2003 Mazda Protege ES 2.0L from North America


ZOOM - ZOOM. A tuner's dream car


Nothing has gone wrong yet, works excellent. Although, we do encounter the "Cold weather rattle", which is caused by the VICS system, which keeps the intake valves open longer to help the engine run when cold.

General Comments:

The new tuner's car, and a rice killer.

The car may not be extremely fast, but it handles like a dream. A very fun car to drive on on-and-off ramps, and around twisty roads.

To this date, I have installed a cold-air intake from AEM - makes a little more HP, and a more aggressive note from under the hood. It also gives you the "sucking" noise as air rushes into the engine. I've added a cat-back exhaust from Racing Beat, who designed and tuned the special edition 2001 MP3 Protege. I also installed the MP3 springs, which are 27% stiffer than stock, helping in the twists. I've also added a 19mm adjustable rear sway bar from AWR. Soon, I will be installing the JSPEC intake and exhaust cams from the Mazdaspeed version in Japan, and a new set of headers from RacingMazda.

Checkout www.clubprotege.com for more information about Proteges, I'm kopp0041 on that forum.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th September, 2003

2003 Mazda Protege LX 2.0L from North America


Great car for a great price!


Too new to rate.

General Comments:

I was the proud owner for 16 yrs of a Toyota Camry. The Mazda Protege LX was the closest to my ’87 Camry, except it has all the bells and whistles. I absolutely love my new 2003 Mazda Protege! I retained my 2.0L engine, however the Mazda drives more like a sports car. Compared to the Corolla and Civic, I liked the Protege exterior styling, therefore I elected to try this Mazda. The interior is beautiful as well and the trunk space is great. The Protege is about 8 inches shorter than my ’87 Camry, but one would never know this.

If anyone is looking for a great compact car and doesn’t care to go to the larger size of the revised Camry, do check out the Protégé. The reviews I have read mentioned the Protégé’ to be noisier. I do not agree. I think it is a solid and well performing car—another quality Japanese car. Thank you Mazda!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th September, 2003

16th Nov 2004, 17:12

I have a 2003 Mazda Protege also. I love everything about it. I like the styling, ride, and overall apperance of the car. I like the ease of entry and exit also. I have driven many cars, but none I like more than the Mazda Ptotege.

2003 Mazda Protege 5-Door ES 2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder from North America


Attractive, practical car with superb handling


No problems yet.

General Comments:

Tired of fixing my used '91 Prelude, I decided to purchase a brand new car and, after looking at a number of cars (Civic & RSX in particular), I realized that the Mazda Protege provided the best bang for the buck. Here are some of the reasons that swayed my purchase and that I've come to learn in the last two thousand kilometers:

The number and quality of stock features and options for the price far outweigh those available in other cars.

Thought the car might feel underpowered, handling and braking make up for this deficiency.

The stock alloy rims are attractive and the 16-inch sizing compliments the aggressive look of the car.

As a 21-year old, the car is sporty looking yet still offers practicality with five doors and keyless entry.

Subtle touches to the interior (e.g., cloth and fake carbon fiber trims, slick steering wheel design, and comfortable seats) make the ride very comfortable.

In comparison with other cars, this car has superb reliability in every aspect.

I love it and will probably keep it for at least seven years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th July, 2003

5th Nov 2007, 06:26

What is your gas mileage like? Is it over 30mpg?

2003 Mazda Protege 5 2.0 from North America


Nice car, poor service


Brake rotors were warped at 5,000 miles, which the dealer would not replace, instead had them ground down.

General Comments:

This is unacceptable because I will have to pay for new rotors in 40,000 miles or so, when I have brake work done.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 24th June, 2003

13th Jul 2004, 10:26

My 2002 Mazda Protege 5 had the rotors go out at 7,000 miles. The warped rotors were turned. Approximately 5,000 miles later I again experienced the same problem.

I had to replace the rotors myself (not covered under warranty).