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

2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege Sedan

Average Consumer Rating

113 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 Sedan 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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car is good and bad
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By SoCalRyder7
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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."


Favorite Features

Suspension (Racing Beat 20mm swaybars, Tokiko blue shocks, strut tie bar, Racing hart wheels) Interior and exterior design


Suggested Improvements

Take time to upgrade the engine to support boost. relocate the side mount intercooler; to close to engine and heat soak in 15mins. build a better lsd; many have snapped to to a riveted lsd common curee among us is the welded lsd. put mazda rushed on brackes and bushings on the sway bars


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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 Sedan 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 Sedan 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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Looks Great, Runs okay, doesnt last long
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Mazdamsp03
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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


Favorite Features

Quick, looks nice, handles well.


Suggested Improvements

Engine can't handle the turbo, interior is dull, generally most of the issues have to do with the engine.


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