2002 Mazda Protege LX from North America
Far and away the best econobox out there
Nothing major has gone wrong with this car. Its simplicity practically guarantees flawless operation.
Small gripes include: squeaky driver's seat, small rattles emanating from the dash and the rear.
Bumper paint seems thin and cheap and therefore chips easily.
I bought this car for my wife and I cannot understand how someone could spend his/her $15k on another car.
The Protege looks simple and clean - no irrelevant body molds, no weird light fixtures, not trying to emote through its grille (see Neon, Civic). Its materials inside and out are of high quality - no cheap plastic, thick steering wheel, great dash material, durable seating material. Its ride is a tad hard, but at the same time sporty. Its steering is telepathic. The engine has pep, especially at low revs. The seats are very comfortable. It comes with all the proper options (power mirrors, locks, windows, CD player, AC, cruise control). The transmission is simple and provides smooth shifts.
Mileage is of some concern as I average 25 MPG where the competition probably gets at least 30 MPG.
I have had no problems with the car so far. I recommend this car for anyone.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th October, 2003