Mid-sized range that was one of Mazda’s most important model lines, especially as it grew into the US in the 1970s. Originally offered with petrol and rotary engines. The second-generation model was wedge-shaped and reflected late 1970s’ trends, while the front-wheel-drive models, which began in 1982, helped earn Mazda a reputation as being one of the more internationally oriented Japanese car makers—not necessarily considered a good thing in its home market. Front-wheel-drive Capellas also formed the bases for the Ford Telstar, as Ford sought to offer different models for its Asian markets. At the dawn of the 1990s, Mazda temporarily killed off the Capella name with the exception of the station wagon, as it ambitiously tried to launch new brands. The gamble backfired, and the company offered a sensible, if very traditional, CG model in 1994 to signal a back-to-basics’ move. One last Capella, which shared its platform with the smaller Familia, completed Mazda’s mid-size story for the 20th century; its 2002 successor carried the Atenza name.
q.v. Mazda 626
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