Too many things have gone wrong with this car. Everything from minor surface rust, to major rusting out of the back hatch. Biggest issues have been the rust and engine wear.
First, I discovered that the Protege 5 had a chronic problem with rusting on the back hatch around the logos. Found this out when I took it to the autobody shop for another reason, and they suggested that I should take it in to the dealer for a repair. I discovered that the body warranty had been extended and extra 2 years - 1 month too late, and they refused to help. Now the car is rusting all over - under the wheel wells, inside the engine compartment and at the weld points. It's a shame that regular washing and maintenance couldn't prevent this, and that Mazda refused to even look at it.
Second, the valve seals seem to have gone. Took it in to the dealer, paid $150 for a diagnostic where I was told they couldn't diagnose the problem since they were unable to remove one spark plug (???) and was quoted $13000 for a new engine. Nice.
Finally I have recently been informed that my shocks and struts need to be replaced. I'm all for doing regular maintenance, and I am not a harsh driver by any stretch. Seems to me this goes way beyond what one can expect to deal with in a new car with one driver/owner. I've owned American vehicles that were on the road longer with fewer problems!
I would not recommend the purchase of either a new or used Mazda to anyone under any circumstances, nor would I recommend the Mazda service departments for the work. Complete waste of money. Can't wait to go back to Toyota, or another company intent on taking care of their clientele.