I have owned the Mazda Protege LX for seven years now, I purchased the vehicle in 2004 with only 20k for the mileage and I currently have over 195K on the vehicle now. Besides normal wear and tear parts that you expect to wear out, I haven't put more than like $100.00 into this vehicle. I always changed my oil regularly and did other minimal scheduled maintenance like filters, plugs, trans fluid, etc....and this vehicle owes me nothing. The gas mileage was good, I was getting about 28mpg on the highway and about 22 to 24mpg city depending on how fast I was driving. I also put sporty aggressive tires on it and it greatly improved the driveablitity, I put the Yokahoma "S" Drive tire on
Very comfortable, very reliable I beat the crap out of thgis car and drove it all over the country, easy and fun to drive,good gas mileage, good interior space I am 6'1" and fit just fine. Very safe car I just got into an accident that unfortunately totaled out my Protege but I am fine.
I had a brake issue where the brake calipers would stay pressed against the pads and wear them out faster and make a grinding noise, issue fixed cause it needed manufacturers parts. Needs better stock tires doesn't drive as good with cheap stock tires