2002 Mazda Protege Owner Reviews & Problems


43 Reviews

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Only regular maintenance, no problems. We bought this car when we found out we were pregnant with our first and she has grown up with it. Next year when she become 16, it will become hers and my husband and I feel that it is still safe and reliable for that.

I love how well my car has held up. Besides basic maintenance and repairs from other hitting my car, my car has had no problems until the last few years. When it turned 13. And these issue are small, the driver door will not unlock with my key fob if it is really warm or really cold. The display on the radio sometimes is not all visible and the CD player no longer works. But the paint and interior have held up beautifully, even with two young children who have grown up with it. The gas mileage has almost stayed the same also. It does sadden me to look at other cars of the same size and find out that they either get about the same gas mileage or worse, I believe the industry can do way better and should.

- Lori E


It is reliable. I am short, so I can see very well when I sit down to drive. It is small enough for me to maneuver. Because it is not large, it is also easy to park and I can see well enough to feel comfortable backing up in tight places. It does not have a lot of extra features, which I do not care for anyway. You roll up the windows manually. It does help to be able to pull a lever to open up the trunk when you have groceries, and it is raining outside, or is dark and you cannot see well enough to insert the key to open the trunk. I do wish, though I had electronic door locks for safety safe when you are parked in dark places, and are alone.

- Virginia S

Silver 2002 Mazda Protege LX

My 2002 Mazda Protege has been a good vehicle for me overall. The only problems I've had repetitively has been with the coil packs, I have had to change all 4. Other then that, only routine maintenance has had to be done. In terms of performance, reliability, comfort, and features, it's just an average car that serves its purpose--getting me from one place to another.

- leigha b

Sporty practical and economical the Mazda protege is a bargain at any price!

The Mazda protege is a very smart and reliable vehicle. It is low to the ground, mine has a sunroof, and it feels like you are flying across the road no matter the speed of travel. It s sporty with plenty of room for camping, touring or shopping. It is extremely powerful for a 4 cylinder car and you can not beat the savings provided by the exceptional gas mileage!

- Barbara C

That it is kinda old so it is not gonna run like a brand new car.

I like that the car is small so I do not have to worry about not fitting in parking spots or hitting other cars. It is perfect for a college student like me who typically just needs to get from one place to the next, nothing fancy. The one thing I do not like is how the engine hesitates when you step on the gas, it takes a second for it to speed up.

- Samantha G

Mazda 323 protege has great mileage and the seats are a comfortable ride.

I like that it has a 6 cylinder engine for more power. The driver seat is very comfortable and the seat belt adjusts with the seat. I love that the car is color blue. The trunk is very large for storing car items and groceries. I like that I bought it with no power windows and it also has child proof back doors. The gas mileage is very good.

- Kathleen W

2002 Mazda: rusty but trusty.

One of the biggest issues is that it is susceptible to rust. The wheel wells are especially badly rusted, and this seems to be a common problem in this vehicle. A good thing about the Mazda is that the engine is built in such a way so that if the timing belt breaks, the rest of the engine does not suffer damage. This is a useful feature.

- Heather J

They do not make it anymore.

I love the look of the Mazda. My one problem with the protégé is the rust. Whenever I see another protégé I see the same rust problem that is on mine. Another problem is the brakes-I'm constantly having to get the calipers replaced. I like the simplicity but definitely do not like the brake and rust problems.

- Kristina M

A great starter car for anyone.

I enjoy my Mazda very much. It is a smooth ride and has plenty of power when need be. I have no had many issues with the car besides the normal maintenance related items. It has a cozy interior which is still in great shape. I would recommend this car to anyone looking for a small used car.

- Ben Z

Used Mazda protege5 year 2002.

It is an older car bought used and only recently did I need major repairs. For how much I drive it serves my needs to a point. It is low to the ground and with my mobility issues is difficult to get in and out of when the temperatures are cold. The gas mileage could be better though.

- ML L K

Super-reliable, comfortable car.

I couldn't ask for more. It is pretty bare-bones, but it is very reliable, comfortable, and cheap to run. It has quite a bit of power for a car its size, and is very responsive in terms of acceleration, braking, and steering. For me, a working musician and student, it is perfect.

- Nate B

Great mileage and lasts a long time.

It is been great. I have had a good experience. It is comfortable. Everything is affordable. It is very reliable and I hope to have it for many more years to come. The only thing is that the back is very small and it is hard to fit too many people in. Great gas mileage though.

- Amanda C

Mazda 2002 protege - review of car, summary.

A very reliable vehicle. Great gas mileage. Small yet powerful, accelerates well. A little loud inside the car. Overall great car. Exhaust problems as the vehicle ages. Exhilarating ride. Normal car features. Great car, in good condition for 16 years old.

- Dorothy D

2002 Mazda Protege was great for several years but it falling apart fast

My car has served us well for the last 16 years, but all at once several parts have been going out. The radiator sprung a leak, the ball joints are bad, the A/C needs to be recharged every year, and recently the cruise control just stopped working.

- Jon D

There's a few perks to this car besides space, it is very economical. It's also very reliable. Usually the few problems I've had were very minor.

