1987 Mazda 626 LX
And here is yet another example of the Golden Age of Hatchbacks for you as I continue to flesh out that idea (full story coming soon, I promise). Back in the days when many midsized, mainstream cars were available as hatchbacks, Mazda was a niche player like today, but turned out an impressive product nonetheless.
This LX model was the mid-grade of the series, with a base DX and upmarket GT also available. As such, it was equipped with the finest of modern conveniences such as power windows and locks, lovely mouse-fur velour seating surfaces and surprisingly handsome alloy wheels.
The vaguely European styling was let down by very Japanese performance (for the time at least) – the 2.0 liter 4-banger was not noted as being a powerhouse, and the optional auto transmission did a good job of hiding whatever minimal performance potential the car had.
But in the long run, the 626 was a reliable and attractive option for mid-80s consumers who marched to the beat of a slightly different drummer. This example is apparently rust free and looks to be in good condition (other than the blue interior plastics which have faded to a sort of blue green) and is available at Ocean Mazda in Miami Florida for $3,500.