Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: Getting rid of it ASAP!
Cons: The fact that the factory does not back up its product, except with apologies.
Advice: DO NOT BUY!!!If you like yourself at all, do NOT buy a Mazda. Rod bearings went out after less than three years, requiring engine overhaul costing $2,000.00. I took excellent care of this car, always meeting service requirements. After 50,000 miles you are on your own. Buyer beware! I wish I would have bought a different brand, because this one was a LEMON!!! I will NEVER buy another Mazda vehicle again!!
Pros: 4 wheel disk brakes
Cons: Rear seats don't fold down completely flat, no key fob trunk opening
Advice: Make sure you like a stiff ride.A pretty good small 4 door sedan. Engine is not very powerful but still has adequate acceleration. Some people think the engine is loud while I think its adequately quite. If you want real quite, get a different type of car. The engine is a bit loud when first started in cold weather but quites down soon after when its idling slower. Anyways, I like to hear the engine a little while driving. I got the manual transmission and would not consider getting an automatic unless I lost my left leg. These cars were meant for manuals. The transmission shifts very smoothly and precisely and the gear ratios are well positioned. One minor drawback is with the armrest where you can't rest your arm on it while shifting as you can in the new Honda Accord 2003 sedan I drove. Best features are the car's apparent quality and its handling. The suspension is designed for good handling, with tight cornering and a taut ride which I like. But of course you have to put up with feeling the road bumps. Steering feel is also very good. Brakes are excellent with good stopping power, modulation, and little mushiness. Clutch actuation has a smooth engagement, not grabby. Pedal positioning is good. Seats are quite comfortable (I got the premium interior).
Pros: a great looking car thats 'loaded' at a reasonable price
Cons: 4 speakers, still has very good sound quality, but 6 would be better
Advice: get it with everything, it's worth it!I've had this car for 5 days & love it! I have the ES model in Lt. Sandlewood with the ES premium package, sport mode auto transmission, wheel locks, cargo net, and perimeter shock sensor alarm. The sport mode is fun, giving you more power with the 'feel' of a manual transmission. I've found the engine has plenty of power and is very quiet, even on the highway. I travel on I-95 everyday to work & acceleration is no problem at all when merging or passing. The low profile tires look really nice, but do make the ride slightly bouncy at times. Not a problem unless you have been used to driving a car that rides extremely smooth on the road. The exterior look of this car sure is beautiful! The tires, spoiler and fog lights really give this car a sporty look at a fantastic price! The antenna is fully retractable. My radio works when it's retracted, plus I think it looks better without it showing. The interior is roomy, attractive, and all controls are placed conveniently within reach of the driver. The seats are very comfortable and the driver seat has height and cushion tilt. I'm sure my kids will enjoy the CD player. A few petty things I will mention are the lack of cupholders and the interior power doorlock button. There are only two cup holders in the front, which suits me just fine. I don't want my teenagers drinking sodas in my new car or using the cupholders as trash cans. You name it, it was in those backseat cupholders! A lesson learned from my last car! There is only one interior power doorlock button and it's on the driver's door. It would be nice to at least have one on the passenger door also. My previous car automatically locked the doors when it was put in gear, but the Protege does not have this feature. All in all, this car has an attractive sporty look, a very nice interior, a nice ride with excellent steering and control, & ABS all disc brakes that stop on a dime! All this at 0 down, 0 APR for 5 years & no payment until Jan. '03 My previous car was a 1993 Pontiac Grand Am with a 3.3 liter V6, 16 inch alum. wheels & SE option package. 175,000 miles on it & the engine ran like it was brand new. However, I replaced the radiator, 2 alternators, 2 water pumps, some defective metal part underneath the car broke & was fixed, 6 sets of front brake shoes (I am not heavy on the brake), a tensioner arm & belt and the wand(very expensive) that operates the cruise control & headlights, due to a short in the highbeams, so the car would pass inspection. A new Grand Am SE1 is around $21K, looks great & has a powerful 3.4 V6, but don't keep it after 5-6 years if you drive a lot because you will rebuild the car! This is why I decided to go with a foreign car that's dependable & has a better maintenance record.
Pros: It's really zippy if you drive the 5-speed
Cons: Ugly interior color schemes
Advice: Be sure to drive the Sentra before you decide.I spent two or three days at the Mazda dealership--I was convinced that this was the car I wanted. But after driving the Nissan Sentra, it was a clear choice for me to forget the Mazda. Its boxy exterior and unstylish interior, coupled with a really ugly black box of a CD player, unattractive interior upholstery choices and ugly paint jobs cinched the decision. Go for a Sentra.
Pros: peppy engine with good fuel economy
Cons: seats are a liitle stiff
Advice: If you are considering a Hyundai Elantra, check this vehicle out it only costs about $1,000 more but is much better built and will last a long,long time.Did not test drive, purchased sight unseen thru carsdirect.com
Pros: The sunroof/side impact/abs package is awesome.
Cons: Lack of trunk button on remote. Also, the security system is really sensitive
Advice: Make sure you can handle the legroom in the backSo far I love this car. I have the LX model, the ES was a bit too expensive for what I could get right now. I might have to upload another review, but so far, and that's only a few hundred miles, I really like it. The driver seat adjusts will enough that I can find a good position for my back, as opposed to my Saturn SL2. The only drawback I find so far is no remote trunk button and the cup holders are for cups. No bottled water here. Tight turn and it's out.
Pros: high reving engine
Advice: buy it from a good dealerI bought a 2001 ES 2.0. I have had the car for over a year now and my only compliant is the transmission. I opted for the 5 speed, great speed and handling, but when the temperature gets close to freezing it acts as though I am not using the clutch. I have taken it to the dealer three times and they fixed it once. Three months later same problem. Not to worry I am trading this car in for a jeep liberty. Great car, poor transmission.