I bought this car in 2004 as my first car, and off I went to college. It has been 6 years now and I totally regret buying this car. I have had to change almost 3 alternators in this car along 4 batteries. Had to replace the engine at 75,000 miles and that was the final straw, definitely looking for a new vehicle now and it won't be Mazda.
It is quite roomy being that I am 6'4" and the handling is second to none.
Of course they have revamped the Protege and made it Mazda3 now, I definitely should have waited.