The Mazda Familia is a long-running nameplate used by Mazda for their small family cars or compact cars manufactured between 1964 and 2003, with 10,589,052 sold worldwide. The Familia was marketed under various names, including 1000, 1200, and 1300, 800, 808, and 818. In many markets, however, the more recent Familias were known as Mazda 323. In North America, the names Mazda GLC and then Mazda Protégé were used. In South Africa, it was known as the Etude. The Familia formed the basis of the Ford Laser and Meteor in Asia, Australasia and from 1991, the Ford Escort and Mercury Tracer in North America.
Familias were built in Hiroshima, Japan, although they were also assembled in Taiwan, Malaysia, South Africa, Colombia and New Zealand. The Familia line was replaced by the Mazda Axela in 2004.
(This vehicle will be referred to as the “Familia” throughout this article for consistency.)
The first production Familia appeared in October 1963, and was a commercial two-door wagon called the Familia Van. It was joined in 1964 with a sedan, styled by Giugiaro, and was later sold in other markets as the 800. Both were powered by a 782cc aluminum inline 4 engine.
The Familia received a larger 985cc engine for 1965, and a coupé variant was introduced as well.
The new Familia appeared in 1967 with a 987cc engine. It was sold as the Mazda 1000 in some markets. It also formed the basis for the Mazda R100 rotary car. A larger 1169cc I4 engine came along later, becoming the Mazda 1200 for export.
The 1970 Familia featured a 1.3L TC engine and new styling. It was exported as the Mazda 1300 and Mazda 818.
- 1968-1973 - 987cc I4, 50hp (37kW)/56ft·lbf (77N·m)
- 1968-1970 - 1.2L (1169cc) I4, 58hp (43kW)/69ft·lbf (94N·m)
- 1970-1973 - 1.3L (1272cc) TC I4, 2 barrel, 69hp (51kW)/67ft·lbf (92N·m)
The "1200" was offered in the United States in 1971 and again in 1973. The 1971 version was the first piston-powered Familia sold in the United States and arrived alongside its rotary R100 in 2- and 4-door forms. It was replaced by the 808 the next year. The name returned for 1973 as the base-model economy Mazda. The company focused on performance for two more years, dropping the economy car, then returned with the Mizer in 1976.
- 1971, 1973 - 1.2L (1169cc) I4, 58hp (43kW)/69ft·lbf (94N·m)
The 1973 Familia Preso featured a 1272cc engine. It was sold as the Mazda 808 in some export markets such as New Zealand and Australia and Asia Pacific markets and Mazda 818 in many others (presumably due to the usage of numbers with a middle zero by Peugeot for its automotive models). In Japan this model is also known as the Mazda Grand Familia and its top line model is a 2 door coupé with twin round headlamp and a rotary powered engine known as the RX3.
This generation was available in coupé, sedan, and station wagon forms. Engines were inline 4 cylinders and included a 1272cc, a 1490cc, and a 1586cc option.
- 1973-1976 - 987cc I4, 50hp (37kW)/56ft·lbf (77N·m)
- 1970-1973 - 1.3L (1272cc) TC I4, 2 barrel, 69hp (51kW)/67ft·lbf (92N·m)
- 1973-1976 - 1.6L (1586cc) I4, 80hp (60kW)/91ft·lbf (124N·m)
For 1976 and 1977, the 1.3L version was sold as the Mazda Mizer in the United States.
- 1976-1977 - 1.3L (1272cc) TC I4, 2 barrel, 69hp (51kW)/67ft·lbf (92N·m)
The Mazda 808 was sold in 1972 and 1973 (on the previous platform), then updated and sold through 1977. This name was given only to the 1.6L version of the Familia.
The 808 cost $2997, which was some $200 above the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. The car came with a "pleasant" 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission.
- 1972-1977 - 1.6L (1590cc) 1600 I4, 1-barrel, 70hp (52kW)/82ft·lbf (111N·m)
The Great Little Car or GLC debuted for 1977 as a standout in the rear wheel drive subcompact crowd, replacing the 818/Mizer. There was a choice of hatchbacks and station wagon bodies, both available with a 3 or 5-door bodystyle. Three Mazda engines were on offer, the 985cc PC, 1272cc TC, or 1416cc UC. It shared many parts with the older Mazda RX-3.
In South Africa a 1600cc model was available - however this model did not have a Mazda engine, unlike the rest of the range. In order to satisfy that country's local content regulations, a Mitsubishi Saturn 1.6 litre unit was used.
