2003 Mazda 323 (BJ) sedan
|Body and chassis|
|Class||Small family car
The Mazda Familia, also marketed prominently as the Mazda 323 and Mazda Protegé, was a small family car that was manufactured by Mazda between 1963 and 2003. The Familia line was replaced by the Mazda3/Axela for 2004.
It was marketed as the Familia in Japan. For export, earlier models were sold with nameplates including: "800", "1000", "1200", and "1300". In North America, the 1200 was replaced by the Mazda GLC, with newer models becoming "323" and "Protegé". In Europe, all models after 1977 were called "323".
The Familia was also rebranded as the Ford Laser and Ford Meteor in Asia, Oceania, Southern Africa, some Latin American countries and, from 1991, as the Ford Escort and Mercury Tracer in North America.
- 1 First generation (1963–1968)
- 2 Second generation (1967–1977)
- 3 Third generation (FA4; 1977–1980)
- 4 Fourth generation (BD; 1980–1985)
- 5 Fifth generation (BF; 1985–1989)
- 6 Sixth generation (BG; 1989–1994)
- 7 Seventh generation (BH; 1994–1998)
- 8 Eighth generation (BJ; 1998–2003)
- 9 References
- 10 External links
First generation (1963–1968)
|Also called||Mazda 800/1000|
|Assembly||Japan: Hiroshima Assembly, Hiroshima|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2/4-door sedan
3-door station wagon
2-door coupé utility
|Engine||782 cc SA OHV I4
985 cc PC SOHC I4 (coupé)
987 cc PB OHV I4
|Wheelbase||2,190 mm (86.2 in)|
|Length||3,700 mm (145.7 in)|
|Width||1,465 mm (57.7 in)|
|Curb weight||720 kg (1,587 lb)|
Mazda's automotive plans for the early sixties consisted of growing alongside the Japanese economy. To achieve this goal, they began by building an extremely affordable Kei car, the R360 in 1960, planning on introducing gradually larger and pricier cars as the Japanese customers became able to afford them. As a preview, testing the waters, a larger "Mazda 700" prototype was shown at the 8th Tokyo Motor Show in 1961, and formed the basis for the upcoming Mazda Familia. Meanwhile, the four door version of the R360 was introduced as the Mazda Carol, which appeared in 1962, and discontinued in 1964.
The first production Familia, styled by young Giorgetto Giugiaro while working at Carrozzeria Bertone, appeared in October 1963. In line with Mazda's policy of only gradually approaching the production of private cars (a luxury in Japan at the time), the first Familia was initially only available as a commercial two-door wagon called the Familia Van. The van was joined in April 1964 by a plusher Familia Wagon, in October by a 4-door sedan, and in November by a two-door sedan. The "Flat Deck" design of the sedan versions was reportedly inspired by the Chevrolet Corvair. Private car versions received foglights in the grille as well as more chrome trim. The Familia was sold in other markets as the 800.
The Familia was introduced to the Japanese market in time for the 1964 Summer Olympics which began in October.
An all new Familia 1000 Coupé arrived in November 1965, with a 985 cc SOHC "PC" engine, and was joined by the larger Mazda Luce in 1966. Around the same time, the 800 engine was upgraded, adding three extra horsepower. As a number of new 1 liter vehicles were introduced by Mazda's competitors, another 987 cc OHV engine (PB) appeared in January 1967, powering new 1000 Sedan and Van versions. The 1 liter sedans and vans are recognizable by their broader, rounded-off rectangular headlights. Production of the sedan continued until November 1967, while the Van versions continued until they were replaced in February 1968. Around 400,000 of the first Familia were built, 130,473 of which were sedans and coupés. Around 10,000 of the first generation Familia were exported, mainly to Australia and Oceania.
Primary sources below are listed at the head of each column, information sourced elsewhere is referenced directly in the relevant cells. Data is for models as marketed in the Japanese domestic market.
|Mazda Familia (1st generation)|
|Familia (800) van/wagon||Familia 800 sedan||Familia 1000 van||Familia 1000 sedan||Familia 1000 coupe|
|Layout||Front engine, rear-wheel drive|
|Transmission||4-speed manual||4MT, 2-spd automatic||4-speed manual||4MT, 2-spd automatic||4-speed manual|
|Suspension F/R||Coil sprung independent by double wishbones / Live axle and semi-elliptic leaf springs|
|Brakes F/R||drums / drums||discs / drums|
|Wheelbase||2,140 mm (84.3 in)||2,190 mm (86.2 in)||2,140 mm (84.3 in)||2,190 mm (86.2 in)|
|Length||3,635 mm (143.1 in)||3,700 mm (145.7 in)
DX: 3,765 mm (148.2 in)
|3,635 mm (143.1 in)||3,700 mm (145.7 in)
DX: 3,765 mm (148.2 in)
|3,700 mm (145.7 in)|
|Width||1,465 mm (57.7 in)|
|Height||1,390 mm (54.7 in)||1,385 mm (54.5 in)||1,395 mm (54.9 in)||1,385 mm (54.5 in)||1,340 mm (52.8 in)|
|Empty weight||Van: 715 kg (1,576 lb)
Wagon: 760 kg (1,676 lb)
|720 kg (1,587 lb)
DX: 745 kg (1,642 lb)
|725 kg (1,598 lb) (deLuxe)||720 kg (1,587 lb)
DX: 740 kg (1,631 lb)
|790 kg (1,742 lb)|
|Water-cooled OHV inline-4, two valves per cylinder||SOHC inline-4|
|Displacement||782 cc (58.0 x 74.0 mm)||987 cc (68.0 x 68.0 mm)||985 cc (70.0 x 64.0 mm)|
|Compression||8.5:1 (1966–67: 9.0:1)||8.6:1||10.0:1|
|Power (SAE)||42 PS (31 kW) at 6,000 rpm (1966–67: 45 PS or 33 kW)||52 PS (38 kW) at 5,500 rpm||58 PS (43 kW) at 6,000 rpm||68 PS (50 kW) at 6,500 rpm|
|Torque||6.0 kg·m (59 N·m; 43 lb·ft) at 3,200 rpm
1966–67: 6.3 kg·m (62 N·m; 46 lb·ft) at 3,200 rpm
|8.0 kg·m (78 N·m; 58 lb·ft) at 3,000 rpm||7.9 kg·m (77 N·m; 57 lb·ft) at 3,500 rpm||8.1 kg·m (79 N·m; 59 lb·ft) at 4,600 rpm|
|Top speed||105 km/h (65 mph)||115 km/h (71 mph)||125 km/h (78 mph)||135 km/h (84 mph)||145 km/h (90 mph)|
|Tires||Wagon: 6.00 x 12 4PR
Van (f): 5.00 x 12 4PR Van (r): 5.00 x 12 6PR
|6.00 x 12 4PR||front: 5.00 x 12 4PR
rear: 5.00 x 12 6PR
|6.00 x 12 4PR||6.15 x 13 4PR|
Second generation (1967–1977)
Mazda 1000 four-door (Europe)
|Assembly||Japan: Hiroshima Assembly, Hiroshima|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2/4-door sedan
2-door coupe utility
3/5-door station wagon
|Wheelbase||2,260 mm (89.0 in)
2,340 or 2,465 mm (92.1 or 97.0 in) (pickup)
|Length||3,845–4,160 mm (151.4–163.8 in)|
|Width||1,480 mm (58.3 in)|
|Curb weight||840 kg (1,852 lb)|
The new Familia appeared in November 1967 with the same pushrod 987 cc engine as used in the previous generation sedans. It was sold as the "Mazda 1000" in some markets. After an April 1970 facelift, the slightly different OHC "PC" engine was also offered, in a model called the "Familia Presto" in the domestic Japanese market. A larger 1169 cc inline-four engined version came along in February of the following year, becoming the "Mazda 1200" for export. In this form, the car was first exhibited in Europe at the 1968 Paris Motor Show in the autumn of that year. Power outputs (SAE gross) in Japan of the facelifted, overhead-cam-engined versions were 62 and 75 PS (46 and 55 kW) respectively. The Van (wagon) model was available with either three or five doors, although most export markets only received the five-door version.
