Mazda continues to innovate. Diesel engines become socially acceptable; turbodiesels start to acquire a (justified) reputation for providing a blend of enjoyable performance and economy; so Mazda produces a supercharged diesel instead. It’s just a pity that this interesting technical approach is wrapped blandly beneath a 626 shell.
The 626 D-CX is presented in similar fashion to the 2.01 GLX petrol model, with all the executive blandishments that entails. At £14,995, it is £200 cheaper than the GLX, and naturally it consumes fuel rather more slowly.
It also goes more slowly. A lot more slowly. The (75 bhp) engine is smooth, and picks up strongly enough low down, but it simply never increases this initial enthusiasm. It travels quietly at motorway speeds, too, but it takes about half the length of the M6 to attain cruising speed. Almost 15s from 0-60 mph… that’s about on a par with a Hillman Hunter, circa 1969. Mind you, the Mazda will (eventually) go on to 104 mph, which would have shaken the wheels off the Hillman.
Most buyers will be prepared to concede a little performance when choosing a diesel; the 626 D-CX takes the sacrifice too far. It is comfortable, sure, but it is simply too slow, and the bottom line a well-equipped 405 turbodiesel is available for less.
The concept is not without its merits, and the engine’s silky manner has much to recommend it. It just requires a little more develop ment, and a fair bit more punch.