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 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 own the stick shift model. 90% highway miles for its entire life (175k miles so far). Averaging 32-33 mpg for entire life. It's aging as expected - can definitely tell it's not immortal; little things breaking, but nothing big yet. Would you believe that I didn't have to replace the front disc rotors until over 90k miles on it? Pretty wild - I really wasn't 'stretching' into unsafe-ness. replacement rotors lasted "only" 60k miles. Clutch still tight, zero oil consumed, and I'm not particularly diligent with changes (avg ~5k miles). Other than the exhaust heat shield getting loose more than once - 2 or 3 welding jobs over time to stop the noise, no odd/out of place troubles.
Nimble little beast!
Pretty much same as everyone else's. My only regret in buying this car is dealing with the road noise - worst on the tollways which unfortunately is where 90% of all my hours have been spent. Good tires don't help - I tried. I will pay extra next time for a quieter car!!!!
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.