Used 2000 Mazda Protege Sedan
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Attractive styling, comfortable interior, peppy acceleration.
- Odd interior details, no other body styles other than sedan offered.
When it comes to small, snappy sedans, the Protege is a tough act to beat.
Now in its second model year, Mazda's current Protege is a snappy car that competes against vehicles like the Honda Civic, the Toyota Corolla, and the Ford Focus. Sold only as a four-door sedan, the Protege is available in three trim levels: DX, LX and ES. The base-model DX comes with standard features like power steering, tilt steering wheel and a split folding seatback. For options like a driver's height-adjustable seat, power windows and locks, a tachometer, and cruise control, you'll have to step up to either the LX or the ES. The ES also comes with features like standard air conditioning, 15-inch alloy wheels, and optional ABS.
Both the DX and the LX use a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 105 horsepower and 107 foot-pounds of torque. Power from the 1.6-liter is tolerable, but buyers looking for more acceleration should go for the ES. This version gets a 1.8-liter engine that puts out 122 horsepower and 120 foot-pounds of torque.
The Protege is one of the best-looking economy sedans on the market. The creased and folded sheetmetal lends the car a more elegant and sophisticated look than you find on a Ford Escort or Nissan Sentra. The attractive brushed-aluminum wheels go a long way toward achieving this upscale appearance. Jewel-like headlight reflectors, angular taillights and chrome accents give the impression of a more expensive car.
The firm seats are comfortable, and the seat height and cushion angle adjustments (on the LX and ES) are greatly appreciated. The driving position is excellent, with a thick steering wheel rim to grip and a properly placed dead pedal for the left foot. There's also a proper Germanic front-passenger door grip, nicely padded upper door panels where elbows often rest, lots of storage nooks and crannies, a large rear seat, a commodious 12.9 cubic foot trunk, and a great stereo. Too bad Mazda decided to go with standard-issue econobox interior plastics, however. While not an unpleasant place to spend time, the Protege's interior is simply an example of form following function. For safety, there's standard dual front airbags and load-limiting front seatbelts with height adjustment.
On the road, the Protege is a bit louder than expected, but it does provide a good drive. The suspension is equal in both performance and ride quality when compared to the other top cars found in this class. Both engines come with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
The Mazda Protege is a long time favorite of ours. And although the new Ford Focus will be getting a lot of hype this year, the Protege deserves the attention of commuters looking for a comfortably quick commuter with spicy style and a good reliability record.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver3 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRolloverNot RatedDynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
- Side Impact TestNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestAcceptable
Used 2000 Mazda Protege Sedan Overview
The Used 2000 Mazda Protege Sedan is offered in the following styles: LX 4dr Sedan, DX 4dr Sedan, and ES 4dr Sedan. Pre-owned Mazda Protege Sedan models are available with a 1.6 L-liter gas engine or a 1.8 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 122 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2000 Mazda Protege Sedan comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.
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Should I lease or buy a 2000 Mazda Protege?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.