2001 MAZDA Protege

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122,260 Miles
1,084
Miles below average

Vehicle Details

Mileage: 122260
Color: Silver
Body Style: Sedan
Trim Level: LX
Doors: 4
Transmission: Automatic
Engine Type: 2L In-Line FSD
Drive Train: Unknown
Fuel: Gasoline
Location: Elgin, IL
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Notes

[!@@Additional Info@@!]Cruise Control|Seats Front Seat Type: Bucket|Power Door Locks|Power Windows|Exterior Mirrors Power|Rear Seats Split-bench|Exterior Entry Lights Security Approach Lamps|Rear Seats Bench|Windows Rear Defogger|Airbags - Front - Dual|Power Brakes|Power Steering|Windows Front Wipers: Intermittent|Center Console|Steering Wheel Tilt-Adjustable|Tachometer|Clock


Recalls & Defects

VIN JM1BJ225910482334 may have been recalled. Check full report for more information

SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:FOUNDATION COMPONENTS:HOSES, LINES/PIPING, AND FITTINGS

VEHICLE DESCRIPTION: PASSENGER VEHICLES. SOME LEFT SIDE REAR BRAKE HOSES WERE DAMAGED DURING ASSEMBLY. BRAKE FLUID LEAKAGE COULD OCCUR.



Vehicle Rating & Owner Reviews

Overall Rating
4.5
  Based on 70 reviews

Mazda Protege 2001 engine light on

4
A. Ally on 06/19/2016

Performance: 0 Comfort: 0 Fuel Economy: 0 Fun To Drive: 0 Interior Design: 0 Exterior Design: 0 Build Quality: 0 Reliability: 0 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 3 Interior Rating: 3 Reliability Rating: 4 Safety Rating: 3 Technology Rating: 2 Value Rating: 3

I have Mazda protégé 2001 with mileage over 350000 km. The engine light is on and this is because of the environmental or fuel vapor issue. I tried to repair and the light still comes on. It is very good on gasoline. The front brakes seems to wear fast, since owning this I have changed front brakes three times and once only for the rear brakes. The car is excellent driving on snow never got stuck. The steering wheel always pull easily to the direction of the wind, makes it uncomfortable driving. There is no leak on the engine and it seems can go over another 200,000 km.

Bane of my existence

2
Austin on 02/06/2016

Performance: 0 Comfort: 0 Fuel Economy: 0 Fun To Drive: 0 Interior Design: 0 Exterior Design: 0 Build Quality: 0 Reliability: 0 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 3 Interior Rating: 3 Reliability Rating: 1 Safety Rating: 4 Technology Rating: 2 Value Rating: 2

Made a huge mistake buying this car at about 130,000 miles. As soon as I left the lot I got a check engine light, obviously this is more my fault from buying from the used dealer, however it only gets worse. Had issues for months where the car would refuse to start at completely random intervals, INFURIATING. Spent roughly 800 dollars trying to fix the issue, mechanic finally figured it out after a couple months. Along the year I owned this thing i had to fix fans, replace the catalytic converter, and various other things. Last month the car starting overheating on me while on the highway and the timing belt blew. Car likely needs a new engine. I'm completely done with it. Do yourself a favor and don't get a Mazda from the early 2000's, it's just not reliable and I'm 90% sure you will deeply regret your decision.

Great car

5
Steve on 11/24/2015

Performance: 0 Comfort: 0 Fuel Economy: 0 Fun To Drive: 0 Interior Design: 0 Exterior Design: 0 Build Quality: 0 Reliability: 0 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5 Safety Rating: 4 Technology Rating: 3 Value Rating: 4

I bought my 01 protege 3 years ago for $500.00 with 150k. He thought it was on its last leg lol it now has 235k and still gets a persistent 34 to 37 mpg and just runs like a sewing machine. The only maintenance I've had was a starter battery brakes tires and alternator

I love this car!!

5
Natalie Bowman on 08/20/2015

Performance: 0 Comfort: 0 Fuel Economy: 0 Fun To Drive: 0 Interior Design: 0 Exterior Design: 0 Build Quality: 0 Reliability: 0 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5 Safety Rating: 5 Technology Rating: 5 Value Rating: 5

I have owned this car since it was new and I love it. It is 14 years old and has 158,000 miles on it and I plan to keep it to 200,000. Just this week I spent $1100 on new front brakes and loose tie ends. I didn't hesitate to spend that amount of money on an older car because I know how few repairs this car has needed in the last 14 years (not many) and I trust it will continue to give me good value. It is just starting to get a little rust around the tire well. Did I mention that I LOVE this car?

