2003 Mazda Protege User Reviews

2003 Mazda Protege Review Ratings

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Average Ratings from 21 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" 9 reviews
"handling" 8 reviews
"ride" 7 reviews
"reliable car" 4 reviews
"interior" 4 reviews
CONS
"power" 4 reviews
"speed" 3 reviews
"fuel economy" 2 reviews
"noisy noise" 2 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 21 2003 Mazda Protege reviews.

writes:
2003 Mazda Protege ES Review
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Pros

Very reliable, handles well with good power for a small car, fun to drive, roomy for a small car

Cons

Non-standard tire size, so tires are expensive.  Handles poorly on snow/ice.  Has started to rust a bit (after 11 years and 130,000 miles).  Road noise is above average

brad_isu
25

Good Small Car — Sporty, handles well (except in snow and ice), reliable, and roomy for a small car. Road noise is a bit loud though. Gas mileage is between 20-30 MPG. Haven't had much maintenance other than standard maintenance, maybe a water pump replacement and some hoses needed to be replaced

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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writes:
2003 Mazda Protege LX Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
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Pros

Fuel mileage and comfort

Cons

A little plain-Jane on the exterior

14,315

I'd Have 2 Of 'em If I Can Find Another One! — Zooom Zooom! Practically stole this car with 150K on it! (bought it DIRT cheap) I'm impressed by it's durability, longevity and quality. Still have a little work to do to the suspension and carpet but certainly a keeper. Awesome gas mileage and power.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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writes:
2003 Mazda Protege LX Review
Appearance:
Performance:
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Pros

Stability, reliability

Cons

Performance

65

Great Go Around Car. Safe. Reliable. — Cheap, reliable and safe. Needs to be avoided for people who need speed. Great sedan, good-looking car. great manoeuvrability, good acceleration for a 2.0L. Some parts are cheap, some are overly expensive. Easily customizable. Very fun to drive especially with 17'' 18'' wheels.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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

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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writes:
2003 Mazda Protege DX Review
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Performance:
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Pros

Zoom zoom is literally correct, they zip around and handle well.

Cons

If there is a clicking noise when you turn corners under power..

115

Good Little Cars, If You Check It Over Well It Should Be Reliable. — Really reliable little cars, if well taken care of. Relatively inexpensive for parts. The performance is lackluster, but what do you expect for a 4door and 4cylinder. Mileage is a little lower than you might expect, only around 25mpg. AWESOME in the snow, hard to get stuck. Fun to drive, handles very well, especially for front-wheel-drive. Slight bit of torque-steer, due to the low gear ratio's in the lower gears.

Primary Use: Family transportation

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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writes:
2003 Mazda Protege ES Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

fun to drive

Cons

fuel efficiency

35

Very Good Car — good performance, good braking, very good handling, some problems with the rear suspension and electric features inside, good looking car both exterior than interior, not very good on the gas mileage, very fun to drive and easy to drive. the white color is amazing!!!

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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

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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writes:
2003 Mazda Protege LX Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

Pros

Amazing on Gas.

Cons

Lacks some Speed.

45

2003 Mazda Protege Lx — Performance: A bit slow for my liking but handling is great. Quality: Stereo knobs are terrible and some rust under the door, but other than that its running really great at 130000 km. Appearance: Great, except for the back lights.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

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

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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writes:
2003 Mazda Protege Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:

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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Displaying 1 - 10 of 21 2003 Mazda Protege reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

2002 Mazda Protege Reviews

Sporty Family Car With A Decent Gas Economy By Krassimir

Like the low cost to maintain, visibility, sport style, acceleration, fits 5 comfortably, has ample cargo room, reliable engine, moon roof, good sound system. Has overdrive. Breaks really well. Little... Read More

2002 Mazda Protege Manual By gonzalezd15

This car is a blast to drive! truly a perfect daily driver for anyone on a budget. The car is sporty too as it comes from the factory with a sporty stance. The car really can move if you give it gas. ... Read More

Read all 25 2002 Mazda Protege reviews

2001 Mazda Protege Reviews

An Excellant Car And Fun To Drive. It Has Power,acceleration And Good Braking Power. By Mazda544

This car is fun to drive, it has power.Other than normal maintenance it does not cost me a lot of money to maintain . Had MAZDA come with a solid wheel hubcaps, and uses 87 octane gas, I would give th... Read More

Love This Car!! By Schus8507

blind spots are a minimal worry, proformance is better than expected, car looks great!, all and all... this car is the best purchas i've made since college classes. i would highly recomend this car to... Read More

Read all 21 2001 Mazda Protege reviews

2000 Mazda Protege Reviews

Slotege Reviewed By Justin

Great acceleration, braking is okay, handling is amazing. Build quality is pretty good except the weak spots in the body where it tends to rust. Fortunately this protege has had very little rust poke ... Read More

Clark Kent Bought A Kryptonite By Lnny

The 2000 Mazda Protege' tan was about as boring a car can get. I bought it brand new with 5 speed manual transmission. My personality and lifestyle at the time was very conservative and it was proba... Read More

Read all 26 2000 Mazda Protege reviews

1999 Mazda Protege Reviews

Ford Escort With A Mazda Symbol On It. By Mark

The car was fantastic on gas with the 1.8L under the hood. The Protege that I owned had a 5-speed manual transmission. Aside from the great gas mileage, it's the only other reason why I kept the car a... Read More

Bottom Line For The Moneys Worth This Is A Great Car For Any Beginner Driver By Gary

performance 1.8l engine that can be easily modded to suit anybody's needs. acceleration is a bit slow at first but can be changed through performance add ons. breaking and handling was designed to t... Read More

Read all 11 1999 Mazda Protege reviews

1998 Mazda Protege Reviews

Good Ride By spnorman

If you want a good car for basic transportation with low maintenance and operation costs, this is the answer. Good room inside and decent performance. Good mileage. Fun to drive. The car will keep... Read More

Perfect By Joelle

l love evrything hate nothing everything is great about this car except the horn sounds like a ladybug my kids say.. this is the perfect car for your growing family and also as a first car for the k... Read More

Read all 11 1998 Mazda Protege reviews

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Protege
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