2001 Mazda Protege ES 2.0 from North America
Bring on the Corollas and Civics, Mazda's got something for 'em!
However, I replaced the rear speakers, where were blown when I bought the car last fall.
The 2001 version of the Protege retains the performance and handling of the '92 Protege LX that I had before.
Purchasing a five-year-old used car with 97,000 miles on it was not difficult for me because I had a good experience with my '92 Protege, because the Japanese seem to have an edge in reliability and longevity, and because this car is just plain fun to drive.
This car is sporty, inside and out. The styling is more aggressive for 2001, and the ES features white-faced gauges that are easy to read. At night these are back-lit in red, which is easier on your eyes than white or blue because it allows your pupils to remain open for better night vision.
The interior of the 2001 lacks some of the features that, while minor, were nice touches on the '92. Gone in 2001 are the European-style hollow headrests and marker lights on the doors. And the cup-holder is poorly designed -- in this this case, one size doesn't seem to fit anything. The '92 cup-holder pulled out of the console and provided a deeper, more stable grip.
Gas mileage with the twin-cam engine (1.8-liter in '92, 2-liter in 2001) is poor for a car in this class. I'm lucky to make 20 mpg around town, and seldom crack 25 mpg even with highway driving.
However, I don't log a lot of miles per year right now, so I can live with less gas mileage and more performance, which I certainly get in this car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th January, 2007
26th Jan 2007, 23:58
I don't know, but it's kind of written by a real cool used car salesman or some rice rocket nut.
27th Jan 2007, 09:43
Yeah, a car salesman is really going to tell people a subcompact gets 20 mpg.
The review is real, the poster is just enthusiastic about the car.
30th Jan 2007, 01:16
I am not a car salesman or "rice rocket nut," though I stand behind my comments regarding the Japanese advantage in durability and longevity.
As my beloved uncle said many times -- he has owned a GM dealership for nearly 45 years -- Detroit lost its "can do" attitude because when challenged by imports and regulations, Detroit's response always seemed to be that they could not do what was being required. As he put it, "eventually, they began to believe that, even though it wasn't necessarily true."
My first four cars were American. Mercury, Ford, Chevy and Pontiac. I touched all the bases before going Japanese; I did my time. Don't EVER call me a nut for rice-burners!
Mazda is one of the good marques -- like Nissan, they're cheap on the used lot and provide good service with reliable features.
I'm just a guy who likes a small car that's fast, dependable and loaded with features.