1 Oct 1987
Smoother, quieter, stronger and more spacious, the 3rd-generation, front-wheel drive, GD series 626 was significantly tougher and more refined than its lightweight predecessor.
All models’ handling, ride and refinement qualities benefited from extra body rigidity and improved suspension, while better quality ensured greater reliability and durability. But the body styling – again in sedan, hatch and coupe formats, with the latter renamed MX6 – looked similar.
The sedan and hatch model variations were reduced to a single Super Deluxe specification. A handsome 4-door 626 Estate wagon in 5-seat and 7-seat models joined the range in June ’88.
A new 2.2L 12-valve 4-cylinder engine, producing 84kW of power, powered all 626 models. Except for the MX6, which used a turbocharged 100kW 2.2L engine, and featured anti-lock brakes. A new 4-speed automatic and 5-speed manual transmission was available.
In early ’89, the Super Deluxe tag was dropped, there were minor changes to trim, and the turbo engine was added as an option to the 626 hatch.
A new top-line 626 4WS hatch boasting the same complex 4-wheel steering system, that debuted in the MX6 a few months earlier, was available from April ’89 to early ‘90.
In January ’90 a small facelift saw a new grille, revised taillights, redesigned alloy wheels, minor trim changes and reduced noise intrusion.
A special edition Eclipse model arrived in May ’90, boosting sales and standard equipment levels. All non-turbo models wore alloy wheels, slightly softer suspension tuning, and blacked out trim from September ’90.
Ford offered the GD 626 as the AT Telstar until the failed Corsair bumped out the sedans in late 1989, although the Telstar hatchback continued on as the AV model.