2003 Mazda Protege Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Mazda Protege Sedan

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Mazda Protege Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 130 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Mazda Protege

  • When it comes to small, snappy sedans, the Protege is a tough act to beat.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Tight suspension, powerful brakes, superb steering feel, comfortable seats, attractive exterior styling.

  • Cons

    Suspension may be too stiff for some buyers, mediocre horsepower output given the handling capabilities of the car.

  • What's New for 2003

    Minor changes limited to feature content are in store for Mazda's economy sedan. The DX trim gets a CD player as standard equipment, while air conditioning is offered as a stand-alone option. The LX trim receives 15-inch wheels as standard. Last year's premium packages for the LX and ES have been discontinued, but you can still get the sunroof, side airbags and antilock brakes as options.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (25 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Mazdas worst car.

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

The transmission went out early on, which started a chain reaction of other problems months to follow. This car was nothing more than a money pit and certainly not one worth investing in. I've replaced just about everything in the car besides the engine, which I hear is something Mazda actually does fairly well. I ended up finally trading the car in at around 153k miles. It seems like a lot, but not considering maintenance costs. In addition to the reliability issues, the interior was cheap and started to literally fall apart. Poor mpg as well. The only positive thing I can say about the car is that it was kind of fun to drive and had nice acceleration. It felt like a go-kart.




Best car i have owned

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I love my Mazda. I bought it used in 2004 with 25,000 miles on it. It now has 88,000 miles. I have only replaced brake pads, tires and one hose in addition to oil changes. My engine runs flawlessly. I get better than rated mileage. She handles great for a sub-compact. Has road feel instead of the numb feedback of a Toyota. The stick is smooth with shifts. Seats are comfortable. I will keep it until it dies since it has no resell value. I hope to get at least another two years.




Sad to see go...

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

i had a 03 protege dx for about 5 years...would still have it but someone rear ended me and totaled it. pro's- good gas mileage..great head on look...reliable con's- poor seal on windows lets water it...not alot to it so highway and windy driving can create some excitement...lots of whistling and humming noises come from the engine at around 60k miles.... put around 50k on this...not major repairs...replaced brake pads once...tires once...changed the oil...never stranded or failed on me...some minor issues but a solid car for the category.




Good car

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I have had my 5 speed for 5 years and absolutely love it. Pros: Decent gas mileage, (not as good as a Corola, but more fun to drive) Fun to drive, responsive handling, good road feel comfortable seat. Good shifter. Very reliable, (just brakes and tires are the only parts replaced. Con. Noisy to ride in.




Reliable as the sun

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I have a paper route; that is 60 miles a night of continuous stop and go with a heavy load of newspapers. This car never complains. Still has excellent get up and go with almost 150000 miles of hard driving. Never been in the shop for anything aside from a belt replacement and an AC recharge. Most reliable and solid little car I've ever owned. No rattles, clunks, or squeaks to drive one crazy. I love this car.




Will not be shopping for

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

A few days ago, my Protege was completely totaled by another driver in a very minor accident. So, its durability is questionable. Within the first year of owning it, I had a reoccurring problem with moisture on the inside of the car. Whenever it would rain, wells in the trunk would fill with water with no drainage route. Windshield took forever to defrost/fog. In the winter ice would form on the inside of the windshield -not a fabulous prerequisite to my morning commute. The weather stripping began to peel from the passenger door, and the door handle became loose one winter. Also, the car would rattle whenever stopped in traffic.



Full 2003 Mazda Protege Review

What's New for 2003

Minor changes limited to feature content are in store for Mazda's economy sedan. The DX trim gets a CD player as standard equipment, while air conditioning is offered as a stand-alone option. The LX trim receives 15-inch wheels as standard. Last year's premium packages for the LX and ES have been discontinued, but you can still get the sunroof, side airbags and antilock brakes as options.

Talk About The 2003 Protege

Read more about the 2003 Mazda Protege

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 22
  • cty
/
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs