Our valued readers have probably already read the "Do you remember?" section. There we present cars from the past that are now almost forgotten. But what about the models that are still on the road in large numbers? The types that everyone knows, that have been on the road for well over 20 years, but in some cases much less.

Will they become classic cars one day? This is a source of controversy. We want to present some of these models in our "Classic cars of the future?" series.

Gallery: Mazda 323 F (1989-1994)

The period around 1990 was a particularly creative phase for the Mazda brand. It produced original cars such as the legendary MX-5, the Xedos 6, the last RX-7 or the extravagant Autozam AZ-1 with gullwing doors for Japan. Even bourgeois model series such as the 323 suddenly caused a stir in the form of the 323 F at the IAA in 1989, the year of the MX-5's premiere.

It wasn't just that the five-door model had certain coupé features. The low front section with folding headlights was particularly striking. Those "sleepy eyes" that until then had been more familiar from sports cars such as the RX-7 or a Porsche 924.

Mazda 323 F (1989-1994) (Quelle: Mazda)

Mazda itself wrote in its press release for the IAA 1989: "The development of the new 323 series was about finding an independent body line and achieving a high level of space economy with compact dimensions. Wind tunnel tests and analyses of certain body shapes resulted in flowing contours of the outer skin, which are reflected in good drag coefficients of between 0.31 (323 F), 0.34 (notchback) and 0.35 (hatchback), depending on the model.

The designers have achieved a particular success with the five-door model, which is offered in Germany under the designation F. Its designers in Japan refer to it as a five-door coupé, and not without good reason. This model is actually flatter than its two brothers; the aim was to achieve coupe styling without having to forego the advantages of a saloon. Mazda has already had positive experiences here, as the hatchback model of the Mazda 626 was based on the 626 Coupe and not the saloon.

Mazda 323 F (1989-1994)

Compared to the previous 323 models, the bodywork was stiffened even more without having to accept any additional weight. Possible vibrations and droning noises have been minimised at higher speeds. The bodies were also refined in terms of wind noise."

On the engine side, the F was available with petrol engines with 84, 103 or 128 PS, with German prices starting at 22,950 marks. No wonder that the F accounted for up to 40 per cent of all 323 registrations. In 1990, the ADAC also praised the good workmanship and the decent amount of space in the 4.26 metre long 323 F. They also liked the pulling power and torque of the 16V engine with 103 PS, which took the car to 100 km/h in 10.7 seconds. The top model 1.9i 16V GT, which cost DM 28,670, was barely faster at exactly 10 seconds. 

Points of criticism from the ADAC in the "Auto 91 Spezial" magazine: "Its front brakes overbrake quickly, and the rear tends to swerve when cornering." The reliability of the Mazda 323 F, on the other hand, was beyond criticism. Virtually all established automotive media at the time subjected the car to an endurance test. Breakdowns and complaints? Zero. And even the few 323 Fs still in existence today are in surprisingly good shape. Maybe we'll be saying hello through sleepy eyes soon.