I love my Protege. It might not be the fastest car, or strongest car out there, but you can still leave a lil Civic in the dust. I'm into the tuner world and Im trying to do some modifications to it but its hard to find parts for it and when I do find some aftermarket parts, they are really expensive. All in all it is a great, reliable, and fun car to have.
I love the interior of my Protege, it's not just plain. It has nice bucket seats with kind of a suede feel to them and the dash trim is nicely painted to contrast with the interior.
Stronger, more powerful engine might be good but it's still fun to drive.