We purchased our Mazda protege off a classified site for $1100 Canadian. It was as is but only required two tires and rear shoes for safety. We've had our protege for just over a year now and it has required minimal repairs such as front stabilizer links serpentine belts (there are two, there small and they tend to break). The 1.6L with the 4 speed automatic is good on fuel both in the city and the highway. The car had 249 000kms on it and it now has 280 000kms. It handles well in the winter but ONLY if winter tires are equipped. Currently the car runs and drives but when the temperature drops below -5 C the thermostat sticks open and we don't get any heat. I'd recommend this car to anyone.
Two cup holders, four doors and it sips the gas. Reliable and roomy inside. The vehicle offers great visibility, acceptable handling and acceleration (until our front struts went bad).
A better serpentine belt system. The two current serpentine belts are weak and my research (as well as my own experience) tells me that the belts like to last about a year. Then they break and leave you stranded on the side of the highway in the middle of winter. Secondly, the serpentine belts do not have an automatic tensioner! You have to manually adjust the belts every so often to keep them tight or it'll sequel like a pig.
Timing belt needs to be done. Wish it was a chain.
We have had this car since it was new 11 years ago - it replaced another just like it that died on us, and it now has 224,500 miles on it. Though we are looking for a new vehicle, we plan to keep this one as a second vehicle for use locally. I was amazed that you give mpg as 25 - 27; we've never gotten less than 32, usually more, up to 38! Perhaps part of that is my exclusive use of Mobil 1 oil; with the vagaries of gas pump shut-offs, regardless, I feel 34-35 mpg is what we have (and continue to get) for mileage. Driving it's been a pleasure, though it's showing signs of age - noisiness, mostly.
Snappy acceleration and good steering control; handles well on slick, snowy roads as well as dry pavement.
I keep vehicles a very long time. This 2000 Protege DX was purchased used in 2002 and has been a reliable ride ever since. I mount 4 snow tires every winter and hold my own with the mid- size SUVs in Colorado winters. As an older woman taking solo road trips, I've laid the seats down in this hatchback sedan to sleep in the "capsule" when the tent was blowing away. I would never buy a car I couldn't sleep in! Don't know why I get an incredible 38-42 mpg, but I do. At 155,000 miles I replaced the clutch as the manual transmission took a beating on 1-70's slow crawls up into the mountains winter & summer. I'd keep her until 300,000 if I didn't have to go to an automatic for health reasons.
Bought this car from the dealer. It has a strong transmission as well as super handling on even wet pavement. The only thing i notice with this car are the belts which are very annoying and it's a common problem with this car.
Super handling the best ever made!
Poor belt adjustment design makes belts squeak loud when a/c is on. Had mechanic fix still a problem!
Yes, the title is silly but that is actually my nickname for my 2000 Mazda Protege DX. She jumped out at me when I went to a Mazda dealership a couple of days after Christmas, 2000. Buying her was the smartest thing I ever did, transportation wise. She stayed looking like a new car for five years. Even now, she just has a scar on her back bumper and another tiny ding on the rear trunk. It's only because I have a habit of putting it in neutral at stop lights and twice someone bumped me when the light turned green (my foot wasn't on the brake to turn the brake lights on). In nine years, I have only had to replace belts and brake pads. Honest!
Styling. Good sound system for a lower end car. Excellent fuel economy. I swear I get 40MPG on the highway. Fantastic reliability.
This is the perfect, simple, no frills car. It won best subcompact of 2000 for a reason.