family car, yet it was considered a compact at first and then a mid-sized car in North America. The first Mazda 626 was a rear wheel drive compact, which in realty was little changed from the Japan-market Mazda Capella it was based on. With an 80 hp 2.0 L SOHC straight-4 F/MA engine, it performed well, with both Consumer Guide and Car and Driver magazine. They both compared it with a BMW, although this does seem a little much. One innovative feature however was a split-folding rear seat, which increased cargo capacity and flexibility tremendously. This first 626 was obviously a hit and as a result doubled Mazda's US sales. A later model was available as a sedan and a 5-door hatchback while the coupe was renamed the MX-6. The MX-6 was built in Michigan alongside its platform-mate, the Ford Probe at AutoAlliance International, while the 626 was still a Japanese import.

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