1997 Mazda Protege LX 1.5 from North America
Outstanding! Cheap, utterly reliable transportation
The air conditioning stopped working about 4 years ago, I've made no attempt to repair.
Replaced cracked exhaust manifold.
This car is dirt cheap to own/operate. Literally years go by without me spending a cent on auto repair other than oil changes.
Excellent gas mileage. Over ten years I averaged at least 30 (up to 32) mpg city, and maybe 35 on highway. Recently made it from Las Vegas to Tucson AZ on one tank of gas (42 mpg, honest. I drove carefully though).
I do absolutely nothing to maintain this car, and it just goes. I change the oil twice a year with the cheapest oil they sell. It is 60,000 miles overdue on its 60,000 mile route maintenance, and just doesn't stop.
Has held up to inconsiderate use/abuse extremely well. Electric windows, dash lights, head/tail/blinkers, fans etc - all work. No broken knobs or switches, no cracks on the dash or interior except where I've been putting my elbow on the drivers side arm rest for a decade. Upholstery doesn't show much wear at all.
It's no luxury car: simple interior, pretty high amount of road noise. Seats are reasonable comfortable I guess. Not really stylish.
My goal with an automobile is to spend as little time and money on it as possible. I have neglected this car as much as any one could, and it in turn has been perfectly reliable and fully functional for eleven years (except the air conditioner, which I never tried to fix since that would involve money). You'd think it would be a total junk bucket, but it's just a great, solid vehicle. Love it, and will only buy Mazda's now.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st April, 2009