Posted by Dutch on December 27, 1998 at 22:26:39:
I ordered my 323 around 10/1 and I got it Sat 12/26. I got the sport package, metallic paint (steel blue) and seat heaters. The first thing I noticed is the car appears to have more than adequate power. Without abusing the 4500 rev limit, I was impressed with the grunt the car has. This was a concern since I was coming out of a VR6 Jetta which has similiar power in a lighter car.
Personally, I consider the sport package a must-have option. The car has little body roll and is light on its' feet, considering the size/weight. The ride is firm but not at all punishing. Throw in the bigger wheels/tires, sport seats and the little 3-spoke steering wheel and you're missing the boat if you dont order it (no offense to premium-package cruisers). BTW, the sport wheels are not my favorite, but are not as "hideous" as I thought.
I can confirm what others have said: The stock radio blows. I would recommend the H-K upgrade for people even mildly interested in the quality of their music. In hindsight, perhaps I should have done this instead of heated seats, my only splurge on a somewhat limited budget.
Overall, I am most impressed with the way the car rides and drives. Its unusually quiet, almost to a fault. I would like to hear a little more induction/exhaust noise. The 5-speed is smooth with relatively short throws.
Thats all I can think of now; I would be happy to answer specific questions.