This is the most fun to drive car I have ever had, and that's the only reason it is still in my driveway. It has its own bay at the service department. I'm there for the same things over and over. I've had a new turbo, a new transmission, sway bar links at least 5 times, a rear subframe, two new alarms, new a/c compressor, multiple coolant leaks, multiple exhaust leaks, new exhaust manifold, the list goes on and on. I'm going to sell it when the warranty runs out, I just hope I can find something as fun to drive as this is when it's not in the shop. (Reviewed by a 32 year old female driving it to work, not a teenager abusing it) .
Great car, Dont push it though or the Zoom Zoom will go BOOM!
written on 02-07-2013
I bought the car with high mileage, around 114,XXX. I bought the car with some bushing issues and some tuning issues. I fixed the bushing issues, but let the tuning wait for a bit. If you dont know, these cars have problems with their bushings as they will go bad every 5-10k miles, the stock tune on these cars is rubbish, and the turbo system they put on the car is excellent, unfortunately they just stuck the system on a stock protege engine, I found this out after I put ~500 miles on it. I was driving in third gear around 3500 rpms, and the engine let go. No warning, no temp spikes, just exploded. Fortunately, I liked the rest of the car enough to spend some elbow grease/$ on a new one!
I really dig this car. I had a Protege5 before it, and this was just the jump I was looking for. And the prices I paid was unbeatable at the time ($13.5k). There are know problems with this car, but if you do your research, they're easily fixed under warranty.
I bought this car to out-manuever drivers on cell phones! Handling is fabulous. Get dedicated winter wheels and you're good to go. Radio is painful to adjust; display way too bright at night. Other than that, just a wonderful car. Add a K&N air filter and noise-proof the trunk space.
I was finally able to get my hands on one of these machines after trying to find one since 2003. Since owning her from 42k, I've found out that her motor was replaced by Mazda @ 22k and the turbo had been replaced 3 times... wow! Repairs I've had to get done are small things. There was some oil getting into the plastic tubing? from the intercooler to the turbo, my rear stablizer bar needed new bushings and the subwoofer blew. My only gripe is that Mazda took the easy way out with this one. They simply attached a turbo to their 2.0 motor and then didnt take the time to tune it properly. The MSP runs very rich. It needs a turbo timer, a blow off valve, an a2f ratio gauge and real bucket seats.