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Car reviews - Mazda - 323 - Astina 5-dr hatch

Overview

Mazda logo18 Nov 1989

IF the Mk3 323 from 1985 to 1989 was disadvantaged by its dull styling, then Mazda didn't make that mistake twice with the radical 4th-generation (BG) series from October 1989. Bold, crisp styling, stronger bodies and big improvements in handling, ride and refinement resulted in huge strides for a Japanese-made small car. A modern, glassy four-door sedan continued the traditional conservative styling theme, but the swoopy Astina five-door hatchback shared no exterior panels with it, and looked more like a 4-door coupe. Aiding this was a low bonnet line, pop-up headlights and an integrated rear spoiler. All engines were now 16-valve designs for improved efficiency. The Astina came in either an 84kW 1.8-litre single-cam model, or a 92kW twin-cam powerplant reserved for the popular luxury/sport SP Astina image leader. All models boasted power steering, cloth trim and central locking. In mid-’91 a new grille and wheel trims formed part of a minor facelift. Stylistically speaking, these were the 323's halcyon days...
Model release date: 1 October 1989 to 1 August 1994

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