After another 18,000 miles since last August when I wrote a review. Car is very reliable and keeps on going. If power is your concern, do modifications as I said in my first review. The cost is nominal and cost effective. Never felt the car was underpowered due to it's power band at low rmp, but if you modified as I did, you'll have performance, comfort, economy of an everyday go-kart car in high gas mkt.
Corners like a more expensive sports car, gas mileage, comfort in the driving seat. Other than normal maintenace, water pump after 164,000 miles. Cargo space as good as my Speed3. Shifting 5 spd very smooth; no missing shifts compared to 6 spd in Speed3. Original clutch still. Fun every day car.
I bought this car used 4.5 years ago and I couldn't be happier. I did a lot of research before hand and this car just completely blew away the competition in safety, looks, and pure driving enjoyment. My husband is used to his truck, but even he loves the pep of this car. Now that gas has skyrocketed, I'm getting an even better deal, averaging 27 mpg in town/30 hwy. I dumped the standard sport tires after replacing each one twice in short order. They are super responsive, but very expensive and low longevity. I replaced a broken thermometer on it about 15 months ago (~$90 with labor) and that has been my only cost, other than reg. maintenance.
Fun to drive--very agile and responsive, great gas mileage, incredible amount of cargo room, roomy for tall people (I'm 5'9", husband is 6'2"), sporty look and feel, very intuitive controls, high safety ratings, engine has great pep for 4 cyl.
Standard sport tires are expensive to replace and wear out/blow out fast. Rubber mat for cargo area should be standard, roof racks make sun roof unbearably noisy on highway
I purchased this car brand new. I have put 148,000 on it, and it is very reliable! Besides regular oil changes, haven't had to do anything else. I have only had to replace a thermostat! It's wonderful! Definitely have gotten my money's worth!
Upon retirement I wanted to replace my Explorer with a sporter car. One that would carry 2 sets of clubs, a push cart and luggage. Vacation and golf were 2 things that was on my mind. I found that in my 02 Mazda Protege 5. I could not have been happier. I don't know if I like the body style of the new 5, but I love the looks of my car.
5 sp interior.
I'm in the process of replacing the shift knob, the lettering has worn off.
I bought this car used, and have loved it ever since. Very reliable - the car has 80k miles on it, and other than normal wear n tear, everything is great! It's a blast to drive, and I really look for curves to really enjoy the handling.
Steering and handling are superb, as nice as other, more expensive cars I've owned. Supportive seats - I'm 6'1" and it's very comfortable for me. Love the style of it, too, and the fact that they aren't all over like other models. 5 speed is smooth.
Wind noise with roof racks can be excessive. Could really use a 6th gear for highway cruising. Even obeying posted limits, it hits over 3,500 rpms.