A latter day GTI?
By p5_in_ca on
2002 Mazda Protege5 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
My first car was an '83 VW GTI. This car reminds me of it in many ways. Great fun to drive. Reasonable straight line speed. An absolute blast in the twisty bits. Excellent ergonomics. Even the bad points are similar: too-low gearing (too many rpm's at highway speed,) and so-so mileage (I get mid to high 20s for mixed use, and maybe 30 for highway.) This is my first Mazda, after 6 straight Hondas, and it is so much easier to work on compared to Hondas. I just changed brake pads and coolant in this car and a Honda Insight last weekend. Wow, what a contrast! The caliper swings up & stays up, out of the way. The coolant doesn't need to be filled and bled from four different places. Kudos Mazda!
Body style (I need 4 doors, and I want a hatchback; not many of those around.) Handling. Sunroof. Easy to work on. Comfortable seats. Good visibility.