2003 Mazda Protege User Reviews

2003 Mazda Protege Review Ratings

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Average Ratings from 20 reviews

  • Performance:3.6 out of 5 stars3.6 out of 5 stars3.6 out of 5 stars3.6 out of 5 stars3.6 out of 5 stars 3.6 / 5
  • Appearance:3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars 3.8 / 5
  • Build Quality:4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars 4 / 5
  • Overall: 4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars4.2 out of 5 stars 4.2 / 5

Review Highlights Click to filter reviews below

PROS
"power" 8 reviews
"handling" 7 reviews
"ride" 6 reviews
"interior" 4 reviews
"fuel economy" 4 reviews
CONS
"power" 4 reviews
"speed" 3 reviews
"fuel economy" 2 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 20 2003 Mazda Protege reviews.

dash147 writes:
2003 Mazda Protege ES Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
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Reliability:
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Overall:
4

Pros

Great first car

Cons

Not a car for bad weather

dash147
65

Great! — I love my Mazda. I also have a 2001 (LX) too that just keeps going and going and going - and it's at 230000 miles at the very least! And it's like a tank. Got into a slight accident and it took it like a champ but completely messed the other car up. The only thing about my ES is that you sometimes have to buy 2x the parts (recently replaced boots and wires, had to buy 2 different sets of wires that were more expensive than that for an LX). Other than that it really is great car!

Primary Use: Commuting to work

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Angela writes:
2003 Mazda Protege LX Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

It was just made for me.

Cons

Plain and mainstream.

85

It's Just A Good Little Car, If That's What Your Into... — This is a solid little plain car. It was like putting on a glove driving this car because of the previously owned 323! It's a tad more powerful (if you want to call it that! lol) But it's so darned cute and handles exactly how I want a standard enjine to handle. I'm disappointed with the mazda 3 as popular as it is. I had to chance to drive it and I didn't love it. Also what was up with the lack of view. How did the small car suddenly feel big? Is that what people want? I can't see out the damn rear window or over the hood. Although more power!! lol! I'll be sad when this protege goes, I like the old fashion standards, not semi automatics (it's really an automatic folks) and not steering wheel shifting. Those are for driver wannabes! I like to DRIVE.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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Robert writes:
2003 Mazda Protege ES Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

fun to drive

Cons

don't know yet

55

My Protege — i just got the car today, but so far i love it. i love all the options on it, its got auto locks and windows, a sunroff. Got to love the 5sp. its a little fastest than my cavalier. i put more words about it later.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Tibor writes:
2003 Mazda Protege ES Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Braking, handling, taut suspension, light weight

Cons

Power, traction on track, annoying sun visors that won't stay put

95

General Review Fo My Car — I purchased this car 30K miles used, my first used car purchase, in mid-2005. It now has almost 90K miles and has enjoyed a couple road trips across country and survived a flooded parking lot at work where I was able to limp it out of the drink while other cars were left totaled. Overall, it's been a good car. Air con and temperature controls failed under warranty. Original owner told me no warranty work was required while he had it. Three power door lock mechanisms have died this year, but they're mounted near the bottom of the doors and I suspect they died a delayed death due to water exposure in the flood. Driver-side window also expired, last year. Replaced the brake pads around 65K. When you buy an inexpensive compact you're gonna have to deal with price-oriented compromises and this is no exception. It's the perfect compact for me, though, as its lows are mildy in the arena of ride quality and amenities, and especially in sound deadening, but that money was spent on making it athletic. 4-wheel-disc brakes (ES trim only), front and rear sway bars, taut tuning to the 4-wheel-independent suspension. The car's very responsive, and I view that as a requirement when procuring one. It has a little push to the balance, which is probably for the best on public roads. I autocross raced it a few times in '08 and very much lamented the lack of a limited slip differential (and RWD!) leaving the corners with the hammer down, but it eats up back roads like as though the boys at Mazda custom designed it to do so (and maybe they did) and is a blast to drive otherwise. Very good handling, exceptional braking, but only adequate acceleration. It has a very lightweight, athletic feel to it. It came shod in pretty worn OEM Dunlop "ultra high performance" all-seasons, which I never got near that mileage out of from the Khumos of the same rating I'd driven since. I'm a damned spirited driver, though! Now switching to Pirelli's for a little extra $$. All in all it's been a good car, reliable, pretty efficient, and an absolute driver's car as long as said driver looks for balanced performance rather than straight-line thrills. I recommend also looking at the newer Mazda 3 if you're looking for a used car and have the funds to buy one, simply because Proteges are old enough that finding a low-mileage one is unlikely and you'll never know how the previous owner maintained it. Nitpick: The fold-down sun visors are annoyingly inept. Move it to block the sun at your left and take a left corner hard -- and fix your hair when it swings in and hits your head. Even Car and Driver expressed annoyance at them back in the day!

