1986 Mazda 323 Reviews - Page 4 of 4

1986 Mazda 323 4WD rally 1.6i 16 valve turbo from Germany

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1993
Most recent year of ownership1994
Engine and transmission 1.6i 16 valve turbo Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 4 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired105000 kilometres
Most recent distance180000 kilometres
Previous carFord Granada


A wolf in sheep's clothing


Absolutely nothing... the inner door knob at the deck lid broke and that's all...

Yes, after 75.000 km it was in need of new brake blocks, but I think that's the normal waste if you like high speeds...

General Comments:

Great performance - not everybody expects you to have the power of 150 HP.

No repairs needed, but a very bad fuel mileage for such a small car... 12-16 l/100 km (~ 17.5 MPG Brit.).

But easy to drive and highly comfortable for a sporty car.

75.000 km in 10 months without any repair - a never expected experience!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd July, 2001

1986 Mazda 323 4WD 1.6 twin cam 16v turbo from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1992
Most recent year of ownership2000
Engine and transmission 1.6 twin cam 16v turbo Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.5 / 10
Distance when acquired70000 kilometres
Most recent distance156000 kilometres
Previous carToyota Corolla SE Liftback


A performance 4WD hatchback with excellent handing


Cracked a crankshaft back in 1994 but otherwise only wear and tear items.

General Comments:

Good little sporty hatchback. Being 4WD gives the car great handling in all conditions. It certainly chews through the gas though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 19th October, 2000

20th Aug 2002, 23:54

I had a '86 323 GTX, 4wd turbo. I bought real cheap cos it running on 3 cylinders with the turbo's waste-gate blocked off, it came complete with a James Bond portible smoke screen free of charge.

Once home I hooked up a boost gauge and took my smoke screen for spin. It hit 21psi of boost @ about 5200 rpm in 5th gear, I only stopped cos the clutch was slipping. The acceleration was unreal, we pushed back in the seats like nasa test pilots.

Not bad for a car that had three detonated pistons at the time.

It had been modified a lot: HKS pod filter, full 2 1/2" exhaust system, Toyota Celica turbo, front mounted intercooler, cams, polished and ported head, chipped, the airbag suspension had been replaced with KYB shocks & super low king springs plus heaps more, in short it was a weapon + it was red and every one knows red is the fastest colour.

After rebuilding the motor and putting the boost back to 9psi it was still an extremely quick little car that handled unreal. Even with the after market suspension it was very unstable if you hit a bump @ 160 kph and dam scary 200 kph plus, they are about as aerodynamic as a brick.

Problem was it was so unreliable, i'd drive it for 2 weeks and walk the next week while it was getting repaired. After the crank pulley nearly fell off and I had to have both the crank and pulley bushed so it could be refitted I sold the car, yip I sold my problem to some little unsuspecting 17 year old punk, and I made a lot of money on the car too.

I still regret selling it and miss it dearly, it might have been reliable, but it was quick, handles well and was fun to drive.

I fully recommend these little cars, but they are weak in the gear boxes and the crank pulley tends to fall off for no reason.

1986 Mazda 323 LX 1.3 from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership1999
Engine and transmission 1.3 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.5 / 10
Distance when acquired85000 miles
Most recent distance125000 miles
Previous carCitroen BX


Absolutely problem free.

General Comments:

This 1300 Mazda travelled daily over 200 miles and was a joy to own.

It felt very solid for it`s age and handled better than my other cars, a Citroen and a Polo as well as being better built. Fuel consumption was also very good averaging 40 mpg .

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd February, 2000

1986 Mazda 323 LX 1.6 from North America

Year of manufacture1986
Engine and transmission 1.6
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10


Not too much... continues to take repeated "floorings". Some mysterious problem, when the pedal is put to the mat... random surges (bucking-type surges) occur... beats me.... very annoying seeing as how I put the pedal to the floor quite often (for prolonged periods of time).

General Comments:

I recently took a long road trip and did a good 110mph prolonged for a few hours (about a steady 5300rpm), runs absolutely no different than it did when I left. Pretty good acceleration (considering 1.6L, 8 valve.) Not bad at all! No oil burning.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd February, 2000

10th Oct 2002, 14:19

For that surging problem you might want to check the fuel filter. Had the same problem with a Jetta...

27th Sep 2005, 00:16

Running at 5300RPM for several hours is a great way to help your engine last... plus you get such great MPG that way... the things people do to their cars... Hope you don't blow a rod next time...

1st Nov 2005, 12:25

I own a 1986 Mazda 323 (LX) my self and I repeatedly take it on long road trips and it is only a three speed automatic, but it takes a beating and I need to find parts could you help.

22nd Nov 2005, 00:32

Hi I just recently decided to fix up my uncles 1986 Mazda 323 DX I was hoping you guys can help me I need to know how to restore a car... this car is in pretty bad shape... i need to know what I got to do to it since it has been sitting for awhile... i also know that the fuel filter is disconnected I'm thinking that there is something missing I bought the fuel filter... but the two hoes... that go onto it... the bottom one just slides on right, but the top it has threads on the inside... my hoes don't have anything that would thread into it... what am I missing... where can I find it?

Thanks please someone help... i need to fix this car.

Average review marks: 7.4 / 10, based on 16 reviews