2003 Mazda Protege - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 141 Total Reviews
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Will not be shopping for another Protege
By jenna on 10/12/08 06:42 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Protege 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.
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Some flaws after a few miles
By Cheaprick29 on 08/10/08 22:25 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I bought this car about a year & 1/2 ago. Paid $8k w 55k and now has 82k. The A/C doesn't work on 2 or 3 setting. The transmission makes a 'growling' or humming noise and continues to get worse the more I drive it. The trunk leaks due to a faulty trunk seal; My car smells like mildew all the time because water gets under the carpets. Had to replace the drive belts around 60k due to squeaking. Hit curb and cost $3800 to fix; not the best car to get into an accident in due to thin sheet metal. Other than that, the car is a great car. I switched out the stock head unit for a Pioneer; the CD player didn't work properly. I like the aux connection on my new head unit.
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03 Mazda Protege ES - 5 speed
By 03 Mazda Protege ES on 08/09/08 13:10 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

This really is a great solid little car. Fun to drive! Very reliable, always starts, never needs repairs. The ES has several added features, alloy wheels, power sun roof, spoiler, 4 wheel disc brakes. NICE! I have the five speed and it helps the gas mileage about 5 mpg over the automatic. Get about 27 in town if I drive it right! Car is tight, and everything always works. If your looking for a (not too) small, and dependable car that gets good mileage, this is it. I've had Hondas and the Mazda is very comparable. I can't say there's much I would change on the car, except the 5th speed overdrive design. (not enough difference between 4th and 5th speed). Brakes are excellent.
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A true sleeper
By Dnasty on 07/04/08 11:19 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

Protege is one the best handling front wheel drive cars in its class still to date. The car moves any where you want it move without much effort. The interior is pretty good better then average. Gas mileage is great on the car. I've had my protege for about 3 years and it's on 93,000 and never gave me any problems as long you take care of the car. I suggest buying some performance parts for the car, cold air intake, and exhaust system. For ride comfort suggest getting 17 inch rims no bigger with sporty tires. Will make a world difference.
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Little car with BIG attitude
By Mazda Forever on 05/30/08 21:09 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

My Protege is the best little car anyone can have. It is great on fuel. It attracts a lot of attention because of the style and mainly the color because it is Laser Blue Mica. I get offers to buy my car even though it is not for sale. I like the way it rides except for the road noise. I think that has to do with the low profile tire on my car.
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Mazda Protege LX sedan 2003
By Luigi on 04/29/08 09:43 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

I love my Mazda. It works well and I've never really had a problem with it even after someone hit me going 40 when I was at a complete stop. Not that much damage done to it when it was hit, but it did cost a few thousand dollars to get it fixed. Very fun to drive. Pretty fast (obviously not a Corvette or BMW, but still fast enough to make you happy). Very good handling and easy layout of controls (minus the power windows switch for driver. I always press the back ones on accident). Other then that I'm glad I have it. Gas could be better especially with the prices the way they are now.
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Mixed feelings
By DJ on 04/26/08 05:46 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

One one hand, I love the power and handling you get with such a small sticker price. The Protege killed the Civic and the Corolla in the test drive. It's been a lot of fun!! However, I've had to throw a lot of money at it in the four years I've owned it. I've replaced both wheel bearings twice and the stabilizer links twice also. Very disappointing. The mileage isn't all that great either.
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Zoom Zoom
By icspots on 04/13/08 13:25 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

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

Review

This car is not the car I wanted when I went shopping! I wanted the SUV but couldn't really afford it then and sort of settled for the Protege. I fell in love with this car. I recently had the chance to trade car in for the SUV, I was tempted but I couldn't part with car. I plan to pay off the car then get the SUV also!
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Good overall car
By jpc477 on 04/06/08 22:19 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Mazda Protege 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.
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My experience
By vhdlwhiz on 12/31/07 06:57 AM (PST)

Vehicle

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

Review

I bought this car because of my previous experience with the protege. I owned one 1997 DX model from 1997. It proved to be a very reliable car and fun to drive. It lacked a bit of power but the mileage was about 36 miles to the gallon on average, not just highway. The 2003 was loaded compared to the stripped 2007 model. The larger more powerfull engine would make the car even better. Turns out that going to the automatic transmission cost me some of that power. The driving on the new model was better because of the cornering. The larger low profile wheels made the drive much better. The mileage stunk. It dropped to 27 miles to the gallon. I have liked the vehicle.
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