The range was replaced in 1980, however the station wagon models continued in production until 1985. 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.
The Mazda 323 name appeared for the first time on export models.
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 first Mazda GLC was a version of the fourth-generation Japan-market Mazda Familia.
It was available in several body variants:
- Five-door four-seat hatch.
- Three-door four-seat hatch.
- Five-door four-seat station wagon.
- Three-door four-seat station wagon.
- Three-door two-seat van with an extended roof profile.
Several of these were available in several trim levels.
- 1.0L PC, 45hp (33.6kW)/51ft·lbf (69N·m)
- 1.3L TC (1977-1978)
- 1.4L UC (1979-1980)
Later, a five-speed manual gearbox was introduced as an alternative to the original four-speed manual gearbox. At the same time the original 7in (17.8cm) 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 throughout the model run.
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 1985, when a new front-wheel-drive model was introduced.
In Indonesia this Mazda type was reborn by Indomobil. They rename it to Mazda MR90 (Hatchback) [1990-1992], Baby Boomers (Hatchback} [1992-1994], and Vantrend (Station Wagon) [1993-1997]. All this Mazda type headlamp is using Mazda 626 GC platform models and have a different bumpers. For engine, this version only using UC 1.4 engine and 5 speed transmission. This car was make for intermediate soriety because this car price is cheap enough than other car in the year of this car was made.
The 1980 BD 1051 Familia was entirely new - it was Mazda's first front-engine, front wheel drive subcompact car. It had been developed with some input from Ford, and had a twin called the Ford Laser (and Ford Meteor, for its four-door model in Australia). The 1.4L UC engine was dropped, and offered the newer 1.3L E3 and 1.5L E5 as options.
- 1980-1985 - 1.1L (1071cc) E1, 1 barrel, 55hp (40kW)/58ft·lbf (79N·m)
- 1980-1985 - 1.3L (1296cc) E3, 2 barrel, 68hp (50kW)/70ft·lbf (95N·m)
- 1980-1985 - 1.5L (1490cc) E5, 2 barrel, 75hp (55kW)/85ft·lbf (116N·m)
- 1980-1985 - 1.5L (1490cc) E5S, 2x2 barrel, 85hp (63kW)/88ft·lbf (120N·m)
For the Japanese market 2 other top end models were offered, the 2 door Familia XGI with a 1500 cc single cam, single point fuel injected engine and an XGI Turbo R with a turbo added in. Its twin the Ford Laser S were also offered with the same specifications but in limited numbers.
This particular Familia was a strong comeback for Mazda in the Japanese market, even outselling the Toyota Corolla on several occasions.
The second-generation American GLC appeared in 1981. It was only offered with a single engine (the 2 barrel 1.5L) and lasted through 1985, after which it was replaced by the next-generation Mazda 323.
The 1980 323 featured a 1.5L engine, and was front wheel drive. It was available as a hatchback and sedan. The 1980 Carol/323 was the first front-engine, front-wheel drive vehicle from Mazda since the rare R130. A station wagon version, which was simply a facelifted version of the previous rear-drive model, was also sold. The 323 was Wheels magazine's Car of the Year for 1980. It was also the only front-wheel drive Mazda vehicle with the GLC name.
- 1980-1987 - 1.1L E1 I4, 55hp (41kW) and 79N·m (58ft·lbf)
- 1980-1987 - 1.3L E3 I4, 60hp (44kW) and 95N·m (70ft·lbf)
- 1980-1987 - 1.5L E5 I4, 75hp (56kW) and 116N·m (86ft·lbf)
- 1981-1985 - 1.5L (1490cc) E5, 2 barrel, 75hp (55kW)/85ft·lbf (116N·m)
The 1985 Familia featured many updates. It was available as a hatchback or sedan only for the first year, a wagon being added for 1986.
As before, it 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 US as the Mercury Tracer used completely different panels from the Familia's.
This generation was sold through the 1989 model year in the United States. The wagon continued alongside the succeeding generation in most markets until 1995, with a new grille and lights.
The model remained in production in South Africa, as an entry-level model, also being sold as the Ford Tonic until 2003. A locally designed pick-up called the Rustler was also produced, and sold as the Ford Bantam. In 1991, the South African-made model was exported to the United Kingdom as the Sao Penza. This 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 where labeled BF as oppose to the next generation's BG.
