If you are looking for one, don't hesitate...
A problem with some reviews on used cars occurs when the reviewer takes into account the current condition, particularly if not maintained. This car has never broken down due to mechanical issues, beyond wear and tear items. The only condition that needed a tow was a clutch flex hose, but those go eventually anyways, and mysteriously right after it left a shop... if you are thinking of buying one (which I highly recommend), make sure you get a reliable, honest mechanic if you don't work on it yourself.
The daytime running lights module is not working, but that is common on cars half this age, so no issue there.
Another time a shop pulled the e-brake extreme in -40 and it locked on. The rear calipers are not up to par, but I have read a Protege rear caliper can fix that problem.
I rated the reliability as a 9, but really it deserves a 10, but in my opinion nothing mechanical is 100% reliable, but this car is closer than a lot of cars I have owned.
As far as the interior goes, it still looks like new, and the front seats are very comfortable for long trips, and hold you in when you take a corner.
I really can't say enough about this car. The styling is great, handling is top notch for its class, and even though I can buy a new car, it is really fun to drive and I have little desire to get any other car... seriously. I would stay away from the automatics unless they have been properly maintained; the automatics weren't as durable as the manuals, but you could still get some decent mileage out of them.
The weight distribution of this car is very balanced; the front end and back end lose grip at almost the exact time... someone was on the ball when they designed this car.
This car would make a great tuner car; a JDM engine gives you 200 HP as opposed to 164, which itself is pretty good for a 2800 lb car. The car drives very solid, and it feels like a larger car than it is when it comes to ride quality, although it does have some road noise at highway speeds, but a good undercoating could help that.
One issue I found is the air intake for the ventilation is small, and can accumulate snow quickly and cause the windshield to fog. Try not to let this happen and summer is no issue.
I think this car is grossly underrated, and think most people would appreciate driving something as fun as this... can't recommend it enough.
One problem that can occur is the intake for the ventilation is small, and if snow gets in there, it can frost the windshield and can potentially cause a very serious condition; a bad design, and probably should have been recalled. I am thinking of putting some screen on top so that it might keep snow out of there, but if driving in the summer, there are no issues.
There are more serious sports cars as always.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd June, 2013