For the small amount of time that I've owned this car, it's absolutely fantastic! However, this car has been in our family ever since 2002. It has an automatic transmission and everything in the car is going strong even after 190,000 miles! This car has battled through many trips from New York to Florida and the only problem during all of those trips was that the driver's side window ceased to function. It was promptly fixed and works as good as new! The story on this car is that my parents had bought this vehicle new the year this came out. This car has mostly highway miles. 3 days a week, it travels 140 into the city and back home for the past 9 years. Never has it broken down!
It's my first car. Bought it new in August 2002. Have been driving it ever since then and no real problems occured. If I have to be really picky, then here are some minor issues: (1) twice in winter morning, with temperature at around minus 20 celsius (I live in Toronto), the stereo stopped functioning --- the problem disappeared next day. (2) experiences over snowy roads is not as good, especially when making turns, the car could slide sideways. (3) My girl friend complained that air circulation is restrained in certain modes; from reading the reviews here that seems to be a common complain, but it didn't bother me that much. Overall, the car has been fun to drive and reliable.
I can't say enough good things about this car. I'm still on the original clutch and original water pump. Just change the oil every 3,750 miles and perform the major service every 30K miles. Amazing car.
I have put more sets of tires on this car than I thought possible. Love the gas mileage both highway and city still, after 114,000 miles. Had remote start & XM installed, both were easy & still work great. Wish I would have gotten one with a spoiler and a different color (millennium mica red = rosy barf)
November 2002, I purchased my 2002 Mazda Protege. I have had no problems. She stands at 86,700 miles. Interior great still looks like new. I love my car and it is the 2nd one I have purchased. I used to own a 1998 Mazda Protege manual drove her to 134,000 miles without changing the gear shift. June 2010, I was rear ended on the highway while my car was in motion. She ended up with 1,160 dollar worth of damage and still drives great. It is a bit nerve racking as the new cars seem to have lots of electrical problems. I thought about buying a new Mazda but a bit nervous with all the electrics. Cars are not made the way they use to be. So do I hold on to my baby?