Holding strong after 15 years

4.4
kamary99 on 01/02/2015

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 4 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

My 2001 Mazda Protege has been my main car since it was new; it recently passed the 100K miles mark and is still going strong. The ABS is vital for winter driving. Never been in a serious accident. Still has good pick-up and responsiveness. Hard to imagine getting a better value for a car than this. Major repairs so far: Transmission got replaced about five years in. Front brakes replaced last year. It definitely needs new struts and perhaps shocks at this point; the handling has deteriorated some. Minor issues: Digital clock stopped working immediately. Rust around the wheel wells starting about 3 years ago. The hubcaps won't stay on at all anymore.

Great car for the most part

3.3
bond_fanatic18 on 05/18/2013

Performance: 4 Comfort: 3 Fuel Economy: 3 Fun To Drive: 3 Interior Design: 3 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 3 Reliability: 3 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 3 Reliability Rating: 3

My dad bought a gold '01 Protege brand new when I was a kid. It was never driven much, mainly used as a backup car. When I got my licence it was my ride to high school and in general as I hated driving my mother's van. I drove it for a year before my dad traded it for a 2012 Honda CR-V. It did its job fine, got me to school and back without fuss, was fun to drive with the 5-speed and great on gas. The only problem I had was the alternator crapping out in the middle of the freeway and I had to have it towed. Apart from that it was pretty reliable. I'd recommend it, just watch out for rust problems and keep it to a meticulous maintenance schedule. Also not the best car to learn stick on.

I can't justify replacing it

5
200kcarsonly on 07/01/2012

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I have zero regrets about keeping this car for 130K. I have had to put new struts on it to rejuvenate the ride but it was worth the expense. If you are looking for one, I suggest trying to find an ES because it has ABS and side airbags. The ABS saved me from a collision once for sure. If I am going to drive around in a little car I need a few modern safety features. The ES does require more expensive tires but Kumho makes a tire that fits the ES rim that has been a decent tire me. Unfortunately, this car is not good in snow with the factory rims/ tires. I bought snow tires on steel rims to put on in winter when the car was in Wisconsin.

Decent Car

4.5
shizzel12 on 07/17/2011

Performance: 3 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 4 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 3 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 4

Good quick car to get around the city and beat other cars to a parking spot. handles good and can take tight turns that you couldnt do with most vehicles. For a 4 cylinder this car can move when you need it to. Most 4 cylinders dont have the best highway driving but this car accelerates good at higher speeds and passes with ease. I dont recommend it though if you will only be using it for highway driving because the ride is a little bumpy. I dont really care much for the mpg because for a car this size you expect it to have better gas. When i bought this car i was a little skepticle but it turned out to do what i needed it to do and i gave i just sold it in good condition with 173000 miles.

My 2nd Protege

4.6
CR on 04/25/2010

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 4 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

Of all the purchasing decisions I have made in my life, choosing the 2001 Protege 5-speed DX has probably been my single best decision. I bought it used with 64k miles; it looks and runs the same after 96k miles. Replaced brakes, shocks and battery when I bought it, timing belt and other belts just now. Nothing else. My two longevity tips: use synthetic oil and hand-wax it. The only issues: The famous digital clock problem expanded to the entire radio, which now fails to operate. More road noise than I'd prefer on the highway. First signs of rust showing near the wheel wells, probably from winter salt.

GOING TO MISS HER

4.5
Willowbefree on 01/08/2010

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I've loved this car for the past 9 years that I have owned it. The tires have been the greatest disappointment...expensive to replace when I had to replace them after the first 30,000 miles. (Dunlop has a set that fits and lasts much longer...however still at $120.00/piece) Zoom zoom zoom is very true..I love this car during the summer here in WI..it grips the roads and I can fly! In the winter I need to change modes and respect what the season brings. I love the 60/40 back seat split as I take my xc skis and boating gear with me often. Overall, I'm going to miss my Mazda and hope my "new" Subaru treats me 1/2 as good. (needed room for more gear and a puppy)

The Best Car I've ever owned

5
queenb on 12/18/2009

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I have always loved the Protege. This one has over 165k and is still going strong. Makes me say "zoom zoom" every time I go around a corner fast. Never had a problem with it, it has never been in the shop for anything other than routine care. Everything still works great. No electrical problems at all. Someone just hit it, how do I part with the best car ever?