A rare cabriolet version was also produced in both Mazda 323 and Ford Laser (323 panels from firewall back) forms. This was not a conversion, as it was actually a factory built model designed to be a cabriolet from the outset.
- 1985-1986 - 1.1L (1071cc) E1, 2 barrel, 8-valve, 55hp (40kW)/59ft·lbf (80N·m)
- 1985-1986 - 1.3L (1296cc) E3, 2 barrel, 8-valve, 68hp (50kW)/71ft·lbf (97N·m)
- 1987-1989 - 1.3L (1324cc) B3, 2 barrel, 66hp (49kW)/74ft·lbf (101N·m)
- 1985-1989 - 1.5L (1498cc) B5, 2 barrel, 12-valve, 73hp (54kW)/81ft·lbf (110N·m)
- 1985-1989 - 1.6L (1597cc) B6, 8-valve, 103hp (76kW)/98ft·lbf (133N·m)
- 1985-1989 - 1.6L (1597cc) B6T, turbo, 16-valve, 143hp (105kW)/138ft·lbf (187N·m)
- 1985-1989 - 1.7L (1720cc) PN, Diesel, 8-valve, 57hp (42kW)/79ft·lbf (107N·m)
- 1985-1988 - 1.5L (1490cc) E5, 2 barrel, 8-valve, 73hp (54kW) 4WD, Model BF5R (J-Spec only)
This generation of Familia had hatchback, sedan and wagon (carried over from 1985) variants, which shared no body panels — a policy that may have led to Mazda's financial difficulties in the 1990s. The Familia Astina was a 5-door fastback version of this Familia, sold as the 323F or 323 Astina elsewhere.
The 1989/1990 BG Familia was available in hatchback or sedan formats, with front- or all-wheel drive and a 1.3L, 1.5L, 1.6L, or 1.8L gas or 1.7L diesel engine. In North America, the 323 sedan became the Protegé, while the 323 hatchback remained the same name. The Protegé was in competition with the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, while the 323 hatchback competed with the Geo Metro and Toyota Tercel.
The GT model, only sold in Canada in 1990, 1991 and 1993, came with the 1.8 BP engine also found on the 1994-97 Mazda Miata. It borrowed the interior from the GTX model, and had all factory options including a rear trunk spoiler not available in America. Ford also had a twin called the Laser in the Asian Pacific for this generation, but sold it in the United States as the Escort. It no longer resembled the Mazda versions externally.
The JDM GTX model featured all wheel drive, Limited slip differentials and a turbocharged 1.8L BP engine. In the U.S. the Protégé came with a 1.8L non-turbo, with the AWD. In 1992, the rare JDM GT-R rally version was added featuring a number of performance enhancements over the GTX model: a stronger gearbox (G5M-R), sodium filled exhaust valve stems, an aggressive front bumper and bonnet vents, stronger engine internals, larger upgraded roller-bearing turbo and homologated five stud wheel hubs.
In Japan, the 5-door hatchback, featuring a distinct front end with pop-up headlights, was sold as the Mazda Familia Astina and Eunos 100. Trim lines in Japan included Clair, Interplay, Supreme, and GT-X.
The car donated its mechanicals/Unibody to the 1991-1996 Ford Escort and Mercury Tracer and 1994-1997 Kia Sephia in North America, as well as the Ford Laser in Australia and South Africa.
In America, the LX version of the Protégé became known for its interior room (for its class), sporty handling, and revvy 125horsepower (93kW) engine. LX models also had 14-inch wheels, front and rear disc brakes, and dual stabilizer bars.
Production of the 1994 model ended on May 24, 1994.
- 1989-1991 - 1.6L (1598cc) B6, 1 barrel, 8-valve, 87hp (64kW)/92ft·lbf (125N·m)
- 1989-1994 - 1.8L (1839cc) B8, FI, 16-valve SOHC, 103hp (77kW)/108ft·lbf (133N·m)
- 1989-1994 - 1.8L (1839cc) BP, FI, 16-valve DOHC, 125hp (96kW)/118ft·lbf (160N·m)
- 1989-1991 - 1.8L (1839cc) BPT, FI, 16-valve DOHC, turbo, 163hp (120kW)/159ft·lbf (216N·m)
- 1991-1994 - 1.8L (1839cc) Mazda B engine#B8, FI, 16-valve SOHC, 165hp (123kW)
- 1992-1993 - 1.8L (1839cc) BPD, FI, 16-valve DOHC, turbo, 210hp (156kW)/173ft·lbf (235N·m). Powered the Familia GT-R
- 1990-1993 - 1.3L (1324cc) B3, 1 barrel, 75hp (55kW)/76ft·lbf (104N·m)
- 1990-1993 - 1.7L (1720cc) PN, Diesel, 8-valve, 57hp (42kW)/79ft·lbf (107N·m)
The 1995 BH model was available internationally (The BH model was released for the Japanese Domestic Market the previous year, in 1994) with both front wheel drive and all wheel drive. Production of this generation started on August 8, 1994, and ceased on June 18, 1998.
