...really nothing has gone wrong.
My belt has been squealing for about 30,000 miles now, but I am too lazy to take 10 minutes to tighten it. It only does it when there is moisture in the air and I have the heater/air fan going.
I do; however, have to complain about the tire size, because of the high cost and the trouble of getting a tire that wears well in that size.
Simply amazing! I abuse my Protege to the fullest every day. I bought the car in Sept '05 with 46000 and now have 105000 miles. I deliver pizza 6 nights a week, and rod on it every time I drive. I accelerate hard and brake even harder, yet have only had to change them recently (front pads/rotors at 100k). I change oil somewhere between every 4k and 6k miles.
I corner to the point of ... well... you would wear your seatbelt if you rode with me. Because of this, tires only last me approx. 14000 miles, but it's well worth it.
Also, I live in Minnesota and have snow tires. With snow tires, it handles just as nice as my XC700. Example: delivering pizza in the snowstorm we recently accumulated 26" and PASSING people in 4 wheel drive trucks .. they were going 30.. I took her out of OD and held it 3/4 throttle to maintain 60mph with the snow beating on the floor boards. ABUSE!!! I AM DEFINATELY A MAZDA FAN... and I HATE FOREIGN CARS! I love classic muscle and am a union, american kind of guy.. but man do these things last and save money!
MOREOVER: READ ON!
Before this car I had bought a 91 Protege DX with 168000 on it for 550.00 The car drove great and ran great, but to squeeze a bit more gas mileage out of it I had the plugs changed.. well, some bozo didn't use anti seize and the head was stripped in one of the plug ports, so we did a helicoil job with the head still on the engine.. bad idea. A metal shaving fuzed to that valve and I only got 30lbs of compression from it.. mind the the other three were still like new at 160psi.
Long story short: the car lasted me 14,000 miles until I found my current Protege and sold the 91 (running on all 3 cyl) to my best friend, who went on to add 19000 more miles before that cylinders piston and rod went to heck. Oh, by the way: running on 3 cylinders it still had a decent amount of power and the best part 28MPG!!!!!! With a bad cylinder!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st March, 2007