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.
Awesome gas mileage, comfortable front seats, great visibility (almost no blind spot), rear defroster works great, roomy rear seat, easily accessible battery for jump starts or replacements.
Make the sunroof a power sunroof, make fold down rear seats. Would like to be able to pop my trunk from inside the car, only way to open the trunk is with the key.
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.
Dependability, smooth running 4 cylinder
Improve body panels and insulation. Improve power and gas mileage. Improve interior material quality.
I have owned my Mazda for eleven years. Purchased it from the showroom floor. After 150k mi it is still running strong. I am still getting 34 mpg, that is fantastic! I am just bumped they no longer make these cars! I can only hope the Mazda 6 is as reliable as my trusty Protege has been!
Had this car for over 2 years. Put many miles on it, but now its leaking oil and a bunch of other problems. I needed to replace the serpentine belt 3 times in 2 years. Had to replace the battery once too. Don't buy this car if it's got more than 150,000 miles on it. Everything seems to go wrong with it when it reaches that mark.
It's good on gas millage. That's the only good thing about it.
The drive train always has issues,constantly squealing belts, bad head gasket cover, leaky oil and everything else. It's a maintenance hog pretty much.