Economy Car wants to be a sport car
By BOBK on
2003 Mazda Protege ES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
2002 ES Automatic. Sharp look and style
for interior/exterior. Road handling is
great. Sleek and clean look in and out
makes car look more expensive. Torque
good enough to zip out of most turns.
Feels like a sport car except for
acceleration which is no worse than
other cars I tested in this range. The
engine makes a sturdy, raspy type sound
when I get on it and gives a sport car
feel. Don't expect sport care
performance. Sport-shift mode is uselss
because it does not respond immediately
and feels no different than switching
gears on an auto. Great car for the
money. If it had 200 horses it could be
a blast but that's a little much to ask
at this price.
Low end gearing and handling is
responsive for those narrow and twisty
roads. Looks- clean simple and classy
inside and out.
4th gear is tuned for too much torque
where it is not needed. 3K RPM is too
much for coasting on the highway at
69mph- could be quieter. Cup holders
placed poorly w/ automatic shift. Sound
system is average-poor- could be better
or just improve interior noise.