However, Japan did see an unusual model with this generation after 1995, with the cancellation of the 1985-generation station wagon. The Mazda Familia Van offered after this year was a rebadged Nissan Sunny California, which was essentially the station wagon version of the Nissan Sunny.
This generation of Familia grew considerably, with the four-door sedan's wheelbase only a few millimetres short of the then-current Toyota Camry, a mid-size car.
The rare North American ES model is the only Protegé that came with the Miata's 1.8-liter twin-cam engine (though the internals were not the same), 4-wheel disc brakes, and dual stabilizer bars.
- 1994-1998 - 1.5L (1489cc) Z5, FI, 16-valve DOHC, 89hp (66kW)/97ft·lbf (132N·m)
- 1994-1996 - 1.8L (1840cc) B8, 114hp (84kW)/115ft·lbf (157N·m)
- 1994-1996 - 2.0L (1995cc) KF V6, FI, 24-valve DOHC, 144hp (106kW)/132ft·lbf (180N·m)
- 1995-1999 - 1.3L (1324cc) B3, 74hp (54kW)/77ft·lbf (105N·m)
- 1995-1999 - 1.8L (1840cc) BP, FI, 16-valve DOHC, 131hp (96kW)/118ft·lbf (160N·m)
- 1995-1999 - 2.0L (1998cc) RF, Diesel, 8-valve, 71hp (52kW)/94ft·lbf (128N·m)
- 4-door sedan (called the Protegé in North America)
- 3-door hatchback (Familia Neo in Japan, 323c in Europe Laser Lynx)
- A tall wagon, called the Familia Van, was also available in Japan. In South Africa, this model was known as the Mazda Etude.
Main article: Mazda Lantis
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 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 1.5L and 1.8L engines seen in the rest of the 323 range, as well as a 2.0L V6 shared with the Eunos 500.
Familia Neo/323c/Laser Lynx
The Familia Neo started production for the Japanese Domestic Market in 1994. 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. 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. Oddly enough to contradict this, Mazda Australia also offered two 323 sedans, the Astina/Lantis hardtop and the 323 Protege until production of both models ceased in 1998. This was released new in New Zealand as the Mazda 323 Neo. It featured a glass rear hatch, much like the Honda CR-X. Aesthetically the Familia Neo was very close in looks to a Mazda Lantis/323F and equated to a 2 door version and also shared the Lantis suspension. The top spec Mazda Neo was fitted with a DOHC 1800cc BP engine which produced around 100kw, 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 323 C (stand for coupé) and it was equipped with 1.3 L SOHC (75 PS), 1.5 L DOHC 16V (88 PS), and 1.8 L DOHC 16V (115 PS) engine.
There was a MAZDASPEED touring kit released in Asia for Familia 96-98:
A redesigned ninth-generation BJ Familia was introduced on June 9, 1998 as a 1999 model. Body styles were the sedan, 5-door S-Wagon (sold as the Protegé5 in the United States and Canada, and Astina NU in some Asian countries), 3-door hatchback, and traditional 5-door Wagon. A 4EC automatic transmission and two 5-speed manual transmissions are available. All wheel drive is optional.
The 1999 BJ platform was updated with a 4-door sedan or 5-door hatchback chassis based on the larger Mazda 626 and more engine choices. The Japanese Mazda Familia again got all wheel drive as an option. In America, the ES's engine was still 1.8 liters large but was a shrunken version of the 626's engine rather than the Miata's more exciting motor. Disc brakes on the ES were also lost.
The Familia Van and Familia Business Wagon were introduced for 2000, and continued to be supplied by Nissan under an OEM deal, based on the Wingroad.
The entire line was updated for 2001 with sharper styling, a revised suspension, and a new audio system.
