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Mazda 323 Review Australia | Features, Specification, Price

Mazda 323 Review Australia

There are not many cars around which can fulfill the family car role as well as being fun to drive. You might find cars that offer large cabin and boot space but would lack the luster when you take it out on a drive. Well, Mazda has been known to produce some of the most unorthodox cars in the world, and it delivers the same with the Mazda 323 SP20.


The car has extraordinarily little body roll, which makes it perfect to drive on twisty roads. The steering wheel is precise and responsive, even though the suspension is a bit too firm. The car offers ample space to seat four or five adults with plenty of head and legroom. Throw in some additional features and a large boot, you get a fun-packed family car that is not going to be forgotten anytime soon.


Most commonly known as the Mazda Familia or the Mazda Protégé, the Mazda 323 is a family car that was manufactured by Mazda from 1963 till 2004. After that, it was replaced by the Mazda 3 or Axela as it was known.


In the local Japanese market, the 323 was sold as the Familia, leaving no doubt as to the target market. The earlier models that were exported were given nameplates of the 800, 1000, 1200, and 1300. Later, the newer models were called the 323 and Protégé. Whereas in Europe, all models which were exported after 1977 were simply known as the 323.


A five-door Mazda 323 hatchback and a four-door sedan were also sold in Japan as the Mazda Lantis. In Australia, it was marketed as Mazda 323 Astina. In this article, we will be looking at a particular variant of the car, which is known as the Mazda 323 SP20.


Engine Specification:

The Mazda 323 SP20 is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine which is reported to produce 98 kW of power at 6000 Rpm. It can also produce a whopping 174 Nm of torque at 4500 Rpm. Given the weight of the car, the engine specifications are not extraordinary and only just manage to meet the requirements.


On low revs, the performance is sluggish to say the least. The take-off is modest, and only when you take the car above 3000 rpm does the 323 come to life beneath you.


Driving Experience:

The Mazda 323 can be utilized for both town driving and towing. Around town, it is nippy and agile which is helped by its size. On the motorways, it could utilize a 6th gear ratio as it fires up continually at around 4000 for the whole motorway stretch. An additional gear at a similar proportion could help efficiency on motorway driving with lower fires up for expanded time frames.


The drive is neither light nor substantial, however, it is responsive and exact; where you go is the place you go. The steering wheel is satisfactory, and the simplicity of stopping is high, as well. As a driver who inclines toward a stiffer ride, the suspension would be fine. Yet some may discover it to some degree brutal.


Visibility is incredible out both the front and back as there are restricted vulnerable sides and huge windows. The huge windows do not degrade the overall looks either, despite everything challenging current vehicles for engaging quality.



Surprisingly, the Mazda 323 SP20 still retains its value. It was priced at almost $34000 when new. Nowadays, you can get a decent, secondhand model for nearly $4000. The price can be a bit more, depending on the condition, extra features, and the kilometers it has been driven.



If you try to list down the Mazda 323 SP20 problems, you would be surprised to know that there is none. There has been no recall, except for one. And was to address the possibility of the fuel tank heat shield getting loose. Apart from that, there are no reported problems concerning the 323 SP20. It has managed to stay top of the class.


Technology and Features:

Before we dive into the features, let's keep in mind that this is an almost 14 years old car. So, the comparison between a modern car of 2020 and the 323 becomes underwhelming. That being said, the Mazda 323 SP20 is still sparsely featured, even given its age.


Some standard features include:

Air conditioning


Six-disc stereo

Twin airbags

Anti-skid brakes

Electric windows

Central locking



Ample cabin and boot space

Reliable and good drive



The engine may get noisy with time

Suspension is a little firm


Final Verdict:

The Mazda 323 SP20 hatchback is a good family car with lots of room and a reasonable price. It is bigger than many of the cars in the same class, cheaper and more fun to drive. The resale is also great, since it is still in demand in the country. We would recommend thoroughly doing your homework to ensure that you get a vehicle which is in good condition and has not been customized much.


After reviewing car details, if you have made up your mind, then it would be better to be 100% sure. Just to be clear about your choice, get a detailed history of car theft and accidents. We are bringing you an all-time available portal for instant search.

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