2000 Mazda Protege consumer reviews

$12,215 starting MSRP
side view of 2000 Protege Mazda
88% of drivers recommend this car
Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.0
  • Interior design 4.1
  • Performance 3.8
  • Value for the money 4.6
  • Exterior styling 4.2
  • Reliability 4.7
Explore the 2000 Mazda Protege

Hope the next one's this good... if I need one!

Got the DX new, with automatic and most options. Wife commutes 400mi/wk... mostly highway. I do basic maintenance, she does the cosmetics. Last visit to rotate tires, the guy marveled at how nice the car looks and runs. Even w/ 273,000 miles, wife is in no hurry for a new one... friends' new cars seem to have more problems. She drives it harder and faster than I do, and gets around 32mpg on 90% open highway miles. I've dabbled a little with hypermiling, and am reluctant to tell friends what this car can do with a gallon of gas - they don't believe it. It's easy to get 42 to 45mpg... I've done it multiple times on a 420 trip (2-lane roads) with two of us and a week's worth of camping gear. Just use the A/C sparingly, keep the speed over 42mph (stays in the tallest gear), and under 55mph (lower wind resistance, and higher burn efficiency). Accelerate gently, and despise use of the brakes. Yeah, it adds over an hour to a nearly 7-hour trip, but what a hoot at the gas pump. My best mpg was one of these trips with a very helpful tailwind that assisted getting between 51mpg and 53mpg depending on exactly duplicating the previous gas topping off. For most of that day, I thought the gas gauge had quit working! Super dependable car. We're taking it on a 3K mile trip this summer with no concerns. Our only major problem in 11 yrs was result of an engine belt that prematurely broke, stopping the water pump, causing engine to overheat, warping the engine head, causing a head gasket failure at 180K. Mechanic sent the head to a specialist, fixed it all up, and we've put over 90K on it since. Only problem now is a minor oil drip from the work. Everything else has been normal maintenance items. Power door lock mechanisms are weak. Only go 1/2 way up/down after several quick uses. Wait a minute, then they work normally again. Strange. Manually, they always work fine. All other power/comfort/entertainment options work like new. Comfort rating is low due to road noise and a not-so-smooth ride, but driving position, seats and headroom, even with sunroof, (I'm 6'-2") are good. Performance rating is middle. The 1.6L engine will disappoint anyone wanting to race from stop lights, but it's sufficient for commuting, errands, trips, etc. Handling is very good. Corners well, maneuverable, good steering feed back.


cheap but good

I have had really great service from my Mazdas. I have owened 5 since '73. One has almost 300k miles on it and is still in the family, running fine.


Used to own a Mazda Protoge 1994...

Both are very reliable cars but I am very impressed with the quality of my 2000 Protoge. The only glitch I encountered is the factory CD player which doesn't play CDs but thats ok with me.


2000 DX

I purchased this car used and now have 109,000 miles on it. I use it as my everyday vehicle. The milage i get is unbelivable. My combined hwy and city average is a little over 40mpg. This is a 5 speed manul with not bells and whistles, just a basic car for getting around. I love the handling, great on corners. The volume control on the radio cd play does what it wants, increases volume when u try to decrease it, and sometimes decreases it when u try to increase it. I LOVE this car. Hope to keep it until it dies.


I miss my little Protege :(

I had my 2000 Protege for 8 years. Those were 8 years of reliable, fun driving. It was a great car and I have many fond memories of long road trips in it. Bought it with 12,000 miles and just sold it with just 60,000 on it. The entire time I had it, I had no problems at all with it, but I tried to take good care of it. Well actually, one of the rear door locks did quit working with the master lock about a year ago, but was functional manually. It never once let me down. Started up in freezing temps in the morning with no problem. I thought it was very cute, handled well and was fun to drive. Even at the ripe age of 10, it still got many compliments on what a good lookin' little car it was. Although it wasn't the most powerful car on hills, mountain passes, etc., it did a fine job on the highway & with everyday driving. It was excellent on gas and the cost of routine maintenance was economical. I sold it a few weeks so I could upgrade to a vehicle that would accommodate our growing family and dogs and boy, do I regret not keeping it. I should have kept it. I can only hope the newer vehicle will be as reliable, and that the new owner appreciates what a little gem of a car it is.


Incredible Vehicle

i have had this car for 5 years and this car has been the most reliable vehicle. it has not had any repairs besides the usual wear and tear. mps is great i drive from school to work and everywhere in between. interior is big enough to fit 5 easily, trunk is big. overall design is great. if your looking for a reliable and a first time owner this car is for you.





Weak, not fun, gear ratio is too short!

The car is good for getting around. The Manual transmission has very short gear ratios which means worse fuel economy and an almost useless first gear.


Mazda protege LX 2000

The cars is pretty good. The CD player doesn't play CDs very well. The volume knob doesn't control the volume as desired. AC leak, ABS module failed (around 2K to replace), rust on door and trunk on almost all other mazda of the same year, 1 door lock failed, they have this defect in the engine, where a part fails due to heat. Mazda dealer told me it's a common problem. Doors sound very cheap when closing.... only starts after the 3rd or 4th year. Within the first 4 years, it was a great car to drive, but they designed well enough so that it starts dying soon after.


agree with others

my mom's car was a 94 when she got it in 2001. other than noise due to a manifold leak, the car drove perfectly, imo, it made it to the 150,000 mile mark before we had to put it away due to rust that ended up corroding the rear struts. it became too dangerous to drive in that condition. i don't recall her having to do ANYTHING under the hood in the 8 years she owned it. anyway, i just recently bought a used 2000 with 103,000 miles on it. aside from a couple of almost unnoticeable dents, the car looks beautiful (green) on the outside. and it runs nicely. the ride is a bit rough on pavement less smooth than a baby's bottom , but i will have the struts changed soon (as they ARE due to be changed) to prevent any further damage. i agree that it's really really lacking in power and that's a shame given how most cars nowadays are extremely powerful with overanxious people behind the wheel of them. that can make driving frustrating and add stress to the mazda. it's best on the road alone or with little traffic. i wish there were more than 2000 mazdaspeed protege's made for the US. same nice car, but with power to match it's other great features - simple chic, nice steering and affordable.