Mazda 323 Hatchback (98 - 04) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

GXi 5dr [AC]

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

All in all a little dissapointing. Full marks for the reliability but it lacks the 'solid' feel of other manufacturers models. The 1.6 16v engine is lively enough to give power when required but its gearing is much too low - giving around 20mph/1000revs in top gear. Most useable in between 3200 and 5000 rpm below and above those ranges it lacks the get up and go. Because of the need to rev its economy is not that brilliant and engine seems to be racing at motorway speeds. Comfort is ok (and that is just ok) the front seat headrests lack forward adjustment and the seat base adjustment is awkward - not awkward to use but to set up right. Seats can feel a little hard on prolonged journeys but are fairly supportive. Watch out for early signs of corrosion around rear wheel arches. Service intervals are close together compared to other manufacturers. Fit decent tyres or endure the uncertainty of front wheels locking up under firm braking. Fairly generous boot room, not exceptional for it being a hatchback but useable nonetheless, folding rear seats gives the added benefit of more carrying capacity space. Spare (spacesaver) wheel is inside the boot under the flooring so beware when fully loaded. Generally a decent vehicle and if serviced regularly there shouldn't be any serious problems.

Jon Rushby, Lincolnshire, January 23rd 2008

GSi 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Had this car for 4 months now, it's actually a 2001 1.6 GSI auto. First thing I noticed was the high fuel consumption, normal for an automatic I'm told. Car tax is also pricey at Β£205 a year. Plus points-it has been reliable and the standard equipment is good (full electrics, leather seats, ABS, etc). It drives quite well around town but is noisy as motorway speeds. The suspension is quite firm which can make the car rattle on uneven roads. Overall, I'm pleased with the car for everyday use about town, but would get something else for long motorwy driving.

michael jones, December 30th 2007

LXi 5dr

  • Overall verdict1/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

51 production model had from new. Looks good for period of 3 year guarantee. Then a series of disasters. Those listed all took place within 69,000 miles. In 2004-radiator leak & replacement(Β£390). 2005-cylinder head gasket blew,engine almost written off(Β£740). 2006-ABS brake sensors failed (Β£210). 2006-Air mass sensor faulty(Β£260). 2007- Engine management problem and oil pump (Β£470). All Mazda parts are very expensive. Overall an absolute'lemon', with a very bitter after taste. Will never buy another Mazda!

Fraser Gambling, June 30th 2007

Sport 5dr [AC]

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Lovely car, practical, well built, reliable and fun to drive. Had a 2003 sport 2.0 for 3 years and loved it. Mazda servicing and repairs are expensive, but fortunately nothing beyond headlight bulbs ever went wrong with it! Generous boot, split folding rear seats give useful variety odf space in the back and passenger seat folds flat like table - ideal for baby changing! Had to get rid when family expanded as the rear seat leaves little room for more than 1 of today's large car seats, would have kept it otherwise. Only criticism is that it is rather heavy on petrol - but then that's just the engine size... Would definitely have another if family needs changed and would recommend to a friend.

Sophie Scard, Bucks, May 1st 2007

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