2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege Consumer Review: Great car, Dont push it though

2003 Mazda Mazdaspeed Protege - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

113 Total Reviews

Base Sedan (2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Great car, Dont push it though or the Zoom Zoom will go BOOM!
By chad92 on


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


I bought the car with high mileage, around 114,XXX. I bought the car with some bushing issues and some tuning issues. I fixed the bushing issues, but let the tuning wait for a bit. If you dont know, these cars have problems with their bushings as they will go bad every 5-10k miles, the stock tune on these cars is rubbish, and the turbo system they put on the car is excellent, unfortunately they just stuck the system on a stock protege engine, I found this out after I put ~500 miles on it. I was driving in third gear around 3500 rpms, and the engine let go. No warning, no temp spikes, just exploded. Fortunately, I liked the rest of the car enough to spend some elbow grease/$ on a new one!

Best Features

Suspension, stereo, steering feel, build quality, wheels, corner grip, handling (car comes with Tokico shocks, Racing Beat sway bars, Callaway turbo system with Garret turbo, and a LS diff.. that is a bit unreliable) noise with aftermarket exhaust, wastegate sound, exclusivity (Mazda only made ~4500), transmission feel, and the car looks like a miniature Evo. People always ask if the car is and Evo :)

Worst Features

Bushings, weight of the whole car (its a very heavy car), the power (they only managed to get ~170hp out of a 2.0L TURBO!!!), and reliability. On the forums for this car, there is a club called ZOOM ZOOM BOOM. Some people are on stage 3 and 4... Mazda shoulda at least forged the connecting rods.
Recommend (2) (2)

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