From model year 1970 on the Familia was also available with the new overhead camshaft 1.3-liter TC engine, derived from the smaller 1.0-liter OHC engine already seen in the first generation Familia coupé. 1970 also saw a larger sedan which shared much of its mechanicals with the Mazda Capella. The Familia was exported as the "Mazda 1300", and replaced the previous generation 1200 model in most markets. The sedan and coupé were updated in the autumn of 1973, but the truck and wagon/van versions continued with little change. The vans and pickup trucks actually soldiered on until 1978, by which time a wagon version of the succeeding FA4 Familia (323/GLC) had been introduced. The later pickup versions were also available in a long-wheelbase version, and still featured an 85 PS (63 kW) (SAE) version of the 1.3-litre TC engine, unaffected by the tighter Japanese emissions standards for passenger cars. The pickup models were built until 1991 for markets such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, and the Philippines. In South Africa, the little bakkie was sold as the "Mazda F-1000" or "F-1300".
Engines (export power outputs, DIN):
- 1968–1973 – 1.0 L (985 cc) PB I4, 50 hp (37 kW; 51 PS) / 56 lb·ft (76 N·m)
- 1968–1970 – 1.2 L (1169 cc) TB I4, 58 hp (43 kW; 59 PS) / 69 lb·ft (94 N·m)
- 1970–1973 – 1.3 L (1272 cc) TC I4, 2-barrel, 69 hp (51 kW; 70 PS) / 67 lb·ft (91 N·m)
The pickup received the BPB55, BTA55/65, or FA2T55/65/66 model codes respectively when fitted with the OHV 1.0 or 1.2, or the OHC 1.3. FA2T55 was a short bed with 500 kg (1,100 lb) max load, 65 was a long bed with the same capacity, while the 66 upped that to 600 kg (1,300 lb). All three models were available as either Standard or Deluxe. The 1000 Van (Japanese terminology for the station wagon, which was intended for commercial use there) received either BPCV or BPBV chassis codes, signifying three- or five-door versions. The Familia Presto Van, with OHC engines, received chassis numbers MP3xV/SP3xV for the 1000 (3-door/5-door) and MT2xV/ST2xV for the 1200. The five-door Van range was gradually expanded downwards as the three-door models dropped in popularity.
The "1200" was offered in the United States in 1971 and again for the 1973 model year. The 1971 version was the first piston-powered Familia sold in the United States and arrived in two- and four-door forms alongside its rotary Mazda R100 coupé counterpart. It was replaced by the somewhat larger 808 (Grand Familia) the next year. The 1200 model returned for 1973 as the base-model economy Mazda. The company then focused on performance for the next two years, dropping the economy car. After the gas crisis they returned to the economy sector with the Mizer in 1976, a rebadged 808.
- 1971, 1973 – 1.2 L (1169 cc) I4, 58 hp (43 kW; 59 PS) / 69 lb·ft (94 N·m)
In 1968 Mazda added a Familia Rotary model to the range, offered in both two-door coupé and four-door sedan variants. The Familia Rotary was powered by a 982 cc 10A rotary engine and the coupé version was sold outside Japan as the "Mazda R100". Production ended in 1973. It was also known as the "Familia Presto Rotary". Power was rated at just 100 hp (70 kW) due to a small carburetor (thus the "R100" name). The rotary engined version has a slightly different front clip, with a gently v-shaped prow and a hood that does not dip down between the headlights.
In Japan, the installation of a rotary engine gave Japanese buyers a financial advantage when it came time to pay the annual road tax in that they bought a car that was more powerful than a traditional inline engine, but without having the penalty for having an engine in the higher 1.0-liter tax bracket. This was the only generation that had the rotary engine offered.
The R100 was one of the first Mazda cars imported into the United States (it is also released in America with round headlights similar to the RX2 Series 2) for the new Mazda Motors of America, sold in model years 1971 and 1972. It was a surprising hit with the American public, though sales were limited to some Northwestern states initially.
Following on the success of the Cosmo Sports at Nürburgring in 1968, Mazda decided to race another rotary car. The Familia Rotary coupé won its first outing, at the Grand Prix of Singapore, in April 1969. Next, the company took on the touring car endurance challenge at Spa, the Spa 24 Hours. For 1969, Mazda entered a pair of Familia Rotary coupés. The cars came fifth and sixth the first year after a quartet of Porsche 911s. The Familia also placed fifth at the Marathon de la Route at Nürburgring in 1969, the same race that the Cosmo had bowed at the previous year. Finally, Mazda took the Familia home for the Suzuka All-Japan Grand Cup, where it won easily. For 1970, the Familia placed eighth at the RAC Tourist Trophy in June, followed by a fourth place at the West German Touring Car race in July. At Spa, four Familias were present, battling with BMW Alpinas, and Alfa Romeos for the podium. This time, three of the Mazdas retired, with the fourth claiming the fifth position. Mazda also turned its attention to Le Mans in 1970 with rotary-powered prototypes. The company finally won that race 21 years later with the 787B.
Mazda Grand Familia/Savanna
In 1971, Mazda introduced the Mazda Grand Familia and the Mazda Savanna to better compete with the Toyota Corolla, and the Nissan Sunny in North America. The Grand Familia/Savanna was intended to replace the smaller Familia. But with the advent of the 1970s energy crisis, the Familia began to experience an increase in sales due to better fuel economy, so the Familia remained in Japan and Europe, and Mazda decided to offer the Grand Familia and Savanna as larger, performance enhanced alternatives.
1973–1977 (Familia Presto)
The September 1973 Familia Presto was an updated version of the second generation Mazda Familia, with somewhat wider bodywork and reworked front and rear designs. These changes were made only to the sedans and coupé, with the van/wagon and trucks retaining the original bodywork. Developed to meet new stricter emissions standards in the domestic market, the Presto featured the 1272 cc TC engine or the by now familiar pushrod 1.0-liter PB unit. Power outputs in Japan (gross) were 87 PS (64 kW) and 62 PS (46 kW) respectively. The Rotary Coupé was discontinued, having been replaced by the larger Grand Familia-based Mazda Savanna.
