I can't say enough good things about this car. I'm still on the original clutch and original water pump. Just change the oil every 3,750 miles and perform the major service every 30K miles. Amazing car.
Reliability, Interior, ABS & Side Airbags (Option on the ES)
I bought my 02 Protege ES new. It was a fantastic car, fun to drive, excellent handling, good performance, comfortable, decent gas mileage, great safety features, and completely reliable. I had the dealer find me an ES that had the ABS/Side Airbags/Power Sunroof package. Gas mileage on the highway hovered around 32 mpg, low 20's in city driving. The transmission shifted smoothly and easily, the engine reved up quickly and offered decent power. The real treat with this car is the handling, its fantastic, and especially nice with the sleeper looks. Its feels a lot faster and sportier than it is. I replaced the front brakes at 70k, 2 sets of tires, and oil changes. No problems in 115K.
The handling and the excellent reliability and build quality. This was the best small car I owned by far. Now with three kids I am super married man with two minivans, but I'll be seriously looking at a Mazda3 next year when its time for a new small car. I just wish they still made the Protege ES.
The Protege ES really needed a 6th gear, which would have offered better performance and perhaps higher MPG on the highway. An optional turbocharged engine would have been nice, and I'd love to see a RWD sleeper small sedan like the Protege ES. ABS and side airbags should have been standard.
Just purchased 10/09. In beautiful condition. Well kept..runs,looks great. absolutely no problems. What a kick to drive. Has 200000 miles and runs like 20000 miles. Have a Sebring Conv,Chrysler T&C,Lincoln,and a Buick, and I would rather drive the Protege. Looking for another one.
Very comfortable. Great looking inside and out. Excellent finish for that many miles.
Quality car.. Sure will consider another Mazda in the future. Most cars would be junk by 200000 miles!
I needed a second car for the family and immediately suggested to find another '02 Protege. You cannot beat them. You can easily get 200k+ on these cars. Very reliable. Perfect car fo a teenager as a first car.
I just bought this car yesterday, I was a big Honda fan that was all I had, but after 3 times that my cars being stolen I had to make a change and really the Mazda is a great car, soft ride compare to my 2000 civic ex, I love all the little details of this car, it's well worth buying this car!!!
Cluster red light!! the cloth os the ES model fog lights