Are you looking at spending a maximum of $12,000 because you are paying cash? Or are you considering a certain payment that you want to stay under? With 0.0% financing, big discounts, and possibly the S-Plan, you may be able to get a brand new 2001 Protege for close to the same payments of the used one. And, if you are paying cash for it, why? If Mazda will let you borrow money for free, why not stick that $12,000 into a high yield account or investment and let it make money for you instead?