by chad92 on Feb 7, 2013 Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
I bought the car with high mileage, around 114,XXX. I bought the car with some bushing issues and some tuning issues. I fixed the bushing issues, but let the tuning wait for a bit. If you dont know, these cars have problems with their bushings as they will go bad every 5-10k miles, the stock tune on these cars is rubbish, and the turbo system they put on the car is excellent, unfortunately they just stuck the system on a stock protege engine, I found this out after I put ~500 miles on it. I was driving in third gear around 3500 rpms, and the engine let go. No warning, no temp spikes, just exploded. Fortunately, I liked the rest of the car enough to spend some elbow grease/$ on a new one!
by SoCalRyder7 on Mar 23, 2010 Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege New 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Bought the car with 103k. My LSD snapped, common with this car. Rear sway bar bushing not built properly by mazda, replace every 7k mi. small turbo and intercooler "slapped" on an engine neither designed for boost nor was it tuned to boost. suspension setup is GREAT! Tokiko blue, 20mm racing beat swaybars, racing hart wheels and a strut tie bar. For anyone who wants to build a super tuner, here is my final word, spend your time and money upgrading the transmission and engine (i.e. Forged internals, stronger gears ect...) but spare no supporting mod because you will break something. this is a "if your going to upgrade one thing, upgrade everything or itll break kinda car."
by aufmitter on Jan 3, 2009 Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Our Mazzy was my wife's car (purchased used) from 29,000-56,000 miles and there has not once been an issue of any negative sort, only smiles and excitement. We've driven the car across the entire continental states and can only commend its taut responses, thorough feel and a connection with pure motoring passion. Though I do believe that the entire turbo unit applied to this MZR engine is a bit rubbish. The car seems to still move quite efficiently but the turbo has long since expired in its duties. :-( Currently there is the need for moderate powertrain 'make-over' including the rebuild of said turbo system, but otherwise an utterly reliable, efficient and fun source of transportation!
by Denis on Dec 18, 2008 Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
I bought this car to out-manuever drivers on cell phones! Handling is fabulous. Get dedicated winter wheels and you're good to go. Radio is painful to adjust; display way too bright at night. Other than that, just a wonderful car. Add a K&N air filter and noise-proof the trunk space.
by Mazdamsp03 on Oct 12, 2008 Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege New 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Was a very exciting car to have at first. Nice little 2.0 turbo, was quick, fun to drive and didn't do too horribly on gas. Then the recall notices came in and everything starting to fall apart, from replaced motor, turbo, oil leaks, ac not working and countless of letters in the mails for recall issues. Thank god for warranty but it was a hassle to have something major go wrong every few months. Turbo literally replaced 3 times. Also one of the cylinders went bad twice. It ran rich and made fuel economy drop. Sold it in 05 and the kid who bought it pretty much destroyed it. It's a decent car if you can take care of it. You want to drive it fast, but if you'll end up in the shop
by quikmsprotege on Sep 19, 2008 Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege New 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
I have had this car almost two years, bought with 35k on it now I have over 80k to tell you how much I drive it. Didn't have Cruise control when I bought it so I had it installed at the dealer. But the motor is a little on the weak side when you get it. 170hp/170tq or somewhere around there. I have only put in about 2k in mods /pistons rods frontmount intercooler and piggyback controller and now it turns out a little over 330hp to the wheels. I run this car at the track every blue moon but it definitely lays down on evos and STI's.
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