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Mazda 626 е автомобил, който се е произвеждал от Mazda за чуждестранния пазар. Бил е на базата на Mazda Capella (само за Япония). Моделът 626 заменил 616/618 и RX-2 през 1979 г. и е бил продаван до 2002 г., когато новата Mazda6 поела названието "Голямата Семейна Кола на Mazda". По света са продадени 4 345 279 модела 626 и Ford Telstar (на базата на 626, продаван в Азия, Австралия и Южна Америка, но бил заменен от Европейския Ford Mondeo).
В Европа винаги е била смятана за голяма семейна кола, но в Северна Америка първите две генерации на 626 са били считани за компактни коли, а третата, четвъртата и петата генерации - като средно големи коли.
The 1971 model 616 and 1972 model 618 had been modest successes in the United States, each lasting just a single year. By 1980, the American public was ready for a compact piston-engined Mazda, and the 626 has been a top seller for the marque ever since.
The first Mazda 626 appeared in most markets in 1979. It was a front engined rear wheel drive compact, little changed from the Japan-market Mazda Capella on which it was based. With an 80 hp (60 kW) 2.0 L SOHC straight-4 F/MA engine, it performed well, with both Consumer Guide and Car and Driver magazines comparing it with a BMW. One innovative feature was a split-folding rear seat, which increased cargo capacity and flexibility tremendously. This first 626 was a hit, doubling Mazda's US sales.
The passenger cabin, and therefore the doors are shared with the contemporary 323, a design feature that lasted into the mid 1980's for both car designs.
The 626, like the Capella, used MacPherson struts in front with a four-link solid axle with coil springs in back. Five-speed manual and three-speed automatic transmission versions were produced, but the recirculating ball steering was something of a throwback in the class. The twin barrel-carb engine was down to 75 hp (56 kW) in 1980, and a wide grille was introduced for 1981.
The front-wheel drive model appeared in 1983 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.
A 626 GT (also called the Turbo) was introduced in 1986 using the 120 hp (89 kW) and 150 lb·ft (200 N·m) 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 626 was updated for 1988 on the GD platform also used by the previous-year Capella. It was available as a sedan and 5-door hatchback while the coupe was renamed 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.
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. GT model had 2.0 FE-DOHC engine that produced 148 (non-cat) or 140hp (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. It was not very successful and died after 1990, never to be seen on a Mazda again. 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.
The 626 line was facelifted for 1990 and gained motorized seatbelts in the USA market. 626 hatchbacks disappeared after 1991 from the US Mazda model range.
UK trim levels were LX (1.8-litre), GLX (1.8/2.0) and GT (2.0/2.2). There was also a 2.0i estate model with either 8v, 12v or 16v engine.
In 1993 the Mazda 626 saw big changes in body style and powerplants since the 626 moved to an entirely different platform. It was now based on the GE platform along with Mazda's more upmarket Cronos and had grown enough to become a mid-size car. 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 626 Cronos in Canada, but dropped the Cronos for the 1996 model year.
Changes like 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 domestic car. The wagon and hatchback models were dropped for the US market but retained elsewhere alongside the sedan.
Mazda's 2.5L V6 engine (enlarged from the 1.8L V6 on the 1992 MX-3) debuted to rave reviews. Though the manual transmission was highly regarded, 4-cylinder 626s from 1994 onwards used Ford's CD4E automatic transmission, which quickly became known for its extremely high failure rate. All 626 automatic transmissions, meanwhile, continued the previous generation 626's habits of ill-timed shifts and indecisive kickdowns. Also in 1994, a passenger's-side airbag was added, and the V6 spread to the LX trim in addition to the ES. A chrome grille surround was new for 1996, but disappeared on lower-level models for 1997.
In Colombia the car was named 626 Matsuri to differentiate from the past version that was sold in the same time.
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 1993–1997 version. Front side airbags were new options for 2000, as were larger wheels, four wheel discs (except on the LX), 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), 5-speed automatic transmission Japanese made, which produces 148 hp (110 kW) at 6000 rpm and 133 ft·lbf (180 N·m) 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.
The 626/Capella was replaced with the GG platform Mazda6 (called the Atenza in Japan) in 2002. The Mazda6 is now sold across the world in 3 different body styles: 4-door Sedan, 5-door Hatchback and 5-door Wagon. World sales have been good for the 6 despite a slower take off in North America, and resale value has proven to be far stronger than the 626's.
Few would disagree that this is a vast improvement over the 626 in terms of interior room, styling, or powertrains. Mazda's new 4-cylinder engine is a much-improved 2.3 L. Inline-4 engine with 160 hp (119 kW); the V6 is a 3.0-liter 220 hp (164 kW) unit from the Ford Taurus, but with reworked cylinders, valvetrain components, and variable valve timing. Though not the fastest with either engine, the 6 is still the most agile of its peers by a long shot, thanks in part to its new double-wishbone front suspension. Wagon and 5-door hatchbacks were added for 2004, and the Mazda6's platform served as the basis for the 2006 Ford Fusion, Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ and Mercury Milan.
The first Mazda6 rolled off the Flat Rock, Michigan assembly line on October 1, 2002, one month after production of the 626 ended.