Based on the Capella, or 626 in other countries around the world, Mazda developed a special variant called the Persona. It was positioned as a classy 4-door coupe with luxurious interior. Frameless doors with no B-pillar between the front and rear doors were one of the key features. The front and rear window surface was also large to give a spacious feel when sitting inside. A different uncommon feature are the squared off rear wheel arches.
And the interior of the Persona was something special. Awarded car interior of the year 1988, a futuristic design was used with a clean look which gave the impression for the front occupants that the dashboard is wrapped around them.
Buttons that you would normally find on the doors, were now placed around the gauge cluster. No glovebox ensured a lot of legroom for the front passenger. Since there was no B-pillar, the seatbelts for the front occupants were inside the rear doors. The Persona was also one of the first cars for which a cigarette lighter and ashtray became an option.
Introduction of the Persona was in 1988. It used the platform of the 5th generation Capella that was introduced a year earlier. As such, both the same front and rear a strut suspension were used. The engine and transmission options for the Persona were also carried over from the Capella. A 1.8 liter and a 2 liter engine were available, respectively 97 and 140 horsepower. These were connected to either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission that drove the front wheels.
From grade point of view, only two grades were available. The Type A and Type B. The price difference between the two is a little bit less than 200 000 Yen. With the Type B costing more, it got additional equipment such as leather seats and leather on the dashboard. For the Type A the seats were cloth. Only one special edition grade for the Persona was sold, the Couture grade introduced in 1990.
A more sporty sister model of the Persona also existed. It was called the Eunos 300 and it was a model used to build up the portfolio of Mazda’s new Eunos brand. The exterior design was slightly different from the Persona and had styling cues of the Eunos Cosmo. The headlights, rear lights and the optional BBS wheels to name some.
Other special features for the Eunos 300 were the rear spoiler, mud flaps, grille and badges on the exterior while in the interior there was a different steering wheel and more sporty seats were fitted. The Eunos 300 did get a cigarette lighter and ashtray as standard. The 1.8 liter engine in the Eunos was more powerful with 115 horsepower but for the rest the engine and transmission combination as well as the grades were the same. Except for the fact that the Eunos got the Type X grade which got the BBS wheels as standard.
Read this article if you would like to see more about the difference between the Persona and Eunos 300.
All in all the models were not very successful. For the Eunos 300 for example, only 4746 units were sold. In 1992 the production for both models had stopped.
Click on the picture below to see the Mazda Persona details and specifications per year such as weight, new price and equipment for each version in the Goo-net.com catalog.
Click on the picture below to see the Eunos 300 details and specifications per year such as weight, new price and equipment for each version in the Goo-net.com catalog.