1983 Mazda 323 Deluxe 1.5 Single carb from Australia and New Zealand


Zippy, reliable, excellent first car


A distributor module blew after a couple of weeks.

A tail light globe blew (nice warning light to tell you though!)

Various bits of trim coming off (normal after 20 years!)

General Comments:

Extremely reliable car compared to what I was expecting. I've done a couple of medium length trips (1000ks) with no problems. It doesn't overheat, it doesn't make strange noises, changes gears very smoothly and reliably.

Accelerates very quickly if you drive it like a manual (hold it in first till 5000 rpm ~=60kph, second up to about 95kph). Otherwise it changes a bit early into third for my liking, and can be a bit sluggish in the 60-80kph range. VERY responsive in first.

Fuel economy is very good - 35 litres goes about 410 ks.

When I got it, an immobiliser and central locking had been installed, which is a nice touch. In general, very comfortable cloth seats, rear passengers don't complain about space, and for camping, the carrying capacity is brilliant.

Fortunately takes unleaded petrol without complaint - runs much better on premium though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th January, 2005

1983 Mazda 323 Deluxe 1.5 carby from Australia and New Zealand


I like the fact that the parts are interchangeable between the, Mazda and Laser models


There was a persistent coolant leak, that I could not find. Finally I traced it to the heater hoses. This is still a problem.

It is a bit Smokey when starting up, however I am assured that this is just the valve stem seals. They are replaceable so that is good.

Rear wheel cylinders were partially seized in the open position. Had them renewed.

Rear brake drums were scored, and the brake shoes were down to a minimal thickness. I have had these faults corrected.

It constantly blows oil out all over the gearbox, I found this to be the distributor oil seal.

The front suspension bolts for the lower control arm were loose. So loose that I could unscrew them by hand.

The air conditioner idler pulley nut loosened itself and came off while traveling at 80 kph. We heard a loud bang under the bonnet and saw something fly out under the back of the car, it was the idler pulley exiting the vehicle. I guess it decided to try its luck elsewhere.

Had the front windscreen replaced, it then leaked like there was no windscreen. After 3 call outs the installers decided to put in another screen. It still leaks a bit, but never leaked before.. *sigh*

General Comments:

Other than the above, I purchased the car for $400's. It was and still is a complete bargain. It drives well, and gets me where I need to go.

The interior is rather Spartan, and this is the longest I have ever been without a radio, I am become very frightened of all the noises it makes. ;)

I have fitted new wheel cylinders and at $10's a pop, you can't go wrong. I have also had the rear brakes serviced, so I am rather pleased and I have fitted new front pads.

The engine still has a lot of life left in it. I like to play with my cars, this one is no different.

I have added a set of extractors to it and I am getting a 2 1/2" system with a free flow muffler. I plan on fitting either a 28/32 weber or a 32/36 weber with the auto choke. I hate manual chokes. I am going to modify the cylinder head and the camshaft like I did with my Mini S.

The engine in it is fantastic and fairly strong. The car pulls through the gears reasonably well.


2nd-85 (I could have got 90)

3rd-110km (still wanted to go harder)

4th-? unknown

5th-? unknown.

This was with my standard exhaust before the extractors.

However it suffers badly from excessive body roll and bounce. When you corner you can feel the rear end shift across the road a tad. Hitting pot holes feels like your driving your wheels up through your suspension towers. Speed bumps make every thing not tied down fly up into the air even at low speeds.

Other than the above the car is a great little thing.

Plus parts are easy to get, being that you can use the equivalent from a laser of the same year model.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th September, 2003

21st Nov 2003, 01:17

I just had the Electronic ignition die on me. I had to have the pick up unit replaced at a total cost of $230.

The mechanic has informed that my carburetter is stuffed and now it backfires, farts and runs on every time I turn the engine off. It will cost me about $200 for a reconditioned unit.

I have however fixed the coolant leak problem. It was the pipe that goes from the heater to the engine.

The fuel sender unit has been playing Mary hell with me, I never know how much fuel is in it. That has now been corrected. The speedometer says it is hitting the 396000 km mark.

3rd Nov 2006, 00:27

I have a problem where it doesn't always start first go, it takes a little bit to turn. The mechanics can never find anything wrong and it fires up immediately for them.

I also agree, the engine in these things are great. I have given it a run:

1st gear: 40km/h.

2nd gear: 75km/h.

3rd gear: 120km/h.

But after this I got a red light, I am sure that it would have kept going to a decent high speed, it gets a bit shaky, but it pulls really well.