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

Overview

Mazda logo18 Aug 1994

By MALCOLM LIVERMORE

Mazda’s profit-obliterating proliferation of models reached its zenith with the Mk5 323 range, which included three sedan variations (carryover Mk4 BF 323 base, Protégé 4-door sedan and Astina 4-door Hardtop), a pretty new 5-door Astina hatchback, and four engines – 64kW 1.6L (323 base), 80kW 1.6L EFI (base Protégé), 92kW 1.8L (Protégé, Astina hatch and, from late ’96, Astina Hardtop) and an all-new 104kW 2.0L V6 powerplant reserved for the top line Astina V6 Hardtop sedan and hatchback - with the latter featured here. And while refinement, features and handling improved, Astina Hardtop buyers had less headroom for occupants to enjoy – a corollary of the model’s sporty aspirations. Nevertheless it makes a sweet, fast, refined and off-beat small car that was one of the first to be axed when Ford-controlled Mazda decided to go for the humdrum BJ Astina model of 1998...
Model release date: 1 July 1994 to 1 September 1998

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