Fun and economical car, although old enough parts are less easy to find
When I bought it, completely went through stuff like clutch, seals, timing belt, brakes, ball joints, CV boots, etc.
Started pushing lots oil out valve cover PCV breather into air cleaner. Assume something like a broken ring, but never disassembled it. These engines expensive to do internal repairs, cheap used engine usually better choice.
Bought low mile Japanese Mazda B6 to replace the OEM Mazda B3. They are physically identical and B6 bolts right in.
Also replaced the troublesome feedback carburetor with an old aftermarket Weber that I saved from VW Rabbit I used to own many years ago. Much more pleasant to tinker with, and I can now change oil filter without crawling under the car. It got rid of that much tubing and electric gizmos.
Oh, and I replaced the rear springs with same diameter front springs off some kind of old Triumph. Rides rougher, but I needed to be able to haul several bags dog and cat food without bottoming out.
Overall it's as close as you can come to a road legal go-kart, and wonderful in city traffic. Especially peppy with its "new" 1.6L engine and the Weber carburetor.
Very efficient body design, like the little shelf type dash.
Like the low sill when you open the hatch.
Wish it had the 5 spd overdrive transaxle, the 4 spd is not so good at highway speeds. Not a hard swap, just haven't run across a cheap Festiva 5 spd transmission.
The 12 inch tires are impossible to find, and expensive if you special order them. I switched to 155-80-13s using Mazda 323 wheels from junkyard. They only stand about inch taller and change gear ratio about 4% so not much difference. Geo Metro wheels are supposed to fit also, and I'm sure there are others.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th September, 2009