This is a great car! The best i have ever had! I just had no choice to take it off the road due to the frame holes all through it. Rust is very bad on the car its had alot of body work done to it! All floors, All wheel wells, Bottoms to all the doors! Motor out lived body! Motor is great! Runs fantastic! Rust is my whole problems with this car!
This car is so fun to drive! It feels fast even at lower speeds and handles great. It is still a joy to drive with the automatic transmission. This is an extremely practical car- great for everyday commutes or for first time drivers. This car is also very reliable and running great after 11 years.
I got this car in 2005 and have loved every mile I have driven in it. While it's only a 4 cylinder 2.0 liter, the protege5 definitely doesn't slack on pickup. The ride seems louder than normal, but that is due to how low to the ground the car is. The Protege5 has held up extremely well. Other than changing the oil, tires, brakes etc. the only actual maintenance I have had done was replace the air intake at about 80,000 miles. The seats are very comfortable. While the car is on the smaller side, it is easy to seat 4 adult males well in the car. If needed, I have added someone in the middle seat. There is still room, but a little more cramped in the back seat.
We have 7 yrs and 105k. We like how it looks, drives, and handles. It’s been very reliable, very practical. It is sporty and involving. 5 spd drivetrain is responsive, a bit noisy but not bad. Mileage is 28 mpg mixed. Ride is firm and responsive. 195 width tires are not common but 205 are easy to find. Reliability is outstanding. I redid the brakes at 40k and nothing since. Interior fits like a glove, Mazda knows sport ergonomics. Supportive seats etc. Build quality is great. No loose trim, leaks, suspension wearing out, etc. It rides and feels solid. Overall: for the money you can get more mpg, more space, more cush. But you will not get more combined fun & practicality.
I have written a couple of reviews. Bought new in May 2002. Reviews stating car is bad, guessing that either bought car used, abuse it driving or in bad weather areas. I'm in So Cal. Runs great after 195,000 miles. Only a fuel pump at 80,000 and a new alternator recently. Normal maintenance. Still original clutch. That's reliability. Drives like a go kart in twisties gets 31 highway 24-25 in town. Combine: 27 mpg. Complaints light bulbs burning out 2 often - it's bulb holder the problem, not bulb. Just drove 2011 Mazda 2 selling 4 what I paid 4 PR5, no comparison. 2 slower/smaller. Tested Honda Fit, sits 2 high. Not as fun 2 drive. Also smaller. 2 bad Mazda stopped making PR5.