Primary Use: Commuting to work

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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Michael writes:
2003 Mazda Protege Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Stickshift

Cons

we need to buy new tires all the time

35

Mazda And The Inexperienced Driver — It is a stickshift, so it gets a little complicated for an inexperienced driver, but on the other hand it handles like a sports car and has some power to it. It is actualy my parents car so im learning to drive it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
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Emily writes:
2003 Mazda Protege Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Nice Car, Pretty Fast.

Cons

Its A Older Version.

45

Our Mazda Protage Is Awsome. — I think most mazdas are awsome. Ours is very fast, quiet, and gorgeous!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Michael writes:
2003 Mazda Protege ES Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Brakes, Suspension, engine is "playful".  Interior quality and lack of rattles and such.

Cons

lack of total power (could use 40 more hp), no Ipod connector available, FWD

45

Enough Fun To Keep Me From Going Nuts, But Practical. — Over the past few years this car has been my mainstay. I got it after selling my last 240 and I needed a 4 door car. I tried the Civic, Corolla, and Sentra. The mazda however didnt feel as rubbery inside, and the brakes, suspension, and snappiness of the gearchange were far superior to the traditional budget vehicles. it dosent have enough power for the grip the car has (I run Hankook 212's) but its enough fun for the moment..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Kevin writes:
2003 Mazda Protege LX Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

quick response and not bad acceleration

Cons

stock it's ok but with many upgrades it's even better.

35

Good Car For Your Money — I've had mine for a few years and i'm just starting to add parts to it and i know the car will be better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Kevin writes:
2003 Mazda Protege ES Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

acceleration
spoiler
interior design/comfort

Cons

clutch

35

Sports Car With Inline 4 And Good Handling — good sports car with enough handling. Could be faster, clutch is a little slippery. Interior is good, exterior is somewhat sleek. Spoiler is nice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Kevin2907 writes:
2003 Mazda Protege LX Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
2

Pros

Interior looks pretty nice.

Cons

Intake manifold sucks... battery always dies...

35

It Ok For A Cheap Car... — Kinda weak performance, and not built very well. Gets you from point A to point B.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 20 2003 Mazda Protege reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

1989 Mazda Protege Reviews

This Car Is Really Good On Gas By mudonthetires

This car gets excellent gas mileage. It is a pleasure to drive and handles great to be as old as it is. Only problem i've had is the clutch. I've put new tires,headlights and a battery in it. That's a... Read More

First Car Ever, Good With Standard Tranny And 1.8 L4 By Иван-Филип

Good car, got rid of it at 355 000kms on the odo and nevr had a SINGLE problem with it... quite impressive.... Read More

Read all 1989 Mazda Protege reviews

1990 Mazda Protege Reviews

Oldie But Goodie! By jflo711

Its a blessing in disguise! Looks ugly and old but runs sooo well. I never would have thought from the looks. Ummm..it goes pretty fast. Would love it if i had money too fix it up.hopefully soon... ok... Read More

I Love It. By Andrew

A very solid, depandable, basic car that could be amazing with some modifications. It won't die no matter how poorly you treat it. Excellent fuel economy, and the DOHC engine has lots of potential. St... Read More

Read all 3 1990 Mazda Protege reviews

1991 Mazda Protege Reviews

Fantastic Car! I Love It! By James

Acceleration is great with the 5-speed manual transmission. Brakes work very well, even in the snow and on some ice. Cornering is a breeze. I have had some repairs, outside regular maintenance, but I... Read More

Mazda Tough By King

The toughest little car I ever had. I bought it used from a family member. We maintain the care regularly. I would like to find after-market performance parts. The car is really fun to drive. It... Read More

Read all 4 1991 Mazda Protege reviews

1992 Mazda Protege Reviews

Look It Over Real Good Before You Buy One By Kyra

The ratings are based specifically on my Protege, not the make in general. It had the capabilities of being a decent car. It ran great, would've stopped better if I could have afforded to replace all ... Read More

Great For The Price. I Was Just Lucky Enough To Find One With Very Low Mileage On It. By ProteGeoff

I was fortunate enough to find one of these hiding out at a small dealership a week ago with only 55k miles on it. picked it up at a very affordable price. I recommend this car to anyone who can find ... Read More

Read all 4 1992 Mazda Protege reviews

1993 Mazda Protege Reviews

Reliable Little Beater! By muschke

My husband and I purchased this car at Christmas time in 2008 because we needed something more reliable than what we were driving to make it out to our family gathering. A rather plain and ugly looki... Read More

"old Faithful Green Machine" By mkgill719

I love this car and it is my 1st option to drive between the two vehicles that I own because it is very fuel efficient and reliable. It is also fun to drive. If I had to sell it, I wouldn't ask for ... Read More

Read all 7 1993 Mazda Protege reviews

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