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 (56 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Poor mpg

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Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Protege ES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this car with 53000Miles on this car in 2008 and ever since it's had all four brakes(Everything) replaced,4 stabilizer bars,5 struts,belts twice,timing belt,Sparkplugs and wires,4 tires at $280 each and I rust proof and do oil changes with synthetic every 3000 Miles and am getting 14MPG and the A/C barely works and the fan makes loud noises and have gone way over what I thought was a reliable car that should at least get 20 MPG. I forgot the car is bad too because if you drive alot you will be very tired od hitting potholes and trying to merge onto highways with the automatic.




I love my "new" mazda

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

I have owned a 1989 Mazda 323 hatchback and a 1994 Protege sedan. Most recently I was driving a 2006 Subaru Forester. I sold it and bought this Mazda Protege ES sedan with only 64,000 miles on it, same as my Subaru. I missed having a 5 speed and I did not like antilock brakes when they were put to the test on ice. I love my "new" car. It is fun to drive and it is very nimble compared to the Forester. Of course I gave up some cargo space but not much else. I get better gas mileage. I am averaging 29+ mpg with mixed driving. I am curious to see what I will get n pure highway driving when I go on a road trip.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I wish i could buy

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

My brother passed this car on to me in 2005 after my car was totaled in an accident & he wanted to get a new BMW. He has regretted that decision ever since. I still have it today in 2010 & he has gone through about 3-4 cars still trying to find the right one. This car is reliable, does really well with gas, has good power acceleration to it, is comfortable and besides normal wear & tear with tires, the only thing that happened was a leak with the radiator & in the air intake hose there was a hole. I replaced both parts & runs like brand freaking new. Unfortunately, I have a small daughter so this car can feel tight sometimes but this is a car you will not regret getting. She's a beaut.




Still reliable after all these

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

My fourth consecutive Mazda. Still very reliable at 112k miles, only routine maintenance performed thus far. ES model's 2.0 motor is peppy even with the 4-speed automatic. A major negative is road noise. DX & LX Proteges were already noisy and the ES model's low profile tires take it up a notch. That's why I only rated the car a "5" for comfort.




Very happy owner

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Vehicle: 2003 Mazda Protege ES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this car without truly being interested in a Mazda Protégé, just interested in a small, inexpensive, economical way to get to work. I had never owned a Mazda before, but the Protégé seemed like exactly what I was looking for. Six years and 95,000 miles later my Protégé runs just as well as the day I brought it home, and is still just as fun to drive. All I do is keep up with oil changes, and keep putting new tires on it. I’ve replaced the brakes once. This car has been amazing. Would love get a the new Mazda 6, but find it hard to get rid of the Protege when it still feels like a new car.




Excellent sedan

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

Bought the car new, 5 speed trans. running fine, going on its 6th year. I have driven it across country three times and have had no issues. Always changed oil between 4k-5k use synthetic. With clean air filter on the highway I've gotten 32 MPG. Control is tight and a blast to drive on good roads. Suspension may be to stiff for some on bumpy roads. Very happy with interior, sunroof and 6 CD deck (all work fine). Also like the red interior lights (good on the eyes.



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