I bought my 96 Protege in 2003 with 89,000 miles on it. I junked it in 2006 with almost 200,000 on it. I never had it in the repair shop once while I owned it (except for oil changes) and it never stalled on me or failed to start. When I dropped this car off in the junkyard I was almost in tears. The motor was in PERFECT condition, never ate oil or even sputtered, I didn't have to drop a dime into the engine on it. The only reason I had to get rid of it is because I drove it so hard the doors were literally falling off of it (string held them closed). I can not stress enough how much I loved this car. I drove it through hell and back- albeit pretty slowly-the car is underpowered-and it never quit.
Gas mileage (over 30 mpg). Reliability--never stalled or failed to start.
little more power in the engine---other than that the car is PERFECT!