Mazda Capella 626 Sixth Generation GF
|Assembly||Flat Rock, Michigan, United States (AAI) Hiroshima, Japan Hofu, Japan Bogotá, Colombia Willowvale, Zimbabwe (WMMI)|
|Body style||4-door sedan 5-door hatchback 5-door station wagon|
|Layout||Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
|Engine||1.8 L FP I4 (Europe) 2.0 L FS-DE I4 2.5 L KL-G4, KL-ZE V6 2.0 L RF-T TD I4|
|Transmission||5-speed manual 4-speed automatic|
|Wheelbase||105.1 in (2,670 mm)|
|Length||4,575 mm (180.1 in) 4,660 mm (183.5 in) (Wagon) 4,740 mm (186.8 in) (US, 1998-99) 4,760 mm (187.4 in) (US, 2000-02)|
|Width||69.3 in (1,760 mm)|
|Height||55.1 in (1,400 mm)|
1997 brought the sixth-generation Capella, now on the GF platform. The Mazda Cronos name was retired and the Capella, 626, and Telstar once again shared a common platform. All-wheel drive was optional in Japan. North American 626's were again built by AutoAlliance International in Flat Rock, Michigan, and had an entirely different body and differing engine options from 626's sold in the rest of the world. Once again, the station wagon version used a slightly modified, carryover platform (now called GW). The wheelbase was 60 mm (2.4 in) longer than the sedan, and a V6 engine was offered. This time though, the bodywork was the same, minimizing confusion for buyers.
By now, Ford had decided to reintroduce European models in Australasia so the Mondeo replaced the Telstar in most markets though the latter was still sold in Japan. The Capella was lightly updated in 1999 with a new interior and exterior, cabin air filtration, an available turbodiesel engine, a new Activematic manually operated automatic transmission, and available EBD and DSC.
The Mazda 626 GLX is a European and Asian only trim level of the Mazda 626 not produced or sold in North America. It is Japanese-made, with a 2.0 L four-cylinder DOHC-engine (FS) and a four-speed automatic transmission, which produces 125 hp (93 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 133 lb·ft (180 N·m) at 4,000 rpm. The two-litre turbo diesel version was added to European market versions beginning in fall of 1998. The European trim levels are LXI, GXI, GSI, GXI SPORT, Atlantis, GXI SE, GSI SE. The European 626 was available with two different 2.0 engines, a 115 PS engine was available from 1998 to 2002 in all models except for the GSI SE and Sport models, which have the 136 PS FS engine.
|1.8||1,839 cc FP-DE I4||90 PS (66 kW)||145 N·m (107 lb·ft)|
|2.0||1,991 cc FS-DE I4||115 PS (85 kW)||Europe|
|1,991 cc FS-ZE I4||136 PS (100 kW)||GSI SE, Sport (Europe)|
|2.5 V6||2,496 cc KL-ZE V6||JDM, wagon only|
|2.0 TD||1,998 cc RF-T TD I4||101 PS (74 kW)||220 N·m (160 lb·ft)||Europe, from fall 1998|
The North American market 626 was different from those sold in other countries. The Michigan-built 626 retained the doors and other body parts of the preceding 626, which made for a somewhat awkward design lacking the aggression which could be seen in the 626/Capella as built for the rest of the world. It was also considerably larger and heavier. LX and ES models were available, with both 2.0 and 2.5 V6 engines. Unusual amongst its competitors, the V6 was available with a manual transmission.
From 1998 through 1999 the 626 was given an engine overhaul to give it better pedal feel. However, as most car reviews attested, it is a bland vehicle with softer handling and fewer features than the 1993–1997 version. Here is one such quote from Edmunds: "A bland, bread-and-butter sedan that's not big enough for families and not sporty enough for enthusiasts." Along with a nearly invisible facelift, 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 upgraded by 5 hp (3.7 kW).
The final Mazda 626 rolled off the Flat Rock, Michigan assembly plant on August 30, 2002 but in Columbia they were still being produced until 2006.
|Base||1998–1999||2.0 L FS I4||125 hp (93 kW)||127 lb·ft (172 N·m)|
|2000–2002||2.0 L FS I4||130 hp (97 kW)||135 lb·ft (183 N·m)|
|V6||1998–2002||2.5 L KL V6||170 hp (130 kW)||163 lb·ft (221 N·m)|