1988 Mazda 323 Reviews - Page 4 of 6

1988 Mazda 323 4x4 Turbo 1.6 DOHC turbo 4 from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership1999
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.6 DOHC turbo 4 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired147000 kilometres
Most recent distance177000 kilometres
Previous carChevrolet Camaro

Summary:

Cheapest Turbo 4x4 you can buy, and one of the best

Faults:

Blown Head Gasket due to suspected heater hose rupture.

Alternator died and had to be replaced.

Fuel gauge stopped working.

General Comments:

This is a great performance car on a budget, with a lot of luxury features for its day.

Even though it is a two-door, the back seats are quite reasonable for a hatchback of this type.

Mine is lowered with Koni shock absorbers and heavy duty springs, and has an aftermarket exhaust. This makes the car handle like nothing else in the price range, and I have never lost control under any conditions at any speed.

I also have a boost gauge, Momo steering wheel and aftermarket gear shift knob.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th January, 2003

18th Apr 2009, 06:36

I have one of these cars, and upgraded the turbo, the intercooler, the ECU and the exhaust, and turned the boost up. Now I'm getting two fifty horses at the wheels and could not be happier with the car. Never had a problem even with stock internals, and at high boost the car is my little pocket rocket.

1988 Mazda 323 BF 4x4 Rallye 1.6 turbo from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.6 turbo Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired85000 miles
Previous carMazda 323

Summary:

Go out and buy one now!

Faults:

Nothing has gone wrong with the car so far.

I did have a bit of a mare replacing the front pads because the retaining pins were stuck and I needed to hacksaw them off. Replacement parts were easily found and cost £4.95 for a set of 4 (enough for both front brakes).

The ride is very comfortable considering how low the car is, but it can be a little bouncy on some of the larger bumps.

The 4x4 system with floating planetary mid differential for full time 4 wheel drive does not slow the car when cornering, round corners you have the sense that the tires are glued to the road, even in the wet you have to be pushing hard to lose traction.

The servicing and running costs are no more than you would expect to pay for the average car even when taken to a Mazda dealer.

Warning, if you drive any car like a racing car you have to expect it to brake down as much as a racing car.

General Comments:

Forget all your kids modified monstrosities, Novas, Fiestas and even 5 turbos, this car is already eat your pants fast with an in-line 4-sylinder, 16valve, Double Over Head Cam with inter cooled turbocharger and weighing 1110kg will propel you to 60 mph in around 7.5 seconds and at 75mph will run at a respectable 28.8mpg.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2002

2nd Apr 2003, 09:54

I also own this car. It's great. However, I've never seen another and know next to nothing about it. Could anybody tell me if it is a rally homologenization job.

12th Jun 2003, 04:47

There are several different versions of this car with subtle, but different looks; the car I have is the Rally version with the old style front end. Other versions include the Lux that has all the added extras the Rally did not have, electric windows, central locking, air con and a body kit. Then we have the full on Homologation rally versions with no interior and basic spec, but to include Mazda speed mechanicals, seem welded shell and roll cages.

1988 Mazda 323 4x4 16v DOHC 1.6 turbo from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture1988
First year of ownership2002
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 1.6 turbo Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 0 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.3 / 10
Distance when acquired98000 miles
Most recent distance98000 miles
Previous carFord Escort

Summary:

It will put one hell of a smile on your face!

Faults:

Gear box, Transfer unit, Prop-Shaft and Rear Differential.

General Comments:

I love the car, best one I have ever owned. The only problem you have when it all goes wrong is getting hold of spare parts, the car is so rare now that most scrap dealers don't even know what it is! If I can't get this one fixed I will start all over again and look for another one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th September, 2002

16th Jul 2003, 07:19

Well I started all over again a found another one. I have a whole car worth of spare parts now!

13th Jun 2006, 17:06

That's the way to do it, I also own one of these cars and done the same thing, got a whole spare car, as I found out that parts for them are not cheap.

Average review marks: 8.1 / 10, based on 23 reviews