1996 Mazda Protege ES Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1996 Mazda Protege - Consumer Reviews

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1996 Protege Consumer Reviews

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Excellent Car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Moe
on

Vehicle

1996 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan


Review

My Dad bought this car brand new and crashed it the same year - body damage only. He gave it to me in 2006 with 84k miles on. Runs excellent. Top marks for fuel efficiency. Nimble handling for a basic car. Tires hug the roads. Very roomy compared to the competition, about the same as my '94 Accord. Shifts very well. Get the five speed to the get the most out of the engine's power and economy. All in all, it is a great first car or a commuter car.


Favorite Features

Rather elegant design for its class. Very roomy. Excellent gas mileage. Nice and simple interior layout.


Suggested Improvements

Slightly stronger build. More standard features.


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Mazda Protege Great Car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By JsyJack
on

Vehicle

1996 Mazda Protege LX 4dr Sedan


Review

Great car, no major problems in the 10 years we've owned it. Would gladly buy another.


Favorite Features

Overall economy & above average reliability.


Suggested Improvements

Enhance the air conditioning.


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96 Protege DX 1.5L 5 speed manual 86K miles
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Philly Pete
on

Vehicle

1996 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan


Review

Great economy sedan. Sips gas, lacks acceleration, good handling and braking. Car is severely underpowered, lacks many creature comforts. A/C works VERY well and the car gets me to and from work. It is pretty good on the highway, but in stop and go driving it is annoying because of the poor acceleration. Lightweight sedan is highly functional as a commuter car. I replaced the tires, brakes, and exhaust since 2003 and performed routine maintenance. That's it and it keeps going strong. I will continue to drive it for as long as possible because of the rising cost of gas.


Favorite Features

Fuel economy, spirited handling (once you get moving), light weight, 5 speed manual transmission gets the most out of tiny engine.


Suggested Improvements

No interior trunk release is annoying.


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Mazda Protege 1996 DX
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mazda owner
on

Vehicle

1996 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan


Review

Excellent vehicle with excellent fuel efficiency. I have a manual with 130K miles and still getting 38+ MPG. Exhaust manifold and alternator replaced in addition to routine maintenance. Simple car that continues be reliable and efficient.


Favorite Features

Fuel efficiency.


Suggested Improvements

Safety features.


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Decent little car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By 02Pro5
on

Vehicle

1996 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan


Review

I had the base model for 3 years and had very few problems with it. A few heat shields came loose due to rust, and the muffler and main exhaust pipe had to be replace. Also, within the months of owning it, I had problems with it stalling in wet or damp weather. I replaced the spark plug wires and distributor and also sprayed it with ignition protector, but the problem always seemed to come back. The 1.5 liter is underpowered, especially with the auto trans. Handling is decent (typical for a compact car), but road noise seemed a little high.


Favorite Features

Great on gas (averaged 30 mpg) CD player (which I installed) Fairly light car (improves handling/braking)


Suggested Improvements

- Wish I had an interior trunk release - Larger base engine - Alloy wheels are UGLY


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Will be sad to see it go.
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Minnesota
on

Vehicle

1996 Mazda Protege LX 4dr Sedan


Review

I am the original owner of my 5spd LX. It just turned 200,000 miles last week and has been an outstanding car. It still runs great. It doesn't use any oil and is just starting to rust. The AC no longer works, but everything else does. The mileage is still great too. 38mpg on the highway. If I could have purchased a new one just like it, I would have. I am probably going to go back to driving a much bigger car, but I sure will miss this one.


Favorite Features

The spacious interior, quiet ride, good handling, excellent mileage and the outstanding reliability.


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Dependable daily drive
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By teeter64
on

Vehicle

1996 Mazda Protege LX 4dr Sedan


Review

Great gas mileage, very low maintenence, and comfortable seats. I was able to use 2 car seats at the same time in the back seat. The metallic blue still looks good at 8 years old. At 92 hp, won't burn anyone at the traffic light, but consistenly gets 34- 36 mpg. Factory stereo sounds pretty good, but had to have it replaced before warranty ran out, it was eating tapes. A/C unit struggles on really hot days. Get the ES if you want performance.


Favorite Features

Gas mileage, low maintenence, good size interior.


Suggested Improvements

ES motor in the LX version, better A/C unit.


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Mazda makes it good
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By JoshS.
on

Vehicle

1996 Mazda Protege ES 4dr Sedan


Review

This mazda I bought at 48,000 miles back in 2001. The car has 85,000 miles on it now and still runs great, even without the standard 60,000 mile tune up. Oil changes been made, and brakes replaced, tires, fluids, etc.. Smooth ride for a compact class car, but if they would of added some cabin insulation it would be nice, but motor runs quiet at highway speeds and around town. It is a zoom zoom car, but if you have weight in the trunk, or people in the back seat, expect to floor it if you want to get up to freeway speed before merging.


Favorite Features

Good Automatic transmition, quiet engine, doesnt leak any fluids, Reliable, gas tank could be a little bigger, Low Fuel light doesn't work, Mazda wants $86 for labor, and $1.75 to replace bulb. :-/


Suggested Improvements

Front cup holders near center console flawed design, CD stereo gets really hot when you take out CDs almost hot enough to burn you, Cruise control on steering wheel is almost impossible to see at night.


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dependable car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By BOBCAT
on

Vehicle

1996 Mazda Protege LX 4dr Sedan


Review

very dependable. Comfortable seats for long drives. Excellent gas mileage. large trunk. Bought used, never had any major problems.


Favorite Features

gas mileage, depenability, large trunk


Suggested Improvements

oil change accessability


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Never choose this type of car!!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Alice A
on

Vehicle

1996 Mazda Protege LX 4dr Sedan


Review

I was regret after I bought this car. The car looks great when you bought it. But I spent $2000 on engine maintainances when I bought the car for $3500.(95k Mileage) Thus, consider any other brand of cars rather than this one... or think twice or three more time when you're going to buy this car...(from honest suggestion!!)


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