2003 Mazda Protege LX from North America


Very nice car


My Mazda Protege "check engine" light just came on at 29,917 miles. I was suspicious that this was a 30K checkup reminder and I'm sure it is, thanks to the comments I have seen here. Thank you for posting your comments, I was very upset and nervous... you have set my mind as ease.

General Comments:

Very nice little vehicle. No serious problems at all and I am very happy with it... except for the "check engine" light. I though this morning I would have to use my poor little 20 year old Toyota Pickup to get to work. The truck has never flashed a check engine light!

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

Review Date: 23rd April, 2008

2003 Mazda Protege 5 2.0 I4 petrol from North America


Great value for money 3rd car


Seem to have same issues as most other owners.

Front sway bar links.

Rear brake calipers.

Slight engine stumble at 3500 rpm, but drives through (vehicle is fast for a P5 in stock trim).

General Comments:

Overall value for money is excellent.

In comparison to domestic vehicles it handles well, drinks little, and has lots of room for a small compact car.

My wife loves it.

Shame about the brake issue - on 3rd caliper in 38000 (think the MI weather doesn't help).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th March, 2008

2003 Mazda Protege 5 2.0L DOHC 4 cylinder from North America


Perfect if it had a reliable transmission


My transmission had to be rebuilt at 85,000 miles. The repair shop said that I should expect to do it again. They also said Mazda is aware of the problems with the transmission, but consider it the normal life expectancy of the transmission.

After it was rebuilt, it had to go back into the shop at 90,000 miles for the same repair. Thankfully, the repair was under warranty.

General Comments:

I like this car a lot, but I used to love it. It gets good gas mileage, is quick and responsive. Handles really well. I also love the convenience of being able to use it for a lot of cargo. It fits a 2' x 8' board inside. Also, I have successfully fit an entire futon bed inside it.

However, it is uncomfortable for long rides and my trust in the car has been severely reduced because of the transmission problems. My last Mazda ran for 202,000 miles and I was hoping this one would do the same.

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

Review Date: 5th March, 2008

16th Apr 2008, 11:14

I have had the same thing happen to me. I have 111,000km on the car and my transmission went on me this week. I had taken it into two different dealers for possible transmission problems in the past 6 months, both told me there was nothing wrong with it and 5000 km later I have a $3000.00 bill on my hands. I called Mazda Canada and explained the situation, I told them I had service reports from when I had taken the car in before the warranty was up and they said they couldn't/wouldn't do anything for me. I WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER MAZDA AGAIN.

29th Apr 2008, 22:13

The same thing happened to my 03 Mazda protege5. The tranny went on it with just 69000 kilometers. I called Mazda and they said my powertrain warranty expired three months ago and there was nothing they would do. Was thinking of upgrading to the newer Mazda3. I will never buy another Mazda ever again.

2003 Mazda Protege LS 2.0 DOHC from North America


Reliable and and good value


Right front wheel bearing needed replacement at 105,000 miles. Approximately $260.

No other significant repairs have been needed.

General Comments:

This car handles very well.

Front disc brakes need replacing every ~30,000 miles.

Gets about 25 MPG city, and a little less than 30 on the highway.

Performance is mediocre.

I am 6'4" and I can fit comfortably in the driver's seat.

Overall I am very pleased with this car. I have been very consistent with general maintenance and I feel confident about the car's continued mechanical reliability. I plan on driving this car until it dies.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd February, 2008

4th Mar 2013, 14:10

You must have taken it to a neurosurgeon for the wheel bearing replacement. I'd find another mechanic.