Mazda Protege Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Member Posts: 6,249
    As a for instance, I bought my 2003 Pro ES - 6 cd, moonroof, 5 speed - for 11,300 in november. Its sticker was over 17k.

    Look at it this way, if you check the edmunds trade-in value of a 2003 Pro and it's lower than what you're paying, you might want to keep negotiating.
  • lonestarlonestar Member Posts: 15
    Anyone have any leads on where I could locate an unsold LX or ES in the Midwest? I live in the St Louis area. Thanks!
  • oskwioskwi Member Posts: 88
    I just got back from vacation and saw your post from last week...blueguydotcom is right, keep negotiating. I bought a 2001 Protege ES in early September for about $10,500. Car was loaded with CD, fog lamps, sunroof, alloys, side air bags, spoiler, etc. It only had 19,000 miles on it. List price was $13,599 but purchased for $10,500. I would not have paid almost $14,000 for the car BUT $10,500 was reasonable. I had originally wanted a new one with all the rebates, but there were none to be had (that were fully loaded) anywhere in WNY and I needed a newer car fast!

    Good luck with your buying!
  • lonestarlonestar Member Posts: 15
    After 3 days of negotiating, I currently have a deal on the table for $11K for a leftover 2003 blue DX with 5 spd, fog lights, 6-CD, AC, spoiler. Sales manager says they're already taking a bath on this car at $11K--thoughts?

    Also, a local dealer just picked up a blue LX automatic with 9,750 miles. Great condition even though it's lean on accessories (no 6-CD, no fogs, no spoiler). Kelly blue book trade-in is $9K even, while Edmunds prices out trade-in at $9.8K. Any guesses on what a reasonable offer should be?
  • lawman1967lawman1967 Member Posts: 314
    You should be able to get it a bit cheaper than that. I got a DX AUTOMATIC with 6-disc CD for $11,200 way back in November, so a manual after 5 months should be cheaper.

    It is a terrific car. A blast to drive and with probably the best driving position of any car I've ever owned, and thats without height adjustable seats.
  • lonestarlonestar Member Posts: 15
    But did your model have fog lights and a rear spoiler? While an automatic trans adds $720 to the base price, fog lights add $213 and the spoiler as $247. If yours came equipped without these, I'm only $260 higher than your final negotiated price.

    Also, are the manual windows a pain? I found the position of the crank on the driver's door to be poorly positioned...hand keeps bumping into the dashboard.
  • lawman1967lawman1967 Member Posts: 314
    No foglights or spoiler, but my 6-disc CD changer was the same price as both of those, or close to it. I actually had to look long and hard for a car WITHOUT a spoiler, as I just don't like them.
  • lonestarlonestar Member Posts: 15
    Actually the DX model I'm looking at has as options/accessories: fog lights, spoiler, AC, and 6 cd-in dash audio system.

    Just worried that I may later regret not landing an LX that would have the power features.
  • lawman1967lawman1967 Member Posts: 314
    I was worried about it too, and I'm still not sure I made the right choice. The LX has all of the luxury goodies and of course those things are nice to have, BUT.....

    For me, when I drove the cars the DX seemed more right. I don't know, the luxury goodies were just not in character with the rest of the car, which to me feels very much like a modern-day Datsun 510 or BMW 2002, and thus, should have manual locks and crank windows.

    Of course, buying a new car close to $11 grand is its own reward.
  • lonestarlonestar Member Posts: 15
    Thanks to those who gave me feedback on earlier posts... Bit the bullet and bought a leftover 2003 Protege DX 5-spd this past Wednesday. Lovin' life, as they say. After a decade of SUVs and family vans it's sooo nice to ride in a small car that's so much fun to drive. Just can't believe how underrated Mazda is...can't imagine riding around in a plain Corolla or Civic right now.
  • smith1smith1 Member Posts: 283
    Hi, this is my first post to this board. I need to get my 19 year old daughter an inexpensive car. $10K or thereabouts is the most I can spend. We're both sold on the Protege. Hertz is selling '03 LX's with around 25K miles on them for $9995. The Mazda dealers around here (central IL) still have a few new '03s sitting around on their lots, and I'm wondering if it's possible to snag one for around the same money. There was talk here earlier this year of $6500 discounts off sticker which would put an LX auto at around $10K. But I don't know if all the rebates and dealer incentives that were available earlier for '03 Pros can still be had. Any advice on whether an LX automatic for $10K - 11K is a realistic objective at this point?
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    ... but a few months ago, my dealer (Richmond, VA) had $2,500 discounts on the '03s to get them off the lot. I would [non-permissible content removed]-U-ME something similar still applies, being that it's mid-2004 and almost time for the '05s to come out, LOL!

