Good overall car
By jpc477 on
2003 Mazda Protege DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
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.
Smooth ride & excellent handling. Is very responsive to quick turns & holds the road very well. Acceleration is decent with the 2.0 liter engine.
Gas mileage could be better. My 95 Accord with a 2.2 liter engine got better mileage. Road noise is very noticeable. Down-shifting with the automatic transmission seems to be a bit slow. This has always been the case since the car was new. Nothing wrong with transmission, it's just how it works