"I own a 2003 w/ 141,000 miles, that I bought brand new. It's been a very good car. It averages around 28mpg. The car has great handling, but is slower than slow. The car has just enough room for my 6ft. 3in frame...barely. My knees tend to rub on the console, which gets annoying after 200 miles. The engine and road noise can be a bit much and doesn't allow for people to hear what you're saying while on a cell phone. Go ahead and kill yourself if you have to ever change the low beam bulbs. That, or barrow a 2 year old w/ tiny little hand to install them. With all that said, the car is reliable as can be, gets great gas mileage, handles well, offers many options for the price, and is well built. I hope that helps."
"Bought my Mazda new in 2002, and I'm still loving it. I keep it maintenanced at the scheduled times and have only had 2 non-maintenance issues, which was one power window mechanics and the temperature gauge. Reliable, drives great, and gets good mileage. I'm always told that my Protege still looks new! Can't believe Mazda didn't continue making it."
Pros: "Like a sportscar that carries stuff & 4 people."
Cons: "Cup holder's in front of the shifter.Awkward."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Handles very well,strong brakes,great flat cornering,tight turning circle and decent gas mileage at about 30 mpg.Not one problem since new.Oil changes,new belts and brakes finally at 60K last week,is all it's ever asked for."