Great car, Dont push it though or the Zoom Zoom will go BOOM!
By chad92 on
2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege
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!
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 :)
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.