2003 Mazda Protege ES 2.0 from North America


Great small car


Brakes front and back are gone after only 55,000 km.

General Comments:

Besides the brakes this car is vary reliable.

Handles really well. Zoom zoom indeed.

Needed to get a sunroof deflector, at highway speeds you couldn't hold a conversation with sunroof open.

I do recommend getting winter tires as the factory Dunlops are not designed for winter.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th November, 2005

2003 Mazda Protege 5 2.0 from North America


Zoom zoom zoom


Nothing has really gone wrong because of manufacturing, but I had been in an accident and the lights were fitted wrong, so this caused an electrical problem.

General Comments:

I love this car, it is fun to drive. It also gives very good gas mileage.

In the 2 years I have owned this car, I have racked up 45,000 miles and it still runs like new.

This little car not only looks great, but feels like a sports car minus the power.

Has a moderate back seat to pile in your friends, along with fold down seating to fill your trunk.

All in all, I would buy this car all over again.

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

Review Date: 21st July, 2005

11th Feb 2006, 23:15

I agree! I bought my car at the end of 2003 and have absolutely loved it. It has almost 90,000 miles on it and it hasn't had one problem to date.

It was just recently wrecked and the damage to the passenger side is a bit concerning. The car wasn't totaled, but it makes me wish I had shelled out to get the side curtain air bags. I'm glad that no one was in the passenger side at the time of the accident.

Overall the car is great! However a bit small if you ever want to put rear facing car seat in the back.

2003 Mazda Protege 5 2.0 from North America


Japanese lemon especially after your warranty runs out


The windshield cracked during the winter right above the heating vents and the dealership wouldn't fix it (maybe just in Canada) giving stupid excuse that it does happen, but only during the first couple month and since it happened a year later it must be some kind of stone that hit it first. Stupid excuse... On the other occasion I asked the dealership to fix the loose seatbelt, but was told to “live with it” because it what happens to them over the time (never saw this problem in the cars that are less than 10 years old). Anyway, at least this problem was fixed on the 3rd visit to a different dealership.

As for performance:

1) it takes about 10 liters of gas for 100 km on the highway if you go 120 km/h, which as high as for 8 years old American 6 cylinder car…

2) the weight is so mis-balanced, that the front (running) wheels don’t get a good grip on the road under snow, ice and rain conditions.

3) ergonomics and the way it built is not as comfortable as for many other cars.

General Comments:

This car is not competitive in performance and handling and does not really worth your money in the long run.

If you want to compare it to other Japanese cars, you can take Toyota Matrix for the SAME PRICE, but with much better performance and better workmanship.

Final decision: will never buy this Japanese "Ford" anymore in my life.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th February, 2005

15th Feb 2005, 09:53

OK, so your car had a cracked windshield and a loose seatbelt and you're calling it a lemon? Cracked windshields do happen, and your dealer has no way of knowing whether it's a legitimate break or if it was caused by something external (a rock, etc.). This isn't exclusive to Mazda's.

Your other complaints regarding looks, ride performance, etc. etc. are all ones that should have been looked at before you bought the thing. Why did you buy the car if you don't like the way it looks or rides?

Fuel economy in protege's has never been stellar, but 10L/100KM doesn't seem right for highway travel, especially in a 2003...

18th Apr 2005, 21:15

In addition, check the type of your tires. You may have high performance tires which are not meant for snowy weather, and would impair the grip in rain. It has nothing to do with the weight being "mis-balanced." Just what is a balanced weight then?

2nd Jan 2006, 14:42

Not competitive in handling? I don't see how you can say that. It is one of the BEST handling car I ever have. The responses are great and I can't say the same for the Matrix. And why do you feel compell to name Mazda "Japanese Ford?" Do you even own one and have you checked your VIN lately to see that is it built in JAPAN and engineered by Mazda, not Ford?

27th Feb 2007, 07:31

You have obviously never driven a Toyota Matrix which is a slug compared to a Protege. Your review is not helpful at all because you don't even know what a lemon is. I'm tired of people on this forum calling cars lemons because they are mad at service for not fixing their chipped windshield or other trivial problems under warranty.

27th Feb 2007, 12:09

Depends on the Matrix model. My friend has a six speed 180 hp XRS Matrix. Unfortunately, Toyota discontinued it.

24th May 2007, 14:24

He was saying 10l/100km at going at speeds of 120km... most places in canada max is 100/110, best mileage is at around 85-90 last time I checked, stop speeding.

7th Feb 2008, 15:43

To the original poster, It sounds very much like you have no clue about what is going on.