The van and wagon did receive some superficial changes to their bodywork, but retained the narrower track of the preceding model. Unlike the truck, the vans also used the new "Familia Presto" name. Chassis codes are SPCV for the 1.0-liter and STBV for the 1.3-liter, with power outputs as for the sedan/coupé. Standard and Deluxe versions were available, with the Deluxe also offering five-door bodywork.
Production of the second generation Familia ended in January 1977, but not before another minor facelift and emissions scrubbing had taken place in February 1976. After this change, only the larger engine was available, now with 72 PS (53 kW) and labelled Familia Presto 1300AP (for "Anti Pollution"). The Familia Presto Van continued largely unchanged until the summer of 1978, aside from the 1.3 losing two horsepower along the way.
From October 1974 until 1981, Kia Motors manufactured a variant of the second generation Familia as the "Kia Brisa" at their first integrated automobile manufacturing facility, the Sohari Plant in Gwangmyeong, South Korea. Production originally commenced in 1973 in the form of the Brisa B-1000 pickup truck, but passenger car production (originally as the "Brisa S-1000") only commenced later. Brisa comes from the Spanish/Portuguese word for "breeze". The Brisa was equipped with a 62 PS (46 kW) 1.0-liter Mazda engine. Production came to an end after the new military dictator Chun Doo-hwan enforced industry consolidation, meaning Kia had to give up passenger cars and focus entirely on light trucks.
The original version of the Brisa received a slightly different front end from the original Familia, featuring twin headlights. Later, single headlights were used. In total, 31,017 Brisa passenger cars were built. Including the pickups increases the totals to 75,987, of which a total of 1,526 were exported. Exports, Kia's first, began with a shipment of 31 Brisa B-1000 pickups to Qatar in 1975. The Brisa (along with the pickup model, called "Master") was also exported to Colombia. The larger Grand Familia/818 was also built by Kia with the 1272 cc engine from October 1975, originally as the Brisa II and later as the K303.
Third generation (FA4; 1977–1980)
|Also called||Mazda 323
Mazda Baby Boomers
New Zealand: Otahuhu
|Body and chassis|
|Engine||985 cc PC I4 (FA4PS)
1272 cc TC I4 (FA4TS)
1415 cc UC I4 (FA4US)
1490 cc E5 I4 (wagon only)
1597 cc 4G32 I4 (SA)
|Wheelbase||2,311 mm (91.0 in)|
|Length||3,820 mm (150.4 in)|
|Width||1,595 mm (62.8 in)|
|Curb weight||812 kg (1,790 lb)|
The Familia AP (323 in most of the world, GLC for "Great Little Car" in North America) debuted in January 1977 as a rear-wheel-drive subcompact, replacing both the Grand Familia (818) and the preceding Familia (1000/1300). There was a choice of hatchbacks and station wagon bodies, both available with a three- or five-door bodystyle. The station wagon version was a bit later, first being introduced in June 1978, which also meant that the commercial versions based on the 1970 Familia could finally be retired. Three Mazda engines were available, the 985 cc PC, 1,272 cc TC, and the 1,415 cc UC (introduced in March 1978). The 1.0-liter unit was only made for export markets. The new Familia shared many parts with the older Mazda Grand Familia. This was the first appearance of the 323 name, for export markets only.
In June 1979 the 323/Familia underwent a facelift, replacing the previous round headlights with rectangular units which were designed as a single unit along with the grille. The new style was in line with that of the recently released Mazda Capella/626 (CB). Other minor differences occurred along with the facelift.
The range was replaced in 1980, however the station wagon models continued in production until 1986. In 1981 a facelift was given to the wagon range, to give a front end treatment similar to Mazda's front-wheel drive 323/Familia range.
It was available in several body variants:
- Five-door four-seat hatchback
- Three-door four-seat hatchback
- Five-door four-seat station wagon (also as a van in Japan)
- Three-door four-seat station wagon
- Three-door two-seat van with an extended roof profile
Several of these were available in multiple trim levels.
- 1.0 L PC, 45 PS (33 kW; 44 hp) / 51 lb·ft (69 N·m) – export only
- 1.3 L TC (1977.01–1980) 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp) / 72 PS (53 kW) in Japan
- 1.4 L UC (1978.03–1980) 83 PS (61 kW) in Japan
In Australia the 1.3 had 45 kW (61 PS; 60 hp) at 5700 rpm while the bigger 1.4, introduced in July 1978, offered 48 kW (65 PS; 64 hp) at a somewhat lower engine speed of 5500 rpm. The 1.4 was accompanied by the new, better-equipped CS model which was only available with five-door bodywork.
- 1.3 L TC (1978.06–1986) 85 PS (63 kW) JIS (1979), 73 PS (54 kW) JIS (net, later years), 60 PS (44 kW) DIN (export models)
- 1.4 L UC (1978.06–1986) 85 PS (63 kW) JIS (1979), 76 PS (56 kW) JIS (net, later years)
- 1.5 L E5 (1982.10–1986) 70 PS (51 kW) (DIN, wagon/van only)
A five-speed manual gearbox was introduced later as an alternative to the original four-speed manual gearbox. At the same time the original 7-inch (178 mm) round sealed beam headlights were replaced with square sealed beam units on all models except the van, together with a general styling and mechanical upgrade. A three-speed automatic gearbox was also available on the bigger engined models, it was first introduced (on the 1400) at the end of June 1978.
When the next generation front-wheel-drive Familia/323/GLC models were released in 1980, the wagon and van models continued unchanged, due to Mazda not developing wagon models for the newer range. A facelift however was given to the wagons in 1981, which gave the models the front clip (albeit with different bumpers) of the front-wheel-drive models. Production of the wagons continued to 1986, when a new front-wheel-drive model was introduced. Originally available with the 1.3- TC and 1.4-liter UC engines, in export markets the larger unit was replaced with the new 1.5-liter E5 engine for the 1983 model year.
- North America
For the United States, the GLC, advertised as the Great Little Car, was only offered with one engine at a time. The new GLC overlapped with the old-style Mizer for part of 1977 and was produced through 1980 before being replaced by the next-generation GLC. The marketing campaign in the U.S. had the words "Great Little Car" set to the tune of Spanish Flea.
- South Africa
In South Africa, the five-door-only 323 proved an immediate success. The 1.3 was gradually replaced by the larger 1.4 from July 1978, while a Special and a CS model were added at the low and high ends of the lineup respectively, complementing the existing De Luxe models. Well-equipped versions of the 1978 facelift model were sold as the "323 GLC" in South Africa. A 1600 cc model was also available in South Africa – however this model did not have a Mazda engine, unlike the rest of the range. To satisfy that country's local content regulations, a locally built Mitsubishi Saturn 1.6-liter unit was used. This produces 77 PS (57 kW) and was the most powerful engine to be installed in the FA-series Familia/323. It arrived in early 1979, but period testers felt that the less revvy 1.6 provided very little that the 1.4 did not offer, and could not be considered to be worth the price. Fuel consumption dropped, while top speed of 148 km/h (92 mph) was only marginally higher than the 145 km/h (90 mph) of the smaller version. Sigma also fielded a rotary-engined 323 in the South African national rally championship.
