20th Feb 2008, 08:56

Most of the issues I have been reading on this page are not the fault of the car, nor that of Mazda. I've been driving my '03 protege5 for 2 years now and put on about 35K miles, she has 70K total. The car has been truly excellent - great handling, tons of storage space, great mileage, good visibility, high safety ratings, fun to drive, and most of all reliable. There has been only one problem other than regular maintenance: it needed a link kit in the front suspension. Other than that, I've gone through 2 sets of brake pads/rotors in the back (only because a piston in the rear caliper was ceased) and 1 set of pads in the front, new drive belts, spark plugs, 2 low-beam headlights, and regular changing of oil. I've also done a transmission and cooling system flush. My tires have lasted since I got the car, so tire wear is excellent - the car was used and tires are OEM. Its not the car's fault for breaking down if its not maintained or driven properly, and its not Mazda's responsibility to fix a car outside the warranty period - that's just business. Don't like it? Buy a Hyundai. True, not every Protege5 is created equally, maybe some people got a friday afternoon car and that's unfortunate, but after doing extensive research on the vehicle it is very highly rated and bad experiences are clearly a minority in the overall experience of the car.

28th Feb 2008, 19:08

I own a 2003 Mazda Protege LX and have had nothing, but issues with the brakes. Right up front, I am not any harder on my brakes than anybody else, but in 2005 I had to replace my first front caliper due to it seizing up, mech found that the dustboot was torn, probably causing sand or other grit around the piston. So there was 1 caliper, 2 rotors and a set of pads. Then in 2008 the caliper on the opposite side seized up, so along with that 2 more rotors and a set of pads. A bad day at the factory? Or, just pure coincidence? I also have had to replace the battery, front sway bar links, both front outer wheel bearings, an inner front axle support bearing. What is up with this? I did my homework in 2003 before buying my first new car and I really feel I got stung. I only have 51K on this car as of 2/28/08 and I still have a few more payments left before its paid off. I have owned 4 used cars before this and NEVER had this much trouble with any of them even with high mileage, and all of those together didn't cost me what I paid for my brand new 2003 Protege.

14th Mar 2008, 22:50

Hi - Aside from having the ABS and Brake light issue. I had Mazda check why the engine light is on, specially when idling, it shakes. Mazda repaired it and replaced faulty EGR valve code P0401 / P0300 and FSYI-18-W00 Valve E.G. Then on the invoice it said, "Checked engine light on - perform code check and due to the nature of computer controlled vehicles, other problems may become apparent after the initial problem has been replaced". When we picked up the car, the service person said that the engine light might come on again, in that case it will need a TUNE UP. My car has 88K. Well, 3 days after they replaced the faulty egr valve, the car start shaking and the lights went on so in it goes for "Tune Up". Ignition coil and FP85-18-100C Ignition part for a total of $359.00. I think this should have been covered from the first time they fixed the car and not part of a TUNE UP! Never, ever going to buy another Mazda. I've always been a Honda driver, the yellow colour got into me and bought a Mazda. What a mistake!

17th Mar 2008, 18:32

I am buying a Mazda P5 tomorrow. I like the feel and the look. I hope it works out OK for me!

20th Mar 2008, 23:32

I have owned a Protege5 2003 for two years now without any problems and I can say that I actually like that little car. I wonder if someone out there has had any hands on experience with putting Mazda speed Racing Hart rims (215-45-17) on a regular P5???

3rd Apr 2008, 10:53

I have a 2003 Protege 5. Bought it new, now it has 93,000 miles. The car is basically very good... it is still tight handling and very reliable. The only unusual problem was one with loose intake manifold bolts that came loose (one nearly fell into a cylinder). The dealer charged about $900 to replace the manifold with an updated model!

Yes- the tires and brakes wear a bit fast, but that may be due to my driving style. High performance tires are softer and stickier for a reason. If you want a quiet ride and 60,000 miles out of your tires, buy a Buick!

Some Mazda models are more reliable than others... check Consumers Reports. The Protege and Mazda 3 are better than average...

14th Apr 2008, 13:08

2003 Mazda Protege DX.

Anyone have low mileage?

I had a '96 DX until 2006 when it was totaled, and it got better gas mileage by far. The tank was smaller than my current 11.5 gallons (at the pump), but it seemed to get close to 250 miles/tank (maybe this is amazing?). I did put more mileage on that car than my current one (job was much farther away back then).

My 2003 DX (bought in '06) takes about 11.5 gallons and seems to get 200 miles/tank. I live in suburban Miami and drive at least 20 minutes twice a day, 5-7 days/week plus longer trips on occassion. I haven't noticed the mileage to be any better on a trip to Orlando or South Carolina, for example.

Anyone else notice low mileage?

21st Apr 2008, 20:32

I have a 2003 protege5. Purchased it new in late 2002. All in all a good car. Couple of things I have noticed. Eats tires. I have almost 75000 and I'm on my 3rd set. In side edge wears. Per the dealer the P5 and the new Mazda 3 have an aggressive toe setting which causes the inside edge to wear out long before the tire is showing wear. Fix is to have the tires flip-ed on the rim at about 15k or have a shop go to a less agressive setting on the toe. Paint has not done all that great in the AZ sun. But not bad. Every Mazda I have owned seems to have weak paint. All in all a good car.

25th Apr 2008, 14:41

I have a 2003 P5, and I think my mileage is rather poor, even after a recent tune-up, two new tires and a wheel alignment. I'm getting about 28 MPG in town use (500 km on a 50 litre tank), but I used to get closer to 575-600 km on a tankful. I'm a gentle, even driver. Any thoughts? Thx.

9th Jun 2008, 02:34

I have a 2003 Mazda P5 that I bought new, it now has 112,000 miles and I had to replace the factory battery last Friday.

In addition to replacing the battery, I’ve replaced the left low beam headlight, a set of tires, changed the oil change and air filter. At 65,000 I had to replace the driver’s side seat belt (it stuck LOCKED and could not be released).

Today the alternator belt broke. The brakes and plugs are factory.

I live 2 miles down a very rough dirt road and it has served me very well.

I consider that I have been very well served by this car.

The color is yellow, and the paint is starting to fade in the harsh Arizona sun.

Oh and my gas mileage is still around 31 miles per gallon, has decent pickup, and is still pleasant to drive.

I’ll buy another!