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.
Dependability, smooth running 4 cylinder
Improve body panels and insulation. Improve power and gas mileage. Improve interior material quality.
Bought it new. Now have 180k (yes, miles!) on it. Only oil changes (sometimes I forgot to do it). Replaced clutch plate twice (it is manual shift). Engine light goes on in wet weather from day one. Nobody knows why. Excellent, reliable small car. My two teenagers mastered stick-shift on it and it survived. Will highly recommend. Changed brake pads only twice.
I did maticulous research for my very
1st car, and all leading magazines
pointed to the Mazda Protege. I found
the "ES" version much more appointing
than the other trim lines; Plus it had
a larger engine. It's been very
reliable. I really enjoy this car; i
slapped on a bra on the car; and it
looks 100% better; some don't recognize
my car without it!
Great radio/CD system. interior and
trunk space. Intrument display. Turning
radius. 4-wheel disk brakes. seat
More pep please; the automatic sucks
out most of it's pep. Automatic
transmission is a bit sluggish;
sometimes it can't decide to shift up
or down. the alloy wheels can be a pain
to clean; many spokes. fuel economy
could be a bit better.