I bought this car brand new. I haven't
had any issues with the car. Mazda
made a good move in bringing this car
to the market which opened the door to
the Mazdaspeed brand in the US. The
chasis is stiff and can handle just
about anything you throw at it.
The protege is a blast to drive. Its chassis
smooth and quick, and the steering is nicely
weighted. Only problems have been the EGR valve,
which stuck and caused a stalling problem, the
brakes, which tend to
squeal (but stop amazingly well), and the clutch,
which has some chatter in cold weather. My protege
60k miles on it and still feels new.
Steering. Brakes. Style--this car looks great. Roomy
AC could be colder. Would be nice if less tire and
wind noise entered the cabin. Could use taller 5th
gear (engine winds out to 3500rpm at 70mph).
Shifter could be more precise. Oil filter is difficult
to get at (under intake manifold by the firewall).
I had hoped that the good looks and
performance of the Protege would be
matched by Japanese reliability. No
such luck. Had to replace engine (rod
bearing)at 80k. Transmission repair at
81k. Have done rear brakes 3 times and
rear links twice already - fronts once.
(@ 94k now)Strut failed at 85k. Dealer
and Mazda have both avoided any/all
responsibility for problems...even
while under warranty. Very
Tight suspension, strong braking, nice
seats and interior for econo box.
Purchased this car new in 2001,
initially impressed with fit and
finish, sharp ride and handling, good
braking. It whines on the highway at
3500rpm in 5th gear going 120km/h (a
6th gear would help) The 2.0 litre
engine has more potential and at a
conservative 130 hp, it chews up more
gas than it should. With 83000 km on
the clickler, I've since had minor
corrosion around the tops of the door
frames, my brakes are squeaking, tires
are balled, the manual shifter is
choppy after starting in cold weather
until I warm it up, The radio display
is starting to fade in and out, dealer
need help identifying problems!
Initial quality, zippy ride for the
buck, standard cd player, factory
speakers are adequate, interior room,
ergonomics, simple controls/displays,
BIG exterior brake lights, dependable
6th gear is a must in manual tranny,
fuel economy, driver seat lumbar needs
more support, wiper speeds are too
basic, wheels/tires rare for the type,
Built in Hiroshima! is my car radio-
Look no further if you want a simple,
sedan. I couldn't believe how well
the 4-door Protege' DX compared to the
Nissan Sentra, Chevy Prizm, Saturn
SL2, Toyota Corolla, and- its main
nemesis- the Honda Civic. The DX may
be the plain Jane of the Protege'
stable, but she is still a beauty of
the first magnitude. I would buy
another Protege' in a minute.
Excellent 5-speed manual transmission
(tight!), great fuel economy- 35 MPG
highway; 28 MPG city. Nice paint job
(tough finish). Comfortable interior-
front and back seats. Firm, smooth,
feel-the-road handling in steering and
suspension. Excellent AM/FM/CD Stereo
Cruise control. Offer a hybrid
electric/gas engine with electric
regenerative braking! Hmm. How about
a hydrogen fuel cell engine?!