2003 Mazda Protege Consumer Review: King of the compacts!

2003 Mazda Protege - Consumer Review

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King of the compacts!
By wetcoaster on


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


Bought the Protege as a replacement for a totaled Corolla. Suffice to say, the Toyota isn't missed too much! Mazda has done well with its Protege series, blending attractive, if not standout, looks, sporty performance, and a good range of features. The Protege is great fun to drive around in with its tight handling characteristics. Its comfortable interior is well-appointed and coordinated for a car of its price range. All in all, it's a good-looking car that's equal parts practicality and sportiness. Let's hope Mazda is able to maintain this balance with the new 3. So who says nothing good comes out of an accident?

Best Features

Crisp steering and tightly tuned suspension make for a great drive. Exterior and interior layouts are clean, attractive, and easy to use. Very well-equipped for a compact. I greatly appreciate the height- adjustable driver's seat which is rare for a car in this class. Visibility is also a plus.

Worst Features

Power is adequate, but the Protege isn't the quickest off the line. It revs a bit too high at cruising speeds for my taste (~3000 rpm at 70 mph, in OD). Fuel economy has also been somewhat disappointing given the Protege's size (23-25 mpg).
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