Fantastic fit and finish

5
Scott on 09/21/2008

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I have owned plenty of cars over the years and know good fit and finish when I see it. This Protege' is top notch. The five speed transmission is as crisp as any Miata. Fuel economy is in the low 30s. If you are in the market for a reliable, good looking economical sedan this may be your car. I like it so much I'm now looking for a pristine 03' Protege' 5.

way to rusty

4
nannyp on 09/06/2008

Performance: 4 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 4 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 4 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 4

Overall my Mazda performs well, but body rust is a BIG problem. I only have 100,000 KM on it but it started to rust the 3rd year I had it. I had a special rust coating applied at the time of purchase but the dealership will not honor it until there are holes in the body. For that reason I will not buy another Mazda.

My Protege

4.9
MedinaC29 on 07/22/2008

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I love this car. I bought it used with 48,000 mi. Now it has 115,100 mi. It is so great on gas and now with gas prices being almost $4.00 I am not feeling as much pain as others. I've had minor problems, unexpected issues but other than that I am satisfied with it. I've added a couple of different things to it like, a spoiler, euro carbon fiber tail lights, wind visors, tinted windows etc. I also replaced the radio because the factory radio was messing up on me big time. You would press clock and it would show the CD track # and vice versa. So I replaced it. Just recently got a new paint job and it looks even better!

Great Car

4.6
LOUIE on 07/06/2008

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I love my Protege I bought it for 3500 and it was worth it, I though it would have problems after so many miles but to this date I have only replaced the fan belts. It really could use a 6th gear, but over all I love my car! Great air condition the only little problem it has is where the clock is the numbers fade.

Love my Protege

4.9
Zoom Zoomer on 04/16/2008

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Hands-down, this has been the very best car I've ever owned and driven (and I've owned 5-6 other vehicles). The gas mileage on trips exceeded the expected number. I've hauled dirt, plants and lumber in this thing. It goes on long trips with winding wet roads and steep inclines. It has been driven "off road", and has taken a beating over the last several years (2 hail storms, 2 hits, juvenile delinquency carvings). All that and it is still great looking and great moving. Zoom Zoom Zoom. I want another one, and am less thrilled with the Mazda 3 and 6.

Great car

5
Zuumer on 04/11/2008

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I bought my Protege new and have had very little trouble with it. I usually get 32-33 mpg on the highway (occasionally 35-36) and 25 in the city. It accelerates well and handles great. Plenty of head room and great visibility. Sunroof still works perfectly after 7 years, no leaks. CD player's LCD screen often goes partially blank until I push on it. Right rear door power lock broke around 60k. Replacement tires (195 55 15) are expensive.

Mazda Good, but Needs Improvement

4.4
Freebird on 08/03/2007

Performance: 4 Comfort: 3 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Quality car, with great handling, solid build quality and lots of interior room. Handles like a $25000 sports car. This is a reliable car with great mpg. Problems include constant idle shake, LR power lock went at 65000 miles All 4 suspension links failed around 80000 miles. Come on Mazda! Suspension is also a bit jostly on bumps. Seats are also uncomfortable on long trips. Trunk is too small.

Dependable

4.8
Big John on 07/17/2007

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

Needs more head and leg room. Only one problem, the ground wire on the wiper motor broke and I fixed it myself. One new set of front brakes put on at 80000. Interstate MPG up to 39 at times. Great little car unless you're a great big or tall person.

Unbelievable car for the money

4.5
nyminute on 06/02/2007

Performance: 4 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

I have a 2001 Protege LX 2.0 with a 5 speed, bought it Sept. 01. It has over 150,000 miles and still runs great. But what's really incredible about this car is it still gets 30 MPG on the highway and other than brakes, tires, timing belt (which you should do before 120K) and an oil change every 8-10K miles, it has not been one single problem! Never in the shop, never on the side of the road, starts right up every day for almost 6 years and still runs like a champ! Same battery even!. Great car, if you can get one with the optional 2.0, buy it!

