2003 Mazda Protege Consumer Review: Economy Car wants to be a spor

2003 Mazda Protege - Consumer Review

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Economy Car wants to be a sport car
By BOBK on


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


2002 ES Automatic. Sharp look and style
for interior/exterior. Road handling is
great. Sleek and clean look in and out
makes car look more expensive. Torque
good enough to zip out of most turns.
Feels like a sport car except for
acceleration which is no worse than
other cars I tested in this range. The
engine makes a sturdy, raspy type sound
when I get on it and gives a sport car
feel. Don't expect sport care
performance. Sport-shift mode is uselss
because it does not respond immediately
and feels no different than switching
gears on an auto. Great car for the
money. If it had 200 horses it could be
a blast but that's a little much to ask
at this price.

Best Features

Low end gearing and handling is responsive for those narrow and twisty roads. Looks- clean simple and classy inside and out.

Worst Features

4th gear is tuned for too much torque where it is not needed. 3K RPM is too much for coasting on the highway at 69mph- could be quieter. Cup holders placed poorly w/ automatic shift. Sound system is average-poor- could be better or just improve interior noise.
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