Used 1998 Mazda Protege Consumer Reviews
The car has been very reliable as others have mentioned, however this is transportation at it's most basic level. This car is a noisy tin can on wheels. Radio must be cranked in order to overcome excessive road noise. Car lacks power even with the larger 1.8L engine and is really not that great on gas. I rarely take it on highways and my wife refuses to drive it at all because of the "Tin Can" feel. With that said, it is a reliable beater for local commutes but would not take this car on long trips.
I have had my car for over 5 years now, bought it with 30 miles on it. I drive it about 11,000 miles a year. This car has been so good to me. I have only had 1 minor problem so far with it, the shifter froze one winter and wouldn't shift, but that was fixed years ago. This car has been so dependable, I would recommend to anyone.
This is my 5th Mazda, 2nd Protege. Fun to drive, but, even with the manual transmission needs more umph! The 13" tyres don't grip the road very well, so I replaced the wheels with alloys and used the stock LX/ES sized tyres of 185x65x14 and it made a considerable improvement in handling and braking. But, inspite of the manual transmission, its a loud vehicle; I installed Dynashield Extreme and other sound insulation products to kill the road noise. Reliable, has only needed regular maintance in 101,000 miles and a battery. Was totaled in a accident, so I looking for another to replace it.
Bought the car at 71,000 miles. It's been trouble free with only preventive maintenance needed. The 1.5 is underpowered, but the 5-speed makes it fun to drive. This car also gets great mileage (30 mpg city/highway mix, 37 mpg all highway). Roomy car (I am 6'5"). Very very practical car.
I consider my 11 year old Protege to be young by Mazda standards with only 149,000 miles on it. My family owned a '91 Protege and drove it to 277,000 miles over the course of 8 years. The engine runs great and the car always starts in all weather. Manual transmission handles great in snow and ice, car is a bit unstable driving through deep mud and water. I get 37 MPG highway. Car is so little that it's not very comfortable on the highway. You feel every bump in the road and every wind gust. The body has lots of rust on it but the car lives in Minnesota. The suspension is giving out, likely due to rust. I love my little car but wish the suspension wasn't dead.