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

2000 Mazda Protege LX 1.6 DOHC from Puerto Rico


The worst car I have ever owned


Bought the car in June 2012.

I didn't have the car for a month, and the head gasket blew without heating up.

Two months after owning the car, the A/C compressor broke down.

Had to rebuild the transmission 6 months after I bought the car.

Has very poor handling.

General Comments:

My last car was a 89 Corolla, and it never gave me problems like this, just routine maintenance.

I can't wait to get rid of this car.

It's very disappointing that the car has given me so many problems, considering the year and the mileage it has.

The only things I like about the car are that it saves on gas and is comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 4th March, 2013

6th Mar 2013, 06:12

Dang, thought Mazda was supposed to be reliable...

My 1999 Chevy Lumina with almost 160k miles has given me no trouble at all, besides the intake gasket once. Goes to show that the widespread belief that American cars are inferior to Japanese is off target. Frankly, I think this myth undermines our economy, and is insulting to a lot of hard-working Americans from our engineers to assembly line workers.

Who builds our police cruisers, and the majority of taxis with hundreds of thousands of miles? The fire trucks & ambulances we count on to save our lives? Our public buses? Haven't seen Honda or Toyota making any of those. Where's the pride?

I don't hate imports; my buddy's Integra is a blast to drive, and Audi's Quattro design, first introduced in the 80's, is STILL second to none. But at this point we've made such leaps and bounds in technology and quality, that anyone scared away by the paint-peeled Chrysler or tranny-fried Taurus from the 90's, should come back & take pride in this new, & much more competent generation of domestic products.

13th Mar 2013, 08:48

Having to replace the transmission is a bummer.

The A/C compressor may still be fine. When the refrigerant pressure is too low, the A/C does not turn on in order to prevent damage. Try if a recharge makes it go again.

These cars handle very well. Steering is easy and provides feedback, they corner well with some under-steer, and hold their line under braking. If they don't, they may need a wheel alignment, suspension work or brake work.

It is a good idea to have a used car inspected prior to buying.