1978 Mazda 323 Review from Australia and New Zealand

1978 Mazda 323 Rear whell drive Wagon 1.4L

Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.4L Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 4 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired100000 kilometres
Most recent distance120000 kilometres


Perfect first car, cheap and reliable


The accelerator cable snapped.

The clutch cable snapped.

Radiator gave me a bit of grief, but easy fixed.

General Comments:

Perfect first car. Low on petrol costs, easy to drive.

It's a great looking car, with the small, yet noticeable, rear spoiler :-)

The steering is the best that I've ever driven even though its not power assisted.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th September, 2003

12th Sep 2003, 06:30

Bought an auto trans wagon new in 1979. Fitted "add on" airconditioning a month later. Apart from oil loss through poor valve guide seals and a few timing chains (a home job) the Mazda became a truck in the end. Never stopped, just soldiered on a year after I was going to sell it. So, I kept it and it just continued to work. I doubt if some "modern" small wagons would stand the hard work.

In all, worth every cent.

4th Feb 2005, 08:28

I am not sure, but I have a face-lift model of 323 Wagon. Indonesian made, named as Mazda Van-trend. I bought it in 1999 and still running without no significant problem.

It's a 1.4 L, rear drive engine and very robust. Low operating and maintenance cost, and it share almost all parts with other Japans car. I replaced the oil filter with Mitsubishi Lancer one, ball bearings with Toyota corolla, brake pads with Ford Laser and almost all parts I need is common, if you know compatible parts.

It's been 6 years, and my only complain is that the model is badly out of date and now it's getting older and older.

Average review marks: 6.0 / 10, based on 1 review