1997 Mazda Demio 1.5L from Australia and New Zealand


Cheap, reliable and economical, but not unique


- Cambelt replacement plus auxiliary belts - due to mileage.

- 6 tyres (front) - due to alignment going out easily.

- Disc pads & brakes resurfaced.

- Rust on the chassis (front) in a hard to get to place. The high front had to be dismantled to get to it (high labour hours, small rust repair) .

- Rear shocks. This model has ABS, so shocks cost 2 times more than regular shocks.

- Clutch replacement & adjustment.

- Battery replacement.

General Comments:

Honestly, this is a great car, I bought it at high Km's, so expected many of these problems. But if you aren't mechanically minded, beware of cars with high KMs. But they are still not excessive in repair costs.

Very little body damage, still looks good (no paint fade), very little paint chip damage, some surface rust on the roof due to small scratches. But seems to wear well, inside & out.

I am 6 foot tall, this car has plenty of room, adults can still sit behind my seat comfortably, as well as comfortable seats on long trips. Easy to get in and out of.

I have the 1.5lt manual, I find it not as economical as my previous 1991 1.5lt Toyota Cynos (Paseo) or even my old 1987 1.6lt Mitsubishi Mirage Starwagon, all of which are manual & I ran without using air-con.. This is disappointing, but not excessive... N.B. there is no low fuel light on my Demio, & only 5km from quarter empty to empty (so keep your eye on the petrol gauge).

Good pick up on power, great on hills & in stop start traffic.. Gets tinny when pushed too much, better with smooth driving. Handles well on corners, not too much roll for such a high car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th December, 2011

1997 Mazda Demio 1.3L from Australia and New Zealand


Fuel efficient, comfortable and a great first car


About a month after I bought it, I had to replace the clutch, however considering the age and mileage of the vehicle, I was expecting to have to do it at some point.

I found a water leak in the boot from a loosely sealed electrical cable, which was from where the previous owner had installed a superior sound system.

General Comments:

I really love my little Demio, it drives really well and the petrol savings are astronomical at $2.10 a litre; it cost me $68 to fill the tank, and I have done 406km on the last tank (city driving).

Being a manual, it is a lot easier to cope with a 1.3l, however I would not like to drive this in an automatic transmission, solely due to the extra fuel cost (but this is personal preference)

It handles beautifully on corners.

The seat are comfortable.

It easier to get in and out of than any sedan I have ever been in.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th July, 2008

1997 Mazda Demio AT-1.5 B5E 1.5 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


1.5 manual is a good buy


2 tyres worn down because I waited too long before having the wheels aligned.

Rear window washer n/w. Update - that is because I'm a klutz and didn't know the rear washer had its own separate reservoir in the back.

Bearing on cam belt tension wheel was found to have had it when the belt was replaced at 89000km.

General Comments:

Most Demios in NZ are used imports from Japan. We wanted a good one - not underpowered. So we went for a 1.5L Manual that was newly imported and looked to be in top condition. The dealer had had the odometer certified (winding back is often a problem here).

An excellent buy. Super reliable. Small clutch travel a bit strange at first, but soon you don't notice it. Need to watch the wheel alignment.

Has ABS and Dual Airbags. Torque and acceleration are very good for a small vehicle. Good high driving position. Comfort OK. Tyres can be noisy on rough bitumen. Only average on tight corners, but handles dirt roads well.

Fuel consumption not brilliant, especially when the air-con is on. Good news is that the air-con does not steal the power away.

We plan to keep it a long time yet.

Update - sold it October 2008 after 5 very satisfying years - only because we went mad and bought a Skoda Fabia. No more 'gone wrongs' to speak of. Cheerio old friend.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th August, 2006

27th Oct 2008, 22:20

We bought a '98 1.5L auto 12 months ago - she's only traveled 40K and is a great wee car. Sure, the engine is a little thrashy when pushed (my other cars are a 4 litre Ford and a 4.2 litre Jaguar), but she handles like my old (classic) Mini and we can easily fit 2 adults, 1 son in carseat, 1 pushchair and 2 Labradors inside. Frugal on fuel as well.

1997 Mazda Demio 1.5 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Great run-a-bout, cheap to buy and cheap to run


Stone damaged 2 cores in radiator making it leak. Shes been pretty good apart from that.

General Comments:

Great wee car round town. Goes better when run on higher octane fuel eg, about 40-45 km's per tank in city, plus it's a little quicker.

On the highway it zips along fine at 100kph until it sees a hill.

I'm 5'9" tall & have the seat fully back giving myself some leg room. However I would not like to be in the backseat. As for comfort... seats are OK except I did not like the back, mind you I did not buy it to sit in the back.

Body seems OK, no rattles, paint still looks good for age & nothings fell off yet.

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

Review Date: 9th April, 2006

1997 Mazda Demio 1.5 lt from Australia and New Zealand


Roomy on the inside, compact on the out


In 60000km, I have replaced 1 battery, 4 tyres, regular servicing (oil & filter every 5000km) 1 tune up at 40000km. Absolutely nothing else.

General Comments:

Was very noisy on the road until I changed from the 185x65 Jap tyres to some 185x70 Quality New Zealand tyres.

This caused the speedo to read 5% higher, but quietened it down a lot.

Surprisingly roomy inside. No problem for our family of 5 to go away for a 2000km week touring.

The first car I have owned that I don't have to change the seat after my wife hops out. Its her shopping basket.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th February, 2003

1997 Mazda Demio GSi 1.5 from UK and Ireland


A practical, reliable, urban solution


To date, I have had no problems whatsoever with the car.

General Comments:

I initially chose the Demio for it's looks and on Mazda's reputation for reliability.

I have found the car to be nippy, great around town and extremely reliable.

The interior is excellent for children, shopping and a large dog!

My only gripe is that ABS is not standard on all models.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th November, 2002