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Car reviews - Daihatsu - Applause - Executive 5-dr hatch

Used Rivals

7 May 2003

FORD KH LASER 4D SEDAN (1992-1994)
THIS is a Mazda 323 under the skin, but built at Ford's Sydney plant. American styling did not sit well with locals, although from behind the wheel the dynamics and performance were class-leading at the time. Equipment levels are OK, and include power steering. The Mazda is a better bet all-round.

NISSAN N14 PULSAR 4D SEDAN (1991-1993)
THIS reliable and well-built Nissan is powered by an eager and economical 1.6 engine mated to a smooth five-speed manual or four-speed auto. Handling, ride and refinement levels are very good also, as is the general comfort and quality. From 1993 all cars switched from local to Japanese sourcing.

MAZDA BG 323 4D SEDAN (1989-1996)
THE 1.6-litre engine in the base 323 is sweet, willing and frugal but the extra power, refinement and equipment levels available in the optional 1.8 is preferable. Finish is excellent, as is the general quality and comfort. Stylistically the 323 has remained freshest. It has also prove durable.

DULL styling inside and out hide a competent, comfortable and quality small car of undisputed durability and reliability. Its 1.6 litre engine is a gem whether it's tied to the four-speed auto or five-speed manual gearbox. Power steering standard. Residual values are strong, as is the all-round quality of the car.

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