My vehicle is very economical. It's also very spacious and reliable. I really like it because it has more than enough space for my family of four. It compares to my old car that was a hybrid in terms of the gas lasting.

- Kristine C

It is small but reliable and has been through a lot for a little car.

This has been one of the most reliable vehicles I have ever owned with minimal problems. The check engine light has been on the car for over 1 year and nobody can figure out why after over 1, 000 in diagnostics.

- Jenna O

It has over 210,000 miles on it.

I like that it gets very good gas mileage. I don't like the fact that the display on the radio system is unreadable. It is a comfortable car. It has not required much extra maintenance since I obtained it.

- Terrell S

Steady and reliable transportation. Not flashy at all.

My car is elderly and is starting to wear down. It still runs pretty reliably but I'm to the point where I don't want to put any money towards repairs. It has been a great car for 16 years.

- Tamara M

Nice riding van, large backup camera, blind spot alert. Easy to fold down seats.

I like the longevity of the vehicle. I am the third owner. I dislike that it is running down as I do not make enough money to upkeep an older car, but I cannot afFord a new one.

- Ellen S

Mazda protege, great car for family.

It's a reliable car, fuel efficient. Long lasting vehicle, roomy yet mid size. Has good grip on road due to the type of tires required for the car. Great all around vehicle.

- Sheree B

It has run really well with minimal problems.

It has run really well ever since I have had it. Very few problems and when there is a problem its fixed very easily. The one bad thing is its super loud on the freeway.

- Dustin J

2002 Mazda protege purchased used from 3rd party.

So far this vehicle has treated me well. I have only have one main problem with it and it's the car alarm that is overly sensitive. It's very reliable and comfortable.

- Nathan C

I love it so much. It travels really good and it has nothing bad on it.

Nothing that I dislike. I love everything about it. This car has been amazing and it is not bad at all in gasoline. I love that if something breaks is an easy fix.

- Carol A

The transmissions tend to go out early on this model of Mazda Protege.

I like how compact my vehicle is. I dislike that the transmissions go out on it early. I like the gas mileage I get. I dislike that it has no air conditioning.

- Dillon C

They are known for rusting out.

Rusty but trusty, good on gas. Good air good heat. Hole in floor board from rust, trunk latch in car no longer works do to rust have to use the key.

- Debra D

My vehicle is a silver Mazda, it is great

My vehicle is very reliable and great. It runs very well with gas. The only problems I have with my vehicle are the breaks and sometimes my engine.

- Mykayla B

Great traveler car, good gas mileage

I get great gas mileage. The driver seat area is small but it's fine. It handles well and the AC is strong. It accelerates well.

- Dee T

Not to get it but if you do make sure your paying less than 1000.

It's a pile of trash everything is wrong with it trans went out rusting away everywhere on the car leaks a lot of oil and gear oil.

- Ya H

It is reliable in all weather conditions.

What I do not like about my car is it is an old car that breaks down a lot. What I like about my car is I like the look of my car.

- Rebecca A

It is fun to drive and gets many miles per gallon.

Is gets good mileage - about 35 mpg. Easy to park - small can usually find a place. Reliable - have had very few problems.

- Dale G

not to get it because it may look fun but it cost a lot in parts

it leaks oil every 200 miles something breaks and it has a lot of rust holes all around the car but mostly on the back

- braden h

That it has a sunroof, and the heating doesn't work.

Its wearing out, needs lots of repairs. I like the gas mileage, and its trunk space. Just would like a newer car.

- Bree L

doesn't have an aux, or a Bluetooth option.

Purchased the vehicle at 136, 000 miles. Alternator died. Rip Lucy. The car handled fairly well. Lasted a while.

- Elijah D

It handles well on both highways and rural roads.

It handles well and is small yet spacious. I like the deep spacious hatchback. I do not like the tire size.

- Wendy T

Where are the parts. And what will happen if your fluids in the car are filled.

I like the way it runs and drive. It is not bad on gas and easy handling. It is easy to maintain and fix.

- Francesco M

It is an extremely reliable car that has never left me stranded.

It has been very reliable. Easy to work on and fuel efficient. Poor paint job that chips easily.

- Brandy S

It handles extremely well on both highway and rural roads.

It handles well. Is a small vehicle with a lot of inside space. I do not like the size of tires.

- Dawn T

it is a fun car to drive and very dependable

a very dependable car. it is small and fun to drive. it gets great gas mileage.

- linda c

I bought her recently used and she is still in tip top shape. She gets good mileage even though her tank is on the small side. There seems to be some wires loose in my dashboard, it just makes it so I can't see the display of my radio.

Cute, compact, but not a speed racer. Takes a little while to get up to speed.

- Malory P

Very reliable great gas mileage ac very cold love rear defrost I hate so low to ground I hate belt squeals when gets wet and I hate cost parts hard find

Great on gas and love gas and trunk levers on floor inside

- Tammie I

good in the snow. good on gas keep up with maintenance

love how it drives in the snow. sturdy, good on gas

- Tammi G

Reliable car and good on gas

I like it is a reliable, does not break down often

- R B

Highly reliable, relatively fuel efficient and yellow. Its my first car and has served me well. The interior is mostly standard with some carbon fiber details.

It requires very little in the way of maintenance.

- Vincent T