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Mazda Cronos
Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024

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Mazda Cronos/Mazda 626 (GE). 1991–7 (prod. n/a). 4-door sedan. F/F, 1840, 1991 cm³ (I4 DOHC), 1844, 1995, 2497 cm³ (V6 DOHC), 1998 cm³ diesel (I4 OHC). Mazda begins playing its multi-brand strategy, with Cronos replacing long-time Capella nameplate, and exceeding the 1,700 mm width of its predecessor. A single body style this time, but exported as the 626 sedan; the liftback for the export range was the home-market Ẽfini MS-6. Mazda hoped that Japan’s modified tax system would allow it to sell Cronoses without difficulty, but buyers stayed away—not just because of the non-existent goodwill of the new name, but because of Mazda’s plan not to supply all its chains. Greater width, in fact, had meant a safer structure, and the car was an improvement over the GD, but contributed to Mazda’s woes of the early 1990s. Minor changes in 1994, with deletion of 1·8; home sales ended in 1995 as Capella returned under CG series, export models continued to 1997. A decent all-rounder with competent handling, steering and performance (from the V6s), though road noise was an issue.

Manufacturing locations: Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan; Flat Rock, Michigan, USA

Marque: Mazda | Predecessor: Mazda Capella (GD) | Successors: Mazda Capella (CG), Mazda 626 (1998–2002), Mazda Capella (GF)

q.v. Ford Telstar (GE), Mazda MX-6 (1991–7), Kia Credos


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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024