I have to say that this is probably the best looking shape of 323F they ever made. The 1994-1998 5-door looks better than most other hatchbacks on the road. One thing that Mazda did wrong here is giving the car such a high ride height and over sized wheel arches. I have just got my Intrigue lowered by 40mm and it now looks great in my opinion! Although the ride is not as good now it handles better and looks even sleeker. I wonder why Mazda set the suspension so high on these cars?
The Intrigue is a very good quality car. Mine has covered almost 100,000 miles and the seats, steering wheel and dash show no signs of wear!
Emerald green paint is rust free and is well suited to the car. If only I could find some leather seats!
1.5i is very good on fuel, on the motorway between 70-80mph 46mpgis always returned. It could be more responsive, but it's only a 1.5 with 90bhp, so it copes well for a heavy car. 114mph top speed is fine:.)
Unfortunately Mazda seem to have lowered the specification of the 1998 323F's compared to a friends 1995 1.5GLX model for example. Little things like the leather gear lever gaiter, door courtesy lights and lidded storage pockets, seat back map pocket, drivers side vanity mirror, illuminated cigarette lighter socket have all been dropped. Obviously towards the end of this model Mazda were trying to cost cut!
The special editions are the best looking as all, but the Figaro and Atlantis models have 15" alloys and a bodykit. Front fogs and lowered suspenion are a must if your bothered about looks! Watch out for the standard Air-con button- all cars have it however only cars from late 1997 actually have it as standard!
The only negative points I find about the car is as mentioned above:the high standard ride height, small arches, standard A/C button even if not fitted, limited colour choice, road noise on some services, firm ride, that they are no longer being made!
We also have a new Mazda 3 sport- the only other small family sized car that I think has been styled with some effort and flair that the company has ever produced.