Mazda Capella 626 5th Generation GE
|Also called||Efini MS-6 Mazda Cronos Mazda 626 Cronos Mazda 626 Matsuri Ford Telstar|
|Assembly||Hiroshima, Japan Hofu, Japan Flat Rock, Michigan, United States (AAI) Bogotá, Colombia|
|Body style||4-door sedan 5-door hatchback|
|Platform||Mazda GE platform|
|Engine||1.8 L FP I4 2.0 L FS I4 2.5 L KL-DE V6|
|Transmission||5-speed manual 4-speed automatic|
|Wheelbase||102.8 in (2,610 mm)|
|Length||184.4 in (4,680 mm)|
|Width||68.9 in (1,750 mm)|
|Height||1993-95: 53.9 in (1,370 mm) 1996-97: 55.1 in (1,400 mm)|
|Related||Mazda MX-6 Ford Probe|
|Designer(s)||Yasuo Aoyagi (1989)|
The fifth-generation Capella was replaced in November 1991 in Japan, by the Mazda Cronos and the Efini MS-6. Built on the GE platform that the Capella might have used, the MS-6 was launched under the Efini brand, as a separate car from the Cronos sedan, as Mazda was at the beginning of an ambitious five-brand expansion plan. While the MS-6 shared the Cronos' GE platform, it was marketed as the more sporty of the two. The Capella badge lived on on the wagon and van versions on the GV platform, although Mazda later introduced a new smaller Capella on the CG platform designed for the upscale Mazda Lantis and Eunos 500. The Capella Cargo (station wagon) and vans remained on the old GV platform until 1999. Ford also kept building a manual-only previous generation sedan, called the Telstar Classic, aimed at fleet customers.
Nonetheless, the GE Cronos and MS-6 continued to be sold as the "626" in nearly all export markets. The 626 was again Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for a second time in 1992. 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 very first American-built 1993 Mazda 626 was assembled in Flat Rock, Michigan on September 1, 1992. The car was originally known as the "626 Cronos" in Canada, but dropped the Cronos for the 1996 model year. The hatchback model was not offered in the U.S. but was well received in Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Mazda's 2.5 L V6 engine debuted to rave reviews. Though the 626's manual transmission was highly regarded, Four-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 model's transmission related issues. The CD4E was manufactured by Ford at their Batavia, Ohio facility. The CD4E was manufactured in Batavia, Ohio under the partnership name of ZF Batavia; a joint venture between Ford and ZF Friedrichshafen AG. It wasn't until a few years after the fourth generation of the Mazda 626 was produced that it became known for its extremely high failure rate, thus making the change in 1994 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. The CD4E was produced until 2008 at Batavia. 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.
In 1994, a passenger side airbag was added, whilst some models of the 1994 and 1995 Mazda 626 2.0L automatics were outfitted with Ford's EEC-IV diagnostic system. In North America, the V6 spread to the LX trim in addition to the leather ES trim. 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).
The European (E-spec) and Asian (JDM) models had many differences versus the North American (A-spec) models. These include: raised turn signal side markers vs the A-Spec flush mounted side markers, small fog lights with silver bezels vs the A-Spec full fitting fog lights, different interior cloth patterns, projector headlamps (glass lenses), a 1.8 L FP engine, and a hatchback model.
In Colombia the car was named 626 Matsuri to differentiate from the past version that was sold at the same time.
Mazda New Zealand assembled this generation for four years with few changes. Ford's variants (since 1987 all built in the same Ford-Mazda joint venture Vehicle Assemblers of New Zealand (VANZ) factory in Wiri, South Auckland) had minor styling and equipment differences (the top Telstar hatchback had an electric sunroof) and anti-lock brakes were now standard on some models, for which factory engineers had to build a special test rig at the end of the assembly line. These were also the first 626/Telstar models to have factory fitted air conditioning, though only on the top Limited (626) and TX-5 Ghia (Telstar) five-door hatchbacks.
|Also called||Ford Telstar II|
|Body style||4-door sedan|
|Layout||Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
|Platform||Mazda CG platform|
|Engine||1.8 L FP I4 2.0 L FS I4|
|Transmission||5-speed manual 4-speed automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,610 mm (102.8 in)|
|Length||4,595 mm (180.9 in)|
|Width||1,695 mm (66.7 in)|
|Height||1,395 mm (54.9 in)|
|Related||Eunos 500 Mazda Lantis Xedos 6|
As explained above, the "Capella" label was only used for the previous generation wagon and van for a few years in Japan. This changed when the new, more compact Capella was launched in August 1994. It was built on the CG platform designed for the upscale Mazda Lantis and Eunos 500. This vehicle lasted exactly three years, and the Capella name returned to the G platform after 1996. Available only with a sober four-door saloon bodywork, it received 1.8 or 2.0 liter inline-four engines.
The sporting models of previous Capellas were now sold under other nameplates, and the CG received 115 PS (85 kW) in 1.8 form and 125 PS (92 kW) in the 2.0. Four-wheel drive was available with the larger engine only. Equipment levels were Li-S, Li, and Gi for the 1.8. The 2.0 was sold as the Zi or as the Fi when equipped with four-wheel drive. In August 1997 the Capella was replaced by the new GF model, which was the same as the 626 outside of North America.