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2001 Mazda Protege

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$135 — $5,107 USED
6
Photos
Sedan
5 Seats
28-31 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
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2001 Mazda Protege Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
A stronger engine and new front styling were introduced for the 2001 Protegé, which arrived in January. A 130-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is standard on the ES model and optional on the LX, replacing a 1.8-liter with 122 hp. DX and LX versions will continue with a standard 105-hp 1.6-liter -four-cylinder.

Ford owns a controlling interest in Mazda, but the new 2.0-liter engine is a Mazda design and is not the 2.0-liter four-cylinder used in the Ford Focus. The Protegé is expected to switch to the Focus platform by 2004 — two years later than originally anticipated.

Exterior
At 174 inches bumper to bumper, the Protegé is less than an inch shorter than the best-selling small car, the Honda Civic. Mazda says the “European-inspired styling” emerged from a collaboration among designers in Europe, Japan and California.

Interior
The five-passenger Protegé is one of the roomier small cars, with an interior volume of 92.6 cubic feet. This translates into adequate rear legroom and headroom for adult passengers. A split folding rear seat supplements the 12.9-cubic foot trunk, giving the Protegé commendable cargo space for a small sedan.

Under the Hood
DX and LX models use a 105-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The top-line ES has a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine with 122 hp. Four-speed auutomatic and five-speed manual transmissions are available with both.

Side-impact airbags and antilock brakes are optional on the LX and ES models.

Driving Impressi...

Vehicle Overview
A stronger engine and new front styling were introduced for the 2001 Protegé, which arrived in January. A 130-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is standard on the ES model and optional on the LX, replacing a 1.8-liter with 122 hp. DX and LX versions will continue with a standard 105-hp 1.6-liter -four-cylinder.

Ford owns a controlling interest in Mazda, but the new 2.0-liter engine is a Mazda design and is not the 2.0-liter four-cylinder used in the Ford Focus. The Protegé is expected to switch to the Focus platform by 2004 — two years later than originally anticipated.

Exterior
At 174 inches bumper to bumper, the Protegé is less than an inch shorter than the best-selling small car, the Honda Civic. Mazda says the “European-inspired styling” emerged from a collaboration among designers in Europe, Japan and California.

Interior
The five-passenger Protegé is one of the roomier small cars, with an interior volume of 92.6 cubic feet. This translates into adequate rear legroom and headroom for adult passengers. A split folding rear seat supplements the 12.9-cubic foot trunk, giving the Protegé commendable cargo space for a small sedan.

Under the Hood
DX and LX models use a 105-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The top-line ES has a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine with 122 hp. Four-speed auutomatic and five-speed manual transmissions are available with both.

Side-impact airbags and antilock brakes are optional on the LX and ES models.

Driving Impressions
It is easy to lose sight of the Protegé in the herd of small sedans, especially because Mazda doesn’t have the advertising budget of some of its rivals. A closer look reveals a roomy car that is well equipped, competent, fun to drive and competitively priced.

 

Reported by Rick Popely  for cars.com
From the cars.com 2001 Buying Guide

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.6
10 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.5)
Performance
(4.3)
Interior Design
(4.5)
Comfort
(4.1)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.8)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Best little car ever

by Sisiandleia from Buffalo, NY on April 25, 2018

I loved this car. It was fun to drive, very reliable and had great steering. I did regular maintenance, and nothing malfunctioned. Stylish and peppy too, zoom zoom. Read full review

(4.0)

good little car

by Scientist from Maryland Hts, MI on August 16, 2017

Still ran well after 16 years. No major problems. Sold it to upgrade to a new Highlander. Wife says nest car will be a Mazda. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2001 Mazda Protege currently has 5 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2001 Mazda Protege has not been tested.

Latest 2001 Protege Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Protege received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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