I have owned a 1989 Mazda 323 hatchback and a 1994 Protege sedan. Most recently I was driving a 2006 Subaru Forester. I sold it and bought this Mazda Protege ES sedan with only 64,000 miles on it, same as my Subaru. I missed having a 5 speed and I did not like antilock brakes when they were put to the test on ice. I love my "new" car. It is fun to drive and it is very nimble compared to the Forester. Of course I gave up some cargo space but not much else. I get better gas mileage. I am averaging 29+ mpg with mixed driving. I am curious to see what I will get n pure highway driving when I go on a road trip.
I really do smile sometimes driving it. I never felt that way about a car before! I feel safer in this car than my Subaru because I know how it will react and drive. I can shift better than any automatic and I know when and how to pump my brakes. I don't want a car that second-guesses me.
Wish it had better gas mileage but I did a comparison with paying more to purchase a Corolla or Civic and projecting different gas prices and it's basically a wash. It's hard to find these models with 5-speed anymore so I'll just keep this one. I'm sure I'm losing mpg because of the better power.
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