I actually traded in my 2002 protege because I fell in love with this car before I even bought it. I love how it has a soft growl when I start the car sounding powerful. The seats are comfortable for long drives which I have done. The trunk is huge and helped when I moved. I am currently at 81,000 and just recently changed the brake pads for the first time. I am just now having a few problems but that's given with the mileage. The only other complaint that I did have was the stems on the wheels seem to snap off when you tighten your lug nuts and I've lost about 5 of them. But either then that this car has been very reliable for me these past 7 yrs.
Easy access for stereo control on the steering wheel as well as valet lock and key. Drives smooth even at high miles.
Need to make sure wheel stems are attached correctly and make car more consumer maintenance friendly then having to waste money taking to dealer.