1992 Mazda 323 Reviews from Australia and New Zealand

1992 Mazda 323 Sedan GLX 1.6

Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2010
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 1.6 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired83400 kilometres
Most recent distance86600 kilometres

Summary:

Amazing

Faults:

Nothing seems seriously wrong with it so far. Just the seal on a bit for the rear widow is a bit loose, so it leaks every now and then.

In cold weather, some of the central locks don't open, which isn't too big a problem. Taking it in for a warranty this week, so fingers crossed!

General Comments:

For a first car, it's magnificent! Only had it for about half a year, but she still runs problem free.

Great to drive, very economical, which is essential as I am on a bit of a tight budget. Handles great.

I have only driven my parent's cars in the past, and have not owned any others, so I don't exactly have the experience to rate it well, but those were the marks I feel the car should have. Let's hope she lasts for a long long time!

Considering the low kms, $2000 was quite a bargain. Highly recommended car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd October, 2010

31st Jul 2012, 08:32

Roughly 10,000 kms later and still running great. Got the brake pads changed all round, and got the front wheel bearings replaced. Other than air filter changes, tyre changes, oil and oil filter changes, the car has had nothing wrong so far! Hope it continues.

4th Mar 2014, 02:10

Up to about 113,000km now and no problems. Think that the starter motor is on the way out, but other than that, it's running great. Just hope that rust doesn't get it!

1992 Mazda 323 1.5 DOHC petrol

Model year1992
Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 1.5 DOHC petrol Automatic
Performance marks 4 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.0 / 10
Distance when acquired220000 kilometres
Most recent distance230000 kilometres
Previous carHonda Integra

Faults:

The motor died, valve stem seals apparently. I have never seen so much smoke from an engine. Had another engine fitted, alternator died, now it's leaking oil and using excessive amounts of petrol.

The left window now doesn't work, drivers window won't go all the way up.

The heater barely makes heat.

The rear demister doesn't work.

The knob fell off the door mirror.

The brake pedal has gone spongy.

The cigarette light socket power surges and destroys appliances plugged into it.

General Comments:

This car has been a disaster. Nothing works and it has been a big disappointment. I will never buy a Mazda again.

The alternator etc is made by Mitsubishi, that can't be good for a start.

The only positives have been it hasn't rusted, the paint is good and it is a nice looking roomy vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th May, 2010

1992 Mazda 323 1.5 DOHC

Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.5 DOHC Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired77000 kilometres
Most recent distance203000 kilometres
Previous carToyota Corolla

Summary:

Great wee car

Faults:

Automatic transmission required 3 rebuilds, each lasting around 40,000 km.

Leaking cam seals, crank seals (front and rear)

Drivers master window swicth, left rear central lock motor failed.

General Comments:

Great wee car that was let down by the automatic transmission. Failed first time after around 10,000 km in my ownership, judging by oil condition, due to lack of maintenance. Transmission was overhauled. After overhaul in clunked when selecting reverse. After taking it back the the workshop it was repaired the agreed to remove it and check. It was removed and found to be faulty and was repaired. Once refitted it was found it only had 1st gear. Removed again and found to be un-repairable. Second hand transmission was purchased, overhauled and fitted. I picked the car up and traveled out of town some 40 km. When I went to return the transmission was in limp mode and had return to town in 2nd gear. Fault was finally repaired.

Other than these faults and small electrical fault this was a great car. Handled open road driving well. Very economical.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th October, 2004

1992 Mazda 323 BG GT-X 1.8 turbo

Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.8 turbo Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.2 / 10
Distance when acquired91000 kilometres
Most recent distance145000 kilometres
Previous carVolkswagen Golf

Summary:

Has sent me broke

Faults:

After owning the car for two years I would have to say that every single mechanical component has had to be repaired or replaced.

Just off the top of my head:

Radiator tank (very common)

Head gaskets at 91000km, 138000km, 144000km

Turbocharger (X2)

Water pump

Burnt exhaust valve

Gearbox collapsed internally at 135000km needing rebuild

Warped engine block at 145000km

Air conditioning died at roughly 110000km.

And that's all I can think of for now...

General Comments:

I previously added a review of this car to Carsurvey 2 weeks after purchasing it. At that time I was quite annoyed at how I was being forced to fork out a large sum of money for a head gasket replacement! Little did I know that it was only a sign of things to come!

It really is a great car when it is going (hence why I haven't gotten rid of it yet). The performance and handling are pretty impressive for standard and tuning potential is awesome, but has cost me over three times the value of the car just to keep it on the road. At the moment the car needs a full engine replacement, as the current engine warped due to head gasket-related overheating. These engines are notorious for problems after overheating, so a second hand engine is probably a better rather than rebuilding an old engine.

If you buy an AWD example that has not had a rebuild, expect a large repair bill when bearings start collapsing internally. The gearbox will get you either by abusive driving styles (dropping 2nd gear) or just everyday wear and tear (as mine did)!

I find the Ford/Mazda dealer is hellishly overpriced and offers poor customer service. Luckily parts are widely available for the turbo models in New Zealand, unlike Australia.

I have given up on this car as a daily driver. I've been forced to buy a 1980 Lancer to get me to work everyday! Next: the project begins to turn the Mazda into a customised show car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th April, 2003

1992 Mazda 323 GT-X BG Hatch 1.8 turbo

Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.8 turbo Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired91000 kilometres
Most recent distance91200 kilometres
Previous carVolkswagen Golf

Summary:

Spends most of its life in the shop

Faults:

Radiator tank split after 1 week of ownership.

Water pump failed after 1 week of ownership.

Head gasket blew after 2 weeks of ownership.

According to the AA inspector this one is a good example!

General Comments:

For the 2 weeks it was working the car was great fun to drive.

The seats are extremely supportive and the driving position is great.

4WD means the car is extremely grippy in all conditions (I haven't been able to drive in the wet yet) and the car handles great.

I think the engine may have been tweaked and thrashed by the previous owner because a blown head gasket after just 91000 kms is pretty lousy - apparently tweaking is common on GT-X's.

If this car wasn't so damn unreliable it really would be a great car to own. But if you've got a lot of money to spend on repairs and insurance, (and a second car to drive while yours is in the shop) by all means buy it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 13th February, 2001

10th Mar 2001, 18:41

A good tip for the radiator tank split is to remove the overflow hose off the top of the tank as this causes a build up of heat. I just went through all that myself, tank, water pump, head gasket and I just replaced the engine. It was cheaper. Any response would be appreciated.

sissonmatthew@hotmail.com.

15th Jun 2003, 01:47

1991 Mazda. I have owned my GTX for one year now, and I have never had a problem. When I got it, it was stock, I've added a 2.5 inch exhaust, pod filter and a valve. I'm running 14 pounds boost. when I purchased the car I reconditioned the radiator and replaced the belts and brake pads. I give the car death and it handles what I give it. Although I don't recommend launching at high rev's.

Average review marks: 6.4 / 10, based on 5 reviews