Mazda3 40th Anniversary

Celebrating our iconic small cars

From 323 to Mazda3

From the first Mazda 323 in 1977 to the current Mazda3, our iconic small cars have come a long way. Whether it’s style, performance, technology or safety, we’re proud to make cars that Australians love to drive.

Over the last four decades we've introduced over forty different models. Station Wagons. Hatchbacks. Sedans and Coupes. While style, technology, safety and performance have evolved, we've made sure that our philosophy of Jinba Ittai - the harmony between car and driver - has remained the same.

Take a look at some of the classics.

1970s

Mazda 323

From 1977, we introduced the Mazda 323 in Australia.

Known as GLC for "Great Little Car" in North America, and 323 in the rest of the world, it debuted in January 1977 as a rear-wheel-drive subcompact car. It featured a nimble 1.4 litre engine and was available in hatch, sedan and wagon styles.

At that time, rear-windscreen washers were standard across the range.

1980s

Mazda 323 Deluxe

The third generation Mazda 323 came with many updates and was first released in 1984.

It was available as a hatchback or sedan for the first year, with wagon and cabriolet models added later on from  1985.

The economical 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder front wheel drive came with 5-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission.

1990s

Mazda 323 Astina

The 90s saw our iconic Mazda 323 Astina hit the streets.

Dramatically different thanks to its coupe-like styling, slanted nose and compact projector headlights, it won over a lot of hearts and took out the award for the Australian Small Car of the Year.

The Mazda 323 Astina came in both a Hardtop and a Hatchback with a 1.8 litre 4 cylinder 16-valve, or a 2.0 litre V6 24-valve engine.

Power steering, central locking, electronically operated side mirrors and windows were standard at the time with the 2.0 litre versions also featuring a CD player.

2000s

First Generation Mazda3

In 2004 we said goodbye to Mazda 323 and hello to the first generation Mazda3.

Built from the ground up, the first generation Mazda3 had a long wheelbase, short overhangs and a high rear deck that formed the elegant coupe proportions. It gave our iconic small cars a uniquely stylish presence that was distinctly different to it's predecessors.

Available in both hatch and sedan, the stylish, economical and compact Mazda3 set the foundation for the new generation vehicles to come.

Throughout the years

There's never been a better time to be in the driver's seat