I inherited this car as it was my mothers. When she passed (2008) it had a whopping 14,000 on the car. She literally only drove it to store and church. I am not joking. In 2008 the car was still like new and the paint clear coat was coming off. The paint is crap. The seats are fairly nice except they are not comfortable on trips. My husband is 6'2 and he has trouble with sufficient room driving it on trips. The fuel economy is excellent. When I worked and drove 22 miles a day to a job the car would run on a tank of gas for two weeks. It's a wonderful car if you are not around 6' tall. I still have the car today and the clear coat is almost gone. Mazda didn't do too good on the paint with this one. One last thing is the car has terrible road noise. If you are in the rear seat you can't hear anyone speaking to you from the front
This self biodegradable rust and so we do not see the rust when it is too late, it's awful, if you see surfaces with rosettes loan goest indicating the rear wheels of rust, the outline of wheels it is too later. One year after the car is good for parts, water ready driver's foot hole in the floor and in the trunk, too rusty to be repaired and this morning the windshield broke the rusty structure was break the fast, the car is good for parts, total loss caused by rust, the vehicle design is the cause it destroys itself, can resist the normal duration of a vehicle in a Canadian winter , calcium and abrasive on the roads
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!
I love the way this car accelerates and handles. The modest 2.0 engine the Protege uses is a real champion! The low profile tires are a tad costly, but they look really good with the sporty style of the vehicle. Room and comfort in the front two bucket seats are great!
In 2005, the radio one day just refused to work. The LCD panel wasn't working, and the volume controls just had a mind of it's own. Fortunately we had the radio replaced with a Sony X-Plod system and that unit brought out the true sound of the stock Mazda sound System. So perhaps a better head unit would be my only complaint about the Protege.
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.
Reliability, Interior, ABS & Side Airbags (Option on the ES)