I bought this car to replace my old 2002 Toyota Celica GT (engine went at 19,000mi). I had looked at other cars, namely the Audi A4 but decided against it due to high maintainence costs. Then I looked at this 2002 Mazda Protege ES which provided a BMW like driving experience along with an attractive, sporty interior/exterior. I have had this car almost 7 months; there have been no problems whatsoever. Which is suprising since I learned to drive standard on this car. You would think all the bucking, stalling and over revving would have damaged it, I guess not. The car is as strong as ever *knock on wood.* Great car for the money.
Sporty interior; handling is exceptional for a car in this class; attractive exterior; very comfortable.