2002 Mazda Protege SE 1.6 from North America
Used? Buy a Cavalier or Focus; it'll cost less and you'll have just as much problems with it..
Bought new... In the first year;
The Rack (Direction) did a weird knocking noise when turning the wheels - had to replace it. (Thank god it was under warranty 'cause = 1500$ job)
Front Wheels bearings broke down.
Weird noise from suspension - Still not fixed (Mazda didn't find the problem)
The car must be made with very cheap/thin metal because it was in a hail storm and it was the only car on the street with damage.
The shifter bushings had to be changed (350$ job) - I know this is a common problem with Proteges.
The battery is already leaving me, but, not as frustrating as other problems listed above.
I had small cars before; 1987 Corolla, 1992 NX-2000, Volkswagen, Chevrolet...
And it is by far the most UnderPowered car of all. It's like driving a car from the 30's. I tryed the 2L Engine and it is just as bad.
Overall reliability is average.
The service in Mazda dealers is really poor and they take a lot more time to fix the problem than regular garages.
Comfort is average too. I enjoy the quality of the dash board. Definitely a +.
Handles very very well in snow. I never got stuck with it, and it endures Abitibi/Québec snow falls.
Handling is very fun when the car is new, but it gets old fast.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 19th February, 2006
You stated that there is a weird noise coming from your suspension. I have a 2002 Protege LX which recently has a "weird" noise coming from the suspension when the steering wheel was turned. The faulty component was a "link" arm which connects the front stabilizer bar to the control arm. The ball joint grease dried out and the ball joint rusted. Fortunately the part only costs $60 CAN. The labour to change it is about an hour.