by abinva on Jun 23, 2012 Vehicle: 1996 Mazda Protege
I bought my Protege (automatic, not manual) new in 1996, and although one of the buttons on the factory stereo stopped working within one year, I haven't had any major trouble out of this car for most of its life (first actual breakdown occurred in 2010, and wasn't a major system). I am only just now looking to replace it! The ride is responsive and the suspension is nice and firm, and though the 80hp engine is pretty sluggish, that never really bothered me. A simple, practical, reliable vehicle! The one caution I would have is that it has burned through several "lifetime" mufflers, always in the same spot--probably a design flaw. Otherwise, can't complain!
by Christina on Dec 3, 2010 Vehicle: 1996 Mazda Protege
First I would like to say, this is just my experience with this car. Most of the comments hear are pretty good and I think I just got "the bad one". My mother purchased this car for me as a graduation present in 2004. We bought it @ an auction and paid about $2000 with a little over 100k miles. The engine was replace in 2006 and it seemed to be fine. But as time went on I start experiencing unresolved electrical problems, computer problems, and altenator problems. I later found out that the "new engine" was damaged and the odometer was set back. Current its @ 160k (really about 190k), stills runs but on its last leg. We've spent thousands of $$ in repairs. Good car, just do research b4 u buy
by PatrickDT on Feb 20, 2010 Vehicle: 1996 Mazda Protege
What i like about this car is the sunroof and all the power options.On really bad freeways the car is really bumpy i think it might be the struts or a motor mount i don't know but it really bad over 45 MPH. But for around 1,500-2,000 dollars these are a reliable small little car with Fair MPG and easy to work on.
by daniel on Aug 11, 2009 Vehicle: 1996 Mazda Protege
Overall this car is fantastic. I got it for my 18th birthday and I'm in love with it. The engine is a little underpowered but the manual helps hide it. I just learned how to drive stick shift with this car because it is so easy. The DX trim lacks basic comforts like power anything or cruise control but the car is very easy to work on. The 1.5 liter engine makes incredible gas mileage, I went 80 miles on a little less than a 1/4 tank. Its great for a starter car or student can go forever with proper maintenance.
by Jannet Bahraini on Jul 24, 2009 Vehicle: 1996 Mazda Protege
I bought this car back in November 1995and have been driving it ever since. it is in a good shape. looks like a brand new car and I love to drive it. never had any problem and I 'll recommend Mazda to every friend and family member and to you too!!!
by Protege Gal on Jul 11, 2009 Vehicle: 1996 Mazda Protege
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!!!
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