1989 Mazda 323 LX, Model BG Hatchback 1.4 gasoline, 67hp from Germany


Great car for CHEAP and RELIABLE daily commute if you don't care about comfort, speed and safety


Had to replace the exhaust at 140.000 km.

The ignition controller failed at 160.000 km.

Head gasket broke at 200.000 km, after its replacement I found a crack in the radiator that might have been the initial cause of the failure. Replaced the radiator, too.

General Comments:

The Mazda 323 BG I own probably has the fewest extras you could get. Absolutely low-end. No power steering, 155mm-tires, no rpm-meter, no power windows, no electric locks, and of course the smallest engine ever available on this model.

I bought this car for just 900 Euros in 2001, and apart from the things mentioned above and the religious oil/filter changes every 10.000 km, there was nothing to worry about. The only time it let me down was when the head gasket was blown. Since then, it worked flawlessly until I garaged it in the summer of 2006 because I bought another car.

Apart from the engine being reliable, you need to be aware that it is only good when you need to travel from A to B at little costs. If you want anything more than that, for example want to overtake a truck now and then, keep in mind that the engine has no power at all. 67 hp feel like 50 here and you need to shift down to have a chance. It even may become dangerous when the car is fully loaded and you are trying to pull on a highway.

As always it is helpful when you are able to do the basic maintenance yourself. Replacing a head gasket would have cost more than the value of the car if it had been done at a Mazda dealer.

I bought my spare parts at a Mazda dealer who has been friendly and helpful whenever I had questions. Spare parts of Asian cars are generally more expensive than those of European cars (at least in Germany). But who cares about higher spare part prices when hardly anything ever breaks?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th October, 2006

1989 Mazda 323 SE 1.6 from North America


Cheap to use


The top of the radiator has a small crack so it leaks a little bit now and then Muffler is getting kinda loud.

Had to get new plugs, and plug wires.

General Comments:

I bought this car from a relative who got it at a car auction a couple of years ago. I paid $300 for it. Best investment ever made. Its cheap to run and is aw some with gas. The car I had before was a 1992 Chevy caprice, never had any problems with that yet, but it costs to much to use with gas prices the way they are. So now the caprice is parked and I'm using the Mazda, love the little car fun to drive and run around with.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th March, 2006

12th Mar 2006, 10:13

The mazda323 is the twin sister to the mercury tracer. I'vbeen bombing around in my tracer (89) for years while my plow truck doesn't need to get out there and pay the bills. the hatch back has loads of room for whatever I need to carry from store goods to 100lb critter feed and salt for ice control. The only problem is finding some parts-rear springs/struts are one. But I have been riding with one frozen up (strut) and a broken spring for 2 years now, so I guess that's not a big deal either.. great mpg and decent pick-up and fun for cheap... Why not.

1989 Mazda 323 DX 1.6 sedan from North America


Reliable urban transportation from point A to B


Engine oil seal replaced.

Transmission fluid leak (I hit a kerb and loosened the chamber nuts).

Rusty muffler, would need to be replaced soon.

Corroded front front struts, needs replacement as well.

General Comments:

My first car, never lets me down. got it for Cd$500. Amazingly well built, but showing signs of decay (natural for a 16 year old car).

Anaemic performance with the A/T. Highway driving is not recommended, since the low weight of the car coupled with wind resistance makes it vibrate a lot. Overall noisy ride as well. Good fuel economy (about 36 mpg even though I drive it quite hard).

Would recommend to anyone who needs economical and reliable transportation within city limits.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th September, 2005