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

2003 Mazda Protege

Average Consumer Rating

142 Total Reviews

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My experience
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By vhdlwhiz
on

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.


Favorite Features

Cornering on tight curves.


Suggested Improvements

Better mileage on the engine.


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Still happy after 4 years!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By J-man
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Bought this loaded out ES model new in 2003 w/ nearly 4K off sticker. My wife drove the car daily but now after 4 yrs it's my car. Very fun daily driver. Always liked the sporty firm suspension. Very nice road/steering feed back. Like a 4 dr miata! :o) We took a 12 hr trip and I'm a 6 footer so it was a bit too cramped after a few hours (lots of breaks). Ideal small car for most uses. Car still looks sharp after 4 years, and still happy! Gas mileage is near the sticker claim of 30-32 hwy. The small tank means affordable $35 fill-ups @$3/gal. Great Mazda reliabilty and no maintenance issues so far. Still have orig. brake pads after 49k miles. Highly recommend this car for anyone!!


Favorite Features

Exterior looks, the ES is a sharp looking car. Mazda quality still evident.


Suggested Improvements

None, unless they can make it feel like a full size sedan for long trips!~:o)


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Transmission failed
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By t2k
on

Vehicle

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


Review

The transmission started growling as the warranty expired. Front wheel bearings seized up. Had to replace brake rotors due to rust. Too many problems in its young life. Traded it in on a Mazda6.


Favorite Features

Quality stereo. Handling.


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Mazda Protege LX 2.0 2003
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Joey pep
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I was interested in the Protege with the 2.0 engine because of its incredible reliability and performance, but it has a very nice complex style for a car this size. I suggest this car if you hesitate between a Honda Civic, a Protege 2.0 and a Nissan Sentra. And for young drivers, the insurance is pretty low compared to other vehicles. In the 5 spd manual, unlike other cars in that class, you still feel the torque in 3rd and 4th. The LX model is very comfy. And for the admirers of audio systems, don't underestimate the Protege's. I plan on keeping it stock because I love it so much.


Favorite Features

The torque on the 2.0, the audio system, the interior/exterior style, the comfort.


Suggested Improvements

On the 5 spd manual, move the shifter a little foreward. As it is as most people complain about the fuel economy... you can't have everything, a 2.0 engine will suck up more gas than a 1.6 but you do have more horses.


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What a car!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By SOB
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I have to say that I really enjoy owning and driving this vehicle. Mind you most of my driving miles are roughly 60-70% highway miles and I have experienced excellent mpg. I have to add that my maintenance costs have been relatively low as well, the only major repair was scheduled maintenance for the timing belt interval, two brake jobs and 2 sets of tires. I do talk highly about this car and would recommend it to someone looking for a similar type vehicle. Other notable points that maybe trivial but are annoying is the "hey your seatbelt is not buckled" alarm when you are in an idle state. It does have a stiff ride and have noticed that road noise creeps in louder as the rubber gets thinner.


Favorite Features

I like the sportiness and mpg.


Suggested Improvements

I would raise the gear ratio for the manual or add a 6th gear.


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