A really sporty economy car
This Mazda Protege has had a hiccup in its acceleration since I bought it. Three mechanics have found no cure; however, my regular mechanic has taped up a worn air intake hose and that seems to help a lot with this problem -- temporarily. Within a couple of weeks it is back to its old, stuttering self.
Parts prices are high, and parts are generally unavailable from anybody other than Mazda. I paid $600 for an exhaust system. This included everything from the manifold to the rear bumper, except for the converter. I later spent another $180 replacing the converter, again using a Mazda part.
This is a fast, good handling small car. I think it would outrun any Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla of the same vintage.
The suspension is a real treat for anyone who's been driving lesser economy cars, particularly American models such as the Cavalier.
I regard this car as a real bargain, considering its full package of options, compared to the extra amount one would pay for a Honda or Toyota just because of the nameplate.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd April, 2003