17th Feb 2003, 15:27
Two weeks into ownership of my 2.0 sport and I can't enthuse enough about the quality of this car. Performance is strong if not red hot, although this is more than compensated for by its truly outstanding ability in the twisty bits. The level of equipment coupled with the price and reliability of the car mean that you get everything you need from a car of this type.
My only gripe so far would be it seems a little thirsty, although hopefully this will improve as the engine loosens with use.
26th May 2003, 07:17
I've done about 4500 miles so far in my 323F 2.0 sport and I'm very happy. The equipment you get is superb, everyone who has sat in it has been impressed by the interior and exterior. Handling is great and so is the mid-range acceleration, my only gripes are that it could be quicker 0-60 and it eats fuel. A good car to compare with the Mazda would be a Golf GTI TDI that has the same BHP, similar speed, but better MPG though slighly more expensive. I think the mazda looks better from the outside and a chap with a Golf TDI said the Mazda interior was better. If you want to be different then go for the mazda, for MPG go for the Golf. Mazda dealers have dropped the price of the 2.0 sport to £12500. (I'd like to hear from anyone who can tune the engine.)
29th May 2003, 08:17
Luv it Luv it Luv it.. Just purchased myself an R plate silver 323f 2.0l V6, leather throughout with all mod con electrics. Immaculate condition with low mileage. I do agree it is a bit thirsty, but man, it's a small price to pay for the sheer pleasure it brings everytime you slink into the driving seat and hear that engine rev. Get it onto either the country roads or the city bypass and its hard work to point it back in the direction of home. Out of all the cars I've owned over the years this one's by far a pure born pleasure seeker.
31st May 2003, 04:54
I purchased a new 323F 2.0 Sport 4 weeks ago and can't emphasize how much of an enjoyment it is to drive this car.
I have had an Escort 1.8si, a Megane 1.6 Sport Alize and neither come close to the Mazda. It has a lot more equipment for the price, It isn't quite as quick as the Escort, but the handling is far superior.
I can't ever remember enjoying driving a car as much as the Mazda Sport.
As mentioned all ready Mazda are selling these at £12500 New which is what I paid and have no complaints. I have also had a 6 CD changer fitted just to finish it off.
Well done Mazda.
18th Mar 2004, 02:38
After 2 years of driving a Mazda 626 2.0L whilst faultless and nippy, I decided at the age of 56 years I needed to up-rate my image with something a little more sporty. I got the best trade in at a Mazda garage and went for the Mazda 323F 2.0 Sport 2002 model. Whilst a little smaller inside and a slightly harsher drive than the 626, these points are forgotten against a much more exciting drive and the "WOW" factor. The seats are comfortable (especially as I am only 5'2" tall) and the visibilty is great. Much better than the 626. I have only owned the 323F for 2 weeks now, but am already planning a trip to Germany to try out the autobahns! At 2nd owner price of £8200 I think I have got a bargain, and I am beginning to feel like a NEW WOMAN.
19th Dec 2005, 19:51
I have a Pearl black Mazda 323 Sport 1.8 16V sport, I bought it with 39K and now I'm at 65K.
The interior isn't as nice as the later facelift model. In my car the interior is a light grey blocky pattern cloth. all I can say about that is that the shock gets less and less as time goes on. some of the plastics can scratch easily, but its all put together very well and durable my girlfriend likes how the passenger seat folds down to be a table :)
I like the body kit, its very sporty looking as standard, I have a bit of a boyracer split personality, so I decided to have some 18" alloys fitted, it has improved the look of the car and it now has more presence on the road.
However for some reason it gets mistaken for an estate sometimes by some people..
Performance and Economy.
The performance is pretty good for the 1.8 127hp engine - it pulls cleanly and with urgency at half throttle in the lower rev range. The "valves" kick in after 4000 rpm and then it screams to the redline. you can buy parts to make the engine faster from America, I found a turbo conversion while surfing though..
The economy is only just reasonable if you are very gentle with the throttle. If you drive as the car wants you to (third gear) then the car does get thirsty. I'm considering an LPG conversion.
Brakes are fine, they look small, but are quite powerful and haven't ever faded out on me. The ABS is very clever and will cut in at the right time.
The suspension is too much on soft side as standard, it grips the roads thanks to the traction control however it tends to lean over a little too much. The traction control is a little too quick to slow you down when powering out of a bend luckily there is an off button for it.
I bought some Premium springs (progressive rate) and it has improved the comfort and road holding abilities of the car by so much, I can't even think how I even drove it with the standard suspension! now I can (if I wanted to) throw it at a bend and it will stay level.
The engine mounts are a bit too soft too, I bought an uprated one much improvement here.
Now this is why I love the car so much. the legendary reliabilty Mazda is famed for is totally true. one thing though after about 30k you will need new endlinks for the anti roll bar they start rattling, they are an inherently a weak design in my opinion, but the good news is they are reasonably priced (even at the dealers) and should only take an hour or two in labour to change.
I would buy one used, its definitely worth the money and a little higher mileage shouldn't be a worry these cars run forever..
15th Jul 2007, 17:32
I've owned a Black Metallic 02 plate 323f 2.0l Sport for the last 11 months now after owning two 94-98 323fs previously. This model is even better to drive than the previous 323f incarnation although possibly not quite as aesthetically pleasing. My previous 323f was a V6 which was great fun, but more costly to own than this version.
The 323f Sport is a genuinely fun car to drive, pretty quick off the mark and great at cornering as there's very little body roll when you do. Any twisty roads you take it down it hugs the road really well and the brakes are decent too.
The whole car is well screwed together and reliability of the car has been 1st class which has always been the case with all my 323s.
Even the interior seems nicer on this car than other cars I've checked out in the same class although for some reason trying to find one with leather interior is quite difficult. If anyone is considering getting one of these cars I would recommend it. You can get a decent one now for under 5k and they all come with air-con, traction control & electric everything. The 2001 face lift given to the 323 Sport makes it the best looking car in the whole range (especially in black!).