By RWW on
2003 Mazda Protege5 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
I love this car and so does my 17 yr old son whom I bought it for. Thing is it's so fun to drive and gets such good gas mileage and is so nimble in traffic and did I mention fun to drive and looks sport that I have yet to hand the keys over to him some 8 months later. He can drive the minivan! Seriously, this is a great car that handles and performs extremely well for a car its size and compared to many other cars. It has great leg room for my 6'4" frame and is peppy enough to keep you out of trouble.
Sporty, fuel economy (about 28 mpg in Atlanta traffic), backseats actually are useful for adults, steering/handling is awesome, suspension is very predictable, solid and responsive. Breaks are fantastic. Interior comfortable but can be loud at 80mph on hwy.
Side view mirrors need to be bigger; as they are you can have a blind spot in your rear quarters, but that may be due to my height and having the front seat all the way back. Clutch replaced at 40K for ~$1100! Dealer acknowledged recurring reported issue with vibration but no warranty coverage.