1997 Mazda Lantis GG Classic 1.6 Litre petrol


It's a good everyday driver, reliable and easy on the wallet


Steering wheel grip comes loose (can rotate it with your hands like a motorbike throttle) and caused me to fail a roadworthy.

Stock floor mats don't stick to the floor, and always ended up tucking under the pedals (I think the grip on the bottom of them had worn off).

The gear lever doesn't lock into gears sometimes, like it won't engage the gear (quite often when shifting into reverse, very rarely in any of the forward gears).

Struggled climbing up hills.

The clutch acts quite late in the pedal action (pedal comes out quite a bit before the clutch actually engages with the transmission).

General Comments:

Good performance, even with heaps of weight in the car, on the flat or slight upward incline (but for some strange reason, lacked power when going up a moderate to steep incline, even if it was only me in the car).

Very good fuel economy. Never did any tests for economy or anything, but it got me to work for two weeks (20 minute drive each way) before I had to fill the relatively small tank.

Good reliable car. Cheap service bills, and being a common car make, parts are readily available and cheap (though I rarely needed parts as the car was generally in good order).

I learnt to drive in this car, first car I bought. I loved it so much, I kept it until earlier this year when I shifted countries.

Cabin is a bit dated, but the exterior of the car was quite nice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th November, 2012

1994 Mazda Lantis Type R 2.0


Undercover beast


Rear caliper seized at 118,000. I have learnt that these cars have a design fault with the rear calipers.

ABS light came on at 135,000. Was not fixed even by replacing sensors and checking wiring. Could be fault with the ECU, but have not tested it.

Drivers seat mount broken at 142,000. Another design fault.

Drivers window switch broken at 142,000. Wear and tear.

Last week the engine started to miss. This was the first ever fault I experienced with the engine. I was very surprised.

Have put in new spark plugs, dizzy cap, fuel filter and done load test on leads, but it's still missing. Time for an auto electrician.

General Comments:

My car is the hatch back model in black.

This car has compressed springs, free flow exhaust and pod filter. Along with the Type R suspension and the V6 engine, it has been the most favourite car to drive I have ever owned.

Lots of people love the sound of it, as well as me, and the sound has been likened to a non turbo Skyline.

I am impressed with the acceleration, handling and speed. A very impressive undercover beast at the best of times considering its age.

Even though it only cost me $4500 NZ, many of my friends who have expensive cars get a little jealous when I start it up and take off.

I'm sold on this model (5 speed V6) despite its minor design faults. I will keep it forever as well as buy more to use for parts or another car.

I also love the aesthetics of the car, which I believe inspired the Mazda 6. I see many new model cars these days that have similar proportions to the Lantis hatchback.

Coming down the road (front on), the black and red models can almost be mistaken for a VR Commodore.

Even though the engine has just started playing up, it has been the most reliable car I have ever had. And I've had about 25 to date.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th July, 2009

1994 Mazda Lantis Type R 2.0L V6


Definitely a car to keep for a long time


Had slight overheating problem, now fixed after radiator fluid change.

General Comments:

This car is very quick, but when over 3,500rpm, the exhaust note is very 'tinny'. But I suppose it is normal for a V6.

I've only put in a POD filter as an engine modification, and the pull between 2,000rpm and 3,400rpm sounds mean. Easy to install as well, approximately 15-20 to install.

New Head unit, Amp, 2 12" Subs, Tints, Alarm are other modifications done. The rest is secret till further notice ;)

Its handling is very good for a car of its type, nice and flat through 90 degree corners at 40-50km/hr, no under steer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th December, 2005