2003 Mazda Protege5

Change Vehicle

2003 Mazda Protege5

Available in 1 styles:  2003 Mazda Protege5 4dr Station Wagon shown
Print


Kelley Blue Book Retail
$5,950

Est. MPG

25 city / 31 hwy


See Photos & Videos


Average Ratings

Overall

4.8 out of 5

Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

27 out of 28 people recommended this car.


Write a Review
By writing a review you can provide valuable insights to other car shoppers.

Consumer Reviews

Sort Reviews By

    1-10 of 28 reviews

Such a happy little car

by Some_Nickname from Northern VA | December 15, 2013

I got this car when it was 10 years old, 80k miles, when I was 17. If you're looking for a cheap, reliable car that makes you smile every trip to the grocery store, look no further. Pros: -Steering, suspension, handling, this car just feels alive. You get the thrills of a much more expensive, faster car while doing errands at 35mph. If you find a twisty road, even better. -Seats. I haven't seen these mentioned in other reviews here, so maybe it's just me, but they just fit perfectly. They're kind of concave without having aggressive bolsters, so there's no sliding around. -Everything else aside from what I list in the cons. Standard equipment, interior, fuel economy, headlights, etc. No surprises in the little things with this car. Cons: -Engine lacks gusto, especially <2000 rpm or >5000. Sometimes you're reminded this engine was for the sedan, which is ~250lbs lighter. That being said, it feels fine in the midrange, just don't expect easy overtaking without dropping a gear or two. -Top gear is a little short for highway driving. In 5th gear at 70 mph, you'll be doing ~3200 rpm. At least that's in the best part of the rev range, but it is a bit loud for mile after mile. (There is cruise control, btw) I can't speak for the auto. -It doesn't drive itself In total, this is probably the best, most well-rounded car for this price range. It doesn't give up much for its greatness. I feel lucky looking around at the other similarly-priced cars other people my age drive, and feel lucky I went for this gem instead.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car
Uses car for N/A
Does recommend this car


Great car--both practical and stylish!

by Dww from Mt. Olive, NJ | September 30, 2013

Lots of room in the cargo area (plus a roof rack for extra storage), pretty good for such a small car! It also has fog lights for those days with limited visibility. It handles extremely well and accelerates with almost no hesitation--even uphill! Great turning radius for those sharp turns! Good gas mileage. It can accommodate a hitch receiver for towing as well. This could be a great car for families, or just for the individual. Both the heater and AC work quickly. There are some flaws that I can live with. One is the interior lighting--only a ceiling light which is not practical for reading maps. Another is the placement of the car's only two cup holders--both in front of the stick shift, which can cause u to hit ur knuckles on cups there; there are no cup holders in the back. While the car is roomy and comfortable for most people, a tall or large person might find this too small and tight.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car
Uses car for Commuting
Does recommend this car


Great Value

by Mazda Lover from Rock Falls, IL | July 17, 2012

For purchasing this car when it was 9 years old, it runs great. It handles very well, small turning radius. Got it at a great price (has small dents all over from hail).. Cargo area is great, especially when back seats are folded flat - Note, you can fold these truly flat. Fit a dresser in there to help a friend move. Seats are comfortable, air conditioning still cold... My Biggest complaint is that the cup holders don't hold larger size cups well because it's so close to the stereo controls, and you can't use the cigarette lighter socket for anything but a cigarette lighter, if you have a cup in the passenger cup holder. Also no rear cup holders is kind of a bad thing.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car
Uses car for Transporting family
Does recommend this car


Nice, saddly others know it now

by Highwayman from Minnesota | December 7, 2011

I bought this car for more than I usually pay for cars , so I have some concern, but I drove old GLCs from coast to coast, hard and adore them. So when I saw this make model and design I decided to spend a little more for it, so far I am very pleased runs great. Not the best fuel economy but good economy and a lot of zip...and stops on a dime. One warning the tires for this model are rather hard to find and expensive when you can find them. Now I know what they mean when they say Mazdaratti it's a little sports car, its fun.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car
Uses car for Transporting family
Does recommend this car


S-U-P-E-R-!-!-!-!

by Solog from Perry, NY | December 1, 2011

The experience is better than that of most BMW's! Just compare to see! Try driving it. We got more than 60 M.P.G. in it!

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car
Uses car for Transporting family
Does recommend this car


Worth at least double it's value!

by Jordy from NE Ohio | October 3, 2011

This car rides smooth, motor is tough, awesome gas mileage(31 mpg), looks very good, and carves corners. Take this car down so winding country roads and it screams for more. Parts are somewhat expensive, but there are a lot of interchangeable parts, for example end links off a 04 ford escape will fit, and are 4x as beefy. Lots of interior room (I'm 6'2") and I fit in the car without a problem. I bought my car for $6850, and it is easily worth $8-$10k. These cars do have a rust problem(mine hasn't encountered it yet), rust will form by the license plate on the back hatch, around the rear wheelwells, and on the bottom insides of the doors. Overall a very good car for a very good price, also extremely fun to drive!! Definitely recommend it to a friend!

