I bought the car 4 years ago. Recently, the engine started making a loud sound and it seems that it may cost me over $1200 to repair it (with only 86,000 miles on the engine). I was hoping to keep the car longer. At this level not sure if I'm willing to spend that much money on a car that's only 4 years old. What would happen in few months if I fix the car! Would it brake again! This is a major maintenance for a car this new. So I would have to say that Mazda Protege5 is not a reliable car or I'm an unlucky guy! I hope my comments helped.
Nicer interior than the Toyota Matrix or Honda Civic. Not as much plastic look in it.