Used 2002 Mazda Protege
Edmunds' Expert Review
When it comes to small, snappy sedans, the Protege is a tough act to beat.
Mazda's Protege is a snappy little sedan that competes quite competently against vehicles like the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus. Protege is available in three trim levels: DX, LX and ES. The base-model DX comes with standard features like power steering, a 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 16-inch alloy wheels, optional ABS and side airbags, and an available sunroof.
For 2002, all models are powered by a 2.0-liter engine putting out 130 horsepower and135 pound-feet of torque. While sprightly, especially when matched to the standard five-speed manual transmission, Protege isn't going to win any drag races with souped-up Nissan Sentras. What it lacks in straight-line acceleration it more than makes up with responsive steering, capable brakes and a tautly tuned suspension that conspire to make the Protege serious fun to drive. On the road, the Protege is a bit louder than expected, but not much more so than others in the class.
Not only can this car entertain, but also the Protege is one of the best-looking economy sedans on the market, exhibiting more class than a car at this price has a right to. The attractive aluminum wheels (LX and ES) go a long way toward giving the Mazda an upscale appearance, as do the jewel-like headlight reflectors, angular taillights and tasteful chrome accents.
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 and a commodious 12.9-cubic-foot trunk.
The Mazda Protege is a long-time favorite of ours. And although its price can rise to uncomfortable levels (especially with the ES model), the Protege deserves the attention of people looking for a comfortably quick commuter with spicy style and a good reliability record.
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Features & Specs
Used 2002 Mazda Protege Overview
The Used 2002 Mazda Protege is offered in the following submodels: Protege Sedan. Available styles include ES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), DX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), and LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M).
What's a good price on a Used 2002 Mazda Protege?
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Which used 2002 Mazda Proteges are available in my area?
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Find a used Mazda Protege for sale - 6 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $18,340.
Find a used Mazda for sale - 4 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $9,554.
Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda Protege for sale - 8 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $14,481.
Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda for sale - 5 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $17,446.
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Should I lease or buy a 2002 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.