2003 Protege5

Consumer Reviews

2003 Mazda Protege5

$934 - $7,462  MSRP Range
2003 Mazda Protege5

Review Score

4.7 out of 5 stars

4.7

38 Reviews
97% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.4 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.8 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.6 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.8 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.5 out of 5 stars Performance
4.8 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 38 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Such a happy little car

by Some_Nickname from Northern VA on Sun Dec 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.

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

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

great sporty car

by car guy from Houston, TX on Fri Nov 20 2009

fun, reliable car, good gas milage. Great car car for family. We had tow car seats in the back and still had extra room. The hack-back is also very useful. The back seats can fold down for extra space for moving.

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 Used car

Uses car for Transporting family

Does recommend this car!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

My 4th and BEST car

by rubyredp5 from berkeley, ca on Mon Jun 25 2007

Was tired of the honda civics and accord I had in the past as reliable and wonderful as they were. Found this at the end of the model year 2003 and got a GREAT deal. $15000 fully loaded with leather, 6disc CD changer, sun roof, rims. More than I;d had on any other car. What a pleasure to drive, even 3 years later. Road trips, camping, moving, lugging furniture, naps, tailgating. No complaints. Amazing car. What a shame they don't make them any more.

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

Does recommend this car!!

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

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4 out of 5 stars

3-year owner

by Hatchback fan from Chattanooga, TN on Mon Jun 26 2006

I opted for the Mazda due to price and looks. Overall, a super little car. The engine is a bit weak, but handles very well in cornering, and gets great mileage. The low-profile tires are a bit iffy in wet weather, and I'd recommend slowing waaaay down in the rain given its tendency to hydroplane a bit. Other than this shortcoming, it's a lot of car for a little money. I love mine.

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 New car

Does recommend this car!!

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Total package

by zorro from Lake Stevens, Wa on Fri Sep 10 2010

Overall I love this car and will drive it until it dies. Performance wise it lives up to its look and handles great although the engine could be a bit faster. Its a lot of fun to drive especially on curvey mountain roads. Everyday i grow fonder and fonder of the look of this car even though its a wagon. The interior is just cool with the carbon styling around the radio. This car is a total package its both reasonable and flat out insanely fun to drive. I love my protoge 5

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
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

Fun driving

by Medicine Woman from Wilmette,Illinois on Tue Dec 07 2010

Great vehicle for someone who carries dogs and heavy products from Home Depot - lots of room in the back . Great rack on top . Easy to handle and park -fun to drive . Good gas mileage . Classic design style . Only complaint was the intial battery didn't last very long .

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 Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

best bang for the buck hands down

by matty p from B'ham, AL on Tue Sep 05 2006

Mazda makes the most fun cars to drive. End of story. If you're tired of commuting in that stupid toyota or honda you MUST go test drive a mazda. If you're not a "car person" don't bother. Mazda only makes cars for enthusiasts. This is my 5th new mazda in 5 years. I love them.

4 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 New car

Does recommend this car!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

"Most Reliable Car I've Owned"

by Bjjdude from Alpharetta, GA on Mon Oct 02 2006

The car had great handling. No mechanical problems, and very nice looking. What else could you ask for? GREAT BUY

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 Used car

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 little wagon

by fastwagon from Ohio on Mon Jul 31 2006

I have owned it since new, and it has caused no problems (other than 3 tire replacements thanks to the deplorable conditions of New England roads). It handles almost as well as my new MX-5 but hauls a lot more. The automatic does hunt for the right gear sometimes in the mountains on cruise control, but using the manual shifting road cures that. Mine is one of the more fully optioned ones with leather, ABS, 6 CD changer, etc., and I really can't think of anything it lacks. If you want a reasonably priced used car that is fun to drive but practical look at the Protege5.

4 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 New car

Does recommend this car!!

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

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5 out of 5 stars

Fun to drive and great convienance

by Roman from Millis, ma on Fri Aug 04 2006

Ive had this vehicle for a while I love it, its been great on preformance and mileage, fun to drive, The use of the hatchback is great Ive managed to pick up tvs, dressers help people move and its very versatile

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 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 New car

Does recommend this car!!

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

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