I have owned this car since it was new and I love it. It is 14 years old and has 158,000 miles on it and I plan to keep it to 200,000. Just this week I spent $1100 on new front brakes and loose tie ends. I didn't hesitate to spend that amount of money on an older car because I know how few repairs this car has needed in the last 14 years (not many) and I trust it will continue to give me good value. It is just starting to get a little rust around the tire well. Did I mention that I LOVE this car?
I have zero regrets about keeping this car for 130K. I have had to put new struts on it to rejuvenate the ride but it was worth the expense. If you are looking for one, I suggest trying to find an ES because it has ABS and side airbags. The ABS saved me from a collision once for sure. If I am going to drive around in a little car I need a few modern safety features. The ES does require more expensive tires but Kumho makes a tire that fits the ES rim that has been a decent tire me. Unfortunately, this car is not good in snow with the factory rims/ tires. I bought snow tires on steel rims to put on in winter when the car was in Wisconsin.
Steering and handling are excellent for an inexpensive car.
Great seats with lots of adjustablitiy.
The 5th gear is to small as it revs rather high at 70 MPH.
If you need to drive really fast for long trips like in the western states you may not like this car as much as I do.
Unfortunately, this car is not good in snow with the factory rims/ tires.
I bought snow tires on steel rims
when I had the car in Wisconsin for 4 years.
I've loved this car for the past 9 years that I have owned it. The tires have been the greatest disappointment...expensive to replace when I had to replace them after the first 30,000 miles. (Dunlop has a set that fits and lasts much longer...however still at $120.00/piece) Zoom zoom zoom is very true..I love this car during the summer here in WI..it grips the roads and I can fly! In the winter I need to change modes and respect what the season brings. I love the 60/40 back seat split as I take my xc skis and boating gear with me often. Overall, I'm going to miss my Mazda and hope my "new" Subaru treats me 1/2 as good. (needed room for more gear and a puppy)
Grips the road during the summer, plenty of trunk space and love the 60/40 back seat split
-cheaper tires or rims which would give the owner an option for cheaper tires -check the wheel wells...mine filled up with H20 and ae rusting out -plastic headlights that don't discolor
I have always loved the Protege. This one has over 165k and is still going strong. Makes me say "zoom zoom" every time I go around a corner fast. Never had a problem with it, it has never been in the shop for anything other than routine care. Everything still works great. No electrical problems at all. Someone just hit it, how do I part with the best car ever?
I love the quickness of the car. I have a 5 speed.
I have owned plenty of cars over the years and know good fit and finish when I see it. This Protege' is top notch. The five speed transmission is as crisp as any Miata. Fuel economy is in the low 30s. If you are in the market for a reliable, good looking economical sedan this may be your car. I like it so much I'm now looking for a pristine 03' Protege' 5.
Interior design, fit and finish, performance, fuel economy.
Wish it had leather seats, but the upgraded cloth is still ok.