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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Space inside is good and the boot is practical. It's reliable and drives well, too

Against The ride is firm and choppy around town, and some of the engines can become noisy at speed

Verdict It's reliable, practical and fun to drive, but not the most comfortable or refined

Go for… 1.6 GXI

Avoid… 1.3 petrol

Mazda 323 Hatchback
  • 1. There's plenty of room for both front- and rear-seat passengers
  • 2. Take a thorough drive and test the electrics, engine, gearbox, clutch, steering and suspension
  • 3. You might find the 323’s 9000-mile service intervals come around all too frequently, but dealer rates are competitive
  • 4. The boot is a generous size, and all models have a split-folding rear seat
  • 5. The 1.6 petrol and the 2.0 Di models are the ones to track down
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