In Indonesia the third generation Familia was marketed by IndoMobil Group twice, the first one as a 323 hatchback from 1977 to 1980, and the second one as the "Mazda MR90" (hatchback) between December 1990 and 1992, "Mazda Baby Boomers" (hatchback) between 1993 and 1995, and as the "Mazda Vantrend" (station wagon) between 1993 and 1997. The versions built by Mazda Motor Indonesia use the larger Mazda 626's "GC" front-wheel drive platform, and the 1990s versions have modernized headlights (same as on the North American market GC 626) and bumpers. These alterations mean that the overall length increased, up to 3,970 mm (156 in) for the MR90 hatchback. Only the UC 1.4-liter engine was offered, in combination with a five-speed transmission.
Fourth generation (BD; 1980–1985)
|Fourth generation (BD)|
|Also called||Mazda 323
|Assembly||Hiroshima, Japan (1980–1982)
Hofu Assembly, Hofu, Japan
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3-door hatchback
|Engine||1.1 L E1 I4
1.3 L E3 I4
1.5 L E5 I4
|Wheelbase||2,365 mm (93.1 in)|
|Width||1,630 mm (64.2 in)|
|Height||1,375 mm (54.1 in)|
|Curb weight||780–830 kg (1,720–1,830 lb)|
The BD Familia, first shown on 2 June 1980, was entirely new – it was Mazda's first front-engine, front-wheel drive subcompact car, and was available as a hatchback and sedan. It was developed with input from Ford, which in 1979 had acquired a stake in the Japanese manufacturer, and had a twin called the Ford Laser (and Ford Meteor, for its four-door sedan model in Australia).
At its introduction in 1980, it won the first Car of the Year Japan Award.
The new Mazda E engine-series, loosely based on the preceding PC/TC/UC series, was developed expressly for the BD and was offered in three different displacements. The smallest 1.1-liter E1 unit was reserved for certain export markets where the tax structures suited it. Chassis codes were BD1011/BD1031/BD1051 depending on the engine installed.
- 1.1 L (1071 cc) E1, 1 barrel, 55 PS (40 kW; 54 hp) / 79 N·m (58 lb·ft)
- 1.3 L (1296 cc) E3, 2 barrel, 68 PS (50 kW; 67 hp) / 95 N·m (70 lb·ft)
- 1.5 L (1490 cc) E5, 2 barrel, 75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) / 115 N·m (85 lb·ft)
- 1.5 L (1490 cc) E5S, 2x2 barrel, 88 PS (65 kW; 87 hp) / 120 N·m (89 lb·ft)
The most powerful version was marketed as the "323 GT" in European markets. The Familia/323 underwent a facelift in January 1983.
For the Japanese market other top end models were offered, originally the three-door Familia XGI with a 1,500 cc single cam, multi-point fuel-injected engine. In June 1983 the turbocharged XGI Turbo was added, Mazda's first turbocharged piston engine. It had a particularly small turbocharger, for better low-end response. Period commentators complimented its linear and smooth power delivery. The XG Turbo also received a suitably updated chassis and wheels to handle the 115 PS (85 kW). The Familia sedan and their twin, the Ford Laser S, was also offered with the same specifications but in limited numbers. Claimed outputs in the Japanese market were considerably higher than in export countries, due to the differing JIS standard rather than DIN. Period sources suggest subtracting ten percent from the JIS numbers.
This particular Familia was a strong comeback for Mazda in the Japanese market, even outselling the Toyota Corolla on several occasions. The four-door sedan was equipped with a reverse-rake front grille and lights in the Japanese market, to make it appear more "senior". The same front design was used for the GA/GB Ford Meteor.
The 1980 Familia/323 was the first front-engine, front-wheel-drive vehicle from Mazda since the R130. This generation of 323 was Wheels magazine's car of the year for 1980. The existing station wagon version, simply a facelifted version of the previous rear-drive model (fitted with the square headlights and grille from the new model), was sold in parallel with the BD. The wagon was available with either three or five doors and was equipped either with the old 1,272 cc TC engine or the 1,415 cc UC. The 1.4 was replaced from 1983 with the newly developed 1,490 cc E5 engine. The TC 1.3 produces 60 PS (44 kW) while the larger versions offer 70 PS (51 kW). By 1985, the old 1.3 was replaced by the 1,296 cc E3 engine with 68 PS (50 kW); it was only available with the three-door estate body.
The equivalent American Mazda GLC (Great Little Car) appeared in the 1981 model year, although the rear-wheel drive wagon also continued to be offered. It was only offered with a single engine - the twin-barrel 1.5-liter with 68 hp (51 kW)—and lasted through 1985, after which it was replaced by the next-generation Mazda 323. With this, the GLC nameplate was retired. The BD was the only front-wheel drive Mazda vehicle using the GLC name. Originally it was offered with three- or five-door bodywork, in standard, Custom, Custom L, or Sport equipment levels. The five-door only came as a Custom and were sold only in Hawaii and Puerto Rico. All cars received exposed rectangular sealed-beam units.
The Sport received a steering wheel borrowed from the RX-7, full instrumentation, and a special rear interior which closely integrates the side trim with the rear seat design - an early iteration of a design taken to its extreme with the 1988 Persona and the 1990 Eunos Cosmo. Unlike the sporting 323s in other markets, the Sport only received special hubcaps, rather than alloy wheels.
Fifth generation (BF; 1985–1989)
|Fifth generation (BF)|
Mazda Familia GT-X 3 door Hatchback (BF)
|Also called||Mazda 323
Silverton, South Africa
Hermosillo, Mexico (Hermosillo Stamping & Assembly)
Rayong, Thailand (AAT)
Otahuhu (later Wiri), Auckland, New Zealand
Willowvale, Zimbabwe (WMMI)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||2-door cabriolet
5-door station wagon
2-door coupe utility (South Africa)
|Engine||1.3 L E3 I4
1.5 L E5 I4
1.5 L E5 turbo I4
1.6 L B6 I4
1.6 L B6T turbo I4
1.7 L PN diesel I4
|Transmission||3-speed Mazda F3A automatic
4 or 5-speed manual
|Wheelbase||2,400 mm (94.5 in)|
|Length||Hatchback: 4,110 mm (161.8 in)
Sedan/wagon: 4,310 mm (169.7 in)
|Width||1,645 mm (64.8 in)|
|Height||Sedan/hatchback: 1,390 mm (54.7 in)
Wagon: 1,430 mm (56.3 in)
|Curb weight||936 kg (2,064 lb)|
In January 1985, the fifth generation Familia/323 featured many updates. It was available as a hatchback or sedan only for the first year, and wagon and cabriolet models were added in November 1985 and March 1986 respectively. In January 1987 a personal coupé version with its own bodywork, the Étude, was added. In February 1987 the Familia range underwent a light facelift that included replacing the old E engines with the more modern B series.