Mazda missed some small stuff

4.6
CoronaRob on 05/12/2007

Performance: 4 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

A fun and sporty car to drive. Replaced a '90 Protege. The 16" tires are nice but the originals (Dunlaps) only lasted 30K. Bought replacements online (Kuhomo) that are 2x better at half the cost. Could use a 6th gear or taller 5th with 3500 rpm @ 70mph the hwy mileage is low 30s. Cup holders only in front and are terrible. No variable setting on the wipers. A lot of road noise (just like the '90). Would have liked a trunk release on the remote. There should have been a power lock switch on the passenger side. Even with the shortcomings I would buy this car again in a minute. My kids are fighting over who gets it when we get rid of it.

Not that Great

2.3
protege666 on 04/26/2007

Performance: 3 Comfort: 1 Fuel Economy: 3 Fun To Drive: 1 Interior Design: 3 Exterior Design: 3 Build Quality: 3 Reliability: 1 Comfort Rating: 1 Performance Rating: 3 Interior Rating: 3 Reliability Rating: 1

I just paid off my Protege and I am sooo ready for a different car. I bought it for the four door and fuel economy aspect. Those two things aren't disappointing...pretty much everything else was...teh electronics were always if-y and the drivers seat kills your back...theseat belts in the back have all but ceased to function. It's just NOT THAT GREAT of a car.

Gets ahead, stays ahead

4.9
Daro on 04/16/2007

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Have you ever taken the curves on Lower Wacker Drive or on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago? Have you ever tried to enter a busy metropolitan expressway at the speed of traffic - say, 75 mph before the end of the entrance ramp? This car does it. It adheres tightly to curves and accelerates smartly into traffic. Great gas mileage, strong performance, enduring reliability, roomy interior, and distinctive looks combine to make the MP3, all at once, both affordable basic transportation and a pleasurable driving experience.

2001 Mazda Protege LX - Minor Problems

4
kevin111 on 07/17/2006

Performance: 3 Comfort: 3 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 4 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 3 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 4

Quality compact with excellent fuel mileage. 35 mpg on a trip with automatic and the air on. Overdrive sips gas. Tight build quality. Great handling. Impressive interior room. Stylish exterior design. Relatively quiet except when engine is pushed. Very compliant ride. Quality car but Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic might be better.

Awesome Car

5
Liz on 04/28/2006

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Great car for a woman! NEVER have any mechanical problems; the only thing I do to this car is the routine maintenance that it needs. It already has more that 100,000 miles and is still running like the first day I bought it :)

Great Little Car

5
John on 01/27/2006

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Great mileage, at times getting 36+ on the interstate. Other than routine maintenance, never had a problem with almost 85,000 on the odometer. Highly recommend this car.

Improvement was needed on the MP3

4.8
Sphantomk on 12/08/2005

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I love this car. I wanted one from the day it came out on the lot. After I got one though I had to admit that everyone was right. It needed more power. So I got my hands on a 2003.5 Mazdaspeed Protege that was wrecked by a rear end collision with only 1k miles on the car. Took the full turbo kit and put it on my MP3. The MP3 now has just over 200 horsepower at the wheels. The car is now perfect!

A Fun to Drive Bargain

4.1
Flying_M on 08/29/2005

Performance: 5 Comfort: 3 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 3 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

I bought my Protege in 2001 near the end of the season. I really enjoy driving this car. It holds the road well and is really fun to drive. I love the slick shifting 5 speed manual and the steering response. It has decent acceleration for a 2.0 liter and can really be thrown into corners. The interior space is a little smaller than some competitors and the seats are not comfortable for long trips. The only two complaints I have are the tires and CD player. The original tires wore too quickly (30k) and did not grip as well as the replacements do. The LCD on the CD players is sometimes missing pieces of numbers, making it hard to read. This happened after it was out of warranty.

My Protege

5
R. Glass on 02/08/2005

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I LOVE my Protege. I purchased it brand new (5/01). I've put 76K miles on it and ABSOLUTELY no problems! Only oil changes & I did the timing belt & water pump at 60K as recommended.

Great car...

5
StuttersC on 10/24/2004

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I bought this car brand new. I haven't had any issues with the car. Mazda made a good move in bringing this car to the market which opened the door to the Mazdaspeed brand in the US. The chasis is stiff and can handle just about anything you throw at it.

