2002 Protege5

Consumer Reviews

2002 Mazda Protege5

$1,891 - $5,295  MSRP Range
2002 Mazda Protege5

Review Score

4.7 out of 5 stars

4.7

16 Reviews
100% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.1 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.8 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.2 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.9 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.6 out of 5 stars Performance
4.8 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 16 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Race Car Feel Reliable Winner

by Mustangleader from Los Angeles, CA on Tue Oct 25 2011

Bought the car new in 2002. Compared it to the Toyota Matrix which had the 6 spd, 180hp. There was a $8,000 difference which I couldn't justify when I tested the two cars. Though the PR5 had 50 hp less than the Matrix and 5 spd manual transmission, it was a better all around driver due to its gearing which gave it a lot of low end torque. The PR5 drives like a sports car more in line with the Mazda Miata. You can go into a curve, down shift and push the pedal down in the turn and come out like a sling shot with full safety control. It's the great suspension on the PR5 that makes this car unbelievable. The downside it rides rough on a rough road. But that's a small trade off. I get 25 mpg in town and 31-32 mpg highway at 76-78 mph. I have 202,000 miles on the car and only had to replace a water pump at 80,000 miles and an alternator just recently. Everything else is normal maintenance. Even more surprising, the original clutch is still working. I have a 2007 Mazda Speed 3 as well and use both cars driving back and forth from Southern and Northern Cal. But whether for daily driving or 350 mile trips to each of the state, this car is remarkable. Too bad Mazda only produce this car for 2 years replacing it with the Mazda 3 which doesn't drive with the same "fun" factor. A friend of mine who works for Mazda said they still feel the PR5 was one of the best cars they made.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

11 out of 11 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Vehicle

by Mazda Mama from South Florida on Sat Nov 07 2009

I bought a 2002 Protege5 in November 2001. It was my 5th car - a few Toyotas, Saturn, Suzuki... it is the best car I've owned, hands down. Reliable, sporty, handles extremely well, and no major problems. Oh, and it does my Metallica and Zepplin CDs justice... It eats tires but that's my only complaint (and living in S. Fla. doesn't help). Mine now has 105,000 miles on it and I'm giving it to my son in January because I know it'll keep him safe. Am contemplating a Mazda6. Just don't love the exterior body style. But I would not hesitate to buy another Mazda.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

A great value

by practical guy from Los Angeles, CA on Sun Feb 03 2008

I bought this car new for $17k in late 2001 and have had absolutely no problems. Knock on wood. Decent mileage (> 25 mpg), easy to park in small LA spaces and it still holds three friends and all our gear for a weeklong trip.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

great buy

by Shane from Calgary AB on Wed Oct 29 2008

this is my first mazda but not my last! i bought my car used in early 2008 and i plan to drive it until there is nothing left of it. best car iv ever owned! its a blast to drive!

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Great road trip to the mountains or beach car

by Road trip Freak from on Sun Oct 25 2009

Reliable. No problems in 7 years. Fun to drive. Hot little machine. A little noisy at highway speeds. No problem, I just turn up the tunes.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Reliable, sporty hot hatch.

by JNelson2x from Richmond, VA on Sat Apr 08 2017

We owned our Mazda Protege5 for 15 years and it always provided driving excitement & great utility. This car has taken us everywhere - beaches, mountains, cross country... 5-speed manual transmission makes it a fun to drive and sporty hatchback. great fuel economy too 25 city/31 hwy.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

307,000 miles later!

by MrqzD77 from Glendale, CA on Sun Jan 28 2018

It’s a great vehicle! The car had bot given us any major problems even though it has over 300k miles. We are currently replacing all four motor mounts, clutch and flywheel. The handling and steering response from the vehicle is amazing! The performance isn’t out of this world but it’s still fun to drive.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

It really IS a Sport-Wagon

by JGower from Flaherty, KY on Fri Feb 26 2010

The precursor to the Mazda3 five door hatch and made for two years, `02-`03. I bought mine at 129,000 miles--a 5 Speed manual that?s stiff and a bit finicky. Rear seat bottoms fold up and upper seats fold down to create a flat bed. When the seats are down there?s a LOT of hauling room. The engine is a 2.0, four cylinder, the largest of 3 available in the Protege (1.6, 1.8 or 2.0 in the sedan). There?s a good amount of power, though it?s no dragster. Interior materials, including the very comfortable seats, are plush and of high quality. The steering wheel and some of the trim are either real leather or a good imitation. There's a little ?carbon fiber? trim around the center stack. The CD player is pre-mp3. The radio reception is less than you might expect. Replacing the CD player isn't hard but does require Ford/Mazda removal tools (4 because it's a double-din). The front driver?s seat adjusts three ways. There?s plenty of leg and head-room for passengers. I?m over six foot tall and have plenty of room everywhere. However: This is a Sport-Wagon--the suspension has been lowered and stiffened. If you?re not used to feeling every bump in the road, you will now! I?ve never had a ?sport? suspension before, so it?s taken me a little getting used to. On the upside, the car corners fantastically. It also has low profile 16? tires that are more expensive and rare than I?m used to. My neighborhood tire shops only have one option (each) available for this vehicle and they?re twice the cost of the ?regular? tires I?ve purchased previously. Gas mileage varies between 24 and 28 mpg per tank. Highway driving alone will get better numbers. Also, this car has two (2) catalytic converters, a very expensive one to replace that comes right off the engine and a less expensive one which follows a couple of feet later. Finally, Mazda made Ford Escorts for years and if you?ve ever owned one, especially an Escort wagon, you?ll notice similar parts. The Protege5 is what would happen if you took a Ford Escort Wagon and ditched all the ?blah? and replaced it with Zoom-Zoom. The end result is a great improvement?just be prepared for a tighter, bumpier ride and a little more ?out of pocket? upkeep expense. I use this car for everything, driving 30-40,000 miles/year.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
3 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

17 out of 18 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

GREAT CAR

by sportscommnder from Los Angeles, CA on Sun Feb 27 2011

I bought the car new in May 2002. Now have 195,000 plus miles. Very reliable car. Besides normal maintenance, only had to replace water pump at 80,000 and just replaced alternator a month ago. Though I found the stock engine adequate, I added a K&N cold air filter, a turbo exhaust system & had computer reprogrammed. I now have more than enough power computing back to Northern Cal and Southern Cal. HWY mileage has been like advertised: 25 city/31 hwy. Just drove the 2011 Mazda2 which costs about what I paid in 2002. PR5 is a far better car. Mazda should have kept making the PR5. It's a sports car feel in a small size wagon. Lots room to haul stuff when back seats are folded down. Does have a hard ride over rough roads due to sports suspension. On smooth surfaces, it glides. Best overall daily car I've own and I have own many cars over the last 40 years!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

16 out of 17 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Mazda

by John from Cleveland, OH on Tue Feb 03 2009

I purchased the Protege 5 in 2003 and have had no problems. Very reliable after 50k, a great vehicle. Great on snow/ice but need snow tires. The only problem in the price of new tires due to low profile. I just bought a second 09 Mazda6 and love it. Great Protege 5 and a great 09 Mazda6. Zoom Zoom....

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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