The 3 will probably be an improvement over the Protege overall, but I think the Protege is more attractive, which is too bad. The 3 looks too much like a Focus. I realize that was unavoidable, considering that the 3 and the Focus share the same platform. Fortunately, the 3's facia is much more attractive than the Focus. It'll be sad to see the Protege go. If Mazda had just given the Protege an engine to match its amazing chasis, it "could'a been a contendah!"
Smooth is fast, fast is smooth.