This car makes me grin.

4.4
WriterGuy on 09/07/2004

Performance: 4 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 4 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 4

The protege is a blast to drive. Its chassis responses are smooth and quick, and the steering is nicely weighted. Only problems have been the EGR valve, which stuck and caused a stalling problem, the brakes, which tend to squeal (but stop amazingly well), and the clutch, which has some chatter in cold weather. My protege has 60k miles on it and still feels new.

Reliability Problems!

3.8
jdwilkin on 07/03/2004

Performance: 4 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 4 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 2 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 2

I had hoped that the good looks and performance of the Protege would be matched by Japanese reliability. No such luck. Had to replace engine (rod bearing)at 80k. Transmission repair at 81k. Have done rear brakes 3 times and rear links twice already - fronts once. (@ 94k now)Strut failed at 85k. Dealer and Mazda have both avoided any/all responsibility for problems...even while under warranty. Very dissappointing purchase.

Bugdet Beemer!

4
therealdeal on 06/28/2004

Performance: 4 Comfort: 3 Fuel Economy: 3 Fun To Drive: 4 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Purchased this car new in 2001, initially impressed with fit and finish, sharp ride and handling, good braking. It whines on the highway at 3500rpm in 5th gear going 120km/h (a 6th gear would help) The 2.0 litre engine has more potential and at a conservative 130 hp, it chews up more gas than it should. With 83000 km on the clickler, I've since had minor corrosion around the tops of the door frames, my brakes are squeaking, tires are balled, the manual shifter is choppy after starting in cold weather until I warm it up, The radio display is starting to fade in and out, dealer service personel need help identifying problems!

Nice economy sedan.

5
gatodelsol on 06/08/2004

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Look no further if you want a simple, more-bang-for-your-buck economy sedan. I couldn't believe how well the 4-door Protege' DX compared to the Nissan Sentra, Chevy Prizm, Saturn SL2, Toyota Corolla, and- its main nemesis- the Honda Civic. The DX may be the plain Jane of the Protege' stable, but she is still a beauty of the first magnitude. I would buy another Protege' in a minute.

Sportiest Car under 12k

4.6
Mp3 lover on 04/05/2004

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

Hands down, best handling compact. Macapherson struts all around, shock absorbers, 1.5 inches lower than stock. This baby obeys all cornering comands with out question.

Amazing Reliability, Poor Tire Selectio

4.6
Brobas on 03/02/2004

Performance: 4 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I have had my 2 vehicles prior to the purchase of my Mazda bought back on the NY State Lemon Law. Needless to say, I am a fanatic about quality with my vehicle experience. This Protege has NEVER had a problem. EVER. Period. We have had it for 3 years now and it has been outstanding.

Great for a first car or for a new feel

4.4
Kushiaji on 02/18/2004

Performance: 4 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 4 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

I just recently purchased my '01 Protege, so I may seem biased by posting a review quickly. However, it was one of two vehicles and the Protege was the one I prefered NOT to have. After a day I noticed the ride was smooth, the interior console was sleek, and it has a style of class all it's own. For those who want a car no one else really has, this will make you stand out with shimmering beauty. I recommend this to anyone looking for more quality per buck.

fun car takes a licking, keeps ticking

4.9
jsmsp on 07/12/2003

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Nearing 2 yr mark, 42k mi, just repl. plugs and air fltr for first time. Not one defect or problem other than usual wear. AC could be better (I often drive in wool suit). Aftermarket window tint has helped dramatically. BMW 3-series-like handling. 2.0 Engine not in BMW class, but low-rpm torque is very good. MPG would be much better with 6th gear for highways (only 5sp man). Trans works well if not too short- geared and long-thrown. Overall, a fun to drive, practical, sexy small sedan that's also a good value.

Protege 01 ES w/GT

4.6
dapplegrey on 05/13/2003

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

I am very very happy with this car. I have not had any problems with it, other than the usual wear and tear and hope to enjoy it for many years to come. I would not hesitate to buy another.

Review

4.8
kurtb34 on 04/08/2003

Performance: 4 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I love it, it's fun to drive and dependable (so far). Only one minor problem. Great online support community, too.

I love my Protege.

