I had my 1996 Mazda Protege DX for 8 years and have Loved it! I did put some money into maintenance over the years...but nothing compared to how little I paid for it. It lacked a little on it's get up and go but It was 100% reliable. Never had to worry about getting where I needed to go. I just bought a new car...and was actually sad to have to leave my protege. I would definitely recommend this as a first time car or as a little zip around town car!!!