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car
Uses car for Just getting around
Does recommend this car


Inexpensive reliable but fun car

by Bodyimager from Portland, OR | May 11, 2011

Sporty hatchback with good power and economy. Don't see many coming and going. well designed. Fast and powerful heater!

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car
Uses car for Commuting
Does recommend this car


Most reliable car I've ever owned

by Capitol Hill P5 from Washington, DC | March 6, 2011

I've owned my 2003 P5 for about 5 years now, and I have to say it's by far the most reliable car I've ever owned. Other than routine maintenance, it has never (and I mean NEVER) broken down, left me stranded, or otherwise disappointed. The Protege 5 has a lot going for it. It's amazingly versatile when you fold down the rear seatbacks. Actually, the rear seats can be removed entirely with no tools and in about 3 minutes. I've been amazed at how much stuff I've been able to load into this car. With the roof rack, I've managed to get home a stunning array of flat-packed furniture from Ikea. Mine is a 5-speed manual, and I routinely get about 28-29 MPG of mixed city/highway driving. On roadtrips, I've topped out at 32 MPG. The engine is surprisingly gutsy for a 2.0 liter. It's no torque-monster, but the car is pretty light, so 148 HP goes a long way. I was really surprised the first time I poped open the hood and saw that it comes stock with a front strut tower brace. Nice little gift from Mazda, and much appreciated by driving enthusiasts. I have to say, this car handles incredibly well for a small front-driver. The steering is precise and weighted well, and the car stays flat as a pancake no matter how hard you throw it into a corner. The stock sound system is pretty impressive too, with its 6 speakers and separate subwoofer. Of course, no car is perfect, and there are definitely a couple of blemishes on what is otherwise an amazing little car. First and foremost, this car is really loud. I have to assume that to save weight and cost, Mazda dropped a significant amount of the sound-deadening material that otherwise goes into its other models. At highway speeds, the road and engine noise are pretty spectacularly loud. Secondly, the manual transmission is a little sloppy. The first-to-second shift, in particular, is a loooong throw. Forget any scorching 0-60 runs, because you'll lose half a second or so just making that shift. I've been driving manual transmission cars exclusively for 20 years, and this car has vexed me because I just can't figure out the magic formula to driving it smoothly. Maybe I've just been spoiled by the slick transmissions in my Hondas/Acuras. That's really it when it comes to negatives. Overall, I've been very happy with my decision to buy this car. It had 29k miles on it when I bought it used in 2006, and it's now at 118k. In that time period, I've only had to change wear & tear items like tires, brakes, spark plugs, air filters, and a timing belt (proactively, not because it broke). The one and only time in 5 years that the check engine light came on was due to a small crack in an air intake pipe, which was a $50 fix. In summary, if you're looking for a great value in a small, versatile, reliable package, look no further.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car
Uses car for Commuting
Does recommend this car


a good fun car to drive

by good normal guy from Atlanta ga | February 10, 2011

Had for 3 months and loving it. have a manual 5 speed. Good performance, respond fast. will not be like a mazda R8, because just have 122 hp, but is really fun to drive. sits low, almost like a sports car. the leather interior is fenomenal, great quality. I don't need to change gear when passing. At 5th still have good power. i don't play at traffic, so I drive strong, and the MPG is 26 or 27 in the city, and i got 30 at hwy, driving 75 to 80 mph constant. overall, is a really good car, fun to drive, lots of space and HAVE A FACTORY SUBWOOFER. Is not like the ones that shake ur car, but is enough for me, that likes listen to music, not getting deaf. ;) I looked at the accord coupe, and this is good as. you will like the sports like driving of this car. great handling and tight at corners. In another words, I LOVE IT!!! is not a race car, but is fun to drive, with good response to your foot.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car
Uses car for Commuting
Does recommend this car


Cool Car!

by bschow from New York, NY | January 2, 2011

This is the perfect car for me! I could not have asked for a better blend of style, efficiency, performance or practicality! Great buy for anyone.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

Comfort
Performance
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Reliability

Purchased a new car
Uses car for Commuting
Does recommend this car



    1-10 of 28 reviews

Featured Services for this Mazda Protege5

  • Sell your current car quickly and easily on Cars.com.

Search Inventory Near You

Calculate Monthly Payment

What will my monthly cost be?

Check Payment

Calculate Affordable Price

What is the most I can afford?

Check Price

More Calculators

Compare finance offers to decide what's right for you.

Certain specifications, prices and equipment data have been provided under license from Chrome Data Solutions ("Chrome Data"). ©2013 Chrome Data Solutions, LP. All Rights Reserved. This information is supplied for personal use only and may not be used for any commercial purpose whatsoever without the express written consent of Chrome Data. Chrome Data makes no guarantee or warranty, either expressed or implied, including without limitation any warranty of merchantability or fitness for particular purpose, with respect to the data presented here. All specifications, prices and equipment are subject to change without notice.