  • lonestarlonestar Member Posts: 15
    I bought a DX 5-spd. with rear spoiler, AC, and in-dash 6-CD for $11K. I dealt over the internet with a dealer 139 miles away. Some SoCal posters have bragged about buying ES models for $11.3K or so, but I don't think there is currently enough incentive money out there to get the prices down that far, or perhaps my dealer didn't want to sell at a huge loss. I can't complain about buying at $3.8K below invoice, though.

    There is a St Louis dealer that still shows Proteges in its inventory as of less than a week ago (Randy Blount Northgate Mazda). Go to the MazdaUSA website and click on "build and buy," then "search inventory." You'll have ZIP code and distance options from there.
  • icvciicvci Member Posts: 1,031
    This seems like it could be a very helpful tool
  • smith1smith1 Member Posts: 283
    When did the last Proteges get delivered to dealers? I'm assuming any new ones still in dealer inventories have been sitting on their lots for at least a year...correct?
  • icvciicvci Member Posts: 1,031
    I think the last deliveries took place in July/August of 2003.
  • lonestarlonestar Member Posts: 15
    My new 2003 was built in July 2003 and was delivered to the dealership in Aug/Sept. Folks in the market for leftovers should check out the data plate to ascertain the manufacture date. Had mine been built in late 2002, for instance, I doubt I would have bought it.
  • smith1smith1 Member Posts: 283
    "Had mine been built in late 2002, for instance, I doubt I would have bought it"

    Just curious.....why not?
  • smith1smith1 Member Posts: 283
    Thanks for the replies. I called up a local dealer about a new '03 LX shown on their website. MSRP is $15,890 plus destination charges. Right off the bat he quoted me $12,462 including destination charge. I'm hoping to knock at least a grand off that.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Member Posts: 6,249
    Check for what the same car goes for on a trade-in.
  • lonestarlonestar Member Posts: 15
    Maybe SoCal car dealers sell previous untitled new vehicles at used car prices, but that's generally not the case in the rest of America. I could've easily saved $1K to $1.5K buying a low-mileage used 2003 model, but I wasn't particularly enthralled with the idea of purchasing a fleet/rental car with all the abuse and lack of care they receive. IMHO, at the end of the day I suppose you have to decide which is mor important--price or piece of mind.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Member Posts: 6,249
    I'm not saying one should buy the car at the price of a trade-in but anything 2k over what you could trade the car in for seconds later is well...kinda ripping yourself off. This is an out of production model that's getting 10k or so on trade-ins. Everyone knows when you buy a car it loses value instantly. But 2k? 3k?

    In my area an lx with 100 miles, auto, moon, 6 disc, spoiler in outstanding condition is listing at 10,800 for a trade-in. So, is 14k a good deal? That's ~15.4 out the door.
  • smith1smith1 Member Posts: 283
    "In my area an lx with 100 miles, auto, moon, 6 disc, spoiler in outstanding condition is listing at 10,800 for a trade-in."

    Sure, because any new car loses a huge chunk of value when driven off the lot. But try finding a used car like that to buy. Who gets rid of cars with 100 miles on them? And if a dealer DID take this hypothetical vehicle in trade for 10,800 he sure isn’t going to resell it for that. He would want at least 11,500 for it, maybe more. So a brand new LX automatic for $12,400, as I was quoted right off the bat, isn't too bad a deal, and maybe I can get the price down further.
  • cowbuoycowbuoy Member Posts: 1
    I have done A LOT of research and have decided that the best used car for me is the 2001 Protege ES.