5
Supergirl on 04/06/2003

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

This car drives beautifully. My friend just got a new Accord and he still prefers to drive my car because of the smooth transmission. Great sound system. Nice design inside and out. And while it drives smoothly, when I'm in a pinch and need to move, I push that pedal down and it surprises me. Good for driving comfortably or tearing through traffic like a nut. This car is so much more than I expected.

My Protege two years later

3.9
totustuus00 on 03/30/2003

Performance: 4 Comfort: 3 Fuel Economy: 3 Fun To Drive: 4 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 4 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 4

I bought the Protege after driving most of the competition (Corolla, Civic, Sentra). The Mazda felt tighter, handled better and had better brakes. It has been reliable to a fault. I now have almost 40k on the car and it is still running good. I had to put new pads front and back recently and replaced the tires. The 16" Dunlops are next to impossible to find, so I upgraded one size to 205/55/16 Fulda's. The car rides a bit better on these tires. The only faults are that with the wide 16" wheels, it can be a terror to drive in the snow and the gas mileage could be better (25 to 28 typical with automatic)

Best Bang for the Buck!

4.4
nyminutes on 02/18/2003

Performance: 4 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

Fun to drive, well made car with vroom , thats less than $15k. Get the 5 speed, very smooth. The handling on this car is excellent, better than many sports sedans selling for 25k+! The fit finish/reliability is better than any JapanMexOhiocan from Honda, Nissan or Toyota. Lets face it, how many older 1's of those do u see out there lately??? You still see many older Protege's though, still made in Hiroshima by workers whos average tenure with the company is 21 years! The only downside to the car is resale value, but if u want a great car, that u can beat on trouble-free for 100k+ miles, this is the car.

asdf

5
big_ben on 01/24/2003

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

This is one of the greatest buys you can get. This car is a blast to drive.

MP3

4.9
philjessiann on 12/10/2002

Performance: 4 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I love my MP3. I handles as well or better than any car that I have drive including corvette, camaro, prelude, integra type R. It it is definately sufficient in power but could use more. Biggest drawback is that it has no cruise! But all in all you can't beat the sound system, reliability, handling and fun to drive factor.

peotege's rock

4.4
vsesoulchild on 12/10/2002

Performance: 4 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

this car is a very good car, since i bought it i have enjoyed driving it. i never went to get a protege ES but thats is what i ended up with. i was going for that MP3. but now i like the ES much much better.

great car

4.8
edbeng on 12/04/2002

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 3 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

this car is wonderful -- handles like a much more expensive sports car -- great car for anyone.

Great car

4.3
jonrpatrick on 11/24/2002

Performance: 4 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 3 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 3 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

After 15 years of pontificating the vices of japanese cars, I finally gave up on my slow, unrefined, unreliable american cars and bought this Mazda. I'll never look back. This car is rock-solid and after my first year, I still look forward to driving it (unlike my american cars of yore!) The Protege is a blast to drive (lots of zoom-zoom), handles great, and is pretty peppy when you dig into the gas. It's also roomy, with a fantastic interior (Mazda is making the best interiors in the business right now!!) and refinement, refinement, refinement.

Still enjoying my Protege ES

4.3
KimO on 11/17/2002

Performance: 4 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 4 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 4

My first new car was the Protege precedent 323 in 1988. When I needed a new car last year for commuting to work 26 miles each way, I turned to the Protege. I have not been disappointed after driving it for the past 1 year and 4 months, and putting 23K on it. It is really a fun car to drive and you get a lot for your money.

I must have bought the lemon

3.5
FFEJY on 10/10/2002

Performance: 3 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 3 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 3 Reliability: 3 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 3 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 3

It actually a Protege 5 For the price, its a great deal. However as of 30,00km I've already had the flywheel and clutch replaced, the suspension sqeeks, tranny really clunks and the seat rails are seized. I think Mazda has the right idea but forgot a few details. Oh ya according to the dealer I'm an idiot because there nothing wrong with my Protege 5

2001 Protege ES

4.6
Somsun on 09/26/2002

Performance: 5 Comfort: 3 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

I recently purchased a 2001 Protege ES via private sale with 24k miles. I know from experience that Mazdas just go and go. I owned a 1987 323 and as a second owner, it carried me well into the 200,000 mile stretch. I love the styling most of all about the '01 Protege ES. I look out at it in my driveway and smile; I like it so much! I love the interior styling and roominess of the ES. I drove a few co- workers and myself to lunch today and they commented how much leg room there was in the back seat. I like the spoiler because it helps me gauge where I am when backing out or into a parking space. Overall, for the quality and price it can't be beat.

