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: I've had this car for almost a year and I still I love practically everything about this car. It's spacious in the front and back seats, which I appreciate the most.
Cons: I wish the front passenger had an automatic door lock control.
Advice: With this car, you get the most for your money without settling. It's great quality for a whole lot less than a Civic.After test driving the Protege, Cavalier and Civic, I thought this car had the most to offer. It really hugged the road for a 'sporty' feel.
Pros: Good handling and design
Cons: Everythink except for the two things above
Advice: Please, do not consider this car at all.I bought this car two month ago for some reasons. But so far my car's been in garage 10 times. Still less than 3000 miles. I'm upset of Mazda which refused to admitt the car's defects. First, Mazda is notorious of the rough idling, and this protege is no exception. It's due to the faulty EGR valve. You can't fix your idle problem forever. Give up! But if you're not sensitive, you can't detect the symptom forever. So be ignorant. I can't understand why people here like this car. Don't believe such people. I was a mechanic in army. Because of the EGR the acceleration is horrible. Riding is too stiff. And because of the poor mechanical queality(it is a japanese car?), the car squeaks everywhere. Transmission is the worst(it's ford's) Last word, you can't fix these problems. Be ignorant or do not buy it. There is no recall for this car. I don't like Mazda. (P.S) I bought this car because of its design. I'm more horrible...)
Pros: Lots of pep for a small car.
Cons: Cupholders need some work.
Advice: If you want a car that can hold a turn, this is it!!Others think this car is a little rough, however I disagree. If you want to know what rought is, drive a Kia Sportage, the Protege will feel smooth.
Pros: 4 wheel disc brakes
Cons: no back seat cup holders
Advice: be careful of getting speeding tickets, its fastAmazing performance for a compact car, handles great, tight construction, and a ton of options at a reasonable price.
Pros: Quiet engine, sweet handling, great looks
Cons: the ride is stiff (but this is deliberate- it is meant to be 'sporty')
Advice: If you are looking for a soft ride, this is not it. If you want sports car-like handling in a low-priced Japanese vehicle, then check it out.Well, first of all, I tested a number of cars: Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Cavelier, Nissan Altima, etc. The Mazda won hands down. To begin with, the car is most definitely sleek- the civic just looks plain next to it, and the Cavelier...well, it looks no better than any of Chevy's other models. Also, the car came with Bridgestone Potenza 190/55 tires, which look great with their low profile. The motor is has DOHC, 130 hp/135 ft lbs torque. For the size of the car, it serves perfectly. I got the car up to 80 mph with no sweat, and I know that it could easily do more. Braking and steering are very responsive- in fact, I detected no body roll at all. The automatic shifts quite smoothly. All of the dials are placed logically, and the car is pretty nice looking from the inside. I love the chrome accents, thick steering wheel, and the two-toned dash. Gas mileage is wonderful. I don't know what the other reviewers are talking about when they complain about this car- maybe they don't know how to drive properly. You see, there are tricks to getting good gas mileage, and if you get good enough at it, you can get good mileage with any vehicle. Also, please don't put down the Mazda because you are biased. They are the guys that created the RX7- widely considered one of the best Japanese sports cars ever. If I have any compaints about the car, it's that the ride can be a bit stiff. Expect to really feel the road with this vehicle...but that's the price to pay with the sports car-like handling. In fact, I am already starting to become quite accostomed to it, and appreciate it now. Anyway, as you can see, I love this car, especially for the price. It's at least every bit as good as a Honda or Toyota (and cost me close to $4000 less), and a hell of a lot better than any modern Chevy. As for reliability? My dad's 1989 Mazda is still on the road, with over 200K- and it runs great. Never hesitates when starting, and has a motor that is more quiet than many modern cars. I am confident that my Mazda will do no worse...
Cons: Insufficient power and gas mileage, no traction control and assist available. Only traction with this is with the standard 5-speed manual.
Advice: Where is at least optional traction control? This is not available with it. I suggest the 2003 automatic Chevrolet Cavalier LS sedan instead.When looking for an FWD compact sedan with great traction, this is one I checked. However, I was disappointed with one thing. It is not available with traction control or assist! It is not even the automatics. And it was a little too sluggish for me. I was looking for one with a little more power with traction assist and control and more power with a little better gas mileage and a great rebate as well. That led me to my 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier LS sedan. I am glad I made that choice!