1999 Mazda 323 S 1.3 from Portugal


A car isn't only an engine


- It's very noisy on the highway, looks like the windows are open.

- When I go reverse with the wheels turned to the right, I listen to a "tac tac tac".

- If I turn the steering wheel from one side to the other when the car is parked, there's a noise again.

- The door panels inside the car are poor.

- All four electric windows regulators broken. very expensive parts here in portugal,

General Comments:

- Very good engine and gearbox so far

- Handles well

- Comfortable

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

Review Date: 6th February, 2010

21st Aug 2010, 17:56

The tac-tac-tac noise you hear on full left or right steering lock is indicative of the CV (constant velocity) joints in need of replacement. If you look behind your front wheels, where the rubber boot goes over the driveshaft, it's most likely to have split open, leaking the grease out, and letting dirt and other debris in, causing the CV joint part of the driveshaft to wear out, therefore giving you that click-click sound.

A good driveshaft shop would be able to carry out the replacement driveshaft fitment, at a fraction of the cost of a dealer.

1999 Mazda 323 LXi 2.0 TDi from UK and Ireland


Reliable and frugal workhorse


ABS light comes on sporadically for no apparent reason, but usually goes off again after a few minutes.

Front tyres wear quickly.

General Comments:

This is not a high performance car, but it's not meant to be. That's not to say it isn't powerful enough though.

It is completely reliable & very economical. It drives as well today as it did when I bought it 5 years ago.

The interior is a little boring, but adequate & comfortable enough for long journeys to mainland Europe from the UK.

Service items are a little more expensive than mainstream brands, but not extortionate.

Would I buy another one? Yes!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th July, 2007

26th Jul 2007, 08:49

Maybe you were a little too hard on the brakes?

22nd Jul 2015, 22:39

High torque rips the tyres to pieces quite quickly. I had had a few petrol and diesel engined cars. You also need to get a diesel alternator belt for a diesel car, and not use a petrol engined version as I did because they were out of stock. The belt was ripped to shreds in no time; again because of the extra torque.

1999 Mazda 323 F 1.4 from Slovenia


One of the best in its class


Passenger side door side airbag sensor failed.

Mass Airflow Meter failed at approximately 70000km, I`ve heard from other people they had the same problem.

Some water mysteriously leaks into the spare tyre and right rear light compartment.

Sometimes hard to put in reverse gear.

Some rust in the engine compartment. The paint is good and rust free, but bolts seem to like becoming rusty and I see this will become a problem in a few years.

Suspension parts a little too weak, needs new sway bars and other parts more often than one would expect to, but this can be due to hard driving on poor roads.

Very seldom the ABS light goes on for no particular reason and ABS stops working, solves itself after a few minutes and ABS starts working again.

Consumed two litres of oil in the last 15000 km, but was driven very very hard.

General Comments:

It may seem like a long list of failures, but that all that went wrong in the last 7 years with this car. What is important to me is that it never ever broke down on the road, always started from the first try and never complained no matter how hard it was abused.

The seats may not seem so good, but even on longer journeys you can live up with them. Cabin space is excellent for a car of this size, everything is made with simplicity and some gentle beauty.

Our car is in a soft golden colour and looks discreet, but beautiful. The paint is thin, but of high quality, not polished or waxed very often, but after 7 years still able to look as good as new. On the outside and inside it`s one of those cars that says I`ll do my best to serve you as good as I can and it has always proven to do so.

The 1.4 engine is too weak for this car, maybe good enough for soccer moms, but not even close for a teenager. Go for the 1.6 if you can.

The brakes could be better, same goes with the suspension. Very understeery when pushed hard, this was partially solved with good Michelin`s, but comparing to let`s say a Civic, in handling terms the Civic wins by a long shot. It`s not a drivers car, it feels best when driven at moderate speeds.

Our car is a car on which two teenager learnt how to drive and most of its kilometers were made in boy racer style, thus pushing the car to its limit very often. And it never failed, never crashed, never did anything to make you unhappy.

So, in conclusion. The Mazda 323 is a very reliable, friendly, roomy for its class, safe (4 airbags and a roll cage), discreet, thankful car. If you want a car to have no trouble with it then you are looking for the right one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th July, 2006

18th Aug 2007, 12:55

Update after one year. It now has 110000kms, one exhaust header gasket and one wheel bearing needed replacement.

The oil consumption went down, although it has never been driven as hard as this year. Last year I did two 1700km journeys in one day with 5 adults plus baggage and it never missed a beat or complained in any way. It`s a keeper.

5th May 2009, 14:32

Another update. Now around 125000km on the clock.

A/C needed regassing, some minor rust needed to be solved near lower door seals, it needed an idle adjustment, front arm stabilizers needed to be replaced, the front shocks are in need of replacement and the remote locking/unlocking does not work any more and it is not because of the battery in the remote.

Other than that, still very reliable and nice to drive.