I love my 2001 Protege ES

4.8
Orbital on 09/13/2002

Performance: 4 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

I traded in my Golf GTI for this car and I have no regrets. I love driving this car, it doesn't ride as nicely as the Golf but the handling is far superior. All of the standard features are nice. But, the stereo in the Golf was far superior, even in 1995. Why Mazda uses cheap speakers is beyond me, but they are lousy and I will change them immediately. But I love my car!

Mazda Cozma

3.9
Cozma on 09/11/2002

Performance: 3 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 4 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 3 Reliability: 4 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 3 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 4

Needs a much faster engine. And maybe a little better tire selection.

My Second Protege

4.3
Motorhead on 08/09/2002

Performance: 4 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 4 Interior Design: 3 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 3 Reliability Rating: 5

The first "Protee" I had got 240,000 on it before the trannie blew...rebuilt it, and and original engine has 300,000 on it. But it had become a little cranky over the years, so I thought it was time for a new one. (I sure got my dough out of the first!) It's a great little urban runabout, ultra-reliable and I get about 25 MPG city, 31 HWY. Seems to have enough pep with the 2.0 for Southern California freeways. The ride's a little stiff, and it transmits a bit of noise on rough freeways (which is nealy all of the local decrepit Caltrans freeways), but overall a very nice handling machine.

This MP3 is serious about having fun.

4.5
01hzmp3 on 07/28/2002

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 4 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 4

Had suspension bushing squeaking noise few months after I purchased this MP3 model. Dealership fixed/replaced both front/rear bushings under warranty. Seems like no problem, but I will have to make sure of that come this winter since this noise only occurs under cool temperature. GREAT handling, I love to drive this car even if I have no reason to go anywhere. The stereo system is a BLAST to listen to, it doesn't thump hardcore bass... it thumps just enough to get you all pumped up for hours on end. Turns a lot of heads on the road. Like a Miata, this car is just a pleasure to drive around in.

Zoom Zoom

5
Mine 00 on 06/22/2002

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Well I have recently purchased the Mazda ES GT [in Canada] which with out a doubt the best econosport vehicle that I have driven. I tried the Nissan Sentra, Honda Civic [Coupe], Acura Integra and others in its class but non compare in price and feel. The ES GT is the invigerates the soul and sooths the spirit. This car in my books is in a class of its own.

The 1990-1994 Proteges are better

3.3
ProtegeOwner on 06/07/2002

Performance: 1 Comfort: 3 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 1 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 1 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 5

The new Mazda Proteges are ok...but they are way underpowered. I have a 1994 DX which is a 1.8L SOHC 4 cylinder. My SOHC engine, which is only 103hp just right out murders the 1.6L DOHC engine thats in the new Proteges. I was very disappointed in the 1.6L when I test drove it. That engine had no pep or pick up at all. Whats with all that Zoom Zoom talk when the new Proteges do not have any?!?!. The First Generation Proteges are far better than the new ones.

Excellent Small Car

4.9
boggse on 05/31/2002

Performance: 4 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

This is simply a great car. The handling is otherworldly in such an inexpensive automobile. The cargo room and passenger room are perfect. The seat comfort is perfect, especially compared to the Focus. The engine is great in spite of being a little underpowered for the suspension. I have no real complaints, only praise.

zoom-zoom

4.6
JetsToBrazil on 05/26/2002

Performance: 4 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

this thing moves! I've never had more fun in a car before. So far, so good, it's pretty new and all but nothing is wrong and I have no complaints at all at this time, if I think of any, I'll let you know...but its fast and it hauls a$$

I love my Protege

5
Fatima Oliveira on 05/11/2002

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

For the price of the car, you are getting a great car compared to the sentra and the civic. It handles great. Great design on interior and exterior with lots of room.

Protege steps to the plate.

