Bought this car about 1 1/2 yrs ago w/73k miles on it, little 'ol lady owned it, now has about 107k. Figured we'd get good mpg since it's small, about 28 avg. right now, better than 17 we replaced it with! Really wanted a manual transmission, that would have really made it even more fun to drive, and probably better mpg. Put synthetic oil in at about 80k miles after lots of research and believe that made a difference. We all enjoy the drive (ages 19-50), handles real good, tires can make BIG difference though! Four bangers seem to be a little noisy but after we replaced bearings due to accident it made quite a difference! Picks up & go's pretty good and overall Nice car!
The sporty look with the spoiler and rims, that apparently came stock. Roomy trunk, electronic windows and doors, good sound system. Comfortable seating even the back seat, unless you put 3 adults :o)
Front passenger control to lock doors and roll up/down all windows. Extra sun visors so to have one in front and one on side, we had that in a different car. Fog lights. I would have liked my car to have a sun roof (it was an option when new, I believe)
I bought this car in 2004 and kept it until this year when I unfortunately crashed it. It was a wonderfully reliable car in the 5 years I owned it. The battery failed once but I cleaned the alternator and it was back to charging just fine, and never failed again. Handled great except in rain, but that could have been tires and brakes getting old. Never had a problem with the CD player volume not working like some people have said. Interior and exterior was still holding up well. It only went into the shop once for regular maintenance though needed to go back for brakes and suspension. Definitely a much nicer car than my friend's civics and corollas, and just as reliable. I loved this car
Great sound from an economy sound system, good acceleration, and handling for its class, large trunk, comfy seats, reliability. Fun to drive, made me smile every time I drove it. I miss it already. Great safety I emerged from a 30 mph collision with an SUV also doing 30 mph untouched.
Loud road noise, though I grew to love it. better gas mileage, Overdrive button stopped working. Lights on the center console were starting to be finicky. Shocks were going at 120000 miles.
We bought our Protege brand spankin' new - she only had 7 kms on her. Today she has 278,000 kms. We have only replaced the alternator and the thermostat - that's it! This car is by far the best car we have ever owned. It took out a deer at 60km/h with a minor ripple in the hood and broken headlight. The gas mileage is incredible, we can easily go 700 kms on a tank of gas. The only recurring issue is something with the electrical. Last year we began blowing headlights every other day - the backyard mechanic we took it to rigged it so we only have headlights now, no highbeams - no biggie. When and if this one ever dies we will definitely be buying a Mazda again - more then likely a Mazda3.
Our is a barebone Protege, we only have A/C and power steering - favorite feature though would be the way it looks with only a few body mods (euro style taillights, big fat loud muffler and tint).
Paint quality is less then desired. The smallest rock will chip the hood and the slightest bump into anything will scar the bumpers horribly.
We bought our Mazda brand new off the lot. Our commute to work and back is nearly an hour each way and 9 mths out of the year is during the harsh canadian winter so we needed something that could stand up and be reliable. Our Mazda was nothing less then that. Being young drivers with our first car we weren't quite aware of "regular scheduled maintance" - we just drove. Our car currently has 256,000 kms on it and the only thing we have replaced was the alternator last year. This car is amazing, it's been in the ditch twice, hit a deer and yet the darn thing keeps on going. It is going in for its second tuneup of its lifetime this Thursday so we can get another 256000 from her
Still has a lot of "get up and go", even though it's 7 years old it still looks current. Love the dependability and the comfort in knowing that it will start everytime!
Center armrest! For those long drives we use a pillow inbetween the seats. We're also having the issue with the headlights. We no longer have "high beams", we were told it is a wiring issue within the dashboard and would be costly to fix.
Just bought this used to act as commuter car. Styling is more boring than white paper. Engine is very loud at highway speeds. For a small car, gas mileage isn't too impressive. Probably due to the fact that engine is around 3500 RPM's when cruising @ 70 MPH. Fairly agile and nimble. Fun to drive backroads, unless you have a lot of hills, then expect a struggle. Not too shabby as a commuting car, but I'm glad this isn't my pride and joy.