Mazda 121 (1990-97)

1 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Mazda 121 (1990-97)
Mazda 121

(1990-97) (January

The Mazda 121 bubble redefined the small car with cute high quality and spacious Under siege from the Mazda was later forced to $2,000 out of the car


On its November launch, the new Mazda 121 was lifted clear of its budget predecessor an obvious link to the MX-5 took the market by storm a year earlier. Its efficient engine was a 16 valve development of 323 and Laser B-series powerplants its curved, high cabin the space of more expensive cars.

Initially presented as a top model only with bumpers, large 14 inch with premium Astina-style and lavish cabin trim and it was not cheap as it nudged $20,000 specified with 4 speed power steering and air-cond. As took the high ground, plugged the gap with the Korean of the previous model badged as the

A premium Mazda 121 Funtop folding canvas roof in January 1993. These examples were bought by buyers who looked after Mazda split the range a stripped-out 1.3 model in January while the top of the range version with a new 1.5-litre engine.

The 1.3 model felt noisier and on the road.

A Mazda 121 Shades pack based on an upgraded of the 1.3 sold well into as the final model of this and ran for almost a year alongside its 121 replacement.


Mazda this 121 in Australia from Dec to August 1997.

Nov 1990: Top of the 1.3 launched with 4 speed and power steering options.

Jul Power steering standard. 7 spoke wheelcovers replace items.

Jan 1993: Shades value pack released. edition 300 Fun Top with alloys, roof, rear spoiler, trim, central locking

Jan 1994: Auto option and power steering optional for new 1.3 model which has smaller 13 wheels, no hubcaps, grey cheaper trim and no tacho. New 1.5 with 14 inch wheels, bumpers, tacho, power standard and auto option.

Jan 1996: Four spoke wheel. 1.5 auto loses

Nov 1996: 121 Metro hatch 1.5 and base 1.3 sedan withdrawn but stocks continue into Shades 1.3 sedan launched upgraded Metro engine, bumpers, wheelcovers, air-cond.


Engine is normally but on some examples, it can lose on one or two cylinders before 100,000 km so check is essential.

Multi-valve is susceptible to valve stem if oil changes are skipped or if engine is for increased oil consumption. Check all oil coolant hoses and radiator for Fresh, clean coolant is to avoid head gasket

Cost-cutting combined coil and which makes the coil to heat damage and failure for repair bill to replace unit. Check out alternatives auto electrician before

Cam belt must be replaced at intervals. Simple early injection is reliable but fresh leads, clean air and fuel are essential. Last cars had efficient multi-point injection.

Mazda 121

air-conditioning operation as early may require expensive conversion if not

Suspension Brakes

Rear brakes susceptible to seal if fluid changes are overlooked and can be badly. Check that rotors meet minimum standards.

Premium models with 14 wheels require quality 60 replacement tyres. Skipped pressure checks with low profile tyres can leave examples with damaged or wheel rims.


imported Astina-style plastic covers initially cost up to each forcing Mazda to local replacements to end ongoing as they were prone to damage. Other owners simply sourced ugly items which can cheapen the car.

Painted bumpers and indicators susceptible to ongoing Check quality of repairs and damage. Neglected darker on earlier examples may already faded beyond the point of no and could need a respray.

Cloth trim and carpet can signs of wear in unprotected and are not easily replaced. Check of all accessories.

Short tail and light construction can leave examples with major damage so check boot and other panels for distortion. Low clearance can generate scrapes and in the underbody so check for damage.

panels came with no so the worst examples are pock-marked dings and chips. Some can be out by dent removers but the worst need panel beating and a

Published. Saturday, 1 January

Mazda 121
Mazda 121
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