2003 Mazda Protege DX Sedan Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Mazda Protege - Consumer Reviews

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2003 Protege Consumer Reviews

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Mazdas worst car.
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By thejackal86
on

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Protege Sedan DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Acceleration and responsive handling Interior space


Suggested Improvements

Mpg Reliability Interior quality


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Best Car I have owned
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mazdafan8
on

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Protege Sedan DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Road feel, handling, reliability.


Suggested Improvements

It is not a quiet car. Lots of road noise. It is rusting at the bottom of the doors an wheel wells.


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Sad To See Go...
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By tanner
on

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Protege Sedan DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

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.


Favorite Features

head on look, gas usage, reliable, trunk seems big


Suggested Improvements

noisy engine+trans, poor seals on windows creating noise and leaks


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Good Car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Kurt
on

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Protege Sedan DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Road feel, handling


Suggested Improvements

quieter ride


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Reliable as the Sun
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By trogglbey
on

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Protege Sedan DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

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.


Favorite Features

The handling in amazing, the turn radius being extremely tight and takes turns like a dream. Roomy interior for its size. And remarkably good gas mileage in stop and go driving. The gear box in tight and responsive without much fuss.


Suggested Improvements

The headlight assembly could be a little friendlier when it comes to changing the bulbs and the fuel mileage at highway speeds could be upped a bit. But otherwise its a fantastic driver!


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Will not be shopping for another Protege
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jenna
on

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Protege Sedan DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

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.


Favorite Features

It was very comfortable and fun to drive, great sound system.


Suggested Improvements

No major problems with the car, just an adequate number of small annoyances that will keep me from replacing it with another.


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Good overall car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jpc477
on

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Protege Sedan DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

My wife & I purchased this brand new off the lot in April of 2003 so we've had the car five years now. It started off as her car, and then became my car after she bought a Honda Fit in August of 2006. Overall, the car has been a good car. The handling is outstanding & very responsive. It runs smoothly, and is comfortable to drive. The only issues we had with it was the alternator going out in it. The alternator went failed right after we bought it, and again about a year ago, but it was replaced at no cost both times. Other than that, it's needed nothing other than routine maintenance.


Favorite Features

Smooth ride & excellent handling. Is very responsive to quick turns & holds the road very well. Acceleration is decent with the 2.0 liter engine.


Suggested Improvements

Gas mileage could be better. My 95 Accord with a 2.2 liter engine got better mileage. Road noise is very noticeable. Down-shifting with the automatic transmission seems to be a bit slow. This has always been the case since the car was new. Nothing wrong with transmission, it's just how it works


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Happy owner
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By vroom vroom vroom
on

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Protege Sedan DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

I have had my Protege for almost two years now and it was been a joy to drive to work. It handles well for an economy car and has a surprising amount of room for my wife, two kids and my black lab. The 5-speed is smooth and precise. Steering has nice feel.


Favorite Features

Fun to drive. Decent economy. Not as good as a Toyota or Honda. Almost a familyman's Miata (with head room).


Suggested Improvements

Road noise on concrete roads or bumpy roads. Relocate, enlarge the cup holders. Hard to reach the oil filter.


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The 2003 Mazda Protege is wonderful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Steve Ragan
on

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Protege Sedan DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

The '03 Protege DX is beautifully designed inside and out. There is plenty of space inside for CD's and other things you need within arms reach. Both doors have ample side pockets for ice scrapers, etc. Driving it is pure joy. I have a manual, and there is plenty of get up and go on the highway as well in town. The ride is smooth and quiet. It is very spacious inside.There is plenty of trunk space. It has much more room than a Sentra and other cars that fall into this sedan category. And, it is less expensive than other sedans in this category. I have had it since new, and have not had one problem.The gas mileage is very good.


Favorite Features

Favorite features include styling, a very spacious interior and plenty of trunk space. The engine has plenty of power. It has a smooth, quiet ride. I believe it will serve me well into the 100's of thousands of miles.


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Good Car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By grayghost
on

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Protege Sedan DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)


Review

I bought this vehicle used (34K miles). Within one week of purchase, I made a 2000 mile trip with no problems. The only maintenance performed have been oil-filter changes and a front end alignment. The room inside the car is better than my previous vehicle, a 2000 Mercury Sable.


Favorite Features

My favorite is NO problems unlike the Sable.


Suggested Improvements

Less engine and wind noise on highway.


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