by thejackal86 on Sep 7, 2012 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.
by mazdafan8 on May 26, 2011 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.
by tanner on Jul 27, 2009 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.
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.