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

Average Consumer Rating

142 Total Reviews

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I wish I could buy this car again new.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Bornaleo819
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Reliable, barely any mechanical issues, inexpensive parts, great gas mileage, decent trunk space.


Suggested Improvements

More roof space would be great if you have kids, child lock on the doors needed, sunroof would be pretty cool, tinting is mandatory-car can get pretty hot.


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Still reliable after all these years
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By caneshooter
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

Reliability, reliability, reliability!


Suggested Improvements

ES model eats low profile tires. Always wearing unevenly, I've had four sets of rubber in 100k miles. Road noise is so bad its hard to have a conversation, even on a cell phone. Gas mileage is abysmal for a car this size, I'm averaging about 25mpg with 20/80 city/hwy driving.


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Maybe the perfect "cheap" car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By FenderCalderon
on

Vehicle

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


Review

A picture of this car should be alongside the dictionary entry for reliable. In 5 yrs the only unexpected repair was the main engine belt -and it was probably my fault. After owning a lemon it feels great knowing you can rely on this car. As far as routine maintenance goes you can DIY and save even more money. The interior materials won't be winning any prestigious awards but regardless for a car in this price range the interior is more than ok. I like to have fun when I drive and this is a good car for that; just don't expect to have great gas mileage this way. Sometimes I think the car may be boring but when I find an open stretch of road to let 'er rip I always end up smiling.


Favorite Features

The handling makes this car just plain old fun to drive, the front view, the layout of all of the car's controls is great, huge trunk for a compact car, fitting into a parking space is never a problem.


Suggested Improvements

Definitely the road and wind noise, when driving on non smooth roads their is some rattling in the interior, gas mileage and acceleration should be better for such a compact car, when you're not able to drive "fun" (when stuck in traffic or residential area) the car is boring.


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gas tank leaking & rust
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By fuel tamk leaking
on

Vehicle

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


Review

This car Just over 5 years old, the gas tank was leaking, cost me $1400 to replace the pump, gas tank and etc. Complained to Mazda company, but they did not care. I will not buy any Mazda again. The Mazda company cut too much cost to build this Protege, not only the rust on the gas tank, but also other areas. I make a big mistake to buy this mazda protege. Gas tank leaking is a safety issue!! I can accept other problems, but not gas tank.


Favorite Features

interior design.


Suggested Improvements

I do not care, I am not going to but any Mazda again..


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very happy owner
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By wtkidd1972
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Favorite Features

The handling is amazing. Feels like a much faster car that it is. Front seats are comfortable for long trips. The dashboard layout is simple and functional. The 17" rims and side marker lights make the car look serious.


Suggested Improvements

130 HP just isn't enough. Back seat is tight, even with small kids that don't need booster/car seat. MPG could be better.


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