1999 Mazda 323 Sting 1.3 carb from South Africa


Utterly reliable!


Absolutely nothing, apart from a dead battery once.

General Comments:

A simple and extremely reliable car overall.

The seats could have been more comfortable.

Handling was very poor, especially around corners, but what can you expect on 13 inch wheels?

The car was eventually written off when a truck drove into the back of it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th June, 2013

1999 Mazda 323 F BJ 1.5L DOHC 16v from Finland


Most economical car of its class


1 ball joint and 1 ABS sensor at 200,000 kms.

A few rattling panels in the cabin.

Paint starting to fade, and some rust bubbles already appearing on the wheel arches.

General Comments:

The Mazda 323 is a good, reliable and cheap to maintain car. It's done 236k kms, and still runs like new. I plan to keep it until she dies (or I die).

The engine is virtually sound-less and smooth like a Swiss watch. Repairs and service are easy to do at home.

It does 100km in less than 6 liters. Takes less than three liters of engine oil, so I can change the oil twice with a 6L pack (hence cheaper).

Parts are also cheap for this car. In my personal opinion, this is definitely one of the cheapest cars to buy, run and maintain. Much more economical than other cars of this category I have owned, such as Corolla, Civic, Almera. Here in Finland, a Corolla/Civic will cost more than twice as much as a 323 of similar age/condition.

But there are some manufacturing flaws, which I would like to mention.

- Car seats are stiff and small, and also the suspension is slightly stiffer than my previous car (a Nissan Almera).

- Rear view mirrors are too small (vertically).

- Steering is too sensitive for my taste.

- Like any other Mazda, the car has started to rust, and I am sure it will be eaten away in a few years. Paint also fades on Mazdas easily.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th May, 2012

1999 Mazda 323 LXi 1.3 from UK and Ireland


A reliable car with modern looks, and a car I can live with


Nothing under the bonnet.

Body work around the rear arches is bubbling and starting to rust. Windscreen offside pillar is starting to rust.

General Comments:

Quite fast for a 1.3.

The most reliable car I have owned.

Seats are adequately comfortable on long distance journeys. Did a return trip from Edinburgh to London no problems.

Fuel consumption a bit high for a 1.3.

Steering seems very light.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th August, 2010

1999 Mazda 323 LXi 1.5 from UK and Ireland


Dull but worthy Japanese car


Needed a new exhaust and cat, but would have needed that regardless.

New lambda sensor fitted about 100,000 miles; cured all the flat spots and hesitancy.

New discs and pads fitted due to warping, but again nothing unusual in that.

General Comments:

Very lethargic for a 1.5 engine, very reluctant to rev. The 1.4 K series in the Rover was far more pleasant to use, and more economical. The Mazda engine is a bit more refined though.

I find the steering to be a little too sharp, they could have put a steering damper on it. Very short gearing too, 60mph is above 3000rpm, so between that and the flighty steering, it's a horrible car on the motorway.

Seats are reasonably good, but the suspension is a bit hard and the ride is choppy about town.

Very poor rust protection underneath. Front and rear subframes nearly eaten alive with rust, had to Hammerite them and all the chassis members, then sprayed underseal on top. That made the car quieter to sit in, and has kept the rust back a bit, but it should have been better protected in the factory.

Door bottoms and rear arches are bubbling too. That's my only major gripe with the car to be honest.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 5th June, 2010

15th Jun 2010, 14:00

You may try this to help the steering resistance: Get an injection needle for a grease gun, puncture the rubbers on the lower ball joints and the tie rod ends and inject fresh grease. It helped smooth the steering on one of our old cars. Also make sure the drive belt is in good condition and properly tensioned.