Best reliable car I 've ever bought . After 17 years, car runs strong. I drive 120 miles daily average. Everything works. Mpg @33mpg. Mayor repairs: timing belt/ radiator change / front axles. Minor: Upstream O2 sensor / EGR valve clean up. Car easy to repair. Done it myself except timing belt. Total $ amount of repairs + tires= $4,300. Walmart brand synthetic oil keeps this car well lubed all these years.
Just bought this 97 Mazda protege today from a friends dad for 700 bucks it runs good has a lot of pep to it has 309K on it but it feels like it has twice that still left in it compared to my dads Geo Prizm the previous owner didnt baby this car but didnt take it easy either the car has a few minor issues but I would trust it to go any where it is an LX with the sunroof and cd player/cassette power windows I really like it I bought it to save on gas and it does that well plan on having it for as long as it holds together
sun roof 5 speed gas mileage
not much to say here other than the ash tray wont open if a cup is in the cup holder oh yeah and the center console is tiny and doesn't serve as a good arm rest
Simply the best little car you could ask for. 5 speed shifts great, has sporty handling, has been super reliable (only a water pump in 5 years). Best gas mileage of any small car of its vintage with the 1.5L engine. Great for short trips but seating is not comfortable for me or the kids. Good layout of controls (It's a Mazda). No A/C and the car is super hot in summer due to non-tinted glass. Ours has manual windows but no problems with interior hardware to date. Everything still works. Engine was been great, passes emission test every 2 years. Not good in snow due to low sports-car like ground clearance.
Sporty and fun to drive.
Excellent transmission and peppy engine.
Tinted windows a must.
Needs larger tires for better ground clearance if you want to drive in snow.
Everything works well so I can't fault it for anything major.
More storage inside and seats are not comfortable for anything more than 20 or 30 minute drive.
OK, so this is not a sexy looking car with super electronics. But, it is still going strong after 15 years, gets good mpg, and does not cost a lot to own/maintain. It's not comfortable enough for long hauls, but I only use it for short, around town trips, so it meets my needs. Paint is still holding up, as is the upholstry. Water pump replacement is about the most major repair the car has had.
rear seat backs fold down providing an opportunity to haul long stuff in trunk