1994 Mazda Protege LX 1.8 DOHC from North America


A nice starter car with good take off, but needs help with cosmetics


Well, when I first got this car at the dealership it ran fine. Great take off and easy on gas.

I drove the car 35 miles from the dealer and had just got the car inspected, when all of a sudden the car lost all its power. After having 2 dealers come and look at it they had discovered that it had blown a head gasket.

After a week I got my car back. The dealership had replaced the clutch because that was bad also. I drove the car home just to notice that half way home that the driver's side power window made really funny sounds when going up, and it hops and skips up, making sounds that make you kinda lean away in case it blows up.

General Comments:

I really like this car and it runs fine, but I have checked in every web-site and book from here to Mexico and I have not been able to find any parts for better performance besides an air filter.

It is nearly impossible to even find the 1.8 DOHC engine general parts (ext: head-gasket, oil pan, upgrades for fuel injection, or even a set of spark plug wires).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th February, 2002

1994 Mazda Protege 1.8 single overhead cam from North America


A pretty name for a pretty car that comes at a pretty price


When I first purchased this car there wasn't a thing wrong with it. I soon found out why the dealer only carried a 3 month warranty.

First thing that went wrong was the boot busted on the front passenger side. Fortunately this was still during the warranty period so I wasn't charged to have it fixed.

The second thing that happened was the seal on the radiator sprung a leak. This problem was repaired by replacing the entire radiator. This was also under the warranty time limit.

Then the air conditioning went out, this happened at about 75000mi. Fortunately I had moved to Michigan from Mississippi so air conditioning wasn't that big of an issue. Have yet to experience warm enough weather to warrant having it checked out. Also, warranty has lapsed by now.

The next thing to go wrong was the cv joints. Fortunately they only went bad on one side. Parts were $100 and I found a shop to do the repair for $50 so I got off pretty easy for this. Plus there was a $40 core charge that I got back. To have the work done at a standard shop with parts and labor would have cost close to $300.

Third thing to go was the heat. Thus far I have had a complete tune-up, including replacing the plugs, plug wires, distributor cap, rotor and thermostat. None of this corrected the problem.

My newest problem at 85000mi is the brakes have almost completely gone out and the head gasket is cracked. The funny thing about this car is, the parts to completely replace breaks and rotors on both sides of the front and the head gasket only cost $90. The labor however is going to cost about $500.

General Comments:

I have to say that while this is a rather pretty car and carries a great name, being foreign makes the parts unbelievably high and hard to come by.

Also, most shops won't touch it simply because it's a Mazda, so therefore you have to find foreign shops which often charge higher prices simply because its a specialty shop.

So all in all I would have to say, based on my experience and the fact that my sister recently sold her '95 Mazda protege because the transmission went out along with numerous other problems, it's a pretty car and a pretty name, but it also comes with a pretty price.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th February, 2002

1994 Mazda Protege DX 1.8 SOHC from North America


This car is a worthwhile investment for anyone who needs a very reliable car


1. Left-side constant velocity joint needed repair at approximately 120,000 miles.

2. New muffler installed approximately at the same time (I decided to purchase a muffler with a lifetime warranty due to the reported high occurrence of muffler replacement for this model).

General Comments:

I am disappointed that the manufacturer did not opt to put at least 14" tires on this car, since 13" tires are almost obsolete today.

This car has an uncomfortable amount of body roll in the corners.

However, this car has proved to be very reliable despite other claims that it is high maintenance.

I have done nothing to this car except regular maintenance in order to keep it in excellent condition.

I am consistently surprised that this car is continually free of problems even though it has such high mileage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th January, 2002

9th Jan 2002, 18:10

...and I might add, the best gas mileage I ever got was 42.5 miles per gallon! Not too bad!