The 1985 Familia spawned a Ford Laser twin sold in the Asia-Pacific. The Laser sedan and wagon were nearly identical to the Familia but with a Ford grille. By contrast the Laser hatchback model, which was sold in the U.S. as the Mercury Tracer used completely different panels from the Familia's.
This generation of the Familia/323 was also available in a version with a turbocharged DOHC engine, with either front- or four-wheel drive, producing 140 PS (103 kW). The 4WD version (sold in either a light-weight GT or fully optioned GT-X grade) introduced in October 1985, saw some success in rally's Group A category. A limited production homologation special, the 4WD GT-Ae, appeared in May 1988 and offered an additional ten horsepower. There was also a 1.7-liter diesel version available with 58 PS (43 kW) at 4300 rpm and 112 N·m (83 lb·ft) at 2800 rpm. It is an indirect injection engine, naturally aspirated.
This generation was sold through the 1989 model year in the United States. The wagon (BW) continued alongside the succeeding generation in most markets until 1994/95, and was later updated with a new grille and lights.
The model remained in production in South Africa, as an entry-level model until 2003. It was also sold there as the "Midge", the "Sting", and as the "Ford Tonic". A locally designed pick-up based on the Familia front end, called the Rustler was also produced, and sold as the "Ford Bantam". From 1991 to 1994 Samcor also produced and sold the 323 with the 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC FE engine from the Mazda 626 and badged it "200i". Along with the 2.0 L 16-valve DOHC engine there were upgrades to the suspension and braking system. Still, the 1.6-liter GT-Ae homologation car was more powerful.
This South African built model was also sold in Australia between 1989 and 1991 with minor changes, the most noticeable one being the front indicators having a clear color rather than the normal amber. These models were labeled BF as opposed to the next generation's BG.
A factory-built convertible body was introduced in March 1986 in both Mazda 323 and Ford Laser (323 panels from firewall back) versions, initially running the 1.5-liter SOHC E5T engine but later switching to the 1.6-liter DOHC B6D.
Engines (export models):
- 1985–1987 – 1.1 L (1,100 cc) E1, 2 barrel, 8-valve, 55 PS (40 kW; 54 hp) / 59 lb·ft (80 N·m)
- 1985–1987 – 1.3 L (1,296 cc) E3, 2 barrel, 8-valve, 68 PS (50 kW; 67 hp) / 71 lb·ft (96 N·m) - 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp) in some markets, 65 PS in Switzerland
- 1987–1989 – 1.3 L (1,323 cc) B3, 2 barrel, 8-valve, 66 PS (49 kW; 65 hp) / 74 lb·ft (100 N·m)
- 1985–1987 – 1.5 L (1,490 cc) E5, 2 barrel or EGi, 8-valve, 85 PS (63 kW)/12.3 kg·m (121 N·m) (JDM carb)
- 1985–1987 – 1.5 L (1,490 cc) E5T, turbo EGi, 8-valve, 115 PS (85 kW)/16.5 kg·m (162 N·m) (JDM only)
- 1987–1989 – 1.5 L (1,498 cc) B5, 2 barrel, 12-valve, 73 PS (54 kW; 72 hp) / 81 lb·ft (110 N·m)
- 1985–1989 – 1.6 L (1,597 cc) B6, 8-valve, 85 PS (63 kW; 84 hp) / 90 lb·ft (122 N·m)
- 1985–1989 – 1.6 L (1,597 cc) B6T, turbo, 16-valve, 140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp) / 138 lb·ft (187 N·m)
- 1986–1989 – 1.6 L (1,597 cc) B6D, 16-valve, 110 PS (81 kW; 108 hp) / 98 lb·ft (133 N·m) (JDM only)
- 1985–1989 – 1.7 L (1,720 cc) PN, Diesel, 8-valve, 57 PS (42 kW; 56 hp) / 107 lb·ft (145 N·m) (JDM only)
- 1988–1991 – 2.0 L (2,000 cc) FE-SOHC, EFi, 8-valve, 118 PS (87 kW; 116 hp) / 131 lb·ft (178 N·m) (South Africa only)
- 1991–1994 – 2.0 L (2,000 cc) FE-DOHC, EFi, 16-valve, 146 PS (107 kW; 144 hp) / 136 lb·ft (184 N·m) (South Africa only)
The South African-made model was exported to the United Kingdom between 1991 and 1993 as the "Sao Penza" and fitted with a 1.3-liter fuel-injected engine. The importer was Automotive Holdings, a subsidiary of Mazda Cars Ltd, the official Mazda UK importer. It was a rebadged version of the Mazda 323, imported from South Africa, where the 1985 model was still assembled by Samcor (now Ford Motor Company of South Africa), although it had ceased to be imported to the UK in 1989. Both four-door saloon and five-door hatchback versions were available, with fairly basic specifications.
It went on sale in the United Kingdom in July 1991, with 1200 vehicles expected to be sold that year. Marketed as "Japanese technology you can afford", it was sold at £7,500 - around £2,000 cheaper than the equivalent version of the new Mazda 323. However, its low prices were not enough to attract strong sales and it was withdrawn from sale in 1993. Just over 1,000 were sold, and as of 2015 none are still on the road - while another is off the road(SORN).
Sixth generation (BG; 1989–1994)
|Sixth generation (BG)|
|Also called||Mazda 323
Haima CA7130/CA7160 (China)
Rayong, Thailand (AAT)
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3-door hatchback
5-door hatchback (liftback)
|Layout||Front-engine, front-wheel drive / All-wheel drive|
Ford Escort/Ford Escort ZX2
|Engine||1.3 L B3 I4
1.5 L B5 I4
1.6 L B6 I4
1.8 L B8 SOHC I4
1.8 L BP DOHC I4
1.8 L BPT DOHC turbo I4
1.7 L PN diesel I4
4-speed F4A-EL automatic
|Wheelbase||Hatchback: 2,450 mm (96.5 in)
Sedan/F: 2,500 mm (98.4 in)
|Length||Hatchback: 3,995–4,035 mm (157.3–158.9 in)
Sedan: 4,215–4,355 mm (165.9–171.5 in)
|Width||1,670–1,690 mm (65.7–66.5 in)|
|Height||1,340–1,405 mm (52.8–55.3 in)|
|Curb weight||910–1,210 kg (2,006–2,668 lb)|
The sixth generation of Familia (BG) includes a three-door hatchback, five-door fastback, and a four-door sedan variants, none of which share any body panels. The new five-door fastback version was called the Familia Astina in Japan and was sold as the 323F or 323 Astina elsewhere. The BF wagon (originally introduced in 1985) was carried over in facelifted form, although Ford marketed a wagon on the new platform as part of the North American Escort line.
