1998 Mazda 323 BJII Astina Anniversary 1.8 petrol 91 RON
The most reliable car ever
Burns oil from full to empty every three weeks or so (sometimes it stops burning oil altogether).
Requires a few revs as soon as it starts from cold, or it cuts out.
Massive cloud of white smoke from exhaust in cold.
Syncro is worn: 1st from neutral, fourth from fifth, third from fourth.
Front left speaker broke.
Timing belt snapped at 240,00km, no engine damage.
Absolute tank!!! This car has NEVER been maintained, though it's probably only been over 3500rpm twice in its lifetime.
It ran a few years without oil before we thought to fill it up. Been serviced three or four times since new, never at the dealer (ridiculous prices). Belt only replaced when it snapped. No other fluids ever changed or topped up.
The car handles beautifully, bit stiff but very tight to the road. Lovely seats make up for sporty suspension.
Engine seems to have an aversion to revs, seems very tight and rough at high revs, but beautifully smooth under 3000rpm.
Gearbox a bit stiff, terrible with worn synchro's (though it doesn't need double clutching yet) and clutch is extremely abrupt and will not be ridden at all (takes a lot of getting used to).
Power steering PERFECT, feedback excellent and ratio's very nice.
Probably spent two grand on it since 1998, compared to at least 30,000 if we'd maintained it properly.
Very very ugly face, which was dealt with in styling revision later that year.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 30th July, 2009