1 Dec 1978
The all-new 626 replaced the Capella (616) 1600 range that had been Mazda’s mainstay since 1970.
Along with the Honda Accord, the rear-wheel drive 626 represented a big leap forward for Japanese cars, with clean styling, roomy interiors, pleasant dynamics and good value for money.
Three models (Special, Deluxe and Super Deluxe), three gearboxes (four-speed and five-speed manual or three-speed auto) and a single 64kW 2.0L four-cylinder engine were available, while a stylish two-door Super Deluxe hardtop sat slightly above the somewhat plain four-door sedan.
Acknowledged as the best in its class, the 626 helped Mazda’s slight move upmarket, aided by its high specification levels