2000 Mazda Protege DX 1.6 from North America

Summary:

High quality, ergonomics, handling, comfort, and reliability in an inexpensive, handsome package

Faults:

The glove compartment latch has failed, so the box cannot be opened. I have not been to the dealer to have this remedied as yet. The box has no lock, it's just a pull-handle-to-open arrangement.

General Comments:

Overall, for nearly 24,000 miles, the car continues to operate flawlessly. 15,000 mile service and the suggested fuel injector cleaning service (add $80.00 to the 15,000 service cost) plus my oil changes are all the expense that has been necessary.

The engine would be found marginal by many people, I'm sure, but I'm accustomed to it. Performance is adequate, but occasionally zippy if I rev high in each gear and am on fairly level ground. Car suffers if in hilly country, but is fine elsewhere.

Manual transmission is neat and precise, a complete pleasure to use. I much prefer its feel to that of my friend's Audi TT.

Clutch will emit a sweet, vegetable-tinged odor if I have to do slow, back-up maneuvering to park. This happens fairly readily, not after minutes of maneuvering. Clutch doesn't seem to like being slipped. Since I always shift to neutral when at stoplights and stop signs, never "ride" the clutch to hold the car in place, I never have occasion to smell this at other times. There is no sense of bad performance beyond the odor-it works fine.

I continue to delight on a daily basis in the quality, thoughtful ergonomics, and comfort of the car.

Its hauling capacity is amazing. Through the split, 60/40 rear seat I've carried some 8' 2"x4"'s. I can easily fit my road bicycle (wheels quick-released, of course) in the trunk, add the wheels, some soft luggage and so forth, and close the trunk. Large rectangular guitar case will fit in under the bike, if I wish!

Oh, the CD player has functioned fine for 20+ months now, with daily use... that's a lot of hours. I am well pleased with the stock sound system, haven't given a thought to any change.

There may have been a slight fall-off in cornering and lane-change firmness with its age-shocks may not be keeping the car as sharp as it was when brand new. Still handles well, entirely predictable and controllable under all conditions.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2002

2000 Mazda Protege ES 1.8L 4 cylinder DOHC FI from North America

Summary:

The Protege is a nice all around compact sedan

Faults:

At 3,285 miles, car had a broken front passenger side power window regulator, a ripped driver's side floor mat, and a loose weather strip on the rear driver's side door. Mazda replaced the window regulator, weather strip and both front floor mats at no charge, all under warranty.

At 15,801 miles, the car check engine light was flashing and the car was running rough. Problem found to be a faulty coil and igniter. Mazda replaced under warranty.

At 18,133 miles, the car check engine light came on. Problem found to be a defective catalytic converter. Mazda replaced under warranty.

General Comments:

Mazda Protege handles good going around turns, nice and flat and very predictable. Unlike the Metro which rocks like the Queen Mary in a Typhoon.

0 - 60 times in the Protege are in the 10 second range. Pickup is good in all speed ranges. Passing ability 40 - 70 is a little above average. Unlike the Metro, which took almost a whole eternal minute to get up to 60mph, especially if there's three overweight passenger's with luggage tagging along.

Mazda dashboard layout is very user friendly and logical. What's there to say about the Metro except, one speedometer, a brake, a steering wheel for maneuvering those sailboat like nautical turns, and a tiny little gas pedal that matched up well with those three out of breath mice under the hood.

Mazda trunk is nice and roomy. The Metro has a nice flat roof, just don't forget to bring along lots of rope.

Front driver's side seat on Protege has lumbar support. Would be nice to have the same for the front passenger side seat. Rear seats are comfortable for up to three average size adults, as long as the rear seat passenger's don't have beehive hairdos. Actually this is the only category where the Metro wins. The Cone Heads would have a blast in this car.

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

Review Date: 24th January, 2002

28th Dec 2002, 13:50

Oh my God!

These problems are identical to mine at about the same mileage! the only difference is that I had problems with my driver's side window. I have been inconvenienced too many times. This should have been a recall! Furthermore, I'm not happy with Mazda's service. The few times that my check engine light came on I took it to the dealer and they found nothing wrong, only to find out a month or so later I had to have parts replaced (i.e. the c. converter and the ignition coil) I really don't recommend this model at all!