5th Nov 2008, 04:39
I recently bought the 323F 1.6 GSi (2002) and I must say that I am very impressed with it. It's plenty quick enough up to 40 mph and corners like a sports car but the ride is a little harsh and choppy around town, and on longer journeys you'd like an overdrive to lower the revs a bit, but having said that, the overall performance is very pleasing.
My previous car was a Rover 827 Si manual, which is a wolf in sheep's clothing, but I wanted better than 20 mpg and half-price insurance.
I was looking for a Mazda 3 when I saw this little beauty at a knock-down price and just couldn't resist.
2nd Feb 2009, 06:03
I am about to change my 323 1.8SE for a 2003 2.0 Sport ; had the 1.8 for almost 5 years - bought in 2004 with c.38,000 on the clock - now has 85,000 and almost 10 years old but still going strong - just as fast ; great acceleration in 3rd and 4th. (I used to be a confirmed Astra driver - great road-holding and economy, but always seemed to have problems with electrics after 5 years old!)
I moved to Japanese cars via a Nissan (also a great car) to the 323 and realised that for reliability, equipment levels and value you just can't beat them.
I am so pleased with the 323 that I am now buying a late model as near to the 1.8SE spec as I can - hence the 53 plate 2.0 Sport with 37,000 on the clock - I know it's good for another 4 years, 40,000 miles without too many worries.
The road-holding is brilliant - a great driver's car, but also a very comfortable and usable family car ; monthly drives from Leeds to Glasgow (circa 4 hours) with little or no discomfort on arrival. The SE has a sliding rear bench to increase luggage capacity with the seat backs still up, and the individual backs can be reclined a little if required - don't think the Sport has this : I will miss that.
I agree that economy is not great if you exploit the performance ; I get about 15litres/100miles on the trip computer (c.30mpg) - but I can get 12.5 (c.36mpg) if I keep it at 65 and don't over-use its acceleration ability.
The only other issue has been rapid wear on rear pads - if not caught in time the disks are scored and need replacing.
25th Mar 2009, 07:09
I have had my 323 2.0 Sport since November, and the only problem I have had is that it drinks oil.
Due to my own fault (normally the engines are bomb proof), I have fouled up one of the main engine bearings, and now need a new engine.
All of that aside, I will definitely buy another one for the wife!
17th Dec 2009, 07:35
Hi, my name is Robert from Ireland, and I bought an 02 Mazda 323f 2.0i Sport, and it is simply the best. I have to travel a lot to work up the country, and it's perfect for long distance driving as it's so smooth. And as I live in the country side, I find it handles great on the roads.
My only problem is getting parts for it. Almost everything has to ordered through the dealership, which costs a fortune, so I try to treat it like a baby; best car EVER. Also if you keep it under 60mph, it does great mileage.
22nd Dec 2009, 19:30
I originally posted in July 2007 and I still own the same Mazda... in the 3 years I've owned it there have been no faults with it at all. Mine is an 02 plate with 57k on the clock so plenty of life left in it yet...I'm about to have the cam belt done though as I think 56k is around the right interval for this car.
It's been a great car to own and I intend to keep it for another 4 years and perhaps then change it for a Mazda 3 MPS! Most of these cars are knocking on a bit now, but you can still pick up decent ones and be sure they will be reliable motors. They are also quite rare, which I like about them. All in all this is a good car.
I'll post again in 4 years when I get the MPS!
14th Jan 2011, 13:27
May 2001 323 1.6 56k genuine.
Have had this car for about 7 months now. Best driving car I have had in years.
I bought a new Avensis a few years ago. Sold it and bought this. Greater comfort and sporty, and I am 6'1".
Just a query, isn't the timing belt inspection 65k and change 105k as per service manual? ONLY change at 60k if it's operated in -18C conditions.
There are few items need looking at, wheel arches showing an outbreak of rust starting.
Other than that, it's a pleasure driving it.
27th Apr 2011, 14:18
Agree with the other comments on this car. I have moved over from a 1.8 Almera, and this car is in a different league in terms of a fun sporty drive. Loads more low down torque, makes it feel as quick as my old, gas guzzling, Mondeo 24V. Loves fast flowing roads, of which there are lots in Cornwall, where I live. As a second hand, 2k, run to the beach car, it is absolutely great value. Plenty of room for all the surf gear.
Only slight downside is fuel economy, which is low 30's, as opposed to high 30's from the Almera, on a similar weekly cycle, to work and the beach.
16th Sep 2011, 18:54
My Mazda 2002 20 sport, a great car! Loads of power when needed, one of the best handling cars I have ever drove, even for today's standards. I've fitted 17 inch 3 sport alloys too mind, looks great at every angle, nice sporty modern looking cabin, get a buzz every time I drive this, anybody who sits in this vehicle praises it.
The engine is very smooth, and has a massive top end on motorways. The gearbox and brakes are brilliant.
Would recommend this car to anyone who wants to really feel safe and secure when on any type of journey.