Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), also known as "sticker" price, is a recommended selling price that automakers give a new car that is above the invoice price paid by the dealer. It is a price that does not include any options that can be added to a particular car style. When shown as a range, the prices are starting MSRPs, without options, for multiple styles for that model.
This price range reflects for-sale prices on Cars.com for this particular make, model and year.
Best Bets get above-average mpg, class-average or better reliability, class-average or better crash-test ratings, and our recommendation.
These city and highway gas mileage estimates are for the model's standard trim configurations. Where there are optional features, packages or equipment that result in higher gas mileage, those fuel-economy estimates are not included here.
By Rick Popely
December 1, 1999
Vehicle Overview Side-impact airbags are a new option for the LX and ES versions of the Protegé, Mazda's front-drive compact sedan. The new side-impact airbags are part of option packages that include anti-lock brakes. Protegé was redesigned last year, but it has a short future in its present form. Ford owns a controlling interest in Mazda, and plans are to switch the Protegé to the Ford Focus platform for 2002. However, Mazda's rendition is expected to look much different than Ford's.
Interior The five-passenger Protegé is one of the roomier small cars, with interior volume of 92.6 cubic feet. That translates into adequate rear legroom and headroom for adult-size passengers. A split, folding rear seat supplements the 12.9-cubic-foot trunk, giving Protegé commendable cargo space for a small sedan.
Exterior At 174 inches end to end, Protegé is one inch shorter than the best-selling small car, the Honda Civic. Mazda says the "European-inspired styling" was done jointly by designers in Europe, Japan and California.
Under the Hood The DX and LX models use a 105-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The top-line ES has a 1.8-liter engine with 122 horsepower. Manual and automatic transmissions are available with both.
Performance It is easy to lose sight of the Protegé in the herd of small sedans. A closer look reveals a roomy car that is well equipped, competent, fun to drive and competitively priced.