2003 Mazda Protege 2.0L from North America


A perfect car for everything


This baby purrs like a kitten, and I drive it hard. I put Mobil 1 oil in it and do service it as recommended. Has been perfect.

General Comments:

This is a sporty car that get approx. 31.5 MPG, and All I did was drop in a K&N Drop in Air Filter.

The car is almost 6 years old and gets more MPG than the book lists.

Throw this car into a corner and it feels great.

It could use more power, which aftermarket parts can fix.

The tower strut bar seems to help a lot.

The car has 60/40 fold down seats in the back, which allows me to haul things from time to time.

Placement of controls is great.

4 wheel disc brakes, 16" rims with Kumho tires, very sticky.. but do not last long (a lot of that is my fault.. I drive it hard through curves.

This is a great car that I would recommend to anyone. Remember, there are bad Mazdas just like bad other brands.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th November, 2008

26th Jan 2009, 13:26

Mine leaks oil. I bought it from Hertz when it was a year old, so I don't know how well it was treated before I bought it. I burn about one and half quarts per 400 miles and it drives smoothly still. However, it emits a cloud of smoke the first start-up of the day. After that no obvious smoke comes out the tail pipe. I got 112,000, but was hoping to get over 150,00. Anyone else have this problem?

4th Mar 2013, 14:03

If it burns oil upon startup, and then stops, it's probably worn valve guides, which does not rival the defense budget to fix. New valve guides, a head gasket, and (as I remember) a slightly expensive head gasket kit, plus a couple hundred labor, should do it.

2003 Mazda Protege from North America


Almost perfect


Nothing. Only routine service. My dealer is very honest, too. I assume I cannot mention the dealer by name, so I will not. But it is about 15 miles South of Boston, Massachusetts.

General Comments:

The car is a little cramped. It does not have as much power as my previous car, a 1987 VW Jetta. But this Mazda Protege is something. It was rated "Best Buy" by several rating services and I can see why. It is comfortable, reliable, and gets good gas mileage for an automatic. Overall quality very good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st October, 2008

2003 Mazda Protege 5 2.0 from North America


Average reliability, higher maintenance than expected, FUN TO DRIVE


The car started to rust in several places in 2007. By 2008, the rust had wrapped around to the outside of the rear wheel wells as well. I counted 7 spots of rust in all.

The tires are expensive and need to replaced often.

The brakes last only about 30k miles, which is more often than any other car I have ever owned.

The front end was just starting to make some weird clunking noises when I turned the steering wheel. I traded it in before things got worse!

General Comments:

I really did love this little car. This car handled like a dream, very sporty and cornering was actually fun!

The gas mileage was good, but not as good as my old Corolla.

The interior was very comfortable and sensible, everything placed where I needed it and easy to use.

The style of the car is great - everyone that I met asked me about the car and people really loved it. I will miss this car.

I'm glad I got rid of the Mazda, the rust was spreading like crazy and I need something that's going to last longer than 72k miles.

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

Review Date: 25th June, 2008

9th Jul 2008, 13:23

That is exactly what is going on with my Mazda.

6th Aug 2008, 20:30

I also own a 2002 MP5, After about three years it started to rust around the wheel wells.