The BG Familia was available with front- or all-wheel drive and a 1.3 L, 1.5 L, 1.6 L, or 1.8 L gas or 1.7 L diesel engine. Later, a turbocharged engine was added, especially developed for homologation purposes for the World Rally Championship, Group A category. In North America, the 323 sedan became the Protegé, while the 323 hatchback kept its name. The four-wheel drive models (including the turbocharged GT-X) were introduced in August 1989. In Japan, the SOHC 1.6 was only available coupled to four-wheel drive. With a carburettor, it offered 91 PS (67 kW), the same as the lower-spec 1.5, but with a somewhat larger torque curve.
Trim lines in Japan included "Clair", "Interplay", "Supreme", "Pepper", and "GT-X". The Supreme model was only available in saloon form and features the larger bumpers and bootlid-mounted number plate recess of the American market Protegé. Carburetted models were mostly dropped in 1991, replaced by single-point fuel injection.
In the US, Canada and the Philippines, base (SE/DX), 4WD and top-line LX models were available. The 1990 base model has the SE name and uses the B8 1.8l SOHC engine that has 16 valves and hydraulic lifters. In 1991, the base model name was changed to "DX". 4WD models existed for the 1990 and 1991 model years, with the SOHC engine and rear disc brakes. The LX version of the Protegé included a BP 1.8l DOHC 16-valve engine 125 horsepower (93 kW) . LX models also have power windows and door locks and 14 inch wheels. Vented front and solid rear disc brakes, larger front brakes, larger clutch, equal-length driveshafts, dual outlet muffler, body-color door handles and mirrors, fold-down rear center armrest, driver's vanity mirror, and larger stabilizer bars. A sunroof and 14 inch aluminum alloy wheels were options on LX models.
BG models that were assembled in New Zealand came with glass headlights instead of plastic, and a 240 km/h speedometer.
Production of the 1994 model ended on 24 May 1994. In Australia, the BG model continued to be sold until 1996, as a more affordable alternative to the newer BH model. In China, the BG model was sold as the Haima CA7130 and the CA7160. They were produced from 1995 to 2000.
- 1989–1991 – 1.3 L (1,323 cc) B3, 1 barrel, 8-valve, 76 PS (56 kW) / 101 N·m (74 lb·ft)
- 1991–1994 – 1.3 L (1,323 cc) B3, EGI-S, 8-valve, 79 PS (58 kW) / 103 N·m (76 lb·ft)
- 1989–1991 – 1.5 L (1,498 cc) B5-M, carburetor, 16-valve, 91 PS (67 kW) / 122 N·m (90 lb·ft)
- 1990–1994 – 1.5 L (1,498 cc) B5-MI, EGI-S, 16-valve 94 PS (69 kW) / 123 N·m (91 lb·ft)
- 1989–1991 – 1.5 L (1,498 cc) B5-DE, EFi, 16-valve DOHC, 110 PS (81 kW) / 127 N·m (94 lb·ft)
- 1991–1994 – 1.5 L (1,498 cc) B5-DE, EFi, 16-valve DOHC, 115–120 PS (85–88 kW) / 132 N·m (97 lb·ft) (lower power for AT cars)
- 1989–1991 – 1.6 L (1,597 cc) B6, 1 barrel, 8-valve, 85 hp (63 kW; 86 PS) / 92 lb·ft (125 N·m)
- 1989–1994 – 1.6 L (1,597 cc) B6, FI, 16-valve SOHC, 103 hp (77 kW; 104 PS) / 108 lb·ft (146 N·m)
- 1989–1994 – 1.8 L (1,839 cc) BP, FI, 16-valve DOHC, 140 hp (104 kW; 142 PS) / 118 lb·ft (160 N·m)
- 1989–1994 – 1.8 L (1,839 cc) BPT, FI, 16-valve DOHC, turbo, 180 PS (132 kW) / 237 N·m (175 lb·ft) (Familia GT-X)
- 1991–1994 – 1.8 L (1,839 cc) B8, FI, 16-valve SOHC, 103 hp (77 kW)
- 1992–1993 – 1.8 L (1,839 cc) BPD, FI, 16-valve DOHC, turbo, 210 PS (154 kW) / 255 N·m (188 lb·ft) (Familia GT-R & GT-Ae)
- 1989–1994 – 1.7 L (1,720 cc) PN, Diesel, 8-valve, 57 PS (42 kW) / 112 N·m (83 lb·ft) (European specs)
The Mazda Familia Infini was produced from 1989 to 1990 as a special Japan only special sport trim line of the four-door Familia. Much of the Infini trim is similar to the American LX version, equipped with the 1.8 DOHC BP-ZE engine and 5-speed manual. The Infini was upgraded with a viscous limited slip differential, tightened suspension package, and bonnet/headlight style similar to the 323 hatchbacks. In 1994, these were facelifts were adopted on all Familia sedan models. The Infini came only in dark green color with unique Infini trim grille, rear spoiler, "lightweight" carpet, without sound deadener, and with Infini (∞) logos on horn button, front grille, wheel caps, and bootlid. There were also unique factory front clear indicators, a Momo steering wheel, BBS 15" rims, suede interior with GTX style seat trim, leather gearboot & knob, front and rear strut braces, 22 mm sway bars front and rear, rear tie bar, and a 7100 rpm redline tachometer, as well as 250 mm four-wheel disc brakes. Around 1,000 Infinis were produced, and preceded Mazda's ɛ̃fini Japanese dealership network.
Familia GTX, GTR and GT-Ae
The JDM GTX model featured four-wheel drive, viscous limited slip differentials and a turbocharged 1.8 L BP engine. In the U.S. the Protegé came with a 1.8 L SOHC non-turbocharged engine, along with 4WD. The JDM GT-R rally homologation version was added in 1992, featuring a number of enhancements over the GTX model: an aggressive front bumper, grill and bonnet vents, updated rear bumper, wheel flares, stiffer suspension and anti-roll bars with thicker cross members, and homologated five-stud wheel hubs with larger brakes. The interior was fitted with leather and suede seats, and had the option of replacing the cupholder with a 3 gauge cluster. In addition, the GTR has stronger connecting rods and pistons, larger oil squirters, larger nose crank, larger oil cooler, sodium filled valves, a baffled inlet manifold, larger injectors (from 360cc (black) to 440cc (orange)), removed boost cut, front-mounted intercooler, and an IHI VJ-23 ball bearing water-cooled turbocharger. Both the GTX and GTR models were limited to a top speed of 180kph. However, removing a screw on the back of the instrument cluster, labeled 180kph, meant that the speed limiter was removed.
The GT-R produced 210 PS (154 kW) compared to the GTX with 185 PS (136 kW). 300 special version GT-R's were produced known as GT-Ae's. These shared the power output of the GT-R, but were 30 kg (66 lb) lighter, fitted with closer ratio gearboxes, and featured a larger top spoiler with a gap between the hatch and the spoiler to direct air to the new lower spoiler. The wiring for ABS, A/C, power mirrors, power windows, power locks, and sunroof was removed. Instead of using the GTR's leather interior, the lighter cloth interior of the GTX was used.
