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Well, at this point, Mazda should pay me to keep my Protege5 rust bucket off the road. This car has less than 100K miles, and is a junker due to rust problems. It's white, and the seal coat completely failed within 5 years. Rust began around both rear wheel wells at year 6. You don't see ANY P5 around here without rust in the same area. You see lots of other older cars without rust. I will buy those brands from now on.
I love everything about this car, except the rust. And yes, it lived in the garage, was washed/waxed regularly, never been in an accident (or even dinged), and I'm the original owner - bought from dealer. The year after we bought the P5, we bought a Pontiac Vibe (for the wife). Now, 11 years later, put those two cars side by side - one looks almost as good as a new car, the other looks like a junker. One car you can work on, the other - every time you try to turn a bolt it snaps off due to rust.
At another site, in a article titled TOP 10 BEST & WORST RUST-RESISTANT CARS, Mazda 3/5 took the top worst position, with the only 'very weak rust resistance' rating given. The ratings were based on data 'collected over 15 years by the APA (Automobile Protection Association)'
This point cannot be stressed enough. Mazda has the worst rusting cars of ANY car manufactured.
I will NEVER ever buy another Mazda. I will tell all of my friends and acquaintances to stay away from Mazda. If I ever hear of anyone considering buying a Mazda, I will ask them to google 'Mazda rust'. There is no excuse. Modern cars should last at least 200k miles, with 300k being easily achievable with care.
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