I bought this car two years ago at 196k miles. I've driven it like mad and have realized this car to be phenomenal. It's been through nearly everything you could think of, yet it hasn't given a hint of exhaustion. I recommend this Mazda to buy- but I'd hang on to it!
zippy trans. comfy seats, great visibility, and good and stingy with the fuel!
Bought this car 5 months ago for $800.00 and that was the best money ever spent. Car had 163,000 miles on it and I have put 10,000 more miles on it since then and probably saved over $1,000 in gas money so far, if not more. Had a gas guzzling Dodge Ram that got 14 mpg and this Protege gets 37 mpg. With gas price the way they are, this car will be around for ever if I can help it. Don't like auto seat belt but will cope with that.
One of the best buys I've ever made! Perfect car for my then young family starting out and we've had to get a bigger vehicle (3 kids) but she's still my daily car at 140k miles. No major issues but have replaced the cat, timing chain, and windshield. Modifications added are a CD player, 15 inch rims, Magna Flow muffler, and converted the A/C to R-134A. My soon to be teens keep asking when I'm going to get myself a new car so they can have the Mazda! LOL They'll be waiting a few years longer...
Better horsepower (should have been a 2 liter), lose the automatic seatbelts.
Great car 158,000 miles with original clutch. I have had to change both axles, rotors, and the car has a bad valve seal guide ... common for the year, so it tends to smoke on a cold start. It takes a beating and keeps coming back for more.
I have had this car nearly 14 years and it has been flawless even with 281,000 miles. I still have the original clutch and the engine has never been worked on except for timing belts, tune ups and a new radiator. The car gets 32 mpg, the AC still works with never a recharge and there are no rust problems. I plan to buy a new Mazda 3 and will keep this one for winter driving, I want to get 300,000 out of it!
Very smooth engine and incredible reliability and quality throughout. I question how many cars are this well made and still running as well as mine does.
The radio display is hard to see in daylight. The cupholders are too close to the dash; they have since been moved to the center of the front seats. Improved access to the headlights for replacing them would be a big plus. I have to remove the battery and perform Houdini manners to change the bulbs.