    Does anyone know of one - with a sunroof - for sale?

    What would be a fair price on this year and model?

    I was considering a 2000 but after reading about the upgrades in 2001, I decided on that year although I will have to stretch my budget (just finishing grad school and need a good set of wheels to start job hunting/working)

    Hey - anyone out there need an engineering/environmental geologist?
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Member Posts: 6,249
    What would be a fair price on this year and model?

    Check Edmunds used car section and build it with the equipment you want. I punched it in for 50k miles, 5 speed, moon, cd and it came out to 7,300 private party. Odds are good you could probably pay less as Mazdas depreciate so fast it'll make your head swim. heck that's only 3 years old and the car's lost over 50% of its sticker. Ouch.
  • kenvkenv Member Posts: 5
    Just purchased a 2003 ES, brand new on lot. Only had 114 miles on it when I drove it off. Sticker was $18,060 (including ABS and side air-bags) and I got 'em down to 13,900. I had referenced other internet sales on two LX's that MSRP'ed at 18k and 17k and they sold for 13k and 12k - so I used the 5000 off as a target to throw at the dealer. My first offer was 13,000 plus my trade for TTL out the door. They came back with 14,300 and I countered with 13,800, They came back with 13,921 and I settled at 13,900.
    I also checked KBB for retail/used for that car and it booked around 13,500. Couldn't check it for new prices. I felt good about my purchase. BTW, the car was manufactured 7/03 and looks like it was delivered 9/9/2003. Got the last new ES in the area. Heck, I think in the South. :)

  • r34r34 Member Posts: 178
    I just bought a 2002 Protege5. It was equipped with autostick. It performs very well in city driving. However, I found that the engine was very noisy on the highway and the car was not willing to go beyond 70mph. The noise was liked it couldn't swift up to the next gear. Is it normal ? I tried another 2002 and found the same problem.

    Can I use the low profile 16" tires on winter (maybe no more than 1 inch of snow)?

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,129
    Hi r34 - you're in the pricing discussion, and your question would be better suited for our Protege5 Problems & Solutions discussion. Please visit that topic to continue.

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  • fblackfblack Member Posts: 26
    This is a bogus site. There are fake ratings in the system to boost their popularity.
  • peter24peter24 Member Posts: 1
    I speak Canadian, so bear with me. It's being sold by a friend of a friend, has only 60 kilometres (40k miles-ish?) and she's asking 5,000 Canadian, which is i guess around 4,000 US. Tiny bit of rust on roof, automatic, no AC.

    I read some horror stories about transmissions on these vehicles. Should I just stay away? Or try to low-ball her and cross my fingers.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    60 kilometres (40k miles-ish?) and she's asking 5,000 Canadian, which is i guess around 4,000 US. Tiny bit of rust on roof, automatic, no AC.

    Amazingly low mileage for a 10 year old car!

    Some would say the transmission problems on a 37K mile Protege are about a 100K miles away. Consumer Reports rates the transmission of the 97 model (the earliest report I have) as better than average; problem areas for the 97 include brakes, electrical, exhaust and fuel line.

    Her asking price seems way off. I would get a copy of the Black Book of Canadian used auto prices or another book or websource on the topic; many libraries have these available for free. You'll likely find the price closer to half.

    TIP: if you're negotiating bring your sources along to prove your point.
  • neolinskineolinski Member Posts: 1
    Hello, everyone.

    I have looked around Edmunds and townhall for awhile and finally decided to join (and asking for help :D)

    I am looking for a RELIABLE (that's really the most important factor i'm looking at) small sedan/coupe/hatchback/wagon. and it comes down to Civic, Corolla, Sentra and Protege. And surely civic and corolla seem to be more expensive than other two. but i can live with a little uncomfortable seat and whatnot. Therefore my first question (yet has already discussed alot) is does Protege last as long as Civic? (simply i have not seen a Protege or Mazda with 150k)

    Anyway, i found this dark green 2002 Protege DX (no power option, which i dont really mind) with wooping 60k miles on. it was priced 7000 but i lowered to 6000 dollars. a car looked pretty clean and well. would it be a good deal??

    i mean u all guys seem to get a NEW protege for so low prices, i dont know if i am doing a right thing. (i mean i can just downpay what i have and go on to a payment plan. what u think?) let me know what you think about that 2002 protege dx!!!

