The Mazda 323 was originally called the Familia. It was renamed to the former in 1996.
Its seventh-generation model was introduced first in the Japan Domestic Market in 1994 and a couple of years later, it reached the Philippine market through Columbian Autocar Corporation in 1996. The model was initially offered in a GLX trim at launch, then in 1997 Mazda Philippines released the base GLi and the limited MazdaSpeed variants. On the same year, the top of the line model was renamed as the GLXi.
During the time of its launch, the Mazda 323 displayed a different aesthetic that made it easily stand out among its competitors in the segment. Its smooth and curvy lines gave the sedan a distinct look compared to the edgy and boxy style prevalent at the time. This way of styling its exterior shape tries to show the roominess of the car.
Up front is a blacked-out bumper that come as standard, giving a sportiness to the grille that is flaked with clear headlamps and foglamps. The short hood and overhangs indicates an athletic feel. It rides on 15-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, the Mazda 323 is primarily built with functionality in mind. It boasts of the most spacious legroom and headroom in its segment. The gray-clad interior was made to avoid glare for added safety. On the center console are slide-type that are appropriately sized with the air-conditioning control in a convenient, push-type form. Unique to the sedan is the additional glovebox on top of the main one—a first in the automotive industry at the time of its launch.
The driver’s seat is equipped with multiple adjustability while the rear seats come with a center armrest and can be folded 60/40 to make more room for cargo at the trunk. All seats are wrapped in fabric giving a comfortable ride
Technology & Safety Features
The Mazda 323’s entertainment system comes with the bare necessities in the form of a 6-disc CD changer with audio coming out of a 4-speaker system.
In terms of safety, the sedan is equipped with remote-control locking, four-wheel, four-channel anti-lock brake system, and airbags. Meanwhile, the GLi top-range models have power amenities on the windows and steering.
Platform & Chassis
The Mazda 323’s chassis based on its larger sibling, the Mazda Capella. It runs on McPherson strut suspension in front and multi-link suspension at the rear. The 4-door sedan’s stopping power comes from-four wheel disc brakes.
Engine & Drivetrain
There are two engine options available for the Mazda 323 depending on the variant. The GLi trim comes with a B3 1.3-liter gasoline engine that produces 75 hp and 104 Nm of torque. The rest of the variants, on the other hand, are powered by a B6 1.6-liter DOHC gasoline engine that spews out 115 hp and 139 Nm of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission.