2003 Mazda Protege 5
1-10 of 34 reviews
Test drive review

Sporty and fun, with wagon utility

by from on September 17, 2017

It's hard to find another car that matches the Protege5. It's got the maneuverability of a well-designed passenger vehicle, the practicality of a wagon, and styling that sets it apart from other cars ...
It's hard to find another car that matches the Protege5. It's got the maneuverability of a well-designed passenger vehicle, the practicality of a wagon, and styling that sets it apart from other cars in its class. The hatchback design offers decent space for groceries or vacation gear, especially with one or both rear seats folded. For a car in this price range, the interior trim is extremely nice, with a stitched leather steering wheel and shift knob, among other thoughtful details. I've driven my Protege5 for over 12 years with no mechanical issues beyond regular maintenance. It's held up beautifully and is still a pleasure to drive.
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Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Having fun

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

great handlingcar with lots of interior space

by from los angeles, ca on August 18, 2017

great handling car. not much power. reliable and easy to work on myself. interior is nice and simple.
great handling car. not much power. reliable and easy to work on myself. interior is nice and simple.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Twenty eight miles per gallon. Sayno miss

by from Cedar city on July 7, 2017

This car is small but makes it up in comfort, reliability, aside from a little ground noise the car is awesome and demands attention. Rick Browns
This car is small but makes it up in comfort, reliability, aside from a little ground noise the car is awesome and demands attention. Rick Browns
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transportingfamily

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Most reliable car I have owned

by from New Bern NC on May 1, 2017

This car compares with my Ford Fairlane 500, slant 6 that had 275,000 miles when donated. The car is still running great
This car compares with my Ford Fairlane 500, slant 6 that had 275,000 miles when donated. The car is still running great
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a new car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Love this car

by from Claremont on April 19, 2017

I've had mine for over 12 years and I'm just now going to upgrade. I never really had a problem with it, and if I did it was probably something I failed to do, like get an oil change. But it's gotten ...
I've had mine for over 12 years and I'm just now going to upgrade. I never really had a problem with it, and if I did it was probably something I failed to do, like get an oil change. But it's gotten me from point a to b just fine. I'm sad to let my car go, but I'm 33 and need a car that has a bit more space for my business.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Would Be Perfect Without Rust

by from Alberta on May 1, 2016

I loved this little car, but its bumper is coming off due to rust. The sound isn't great either, but other than that, its a great car to drive. Its fun and has excellent turn radius. Sad to see her go...
I loved this little car, but its bumper is coming off due to rust. The sound isn't great either, but other than that, its a great car to drive. Its fun and has excellent turn radius. Sad to see her go, but I cannot keep up with the rust. I have never seen one of these cars that hadn't started rusting.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
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Value for the Money
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Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Such a happy little car

by from Northern VA on 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, ...
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.
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Reliability

Purchased a used car

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Great car--both practical and stylish!

by from Mt. Olive, NJ on 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 acce...
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.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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

Great Value

by from Rock Falls, IL on 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, especial...
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.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

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Test drive review

Nice, saddly others know it now

by from Minnesota on 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 sp...
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.
Comfort
Exterior Styling
Interior Design
Value for the Money
Performance
Reliability

Purchased a used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

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