5
Chuckie on 04/12/2002

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

The Protege needed a face lift. Here it is! Civics were murdering the market but now it seems Mazda has something to compete with. This youthful vehicle drives smooth and comfortably with room for five. The appeal is not only to the low income single home family. It appeals to all who have ideals of street racing or the savy to drive through town screaming "Hey look at me! Sexy as I wanna be." Young adults as well as older individuals feel spirited when they get behind the wheel. Mazda hit a homerun this year.

"Cheapest Super Car"

4.8
PY on 04/08/2002

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Trying to push this car to it's limit but seem like this car have no limit. The MP3 body is good enough to handle a 300 hp or up engine.

I agree with everybody else!

4.5
randomo on 04/05/2002

Performance: 3 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 3 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Wow, is the handling great! Tight, zippy -- just crisp, clean fun. Too bad they couldn't have given it more horses. I test drove a Protege LX a few years ago, and it was woefully underpowered; the much bigger engine in this ES seemed as if it would overcome that hurdle. Sad to say, it needs to go into 4th gear well before 40 mph, and into 5th in the high 40s. It strains a bit to maintain 65-70 on highways where that is the dominant speed of traffic flow. Give this car a 6th gear and you'd have something truly great! ;-) My only other concern is the dashboard illumination. The red glow works great in the dark, but at dusk the instruments are hard to read.

nice car good value

3.8
protege jim on 03/23/2002

Performance: 3 Comfort: 3 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 4 Interior Design: 4 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 4 Comfort Rating: 3 Performance Rating: 3 Interior Rating: 4 Reliability Rating: 4

The car is a real gas saver,I have had up to 42w/mpg I like the car best of all no trips back to the dealer for any thing.A nice little car for the money.

Hind sight says I made a fine pick!

4.9
JT99 on 03/07/2002

Performance: 4 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 4 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

Two thumbs up with my Mazda Protege ES-GT model. Lots of time and thought went into the purchase and we did good. We started looking at the Protege5 but supply and demand didn't work in our favour so we managed to negotiate much better terms for the ES sedan, with the GT package to jazz it up as much as we could. Seven months later, I'm still grinning ear to ear as I love this car.

A car for an average driver to have fun!

3
Still Mazda fan... on 03/06/2002

Performance: 5 Comfort: 2 Fuel Economy: 1 Fun To Drive: 4 Interior Design: 2 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 3 Reliability: 2 Comfort Rating: 2 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 2 Reliability Rating: 2

This car works marvelously. Steering and Breaks!!! are unseen in this class and up Altima/Solara level. As the car feels powerless, the above features are enhanced. However, the little things that makes a car luxurious lacks (3 speed wiper, no vanity lights, no arm rest etc.) If you're considering this car, you have to understand that you're paying the same or more than Carola/Sentra just for the steering and breaks. If you can live without power and the little things, you will love ES!!!

good car

4.9
jeauxe on 03/04/2002

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

good car

Mazda Protege ES 5-speed

4.5
Tony Harris on 02/27/2002

Performance: 5 Comfort: 4 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 4 Build Quality: 4 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 4 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

My car is an ES 5-speed with premium package, which includes sunroof, anti-lock brakes, and side airbags. This is a sporty car that's always fun to drive. Very tight steering, handles like a go-cart. Peppy engine that likes to rev once the engine is broke in. Clutch is a little on the light side. First front wheel drive car I've driven that actually oversteers. Overall, a very dependable yet fun automobile that has a sporty personality (Zoom, Zoom).

2001 Mazda Protege E-Yes!

4.9
njaremka on 02/26/2002

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 4 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

In comparison with other cars in it's price range, there is no competition with the Protege. Bigger engine, more power, better quality, all that you would expect to find in a $20k+ vehicle you get in the Protege!

WONDERFUL CAR EXCEPT FOR THE TIRES

5
AnneMS on 02/21/2002

Performance: 5 Comfort: 5 Fuel Economy: 5 Fun To Drive: 5 Interior Design: 5 Exterior Design: 5 Build Quality: 5 Reliability: 5 Comfort Rating: 5 Performance Rating: 5 Interior Rating: 5 Reliability Rating: 5

My daughter recently hit a curb causing a flat which was changed after a call to roadside assistance. Because she was 150 miles from home, she needed to get a replacement tire. She went to a Mazda dealer, was told the tire would have to be ordered and would take five days to arrive. She was told if she needed a tire right away, she would have to buy two new tires!


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