Pros: Sporty looking (nice body style), great sound system, convenient folding rear seats, ample trunk space.
Cons: Some engine problems, Driver side lock problems, wiring issues with radio
I owned the 1999 Mazda Protege LX. I bought it used in 2000 at 26,000 miles. It was a good car for the price. It was sporty looking yet suitable for commuting and every day use. The interior was nice and the sound system surprisingly good for factory. The glove compartment was spacious, and the automatic locks and windows worked perfectly. The split back seats folded down which I only took advantage of a few times...but it was still a nice option. The trunk was more than ample to haul things. We often had a large suitcase, golf bag/clubs, and a folded air mattress in there for trips and still had some room left. The problems I had with the car were these: about 2 months after buying the car the driver side lock no longer worked from the outside. I had to unlock the car from the passenger side. This was also a problem on another Protege that I was going to test drive so this might be a common thing. The stereo was iffy and sometimes didn't turn on or off and the LED display often turned off even when the stereo was on. This happened on cold days more than any other time. Also, the car did not have enough power for my taste. After about 3 years the transmission would take a little longer to shift than It should have causing the car's RPM's to shoot up. Other than that, I had no real problems with the car and was actually a little sad when I traded it in yesterday for my 2003 Ford Explorer XLT. I guess we all have to trade up at sometime though! Overall I would recommend this car...it had a few defects that I'm sure could be solved by a mechanic. I loved the way it looked and would buy one again today if I wanted another commuter car.