by MinnesotaCatWoman on Jul 7, 2010 Vehicle: 1998 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan
I consider my 11 year old Protege to be young by Mazda standards with only 149,000 miles on it. My family owned a '91 Protege and drove it to 277,000 miles over the course of 8 years. The engine runs great and the car always starts in all weather. Manual transmission handles great in snow and ice, car is a bit unstable driving through deep mud and water. I get 37 MPG highway. Car is so little that it's not very comfortable on the highway. You feel every bump in the road and every wind gust. The body has lots of rust on it but the car lives in Minnesota. The suspension is giving out, likely due to rust. I love my little car but wish the suspension wasn't dead.
by craig on Feb 20, 2009 Vehicle: 1998 Mazda Protege ES 4dr Sedan
The car has been very reliable as others have mentioned, however this is transportation at it's most basic level. This car is a noisy tin can on wheels. Radio must be cranked in order to overcome excessive road noise. Car lacks power even with the larger 1.8L engine and is really not that great on gas. I rarely take it on highways and my wife refuses to drive it at all because of the "Tin Can" feel. With that said, it is a reliable beater for local commutes but would not take this car on long trips.
by Nadine on Nov 29, 2008 Vehicle: 1998 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan
I have owned my Mazda for eleven years. Purchased it from the showroom floor. After 150k mi it is still running strong. I am still getting 34 mpg, that is fantastic! I am just bumped they no longer make these cars! I can only hope the Mazda 6 is as reliable as my trusty Protege has been!
by Slavik Melnik on Nov 4, 2008 Vehicle: 1998 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan
Had this car for over 2 years. Put many miles on it, but now its leaking oil and a bunch of other problems. I needed to replace the serpentine belt 3 times in 2 years. Had to replace the battery once too. Don't buy this car if it's got more than 150,000 miles on it. Everything seems to go wrong with it when it reaches that mark.
by j c on Jul 29, 2008 Vehicle: 1998 Mazda Protege LX 4dr Sedan
This is the worst car I have ever owned. The front end vibrated all the time, and no mechanic could figure out why. It idled rough and couldn't be fixed. The front brake pads needed to be replaced every 10,000 to 20,000 miles. The transmission stuck and when it did finally shift, it really jolted me. One of the four engine cylinders was low in pressure. The car had too small of an engine for the size of the car. All of this was from the beginning of ownership. It had only 40 miles on it when I bought it in Dec, 1998. I think I got a lemon.
by Richard A. on Apr 17, 2008 Vehicle: 1998 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan
Bought the car new in 1998. Outside of normal maintenance, the car has been a joy to own. Since the car is ten years old, when I'm in the market for a new car, I will revisit Mazda first, as I like many of the newer cars.