A sporty, five-door liftback version was called the Familia Astina in Japan. Elsewhere, it was called 323F and 323 Astina. A luxury version was also sold in Japan as the Eunos 100. The car was produced from 1989 until 1994 before being replaced by the Lantis. A key feature of the Astina/F is the distinct front end with its pop-up headlights. There were carbureted or fuel injected SOHC versions available of the 1.5-, 1.6- and 1.8-liter engines, as well as a version of the 1.8 with DOHC and fuel injection. Unlike the standard Familia saloons and three-door hatchback, the Astina never came from the factory with a turbo or with four wheel drive.
Taillight arrangement varies from market to market, the main difference being the third brake light in the spoiler and two brake lights per cluster (Japanese spec), rather than one.
In the UK the 323F was launched with 1.6L 16v in either LX or GLX trim or as 1.8i 16vGT. In Indonesia it is called Astina GT and RX3 (Special model made in Indonesia like as front & rear bumper and side skirt) with BP05 engine 1.8L
Seventh generation (BH; 1994–1998)
|Seventh generation (BH, BA)|
|Also called||Mazda 323
Pretoria, South Africa,
Parañaque, Philippines (Columbian Autocar Corporation)
Rayong, Thailand (AAT)
Wiri, Auckland, New Zealand
Willowvale, Zimbabwe (WMMI)
|Designer||Yujiro Daikoku (1992)|
|Body and chassis|
4-speed F-4EAT automatic
|Wheelbase||Hatchback: 2,450 mm (96 in)
1997–98 Sedan: 2,607 mm (102.6 in)
|Length||Hatchback: 4,155 mm (163.6 in)
1997–98 Sedan: 4,440 mm (175 in)
1995–96 Sedan: 4,435 mm (174.6 in)
|Width||1997–98 Sedan: 1,710 mm (67 in) (Int'l)
1995–96 Sedan: 1,694 mm (66.7 in) (Japan)
Hatchback: 1,670 mm (66 in)
|Height||1,380–1,420 mm (54–56 in)|
The BH model was released for the Japanese domestic market in 1994 with front-wheel drive. Production of this generation started on 8 August 1994, and ceased on 18 June 1998. The sedan version was sold as the Protegé in North America, as the Mazda Artis in some South American markets, as the "Mazda Étude" in South Africa. Originally there was a sporty coupé-style three-door hatchback (323C/Familia Neo) available, but after sluggish sales a more traditional, upright hatchback version based on the facelifted Familia sedan replaced it.
An unusual JDM model appeared in 1994, with the cancellation of the 1985-generation station wagon. The Mazda Familia van offered after this year was a rebadged Nissan Wingroad/Sunny California, which was essentially the station wagon version of the Nissan Sunny N14.
The rare North American ES model came with the Miata's 1.8-liter twin-cam engine (though the internals were not entirely the same), all-wheel disc brakes, and dual stabilizer bars. The same car went on sale in Australia in the second half of 1994 with a fully featured BP-ZE engine. The Protegé became classified as a "compact car" for the 1995 model year in North America.
A MazdaSpeed version was released in Japan and Philippines. It came equipped with MazdaSpeed wrap around bodykit, MazdaSpeed rear spoiler, Momo steering wheel, 15-inch Rota Astral wheels wrapped in 195/55R15 Bridgestone Potenza RE01 tires, MazdaSpeed strut tower bar, Eibach springs, gas-charged shock absorbers, swaybars and MazdaSpeed exhaust made by Yumex.
The Familia/Protegé/323 was facelifted in 1996, with a newer somewhat more aggressive style.
- 1994–1998 – 1.5 L (1,500 cc) Z5, FI, 16-valve DOHC, 89 hp (66 kW; 90 PS) / 97 lb·ft (132 N·m)
- 1994–1998 – 1.6 L (1,597 cc) B6D
- 1994–1996 – 1.8 L (1,800 cc) B8, 114 hp (85 kW; 116 PS) / 115 lb·ft (156 N·m)
- 1994–1996 – 2.0 L (2,000 cc) KF V6, FI, 24-valve DOHC, 144 hp (107 kW; 146 PS) / 132 lb·ft (179 N·m)
- 1995–1999 – 1.3 L (1,300 cc) B3, 74 hp (55 kW; 75 PS) / 77 lb·ft (104 N·m)
- 1995–1999 – 1.8 L (1,800 cc) BP, FI, 16-valve DOHC, 131 hp (98 kW; 133 PS) / 118 lb·ft (160 N·m)
- 1995–1999 – 2.0 L (2,000 cc) RF, Diesel, 8-valve, 71 hp (53 kW; 72 PS) / 94 lb·ft (127 N·m)
- Four-door sedan (called the Protegé in North America, 323S in Europe, 323 Protegé in Australia and Étude in South Africa)
- Three-door hatchback (Familia Neo in Japan, 323C and 323P (323P being a hatchback version of 323S) in Europe, Laser Lynx as a Ford)
- A tall wagon on Nissan-basis, called the Familia Van, was also available in Japan.
The Familia Neo started production for the Japanese domestic market in 1994, and was also sold as the 323C in Europe and the 323 Neo in Canada. Ford released a rebadged version which was mechanically the same although different bumpers, headlights and bonnet were fitted, badged as the Ford Laser Lynx in Japan and Australia, and the Aztec in Taiwan. This model was only available as the Ford Laser-Lynx in the Australian market, as Mazda already had the 323 Astina Hatch filling the gap for a hatchback in the Mazda range. To contradict this, Mazda Australia also offered two 323 sedans, the Astina/Lantis hardtop and the 323 Protegé until production of both models ceased in 1998.
This was released new in New Zealand as the Mazda Familia Neo. It featured a rear hatch with a divided glass, much like the Honda CR-X. Aesthetically the Familia Neo was very close in looks to a Mazda Lantis/323F and equated to a three-door version and also shared the Lantis suspension. The top specced Mazda Neo was fitted with a DOHC 1,800 cc BP engine which produced around 112 PS (82 kW), and this was the same engine fitted to the base model Mazda Lantis. It was also sold for a single year (1995) in Canada as 323 Neo GS. In Europe it was named Mazda 323C (for coupé) and it was equipped with 1.3 L SOHC (75 HP), 1.5 L DOHC 16V (88 HP), and 1.8 L DOHC 16V (112 HP) engine.
A five-door hatchback and four-door sedan, both featuring pillarless doors and distinct sheetmetal from other 323s, was sold in Japan as the Mazda Lantis, in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as the Mazda 323 Astina, in Colombia as the Mazda Allegro and in Europe as the Mazda 323F.
They were built on platforms distinct from the other 323s. The bodyshape was designed by former Porsche designers. The Lantis was on the CB, a minor update of the CA that underpinned the luxury Mazda Xedos 6 and Eunos 500. The European 323F was designated BA, but was actually almost identical to the CB, and had little to do with other B platforms. These models were sold with the 1.5 L 1.6L and 1.8 L engines seen in the rest of the 323 range, as well as a 2.0 L V6 shared with the Eunos 500.
