I love this car!
Occasionally my 1993 Mazda Protege will throw a spark plug. In the 17 years that I have owned it, it's happened 3 times. Each time I found it in the engine compartment or on the ground, and just put it back in. Now I know that when the engine has a rough idle, it's time to tighten the plugs.
There is a slight oil leak now that my current mechanic can't locate, due to some careless work done by another shop. I don't know what they did, but it's leaked since I took it there for a new valve cover gasket, and they claim it isn't their fault. Needless to say, I'm never going there again. And yes, my current mechanic has replaced their valve cover gasket.
Overall, my Protege been fantastic mechanically, and the interior and paint look great.
Best car I have ever owned! Hardly any mechanical problems, and always starts immediately. The original mileage estimates were 23-33 city and 30-42 highway. I keep it tuned up, so I consistently get 30 mpg city, and often get 40 mpg on the highway.
Most importantly, it's a blast to drive. Peppy, great handling, does well in rain or snow.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th January, 2011