Great Drive: Handling is superb; steering exquisitely communicative and well weighted,; engine (2.3) sounds great, revs easily, and goes like a Jack Russell Terrier after drinking a bottle of Jolt. Great Practicality: 5 door hatchback is flexible, roomy and comfortable; the cloth seats are grippy, supportive, and firm; gas milage is great (25/32 with the 2.3). Great Future: Highly rated reliability; fantastic projected resale value (best selling fleet car in Europe for this reason); safe; well-built and stylish. Conclusion: An economical, practical family hauler with the soul of a much more expensive european sports sedan (or is that Zoom-Zoom?).
Ride & Handling (not remotely harsh even with 17" wheels), Looks Fantastic, Bulletproof Reliability, Relatively Inexpensive
Minor design elements on the 5 door are a touch awkward when compared to its predecessor (the Protege'5), but nothing very noticeable. Although the automatic is great, I'd buy one for myself with a manual.