1990 Mazda 323 Base 1.6 litre soh from North America


Could not be more happier and more surprised... excellent little car


When I purchased the Mazda I had to replace the cv joints - the dealership paid half. After wards it was regular maintenance including battery, tires, exhaust and just recently a radiator. All items breakdown eventually and my repairs (as noted) for regular maintenance. Including tune-ups and oil changes likely cost 200 a year over a period of over nine years. good on ya Mazda... the car is not perfect. the front seats are not very supportive after a few hours in the saddles.. very reliable and cheap to run.

General Comments:

When I purchased the vehicles it had the most kilometers of anything I had previously owned. It was the first Japanese (goes without saying first Mazda) I had owned. As it turned it has lasted longer than a number of American cars that were purchased new or near new. The car is as tight as the I bought it. Sometimes however it does burn a little oil for a few blocks. My mechanic say not worry it is to expected as long as rectifies itself don't worry.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th May, 2005

21st Jul 2006, 18:45

August 2006 - still have the car and remains reliable.

Burns a bit of oil when cold, but OK after a block or two. Paint is starting to fad badly and needs a wee bit of cosmetic work... trivial.. really considering how reliable this vehicle has been since April 1996.. would consider purchasing a new Mazda (likely 3 or Protege) once this one blows up...

Good on ya... a lot of friends have sold several vehicles since I have owned this one.. usually because they were costing too much to repair... not in my case.

Will keep readers informed as time goes by.

29th Mar 2007, 21:58

March 26, 2007 - Imagine that 11 eleven years with a car that I had expected to own for a year. All these years it has only cost general maintenance. Yes at times it does smoke and burn oil when it is cold. Have to add one (sometimes two) litres of oil between oil changes. Once vehicle warms up it is fine. Still get excellent mileage. Most friends have either replaced their my 11 years or spent a fortune. I currently have 280k kilometers with rust around the wheel wells. At times I do consider buying another Mazda, but usually stop short. A combination of sticker shock and not wanting to waste money on something not needed. I am very impressed. It is interesting to note that the Mazda 323 - Protege and the Mazda3's have been on recommended list of consumer reports (not one year, but all) since I started the viewing the late 1980'. Way to go Mazda --- I must be honest I would not consider a Mazda built in association or by Ford...

Yes I am a Mazda fan.

8th Aug 2007, 22:22

August 8, 2007.

Still own the vehicle and reliable as ever. The paint has faded quite bad. I can polish the colour back, but not the shine. Will try putting on a clear coat as a test...

Will likely last another Canadian winter.

In brief purchased the car with 160,000 kilometers (100k miles or so) and not has close to 300... way to go Mazda.

In April it will be 12 years..

1990 Mazda 323 Base 1.8L from North America


A reliable spartan hatchback for people on the go


New O2 sensors.

Refurbished radiator and new hoses.

New rear brake system (under-body rust deteriorated drums). ~$700.

New gas tank (old one rusted out)

New Exhaust system and muffler.

Rear hatch seal problems. Replaced gasket with used one, and situation improved.

Lots of under-body rust, rust inside struts, under seats etc.

New front wheel bearings (~$400). Loud whrrrr sound started after rough drive through mud, bearing seals were shot.

Oil burning from engine. Engine ran solid, and passed emissions testing, but barely.

General Comments:

The test of a car is not how it works new. And not even necessarily how well it works after 10 years of meticulous care. The test of a car is how well it runs after 10 years of abuse.

After buying it I discovered my car had quite a history.. it was in a hard front end collision, and was rebuilt. The under-body was badly rusted due to being driven on salty roads. Despite all the abuse it had taken, the car ran very solid and jumped to life every time I touched the key. If the car had not been so rusty on the underside, I think I would have seen hardly any problems at all.

This car was the base model, with no side moldings, no rear wiper, no power steering etc. This is really an asset on older cars, as there is very little that can go wrong. The interior was spacious and comfy in the back for either people or lots of boxes.

The car was sold to a family member who promptly let it run out of oil. No comment. I think I could have seen 300,000 on this engine otherwise. The transmission never gave me a reason to think about it, and it just did as it was supposed to without incident.

The automatic version is quite gutless, but I have seen Manual transmission vehicles zip around quite nicely. Don't expect zip from the auto, but there is room in this car for a sports-car driver in the std.

I highly reccomend the Mazda 323 to anybody looking for a cheap hatchback with cheap and seldom repairs. There are lots of econo-boxes out there, but few of them can boast the reliablity of an import engine, and so many simple systems that simply work. I bought a car with a Mazda V6 in it based on this engine's reliability.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th March, 2005