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Mazda models

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Mazda 626

 from 1978 to 2002

Mazda 626 road car

1978 : Generation 1


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The first Mazda 626, the CB series, appeared in 1978, although most the model's introduction to most markets was delayed until 1979.
The 626 was a front-engined rear-wheel drive compact, little changed from the Japan-market Mazda Capella with an 80 hp (60 kW) 2.0 L SOHC straight-4 F/MA engine and featuring a split-folding rear seat. The coupe and sedan were mechanically identical with front MacPherson struts and a solid axle in back mounted on four links and riding on coil springs, either a 5-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission and recirculating ball steering. Mazda facelifted the CB series 626 in 1980.
The update brought flush-fitting headlamps and a new grille insert.
The grille was lengthened slightly to remove the body-colored gap between the headlamps and grille on the original model.
It was also reduced in height so that the grille and headlamps formed a single "band" across the front-end.


Mazda 626   (1978-1982)

1983 : Generation 2


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The front-wheel-drive model appeared in September 1982 with the GC platform.
It was named Import Car of the Year by Motor Trend magazine and Car of the Year by Wheels magazine for 1983.
The new 2.0 L FE engine was up to 83 hp (62 kW) for the North American market.
In other regions including Finland, the 626 offered 101 hp (75 kW) with a twin barrel carburetor.
The rear suspension was now independent, and though the wheelbase remained the same as the previous model, it was an entirely different car.
A SOHC non-turbo diesel 2.0 L RF 66 hp (49 kW) engine was made available; twenty examples were imported officially into Australia from 1983 to 1987.
European markets also received a 1.6 L F6 80 hp (60 kW) engine. A 626 GT (also called the Turbo) was introduced in 1986 using the 120 hp (89 kW) and 150 lbft (200 Nm) FET engine.
The rest of the line got a new front clip with dual (rather than quad) headlights and an entirely new interior, and fuel injection on the base engine meant 93 hp (69 kW).
A new four-speed automatic was introduced for 1987, the last year of this series. The GC continued in production in South Africa, where facelifted version was produced by Samcor, until 1993.
The GD was not sold in South Africa, although it was assembled in neighbouring Zimbabwe.


Mazda 626 5p  (1983-1987)



Mazda 626 4p  (1983-1987)

1987 : Generation 3


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The 626 was updated in 1987 for the 1988 model year.
Now on the GD platform as used by the Capella, it was available as a sedan, Station Wagon (Estate) and five-door hatchback while the coup was renamed MX-6 for the North American market.
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. Consumer response was strong, and Car and Driver magazine named the 626 and MX-6 in their Ten Best list for 1988. Engines were new, though still emphasized torque rather than power.
The base model now used Mazda's 110-horsepower 2.2 L 3-valve SOHC F2 producing just 6 hp (4.5 kW) shy of the old Turbo, and the new Turbo was up to 145 hp (108 kW).
European versions used 1.6, 1.8, 2.0 and 2.2 (non-turbo) engines.
The GT model had a 2.0-liter FE-DOHC engine that produced 148 (non-cat) or 140 hp (cat). 4-wheel-steering was introduced to the 626 Turbo in 1988 (to mixed reviews) and was transferred to the MX-6 Turbo a year later.
Mazda's system was electronic and more complex than the 4WS system introduced by Honda on the 1988 Prelude; these two marked the first 4WS systems for the American market.
This system was still available in Japanese markets for some time after. It came in 3 bodies: Sedan (Saloon), Hatchback and Station Wagon (Estate).
The Station wagon also having a 7-seat option.
All of the bodies also had an ABS option.
the final face lift was available with a driver airbag. The 626 line was face-lifted for 1990 and gained motorized seat-belts in the USA market.
626 hatchbacks disappeared after 1991 from the US Mazda model range.
The Station Wagon (Estate) was still available up until 1997. UK trim levels were LX (1.8-litre), GLX (1.8/2.0) and GT (2.0/2.2).
There was also an estate model with either the 2.0i 8v or 16v engine, or the 2.2 12v.


