2001 Mazda Protege ES 2.0 from North America


Bring on the Corollas and Civics, Mazda's got something for 'em!



However, I replaced the rear speakers, where were blown when I bought the car last fall.

General Comments:

The 2001 version of the Protege retains the performance and handling of the '92 Protege LX that I had before.

Purchasing a five-year-old used car with 97,000 miles on it was not difficult for me because I had a good experience with my '92 Protege, because the Japanese seem to have an edge in reliability and longevity, and because this car is just plain fun to drive.

This car is sporty, inside and out. The styling is more aggressive for 2001, and the ES features white-faced gauges that are easy to read. At night these are back-lit in red, which is easier on your eyes than white or blue because it allows your pupils to remain open for better night vision.

The interior of the 2001 lacks some of the features that, while minor, were nice touches on the '92. Gone in 2001 are the European-style hollow headrests and marker lights on the doors. And the cup-holder is poorly designed -- in this this case, one size doesn't seem to fit anything. The '92 cup-holder pulled out of the console and provided a deeper, more stable grip.

Gas mileage with the twin-cam engine (1.8-liter in '92, 2-liter in 2001) is poor for a car in this class. I'm lucky to make 20 mpg around town, and seldom crack 25 mpg even with highway driving.

However, I don't log a lot of miles per year right now, so I can live with less gas mileage and more performance, which I certainly get in this car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th January, 2007

26th Jan 2007, 23:58

I don't know, but it's kind of written by a real cool used car salesman or some rice rocket nut.

27th Jan 2007, 09:43

Yeah, a car salesman is really going to tell people a subcompact gets 20 mpg.

The review is real, the poster is just enthusiastic about the car.

30th Jan 2007, 01:16

I am not a car salesman or "rice rocket nut," though I stand behind my comments regarding the Japanese advantage in durability and longevity.

As my beloved uncle said many times -- he has owned a GM dealership for nearly 45 years -- Detroit lost its "can do" attitude because when challenged by imports and regulations, Detroit's response always seemed to be that they could not do what was being required. As he put it, "eventually, they began to believe that, even though it wasn't necessarily true."

My first four cars were American. Mercury, Ford, Chevy and Pontiac. I touched all the bases before going Japanese; I did my time. Don't EVER call me a nut for rice-burners!

Mazda is one of the good marques -- like Nissan, they're cheap on the used lot and provide good service with reliable features.

I'm just a guy who likes a small car that's fast, dependable and loaded with features.

2001 Mazda Protege LX 2.0 2.0L from North America


Fun to drive and still reliable after 5 years


This has been my baby since I drove it off the lot from day 1. Throughout the 120 or so thousand miles that I have driven this car, its been for the most part very reliable.

At 110,000 there was something wrong with the starter and had to be replaced for $400.

At 40,000 the factory CD player blinks and has been blinking since. My 2.0L engine takes premium and HATES regular gas. Being japanese made, I purchased this car to get as many miles out of it as possible. I have been on trips over 500 miles without any problems.

At 60,000 needed to replace the tires as they were balding. Also needed a vehicle alignment as car pulled HARD to the right. This has been done a few times at 80k and 115k.

Now at 120,000 its getting a bit sluggish for starting, but still has great pick up and gas mileage. Also I wanted to mention that the inside cabin is very noisy going anything above 65MPH.

General Comments:

Fun to drive and still reliable after 5 years.

Mazda's from Japan are GREAT vehicles!

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

Review Date: 17th September, 2006

23rd Nov 2006, 15:00

I have a 2000 LX automatic 1.6L and it's also a gem! You should check to see if there's any air leaks on the hoses, ie: Air Intake Hose, or the small hose connecting to the PCV valve. I would change the PCV valve also, all those mentioned are cheap replacements for anywhere from $5-$40, or less! But you'll feel a huge difference in performance and increase gas mileage.