Mazda Protege Review from Japan

1992 Mazda Protege LX 1.8 DOHC

Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission 1.8 DOHC Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 0 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.2 / 10
Distance when acquired71000 miles
Most recent distance126000 miles
Previous carDaewoo LeMans


A really sporty economy car


This Mazda Protege has had a hiccup in its acceleration since I bought it. Three mechanics have found no cure; however, my regular mechanic has taped up a worn air intake hose and that seems to help a lot with this problem -- temporarily. Within a couple of weeks it is back to its old, stuttering self.

Parts prices are high, and parts are generally unavailable from anybody other than Mazda. I paid $600 for an exhaust system. This included everything from the manifold to the rear bumper, except for the converter. I later spent another $180 replacing the converter, again using a Mazda part.

General Comments:

This is a fast, good handling small car. I think it would outrun any Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla of the same vintage.

The suspension is a real treat for anyone who's been driving lesser economy cars, particularly American models such as the Cavalier.

I regard this car as a real bargain, considering its full package of options, compared to the extra amount one would pay for a Honda or Toyota just because of the nameplate.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd April, 2003

Average review marks: 7.2 / 10, based on 1 review