2003 Mazda Protege Review, Ratings, Specs, Prices, and Photos – The Car Connection

26 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2003 Mazda Protege Review, Ratings, Specs, Prices, and Photos – The Car Connection
Mazda Protege

2003 Mazda Protege Review

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Now long-time tuner division has been charged with up Mazda’s consumer offerings, the Mazdaspeed Protégé shows we can expect high levels of fun and down the road. This sophisticated package may not set performance in the increasingly competitive pocket-rocket but it stands quite proudly loudly, as our Blazing Yellow and its 450-watt trick Kenwood proved) on its own merits.

The car’s has been somewhat cautious, as the hook was the … stereo, as in 2002’s limited edition Only then did Mazda survey the pop culture landscape and that packaging speed was a safe bet for 2003. Additions to our update include nifty foot pedals, floor and aluminum shifter knob and an front air dam.

Keeping in mind that competition history lies in racing and not the pursuit of the World Championship, the Protégé takes a Japanese tuner dream-car than does the Evo and the WRX—there’s the engine and running gear body cladding and spoiler, but no big scoops or fog lamps, and most no all-wheel-drive—not that it’s

Callaway tuning

Engine were jobbed out to those folks at Callaway Cars, who on a Garrett T25 turbocharger to the Mazda’s dual-overhead-cam four. Thanks to refinements and trick ball-bearing the Garrett ups the horsepower ante to 170 hp at rpm. The torque band is broad, peaking at 160 lb-ft at a 3500 revs.

There is very little lag, and with focused of the heavy-duty clutch, the little provides meaningful, if not hair-curling, along with a warm through Racing Beat’s exhaust system.

Power is facilitated with a Tochigi limited-slip differential and beefed-up driveshafts (the standard uses 22-mm units), makes powering out of turns a smooth proposition. Front and disc brakes use 11-inch and upgraded high-friction pads, all the whoa-power the 2843-lb Mazdaspeed ever need, although look a tad lost inside 17 x 7 Racing Hart alloys with 245-profile, Z-rated Potenzas.

The potential of this little is best realized by the suspension engineered by long-time partner and supplier Racing Beat. are specially engineered front struts, a strut tower higher rate coil and a larger diameter stabilizer bar and bushings. The rear suspension tuned independent struts twin trapezoidal links, springs, and a larger stabilizer

Special revalved Tokico improve steering feedback and control excess chassis and keep the Potenzas planted on the road surface. The twin-tube design uses a multistage sandwich-valve system consisting of spring plates and angle-drilled ports. This sophisticated system provides modulates at a wide variety of suspension and velocities.

So engineered, the chassis manages braking, and maneuvering thrashes aplomb yet handily absorbs shocks to a near-schizophrenic degree.

spartan digs

The interior is a bit refined and less Spartan most of the competition, using a of cloth textures and panel that creates a cool environment. The drilled Sparco pedals are particularly nice, as is the three-spoke steering wheel. The are firm, comfortable and nicely but could use additional lateral

Power mirrors and windows always found in this but I was puzzled by the lack of cruise

The star of the interior remains the stereo, at least in terms of power output and the trick, faceplate. Its controls, however, are far too and small for adjustment while way.

The amp and subwoofer are nicely integrated the package shelf but do intrude trunk space; then the target market is probably too to have much baggage to about in any respect.

Put together, the create as well balanced an package as I’ve driven in a time. With the Protégé to be phased out in favor of the new Mazda3 set to bow next month at Frankfurt, we a Mazdaspeed flavor will be one treat indeed.

2003.5 Protegé

Mazda Protege

Price: $21,000

Engine: Turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four, 170 hp/160 lb-ft

. Five-speed manual transmission, drive

Length x width x (inches): 174.6 x 67.1 x

Wheelbase: 102.8 in

Curb 2843 lb

EPA City/Hwy: 24/30 mpg

equipment: Front airbags, seat anchors, front height adjustments, remote entry, trunk anti-trap ABS

Major standard equipment: T25 turbocharger, torque-sensing limited-slip heavy-duty clutch plate, stainless-steel exhaust system, drive shafts, Racing suspension, 17” Racing Hart wheels, Bridgestone Potenza unidirectional tires, 450-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with speakers, Nardi leather-wrapped wheel, power steering, windows and door locks

Four years/50,000 miles

Mazda Protege
Mazda Protege
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