Mazda 626 Super Deluxe Coupe
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 2
Our review of the Mazda 626
was penned many years ago – and it was favourable partly because we were very familiar with one particular example that proved its reliability and solid construction – engine notwithstanding. But as good as the 626
was, there was one model that really was worthy of superlatives – the Super Deluxe Coupe.
Among the many features of the Super Deluxe was an ignition key reminder chime. No biggie by today’s standards, the chime was designed to remind the forgetful driver that they had left their key in the ignition after opening the door. Well you may scoff, but without such a device it cost this very writer two quarter vent windows after alighting from a Holden, forgetting the key was still in the ignition, locking the door, and leaving the motor running.
But enough of the trivia. The 626 Coupe was a very well balanced and conceived car. It was relatively fast provided you kept the engine revs high. The handling was good, with traditional moderate understeer being replaced by mild understeer when the throttle was lifted in the middle of a corner. Apart from aggressive driving on loose or wet surfaces, it was almost impossible to get the car out of shape - which made for safety in inexperienced hands. Even hard application of brakes
in a corner would fail to induce oversteer.
A large proportion of the Super Deluxe's features lay in the well created interior. All controls fell readily to hand, light to operate, and, combined with adjustable steering rake, made the Hardtop easy to drive. Both the sedan and coupe versions of the Super Deluxe featured a digital clock, AM/FM cassette stereo, electric drivers door mirror, illuminated ignition keyhole, headlight and ignition key reminder chimes, and cloth door trim.
Both versions of the Super Deluxe had the five speed gearbox as original equipment, along with quartz halogen headlights complete with washers. And both had full wheel covers, although these were different on the two cars. The sedan gained an electric sunroof and a central locking system, while the coupe's unique Super Deluxe items included a central roof mounted interior light with individual map lights for both front seat occupants, a four spoke steering wheel, and electric passenger's door mirror.
The coupe retained the forward folding rear seat system which allowed long loads to be carried within the cabin and boot. There were two other points worthy of note, first the wider doors were relatively heavy and tended to be difficult to control when opened on sideways sloping ground - a problem in side by side car parks; Secondly, the rear window distorted images in the central rear view mirror, tending to make all following cars look very wide and low. Ask anyone who once owned one, and we bet they tell you they relied on the exterior mirrors far more than the interior job.
Overall the 626 Super Deluxe was a pleasant car, with no vices, a little more refinement than was offered on the 626 sedan and arguably better than any of the other Japanese competition.The coupe was only available in Super Deluxe format here in Australia, and at release sold for A$8550. The Super Deluxe sedan sold for $8790.
Mazda 626 Quick Specifications:
Manufacturer & Type:
Toyo Kogyo, Four Door Sedan, Four/Five seat capacity. Prices from A$6980 for the "Special" sedan, to A$8450. Metallic paint optional A$80.
Location - Front, Cylinders - Four, Cubic capacity -1970cc, Bore and stroke - 80 x 98mm, Block material - Cast Iron, Head material - Aluminium, Valve gear - Single overhead camshaft, Induction - Twin Choke carburettor, Compression ratio - 8.6:1, Max power (kW/bhp) 64/85.8 at 4800 rpm Max torque (Nm/ft lbs) 159.8/118 at 2500 rpm.
Driving wheels - Rear, Gearbox type - Five Speed Manual, Three speed automatic. Shift location - Centre console "T" bar. Gear ratios in automatic - First / 2.458, Second / 1.458, Third / 1.000, Final drive / 3.63.
Construction - Unitary, Material - Steel.
Front - Independent, Spring type Coi! spring, Macpherson strut, sway bar. Rear - Live Axle, Spring type Coil spring, four links, Panhard Rod, sway bar.
Hydraulic Servo assisted, Front type - Disc, Rear type - Drum.
Wheels and Tyres:
Wheels: Steel, Diameter - 13", Rim width - 5.5". Tyres - Bridgestone, Type RD 116 Steel radial, Dimensions - 185/70 SR 13
Kerb weight - 1080kg, length - 4305mm, width - 1660mm, Height - 1370mm, Wheelbase - 2510mm, Track Front - 1370mm, Track Rear - 1380mm, Turning circle - 9.6 metres. Fuel tank capacity - 55 litres.
Maximum speeds in gears, First - 58 km/h, Second -101 km/h, Third - 144 km/h, Fourth - 155 km/h, Fifth - 160 + km/h. Acceleration from rest to 60 km/h - 6.3 secs, 80 km/h - 9.0 secs, 100 km/h - 13.5 secs, 120 km/h - 18.3 secs, Acceleration in third (manual) or "drive" (auto) from 60 km/h to 100 km/h - 8.5 secs. Standing start 400 metres. Braking from 110 km/h to standstill - Distance 55 m.
Fuel consumption (litres/100 kms and mpg):
Driven normally (City, suburbs and highway) 11.6/24.3.