A 2.0L gas engine appeared in 2001 on the Japanese market Sport 20. A tall wagon version of the Familia called the Mazda Premacy was also available, and which was sold in Japan as the Ford Ixion. In 1999, Ford of Japan ceased to market Mazda-based models, and the Ford Laser, along with the Ixion, Telstar and Festiva, was dropped.
For the 2001 model year in North America, Mazda introduced the limited-edition Protegé MP3 featuring a new sport-tuned suspension, 17inch Racing Hart wheels, and a 10hp (7.5kW) gain for a total of 140hp (104kW), which was achieved through a tuned factory ECU which advances ignition timing and requires Premium Pump Gasoline, cat-back exhaust by Racing Beat, and removal of the Mazda VTCS system which hindered air velocity in the intake manifold. As the name suggests, the MP3 also came from the factory with a complete 450-watt Kenwood powered MP3 stereo with 10 inch powered subwoofer. Only 1500 were produced - 1000 of the blue, and 500 yellows.
2001 also saw Protegés getting a sharper face lift, the ES getting its rear disc brakes back and a stiffer suspension, and the 1.8L engine growing to 2.0L in the ES models, and also an option on the LX model, becoming the 2.0LX. All 2001 Protege LX's with no 2.0 distinction came with the 1.6L ZM-DE engine offered previously.
2002 saw the introduction of a station wagon version called Protegé5. All Proteges (including the 5) got the 2.0L engine this year and a slightly revised interior.
A Protegé 5 was introduced as another limited edition, having a revised 2.0L engine, offering 130hp (127kW)/135ft·lbf (180 N·m)
In 2003, Mazdaspeed introduced the Mazdaspeed Protegé, an update to the Protegé MP3 that had a 170hp (127kW)/160ft·lbf (217 N·m) turbocharged engine, shared the MP3's full Racing Beat suspension, redesigned 17inch wheels, larger four-wheel disc brakes, and a Kenwood stereo system that included an amplifier along with a rear-deck mounted 8inch sub. Mazda then followed with a mid year change dubbed the "2003.5." This model included a different aero-kit, the same 17inch Racing Beat wheels, but with a darker color, and custom interior pieces. In total, there were only 4,500 Mazdaspeed Protegé models ever produced. (1,750 Black/Orange (2003) and 2,750 Yellow/Titanium/Blue/Silver (2003.5/7))
Also of note in the 2003 model is that the ES model received a tiptronic Automatic transmission as an option, as well as a new wheel design refresh appearing on models with the 15 inch alloy rim option. This was also the last year of production for the Protegé.
This generation went into production on September 29, 1998, and the very last model rolled off the assembly line on October 2, 2003. It remains in production in Taiwan, where it is also badged as the Ford Activa, which, unlike the Ford Laser, has no styling changes from the 323, except for the badges. (In Southeast Asia, a version of the last Laser is still assembled in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines as the Ford Lynx).
This Generation is also still in production as at 2008, in Asia (Taiwan) As the Mazda Genki (sold as hatch and sedan and with little or no styling differences to the original 1998 production model), and 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/Protege/Astina/Familia.
In Colombia, production of the Mazda 323 continued well until 2003, built by its local subsidiary, the Compañía Colombiana Automotriz. The 323 remains to this day one of the most successful cars made in the country and many models made across the years can still be seen in the streets of most Colombian and Andean cities. Oddly enough, the "boxy" look that characterized the vehicle during the 1980s and the early 1990s remained until production's end due to the demand of the local market for the car's lines.
Chinese company FAW Haima Automobile Co., Ltd. produces a restyled version of 323 called Haima Family. It is equipped with a 1.6 L gasoline engine mated with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or 4-speed automatic gearbox.
- 1.3L B3-ME SOHC I4
- 1.5L ZL-DE DOHC I4
- 1.5L ZL-VE S-VT I4
- 1.8L FP-DE DOHC I4
- 2.0L FS, 150hp (97kW) and 135ft·lbf (183N·m)
- 2.0L FS-ZE (2001 Sport 20)
- 2.0L RF Diesel
The Familia was replaced by the new BK model known as Axela/Mazda3 for 2004. The Axela/Mazda3 comes in both 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback varieties, with a 2.0 litre engine on the 3i sedan and a 2.3 litre engine on the 3s sedan and the hatchback. It shares a platform with the current generation Volvo S40 and the second generation Ford Focus (not sold in North America).
A Protege is currently used in the Speed Touring Car Championship.