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Mazda 323

BG (Mk4) 323 and 323 Astina

Mazda logo1 Oct 1989

If the Mk3 323s were disadvantaged by their dull styling, then Mazda missed making the same mistake twice with the radical 4th-generation 323 of late 1989.

Bold, crisp, styling, much stronger bodies, and big improvements in handling, ride and refinement reflected the huge strides the model made.

A modern, glassy 4-door sedan continued the traditional 323 styling theme, but the swoopy Astina 5-door hatchback shared no exterior panels with it, and looked more like a 4-door coupe, aided by its low bonnet line, pop-up headlights and integrated rear spoiler.

All engines were now 16-valve designs for improved efficiency, starting with a 64kW 1.6L carburettor 4-cylinder engine (323 base sedan), and rising to two 1.8L EFI variants – an 84kW single-cam unit found in better equipped 323 sedans and the base Astina, and a 92kW twin-cam powerplant reserved for the popular luxury/sport SP Astina.

By now all 323s featured power steering, cloth trim and central locking as standard. In mid-’91 a new grille and wheel trims were added.

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Mazda models