2000 Mazda Protege ES 1.6 I4 gasoline from North America


Not the best of its class, but not the worst


Engine failure, spark plug broke off into cylinder (150,000 miles).

Transmission failure, bearing came apart, destroyed the transmission (190,000 miles).

A/C compressor failure (150,000 miles).

General Comments:

The car handled really well for a cheap commuter car. Steering was firm and responsive with a good on center feel.

Brakes were weak and the ABS was reluctant to kick on in emergency stopping situations.

Engine is 1.6L and makes about 100 HP - almost adequate for city driving, far less than ideal for highway passing and merging. This engine is simply anemic and out matched by other cars in its class.

Interior was cheap and uncomfortable. Seats were just too small for my frame (6'2" and 220 lbs). The non-telescoping steering wheel makes for an awkward driving position. Fit and finish of interior materials were fair to poor. Many parts and panels were easily bent or broken.

Exterior styling was bland, and the less than stellar fit and finish carried over. Wider than acceptable panel gaps.

This car lived until about 190,000 miles until the transmission failed and I no longer wanted to spend money on it. This is a decent run for a 15 year old car, but this car was never as reliable as its Toyota or Honda stablemates.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th May, 2015

2000 Mazda Protege LX 1.6 petrol from North America


Fun mess


These were the problems that came with the car:

- Ridiculous rust; there was rust all over the underside of the car and on the rear wheel arches. Also the bottom edges of the car doors were so rusty they were all bent out of shape.

- Stabilizer for the front axle (cheap fix, very easy job to do, it took me about one hour to fix and I have had no experience on working on cars before).

- Rear and front headlights needed bulbs.

- Muffler was gone.

- The washer fluid spray nozzles were not functioning properly.

- Radio was pretty much shot.

- The oil has never been changed in the car and its first oil change was when I got it.

After I fixed all these problems the car was good to go.

The problems I ran into after I fixed everything:

- Brakes; had to change all 4 disc brakes, and unfortunately the screeching sound still persisted.

- The front wheels (my own fault).

- Muffler fell off.

- Exhaust pipe rusted through.

Other than those repairs, the car was OK.

General Comments:

First off, I want to say that this car was my first car. Personally I never really wanted this car, since it really looked boring. Not only did it look boring, but it looked like complete crap. Rust everywhere, squeaky suspension, and loud interior. But alas I chose this car to be mine, and so I did what I could to make it better.

The handling of the car was superb. Literally it is like driving in an over-sized go-cart. I'm surprised the car even lasted a whole year, because the stuff I did in it still makes me laugh from time to time. Jumping curbs, power sliding and popping the car into drive at 7k RPM was the norm. I was very pleased with its handling. The acceleration on it wasn't the best, but since it's a small car and the interior is so loud, you felt like you were going fast, so for a 1.6 I would say it is very decent.

Fuel mileage was also reasonable. On long trips I averaged about 32+ on the highway, and in the city mileage dropped to the 20's (sometimes even lower).

Reliability was OK, and was not a big issue. I have taken this car on 300 mile runs back and forth with no issues at all, and I was always confident that it can go much further than that.

I am 6'4 and 240lbs and I fit pretty comfortably inside the car, except for the part where I have to get in and out of the car. I have actually ripped a couple of pants. The seats in the back are a bit cramped, but for a small car they're pretty spacious. The boot is also reasonably sized.

The interior is one of the biggest downsides of this vehicle. It is absolute crap. Everything has an extremely (like super extreme) cheap feeling to it. The center console was complete rubbish, and even the steering wheel felt like it was made by a toy company. When you slammed the door, the whole car shook and there was probably a chance of the window breaking.

Overall, this car is great for a person that does not care what he/she drives. It is perfect for going to school and for hopping from place to place.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 2013