Mazda 808 Reviews from Australia and New Zealand

1975 Mazda 808 1.3 petrol

Model year1974
Year of manufacture1975
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 1.3 petrol Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.5 / 10
Previous carMazda 323

Summary:

Hugely under-rated in 808 form

Faults:

Driver's window winder is wobbly and now requires two hands to wind the window up.

Rear wheel bearings are noisy.

General Comments:

Fun, durable little car. Mine has since been heavily modified, but the following relates to when it was essentially standard.

Head gaskets can be a weak point.

Timing chains can get rattly, but car will run fine despite awful noises.

Seat mounts often break, but can easily be welded up.

Windscreen wiper and/or headlight high/low beam switches are often faulty.

Manual gearboxes always whine. A 5-speed gearbox from a Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) 323 is a nice upgrade, but isn't a direct bolt-in fit (not hard though). They whine too.

1400 or 1500 engines from RWD 323 bolt straight in for extra performance. These engines respond well to bigger carburettor (Weber DGV), extractor exhausts, electronic ignition, electric radiator fan, etc. Regrind cams are NOT a good idea as the rocker gear is very intolerant of reduced base circle diameter.

Look for rust at bottom of front and rear windscreens, front mudguards, doors and rear quarter panels.

Also look for wobbly chassis rails and damaged crash bar (behind front bumper bar).

Worn steering components hurt the steering feel dramatically, but are cheap and easily available.

Brakes are woeful by modern standards, particularly the sedans and wagons without power booster. Upgrades are available and recommended.

Some body parts and interior bits are becoming very hard to find and consequently expensive. This unfortunately reduces their appeal as an everyday-usable classic car.

Many have been butchered into RX-3 wanna-bes, which is a shame - they lose their handling balance and general sense of fun.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st October, 2008

1977 Mazda 808 1.3L

Model year1977
Year of manufacture1977
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.3L Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired62356 kilometres
Most recent distance123987 kilometres
Previous carMazda 121

Summary:

It's a little beast

Faults:

My heater hose blew at 98000 kilometers.

It was very cheap to fix.

General Comments:

I have put extractors and a sports exhaust on at a reasonable price and found I now get slightly better petrol economy out of it though age is starting to catch up on it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2005

1974 Mazda 808 1.6 Unleaded

Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.6 Unleaded Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 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 acquired67000 miles
Most recent distance67800 miles
Previous carToyota Soarer

Summary:

Cheap, reliable and immaculate

Faults:

So far, nothing has gone wrong with the car. I have had it about 2 months now, and the little car has been great.

We had to replace the rocker gasket seal upon purchasing the car, because of a small leak of oil, but apart from that the car has only needed, a few hoses replaced and flush of brake fluid.

General Comments:

When I purchased the car, it was fitted with a reconditioned 323 engine. That had only done 7000 kilometers since it was installed. The lady who owned the car before me bought it brand new and owned it ever since. She has kept the little thing in pristine condition. A credit to her. No rust what so ever and the brake pads and tyers always checked and replaced when needed.

The color of my 808 is a bit of an of put though, its lime green, but being so, it does have an immaculate paint job. It is automatic, which was rare for the 808's, but I really did want a manual, but couldnt pass up the chance to own the well kept car.

My friend who is a mechanic does all the servicing for me. Mainly because he works for Mazda and doesn't want to see my money go down the drain.

A new paint job won't be too far down the track, and then it won't hurt the eyes so much anymore. Great car, that runs well, drinks minimal petrol and just loves to start on those cold mornings.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th June, 2003

1975 Mazda 808 Wagon 1.3

Year of manufacture1975
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 6 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.0 / 10
Distance when acquired500000 kilometres
Most recent distance650000 kilometres
Previous carDaihatsu Terios

Summary:

Good first car or done up good show car

Faults:

There hasn't been too many things I haven't replaced or repaired on this car. I have owned a few 808 wagons and sedans mostly I used them for parts and I have a 2 mates that also own 808 wagons. so I'll just tell the common faults that happen to all 808s.

Wheel alignment constantly needs ajusting even after all front end parts have been replaced with new ones.

Door seals leak and you can't buy genuine rear door seals and the door seals you can get cost a lot.

All 4 speed gear boxes thrush bearings go.

They all seem to rust in the bottom corners of the front windscreen, under rear side windows, inthe gutters and the bottom of doors. There's an easy way of preventing bottom of doors rusting, they rust because drainage holes getting clogged up so keep holes clean.

Rear seat's clips for holding seats up break.

Car was constantly getting broken into so I put solex locks on, people continued to try to break in with coat hangers, but solex locks are spring loaded so it won't unlock, but the plastic door lock clips would snap and they don't get made any more.

General Comments:

808 wagons are extremely rare, that is why I've currently got it off the road. I'm putting a 13B fuel injected turbo rotary engine in it. I'm also painting it and cleaning up the interior.

It is currently painted Holden Cameo Yellow and that is the same color as it originally was, so I'm going to paint it the same yellow with a pearl through it.

If you are a bit of a rev head you should definitely put fat tyres on this car as they don't handle the best. They hang on to the corner really well until the last second when the body roll shifts then they slide right out and are extremely hard to control when this happens.

This car is suitable for car shows as any car over 25 years old are vintage and people realy enjoy seeing an 808 wagon as there are very few left, my car was a show car until I had an accident in it, but it will be once again soon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th April, 2003

Average review marks: 6.4 / 10, based on 7 reviews