Mazda 626 sedan  (1987-1991)



Mazda 626 coupe  (1987-1991)



Mazda 626 wagon  (1987-1991)



Mazda 626 5p  (1987-1991)

1992 : Generation 4


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In 1993 the Mazda 626 saw big changes in body style and powertrain since the 626 moved to an entirely different platform.
It was now based on the GE platform.
The 626 was again Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for a second time in 1992.
The very first 1993 Mazda 626 was assembled in Flat Rock, Michigan on September 1, 1992.
The car was known as the Cronos in Canada, but dropped the Cronos for the 1996 model year. New transmissions were designed to give the car more of a "sports car" feel, and production was moved to AutoAlliance International alongside the MX-6 and Ford Probe.
This, and the car's component sources, allowed the 626 to be certified as the first official Japanese-branded U.S.
domestic automobile.
The wagon and hatchback models were not offered in the U.S.
but were well received in Europe, Asia, and Australia. Mazda's 2.5 L V6 engine (enlarged from the 1.8 L V6 on the 1992 MX-3) debuted to rave reviews.
The Japanese MX-6 KL-ZE later became a highly sought-after upgrade by 19931997 626 owners, as it supplies 200 horsepower compared to the U.S.
version KL-DE's stock 170 hp.
Though the 626's manual transmission was highly regarded, 4-cylinder 626s from 1994 onwards used the Ford CD4E automatic transmission (designated by Mazda as LA4A-EL), which was an attempt to solve some of the 1993's transmission related issues. It wasn't until a few years later that the 1994 to 1997 CD4E became known for their extremely high failure rate, making the change to the CD4E an irrelevant one.
It is widely known to transmission specialists that the CD4E overheats due to a poorly designed valve body and torque converter.
Mazda issued a couple of Technical Service Bulletins (0400502, 01598, 003/97K, 006/95) regarding the transmission and torque converter.
Dealerships were briefly instructed to install an external transmission cooler, but at cost to the owner and only if requested.
No recall was ever issued for a single year of the CD4E, causing a loss of confidence from the general public in years to come. Also in 1994, a passenger side airbag was added, and the V6 spread to the LX trim in addition to the leather ES trim.
Some models of the 1994 and 1995 Mazda 626, Mazda MX-6, and Ford Probe 2.0L automatics were outfitted with Ford's EEC-IV diagnostic system.
New for 1996 and 1997 models were a redesigned hood (raised center portion), chrome grille fairing (attached to the hood), and the introduction of the On Board Diagnostics II revision (OBD-II). In Colombia the car was named 626 Matsuri to differentiate from the past version that was sold at the same time.


Mazda 626 sedan  (1992-1998)



Mazda 626 wagon  (1992-1998)



Mazda 626 5p  (1994-1998)

1997 : Generation 5


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1998 brought the fifth-generation 626, now on the GF platform.
North American 626's were again built by AutoAlliance International in Flat Rock, Michigan.
Its MX-6 and Ford Probe derivations were gone. From 1997 through 1999 the 626 was given an engine overhaul to give it better pedal feel.
However, as most car reviews will attest, it was a bland vehicle with softer handling and fewer features than the 19931997 version.
Front side airbags were new options for 2000, as were larger wheels, four-wheel discs, and rear heat ducts.
The four-cylinder engine was also uprated by 5 hp (3.7 kW). The Mazda 626 GLX is a trim level of the Mazda 626.
It is, with a 2.0L 4-cylinder DOHC-engine (FS), 4-speed automatic transmission Japanese made, which produces 125 hp (93 kW) at 6000 rpm and 133 ftlbf (180 Nm) at 4000 rpm. The final Mazda 626 rolled off the Flat Rock, Michigan assembly plant on August 30, 2002. In Colombia the car was built until 2006, replaced by Mazda 6.


Mazda 626 4p  (1997-2002)



Mazda 626 5p  (1997-2002)



Mazda 626 wagon  (1997-2002)



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