Eighth generation (BJ; 1998–2003)
|Eighth generation (BJ)|
|Also called||Mazda 323
Mazda Isamu Genki (Taiwan)
Ford Laser (KN/KQ)
Haima Happin (China)
2003–present (Colombia, China, Taiwan)
Pretoria, South Africa
Rayong, Thailand (AAT)
Willowvale, Zimbabwe (WMMI)
|Designer||Tsutomu Toyoda (1996)|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3-door hatchback
5-door wagon (Nissan Wingroad based)
|Engine||FS-DET Turbo DOHC I4|
4-speed 4F27E automatic
|Wheelbase||2,610 mm (103 in)|
|Length||1999–2000 Protegé: 174.0 in (4,420 mm)
2001–03 Protegé: 175.3 in (4,453 mm)
Protegé5: 170.5 in (4,331 mm)
2001–03 Wagon: 4,265 mm (167.9 in) 1999–2000 Wagon: 4,215 mm (165.9 in)
2001–03 Sedan: 4,365 mm (171.9 in)
1999–2000 Sedan: 4,315 mm (169.9 in)
Mazdaspeed & MP3: 4,435 mm (174.6 in)
|Width||1,705 mm (67.1 in) (Int'l)
1,695 mm (66.7 in) (Japan)
|Height||Sedan: 1,410 mm (56 in)
Wagon: 1,470 mm (58 in)
Mazdaspeed & MP3: 55.3 in (1,405 mm)
A redesigned eighth generation BJ Familia was introduced on 9 June 1998 and released on 29 September 1998 as a 1999 model. Body styles included a four-door sedan, five-door S-Wagon (sold as the Protegé5 in the United States and Canada, and Astina NU in some Asian countries) and a three-door hatchback. In Japan there was also a traditional five-door Wagon sold, but this car is simply a rebadged Nissan. A 4EC automatic transmission and two five-speed manual transmissions were available. All-wheel drive is optional.
The 1999 BJ platform was updated with a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback chassis based on the larger Mazda Capella and offered with more engine choices. The Japanese Mazda Familia had all-wheel drive as an option. In North America, the ES's engine was still 1.8 liters, but for the eighth generation it was a smaller version of the 626's engine (the FP) rather than the sportier engine shared with the Miata which had been used previously. The rear disc brakes of the ES were downgraded to drums.
In 2001, the entire line was facelifted with new styling, a revised suspension, and a new audio system. For North America, ES models received rear disc brakes and a stiffer suspension. The 1.8 L engine was increased to 2.0 L for the ES models, and was optional on the LX model, becoming the 2.0LX. The standard 2001 Protegé LX engine was the carryover 1.6 L ZM-DE.
A 2.0 L gas engine appeared in 2001 on the Japanese market Sport 20. In 1999, Ford of Japan ceased to market Mazda-based models, and the Ford Laser, along with the Ixion, Telstar and Festiva, was discontinued.
For the 2001 model year in North America, Mazda introduced the limited-edition Protegé MP3 featuring a new sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch Racing Hart wheels, and a 10 hp (7 kW; 10 PS) gain for a total of 140 hp (104 kW; 142 PS), which was achieved through a tuned factory ECU which advances ignition timing requiring high octane rating gasoline, cat-back exhaust by Racing Beat, and removal of the Mazda VTCS system. The MP3 also came from the factory with a complete 450-watt Kenwood powered MP3 stereo with 10-inch (250 mm) powered subwoofer. A total of 1,500 were produced – 1,000 finished in blue, and 500 painted yellow.
2001 saw the North American introduction of the hatchback, called Protegé5 with the same 2.0 L engine offering 130 hp (97 kW; 132 PS) / 135 lb·ft (183 N·m) this year and a slightly revised interior. In 2002, most Protegés (including the 5) received the 2.0 L engine, although the SE in Canada had the 1.6 L.
In 2003, Mazdaspeed introduced the Mazdaspeed Protegé, an update to the Protegé MP3 that had a 170 hp (127 kW; 172 PS) / 160 lb·ft (217 N·m) turbocharged engine, shared the MP3's full Racing Beat suspension, redesigned 17-inch (430 mm) wheels, larger four-wheel disc brakes, and a Kenwood stereo system that included an amplifier along with a rear-deck mounted 8-inch (200 mm) sub. Mazda then followed with a mid year change dubbed the "2003.5." This model included a different aero-kit, the same 17-inch (430 mm) Racing Hart wheels, but with a darker color, and custom interior pieces. In total, there were 4,500 Mazdaspeed Protegé models produced of which 1,750 were painted Black/Orange for first version and 2,750 of the mid-year model that were finished in Yellow/Titanium/Blue/Silver.
The 2003 ES model received a tiptronic automatic transmission as an option, as well as a new wheel design appearing on models with the 15-inch (380 mm) alloy rim option. This was also the last year of production for the Protegé.
Production ended on 2 October 2003 and the whole Familia line were replaced by the Mazda3 in early 2004. The Mazda3 (sold as the "Axela" in Japan) comes in both four-door sedan and five-door hatchback varieties, with a 2.0-liter engine on the 3i sedan and a 2.3-liter engine on the 3s sedan and the hatchback. It shares a platform with the current generation Volvo S40 and the second generation Ford Focus.
The eighth generation Familia continued to be produced by Ford Lio Ho in Taiwan as the "Mazda Isamu Genki" (sold as hatch and sedan and with little or no styling differences to the original 1998 production model). It was also badged as the "Ford Activa", which, unlike the Ford Laser, had no styling changes from the 323, except for the badges. In Southeast Asia, a version of the last Laser continued to be assembled in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines as the Ford Lynx.
This generation remained in production in some South American countries (Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela), badged as the Mazda Allegro. Each Allegro keep in the styling of the last generation 323/Protegé/Astina/Familia. In Colombia, production of the Mazda 323 continued until 2003, built by its local subsidiary, the Compañía Colombiana Automotriz.
Chinese company FAW Haima Automobile Co., Ltd. produces a restyled version of the Familia/323 called Haima Family. It is equipped with a 1.6 L gasoline engine mated with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic gearbox. Another version called the Haima Happin went on sale from 2010 to 2012. The Happin was equipped with a 1.3 L engine and a five speed manual gearbox.
- Engines (includes all models from 1998 to 2003)
- 1.3 L B3-ME SOHC I4
- 1.5 L ZL-DE DOHC I4
- 1.5 L ZL-VE S-VT I4
- 1.6 L ZM-DE DOHC I4
- 1.8 L FP-DE DOHC I4
- 2.0 L FS, 130 hp (97 kW; 132 PS) / 135 lb·ft (183 N·m)
- 2.0 L FS-ZE (2001 Sport 20)
- 2.0 L RF Diesel
- "History of Familia: Development Story, p. 1". Mazda Motor Co. Archived from the original on 12 May 2013.
Tanegawa, Takeshi (長谷川) (June 2007). "Mazda Familia Model SSA" (PDF). Letter from Toyota Museum (トヨタ博物館だより) (in Japanese). Toyota Motor Corporation (71): 5–7. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- "History of Familia: Development Story, p. 2". Mazda Motor Co. Archived from the original on 20 August 2009.
- "History of Familia: Development Story, p. 3". Mazda Motor Co. Archived from the original on 13 May 2013.
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