Used 2003 Mazda Protege LX Sedan Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Mazda Protege - Consumer Reviews

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60 Total Reviews

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Wow, this car is fun to drive!
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By delrey
on

Vehicle

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


Review

This car is a lot of fun to drive. The handling, steering, and road feel are top notch for this car, especially for this class. It puts some newer and more expensive cars to shame. With that said, the car wasn't perfect. The best gas mileage I could get was 28MPG. Despite regular detailing, the car had a decent amount of rust. I went through front wheel bearings like crazy and I had to replace my front struts twice within the 130,000 miles of ownership. Interior is rather nice for the year but the radio is quite weak. A fun car to drive with minor flaws.


Favorite Features

Handling, steering, and road feel. Strong brakes. Auto transmission is smooth. Nice interior for the class.


Suggested Improvements

Excessive rust for the age. Buzzy and loud engine. Highway mileage suffers due to high rpms at interstate speeds. Radio sound quality is poor. Tight and responsive suspension creates harsh ride and requires excessive repair.


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Don't Get One
1 of 9 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By historiker33
on

Vehicle

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


Review

In 2 years, Ive gone through: 2 wheel bearings Front axle alternator Seat belt $900 valve job Heres the bad thing, and BE ADVISED: A valve job on these cars will often result in the piston rings going bad; this happened to me. There is no easy fix for this - the car needs a new engine and smokes like crazy. The newest versions of these cars are now 13 years old. Do not buy one


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Never Again!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By elyarne7
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I bought this car with 29,000 miles on it. That was 3 years ago. It now has 90,000 miles on it. It has only had problem after problem - battery, multiple wheel bearings, tire links, brakes, alternator. The alignment is easily messed up. The car is not well made - it's cheap, lightweight and already starting to rust. It's a money pit. Do not buy it! Oh, and my Mazda is the automatic, not 5-speed standard.


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2003 protege nightmare
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By scott
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I bought this car with 15 miles on it. I've put alot of miles on it. currently i have just under 141, 000. I've had to have the front bearing replaced 4 times! on each side. i've had the alternator replaced twice. i've changes the oil tank because it actually rusted through, as well as the front exhaust at the intake manifold. i've changed both the oxygen sensor and the speed sensor. I've also changed the radiator twice. this is a car i've changed the oil and other scheduled maintained every 3-4k miles on it! I can;t believe it got this good of a reliability rating on Edmunds because mine has been a nightmare. plus mine is currently rusting to crap.....what happened?


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Best car I have owned, hate to see it go
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Peter
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I have owned the Mazda Protege LX for seven years now, I purchased the vehicle in 2004 with only 20k for the mileage and I currently have over 195K on the vehicle now. Besides normal wear and tear parts that you expect to wear out, I haven't put more than like $100.00 into this vehicle. I always changed my oil regularly and did other minimal scheduled maintenance like filters, plugs, trans fluid, etc....and this vehicle owes me nothing. The gas mileage was good, I was getting about 28mpg on the highway and about 22 to 24mpg city depending on how fast I was driving. I also put sporty aggressive tires on it and it greatly improved the driveablitity, I put the Yokahoma "S" Drive tire on


Favorite Features

Very comfortable, very reliable I beat the crap out of thgis car and drove it all over the country, easy and fun to drive,good gas mileage, good interior space I am 6'1" and fit just fine. Very safe car I just got into an accident that unfortunately totaled out my Protege but I am fine.


Suggested Improvements

I had a brake issue where the brake calipers would stay pressed against the pads and wear them out faster and make a grinding noise, issue fixed cause it needed manufacturers parts. Needs better stock tires doesn't drive as good with cheap stock tires


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