Bought the Protege as a replacement for
a totaled Corolla. Suffice to say, the
Toyota isn't missed too much! Mazda
has done well with its Protege series,
blending attractive, if not standout,
looks, sporty performance, and a good
range of features. The Protege is great
fun to drive around in with its tight
handling characteristics. Its
comfortable interior is well-appointed
and coordinated for a car of its price
range. All in all, it's a good-looking
car that's equal parts practicality and
sportiness. Let's hope Mazda is able
to maintain this balance with the new 3.
So who says nothing good comes out of
Crisp steering and tightly tuned
suspension make for a great drive.
Exterior and interior layouts are
clean, attractive, and easy to use.
Very well-equipped for a compact. I
greatly appreciate the height-
adjustable driver's seat which is rare
for a car in this class. Visibility is
also a plus.
Power is adequate, but the Protege
isn't the quickest off the line. It
revs a bit too high at cruising speeds
for my taste (~3000 rpm at 70 mph, in
OD). Fuel economy has also been
somewhat disappointing given the
Protege's size (23-25 mpg).