Best reliable car I 've ever bought. After 17 years, car runs strong. I drive 120 miles daily average. Everything works. Mpg @33mpg. Mayor repairs: timing belt/ radiator change / front axles. Minor: Upstream O2 sensor / EGR valve clean up. Car is easy to repair. Done it myself except timing belt. Total $ amount of repairs + tires= $4,300. Walmart brand synthetic oil keeps this car well lubed all these years.
OK, so this is not a sexy looking car with super electronics.
But, it is still going strong after 15 years, gets good mpg, and does not cost a lot to own/maintain.
It's not comfortable enough for long hauls, but I only use it for short, around town trips, so it meets my needs.
Paint is still holding up, as is the upholstry.
Water pump replacement is about the most major repair the car has had.
IF ALL THE PEOPLE THAT BOUGHT LX
MODELS AND SAID THEY
WERE "UNDERPOWERED" , WHY DIDN'T THEY
BUY THE ES MODEL WITH THE BIGGER
MOTOR ?? I BOUGHT AN ES MODEL WHICH
NOW HAS 210,000 MILES ON IT AS OF JUNE
OF 2004, AND IT STILL GETS UP AND GOES
JUST LIKE IT DID WHEN IT WAS NEW. I
WOULD DEFINITELY BUY ANOTHER ONE.
MAYBE MAZDA HEARD THE COMPLAINTS ABOUT
POWER, I BELIEVE THE 2004 MODELS HAVE
A 2.2 LITER MOTOR IN THEM ....
My wife and I bought our 1997 Mazda LX Protege 5 speed manual back in 1997 brand new and still own it today. Other than small maintenence issues such as replacing batteries and giving it a tune up every couple of years, we have not had one single problem with it. The car still drives smooth (it is slow with the 1.5) but it's roomy and somewhat comfortable, just don't try to pass quickly on a freeway, or climb steep inclines, because you will creep up the mountain etc. The vehicle doesn't burn or drip oil and the paint job still looks very sharp for such an old car, and the interior (cloth) still looks nice and tight. We really love this car!
I have poured so much money into this
car that I'm ready to get rid of it at
90,000 miles. The 97 models had a
problemn with faulty master cylinders--
very expensive to fix--and I've had
endless little things go wrong. It has
no pickup and drives sluggishly. I do
not recommend the 97 Proteges, and
would nt buy another Mazda based on my
experience with this one.