Used 2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege Base Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed-protege - Consumer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating

52 Total Reviews

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Great car, Dont push it though or the Zoom Zoom will go BOOM!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By chad92
on

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

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!


Favorite Features

Suspension, stereo, steering feel, build quality, wheels, corner grip, handling (car comes with Tokico shocks, Racing Beat sway bars, Callaway turbo system with Garret turbo, and a LS diff.. that is a bit unreliable) noise with aftermarket exhaust, wastegate sound, exclusivity (Mazda only made ~4500), transmission feel, and the car looks like a miniature Evo. People always ask if the car is and Evo :)


Suggested Improvements

Bushings, weight of the whole car (its a very heavy car), the power (they only managed to get ~170hp out of a 2.0L TURBO!!!), and reliability. On the forums for this car, there is a club called ZOOM ZOOM BOOM. Some people are on stage 3 and 4... Mazda shoulda at least forged the connecting rods.


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Revolutionary driving saloon.
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By aufmitter
on

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

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!


Favorite Features

If you are >6'0 tall, you will fit well in this car. The communication between chassis, steering system and suspension is flawless; truly par with that of the DC2 Honda Integra Type-R. Interior layout is proper, the short-shift unit providing rubbery- crisp shifts. Pedals placed well for heel-toe.


Suggested Improvements

This car does have issues with its rear stabilizer bushings. Besides said turbo unit not much else!


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'03.5 msp
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Denis
on

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Handling! The joys of driving a manual shift


Suggested Improvements

Wish it had a bigger intercooler and less restricted exhaust.


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Fun on Four Wheels
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Maestrokneer
on

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

I bought this car for a fun daily driver, and 4 years later have not been disappointed. There is seemingly nothing this car can't do well when it puts its mind to it. A perfectly balanced front-wheel drived car that neither pushes nor oversteers when at its limit. Not many cars can say they beat anything but a Lotus Elise through the slalom (including all of Italy's finest), but this is one of them. Weight transfer superb, steering responsiveness superb, and with a $30 manual boost controller and some other minor modifications, pick-up will press you in your seat. Just a blast to drive! I love my Mazdaspeed!


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MSP
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Boostr65
on

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)


Review

Excellent car for the money. Outstanding grip and packed with features. Made for the curves and packs some boost. Responds well to modifications, i.e. intercooler upgrades, boost controller, exhaust, etc. I would buy this car again. No regrets.


Favorite Features

Racing Beat suspension equipment. Garrett turbo. Kenwood audio system.


Suggested Improvements

A better intercooler, pcm programming, and adjustable seating.


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