2003 Mazda 323 from North America


Reliable, simple and great on gas


I had to replace the horn and the muffler.

General Comments:

Extremely reliable car, I actually consulted with the Lemon Aid guide, and the comments received at carsurvey.org before I bought it.

Simple, reliable A to B car. Great for big city driving, great on gas.

I don't like the seats, and water runs into the car off the windshield when your window is open.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st July, 2006

16th Apr 2009, 08:37

Did you say "great on gas"? What are your real consumption figures please - i.e. km per litre or how many litres per 100km say (could be in mpg).

I have 4-door saloon 1999 Protege (1.6 litre, auto trans) and I make about 10-11 kn/litre without the use of AC and with careful, regulated right foot in town. On highways and less busy country roads, cruising at regulated speed (90-100km/h) I can average 13.5- 14.4km/l.

My only worry is fuel consumption (tight pocket!) 14.4km/l.

Overall, reliability of the car is without question and I'd go for another Mazda 3 or Protege equivalent in future, preferably a diesel (2.0 turbo) or the modern smooth 1.6l 108bhp TDCI as seen in the Ford Focus.

2003 Mazda 323 GSi 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Great car spoilt by one serious issue


It broke down at 10k miles- dealer said this was unheard of!

General Comments:

This has to be one of the best handling cars on the road today- it has no body roll. This means the ride is firm especially in the back.

The 1.6i engine is refined and quick enough.

Seats are well padded- not too firm, not too soft, excellent comfort.

Spec is high with climate and sunroof, traction, alloys, leather wheel, 4 airbags.

The high rear seat is 50/50 split and slides back and forward- very useful idea and gives a good view.

Front headrest for driver moves forward and back to stop neck ache- excellent.

The sound system is very poor- volume does not go up enough, though wheel controls are cool.

Biggest problem is body rigidity. The front doors and roof are very flexible and shudder when any door is closed. The doors feel very lightweight and almost flimsy. This is not normal for Mazda and our newly acquired 1996 model has much more solid panels.

Overall it is a lovely car, ideal for deterring people from driving fast at motorway speeds because there is quite a bit of road noise on some surfaces and the revs always seem quite high, i.e. 5000rpm at 100mph.

Looks good from the front as ours has a front spoiler and is in starry blue mica- probably the best, least dowdy colour!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th May, 2005

2003 Mazda 323 GXi 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Basic, but a nice, sporty and faithful choice

General Comments:

I used to own an old Nissan and this is a big step up. Its really light to drive and nifty round corners. Mine is Garnet red and it comes up really well when clean.

Radio is big and easy to use and steering wheel controls are a bonus. I added a single slot CD player which can only be bought from a dealer and is quite pricey.

Not the most well specced car, the GSi 1.6 I believe has a lot more stuff like alloys, trac control, front fogs, sunroof etc etc.

Would look nicer with body coloured door handles and mirrors. Comfy seats.

The interior is well screwed together, but like the Honda Civic it looks cheaper than it is. Nice to have something a bit different.

Very smooth once you get used to the clutch operation, but it would be nice if the sound insulation was better especially tyre noise in the rear which also has a bumpy ride.

Sooner have this to be a bit different and its unlikely to cause me trouble.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th April, 2005