I work at a car rental company at an airport, so I drive brand new 2011-2012 cars all day long. This car is on par with these brand new cars, in my opinion. Everything about it is wonderful. The features, the handling, the styling, the utility, the mileage!. It's by far my favorite car to drive out of all I have driven!
I purchased my 2003 Mazda Protege5 in 10/2002 and have been glad every day since! I have had the clutch replaced in the past 2 years along with the compressor and the catalytic converter and the drivers side widow thingy. I feel like after 7 years, this is normal. The head-light bulbs have been a bit of a nuisance, having to replace frequently, but being able to replace them myself, i'm just out the cost of the bulb, which isn't much. If you know the car has had regular maintenance, it will not let you down.
I drove this car for three weeks. I loved it. Unfortunately a guy turned in front of me without looking. My car got totaled. This car saved my life. The paramedics could not believe how much the car was squished and not me. Besides the normal symptoms of a crash, I am way better than I should be. This is one amazing car in all aspects.
I bought Stella, my 2003 Mazda Protege5, about 14 months ago. It had 95,000 miles on it and now has 105,000. I was previously driving an old beat up Honda. It was a night and day difference between the two. It looks beautiful and new. Interior is great. Bad placement on the cupholders, only bad part of the interior. It is a fun, zippy quick car with great gas mileage. Stock tires drive terribly in any kind of snow, if you buy snow tires like I did its does amazing in snow, but stock tires are awful in snow. Cupholders and tires are only complaints. I absolutely love everything else about my amazingly fun to drive protege5.