1994 Mazda 121 from UK and Ireland


Brilliant performance and reliability


Did not start once at 65000 miles. Fuel filter replacement fixed the problem.

Replaced CV joint at 110000.

General Comments:

Very reliable small car. I would not mind to get another of they would not discontinued.

Reason to sell - my family is getting bigger.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2005

1994 Mazda 121 GLX 1.3 16v from UK and Ireland


Not Nippy or Economical by Any Means!


Nothing has actually gone wrong with the car at all in the sense of anything breaking or failing

- only routine items like replacing corroded brake lines have been necessary.

The brake disks/rotors have had a habit of warping though - these were replaced a few years ago, but have warped yet again. They were warped at 16,000 miles when I bought the car!

General Comments:

The car is very cute and distinct - probably the reason my mother does not want to get rid of it!

I think the fuel economy is terrible for a car of its size and performance.

The car averages 31 MPG and is normally driven very conservatively.

The gearing seems to make the car sluggish unless you are absolutely thrashing it.

I had the car checked out at one of those Bosch engine diagnostic centres assuming that something was wrong with the car - the technician said that the engine was running like new and everything was as it should have been when it left the factory.

Personally, I am not convinced as it does not feel like a 75HP car at all.

It may well be the Automatic gearbox making the car feel more sluggish, however the previous two automatic cars she owned were very responsive indeed and averaged around 40MPG - that was a Honda Civic (1335cc same as the one Bruce Willis drove in Pulp Fiction!) and a Nissan Sunny 1.6SLX. She also had a 1000cc Mini Automatic which was also economical and nippy too.

If anybody has any information on whether or not 31MPG is normal for a 1.3 Mazda 121 Automatic please drop me a line at gav_davidson@hotmail.com.

According to the used car guides it should be doing 38-51MPG! I'd really like to get to the bottom of this as the car is so reliable otherwise :)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th February, 2004

16th Jan 2005, 10:37

I just popped back and noticed your comment.

I'll check out the dragging brakes next time I'm home - I'm overseas most of the time..

She did have a problem with the handbrake not disengaging fully.

The weird thing is I tried coasting the car in neutral and it did not feel like it was dragging at all.

I'll get to the bottom of this before it dies I'm sure ;-)

It is still running perfectly - just gutless and a guzzler to boot!

24th Aug 2008, 14:20

Make sure you're not using an oil that is too heavy ;)

25th Dec 2008, 08:27

I have the same car with manual gearbox. It is outstanding in fuel economy for a 1993 car.

I get 7-8lt/100km in the city and 5.5-6 on the highway (up to 130km/h). The car accelerates very well up to 100km/h, then it starts feeling sluggish up to 130. With much effort you can see 160-170 on the speedometer.

I think you have to blame the auto gearbox, both for fuel economy and lack of power. 5 gears are tighter and run the car at the correct revs.

But of course it's boring using the stick in the city. It's the same old story with manual and auto gearboxes. Cars that don't have the power shouldn't be paired with auto gearboxes, especially with 3 or 4 gears.

The best gearbox in a small car that I have ever driven is the auto-semi auto smart 2008. 5 gears, full auto, correct gear changes, and if you want to prepare for an overtake or drive even more economically, you can shift your own gears as you wish. A little slow in changes though...

For the brakes: I change one pair of disks every 3 brake pad changes, and about one set of rear brakes every 60-70000km.

Be aware that you must change all the brake fluid every 2-3 years, and check-replace the rear brake cylinders on suspect of leakage or clogging. I changed them at 170.000 km. Cost for rear cylinders, rear brake pads and full fluid change 130euros (in Greece). Not of course at a Mazda dealer!