1993 Mazda 323 1.6L 4 cylinder from North America


Excellent and reliable part of our family, and 24 years old!


We redid the brakes and rear sway bar, which really helped the handling. Mind you, the sway bar fell off from rust. It was a cheap fix.

Overall getting everything redone has been amazingly affordable with our good, local small town mechanic.

Replaced the gear box... drives like new now. Also new front struts. Handles so well now. Really fun to drive.

Changing the winter tires in the driveway is also easy.

We hope to keep it running regularly.

General Comments:

We love this little car. It's been named Maggie and is part of our family. The hood is a different colour from the teal green body. And it's taken us on road trips all over British Columbia where we live. For a 24 year old little hatchback, it's just so versatile and reliable. Fun to drive, and it gets looks... as it's got the retro look now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th March, 2017

1993 Mazda 323 LX 1.3 petrol from Norway


Simple, well-engineered car. Prone to rust


Driven by a middle-aged woman through salt until acquired by an underwriter. Horizontal rear stabilizers rusted in half bilaterally. Couldn't notice stability reduced by much. 6x4 cm hole in the left channel beneath the rear edge of front door, also due to rust. The undercarriage looked a bit cancer-eaten. It was pitted from corrosion, seemingly with a greenish tint.

The right CV-boot was split, CV-joint making noises accordingly. Replaced the stabilizers, re-greased and patched the CV-boot, oil-sprayed the underside, oiled the insides of the channels. Running fine.

General Comments:

Car weighs close to a metric ton, somewhat reduced by rust-loss. It sits low, responds well. Makes an audible noise, telling you how it's doing. It seems to be made by smart people, with its many practical tweaks, however, with little supply of salt-resistant material to build from. Everything on the car is quite thin. I guess it would fold up nicely on impact.

The mileage is quite good. Apart from corrosive problems and poor crash-test results, the car seems trustworthy. It's a nice car. Easy fixing and cheap parts.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th October, 2011

1993 Mazda 323 SE B6 SOHC from North America


The little car that could!


Nothing went wrong with the car in a year and a half of ownership.

When I bought it, the car needed brakes and both CV joints. After that was fixed, I only changed the oil.

This car is extremely simple and very reliable. The engine itself is a non-interference motor, so in an event a timing belt breaks, your valves and head will not be damaged.

General Comments:

This is an awesome form of transportation. If you need something to get you from A to B, this is the car. It will always start, always run and never give you trouble.

My car was the bare bones car with 5 speed, and no power options. Steering was manual, but I found it to be very direct and communicative. The car was fairly comfortable too; the tall roof allows it to feel much more spacious than it is. Folding back seats allow for a rather huge trunk space.

On the performance side... well there really isn't any. The car has 82 hp from the factory, and it was never intended to be used as a sports car. It will cruise at 70-75, but don't expect it to break 105. Acceleration is tolerable, but to get the car going you really need to work the engine.

To sum it up, this is an awesome, reliable daily driver car. It will always start and get you to where you need to go. If you don't care about the look and need a basic transportation, this is the car!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2009

1993 Mazda 323 Astina GLX 1.6 SOHC Carb from Australia and New Zealand


A Sheep in Wolves clothing, but good nevertheless


Other than regular servicing, the car has been very reliable, although there are a few niggly things with it as you would probably expect from a 14 year old car, such as:

Idling has always been erratic, it varies between about 800rpm and 1300rpm, this probably has an effect on fuel economy, the carburettor could probably do with a service.

There is no gate between 5th gear and reverse (which it should have) though this isn't really a problem, but is a bit odd.

Bad steering vibration and brake pedal pulsation under braking, replacement of rear discs, and machining of fronts has not fixed this, but it has improved it greatly.

Has some corrosion on the edge of the rear left wheel arch and below the boot seal, unusual for a car of this age (in New Zealand anyway) think this is the result poor accident repairs.

The seats have a thread-like insert, which is wearing on the drivers seat, every time I vacuum the car out I have to cut a few more threads off. The steering wheel is quite worn, and has separated from the inner wire at the top - fairly common for 1990s Mazda's & Japanese Ford's.

The front seats could go back a bit further (I'm 6ft and can only just manage) though with the seat right back already there is only around 3-4in of space before the back seat.

An odd design feature is when I have my left foot on the foot rest, I cannot put the heater to the windscreen de-mist setting, as my foot is in the way of the control!

General Comments:

The fastback-like styling and pop-up headlights certainly give the car that something else, which similar cars (Toyota Corolla, Mitsubishi Lancer, and its Ford Laser cousin) certainly lack. It really stands out in a class of boring hatchbacks, and it looks like it is much faster than it really is.

1.6 engine is very reliable and simple to maintain, in contrast to the ex japan import models (which look the same, but have all the mod cons). Is also quite economical when driven nicely.

Handling is quite positive, with minimal body roll compared to similar models. The 64kW provided by the 1.6 single cam engine doesn't match the handling capabilities, the 1.8 GT variant with 103kW is the one to go for in that respect.

Good for pottering around town, it can cope on long runs, but it is noisy and less refined than a 2+ litre car, e. g a 626 or similar - which has better gear ratios and more power (for overtaking all of the people in 323s).

In conclusion; it's an ideal first or second car, or even just a cheap hack. It is perhaps the one of the newest cars that is simple enough the average person to maintain. Looks good for what its worth, likes going around corners, but not up hills. Don't bother trying to tow anything with it either (other than a small load of green waste maybe).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th August, 2007