    Thanks so much.

    p.s : i will need to make a long trip (700 miles one way) once in a while since i'll go to a college out of my state. (so yeah.. a lack of cruise system is not good, but i thought it wouldnt be that bad.. hehe)
  • xan87xan87 Member Posts: 1
    to answer your first question i owned both a 97 civic 2dr 5spd and i now own a 03 protege lx.
    i rolled my honda about 6 months ago and then bought the mazda.
    the protege has the civic beat in every aspect as far as im concerned. its faster looks better and parts are not as expensive. like a 450 dollar o2 sensor for my honda. the only thing is mine runs a slightly higher rpm at 65 70 mph. but mine had 19k miles when i bought it for 11.7k so i would say its about average. if you could i would suggest trying to get the price down to 5.5k
  • jeffery88jeffery88 Member Posts: 11
    I'm searching for a Protege and found a 2002 LX, auto, ABS w/ cruise control w/ 29k, very clean w/ minor scratches at rear. The asked price is $9500. I have lowered it down to $8300. Is this a good deal?
  • mythrantarmythrantar Member Posts: 2

    I am interested in buying my first car and I found a 2002 Mazda Protege LX and I would like your opinion on it.

    The dealer asks $8,485. It is a certified pre-owned, 5-speed manual, sold "as-is" (no extra warranty) and comes with bucket seats, power locks/driver mirror/steering, sunroof, alloy wheels, driver/passenger airbag, A/C, radio + single CD player, Cruise Control, bucket seats but -no- ABS. They told me that for their inspection they changed oil and filter, did some work on the breaks (something about rotors), new wiper blades, fluids, installed newer tires (Toyo, with pretty good tread depth, but not brand new) and also did alignement.

    I was wondering what do you think about this car? Is it worth the $8.5K? I intend to use this car for the next 3 years as my only car so I am looking for something reliable. Also, I am a graduate student, which means I do not want to spend a fortune in servicing the car (although I am thinking of byuing an extended warranty).

    All info, comments and help is appreciated! Thank you!
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    Why not use Edmunds Used Cars section for information about this car, including its TMV (true market value)? You'll need to know its mileage. Assuming 15,000 miles per year a 2002 vehicle will be averaging about 60,000 miles at this point; a car with less mileage than this average is valued more and vice versa.

    Before buying any used car it is wise to have it checked / certified by an independent garage that you trust or that a friend recommends. What you want to avoid is a car that's been involved in a serious accident.

    It is also wise to ask for all the service records to get an idea how well the car was maintained. Unfortunately, not every driver keeps track of these.

    An extended warranty can be pricey but may bring you peace of mind.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 219,242
    That is all very good advice...

    Also, if there is no extended warranty, then how is the car CPO? That is pretty much the whole point of the certification process... so that you get an extended warranty... otherwise, it's just salesmanship..

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  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    CPO = Certified Pre-Owned?
  • mythrantarmythrantar Member Posts: 2
    I forgot to add the milage: 66.4K miles.

    As for the certifiaction, they certify that they did the 150-odd point inspection that the manufacturer reccomends, and that they have corrected any problems found during that inspection. They do have extended warranty plans, but at additional cost. I guess my question is whether I should look more into this car, or I should keep looking around for something better, even if it would cost a bit more.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    whether I should look more into this car, or I should keep looking around for something better, even if it would cost a bit more.
    The Protege is a good reliable car but the question is: Is the price fair? Have you tried the Edmunds Used Car section? The site uses Autotrader to show the prices of similarly equipped used cars selling in your area. You could use this information to guage if the price you're being asked to pay is fair.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 219,242
    I think if I were looking for an '02 Protege (one of my favorite buys in a used car), I'd want one with lower miles than this one..

    I'm pretty sure you could get an '03 ES with manual and 50K miles or less for under $10K...

    The price on the one you've found doesn't seem too bad, but there should be plenty of 35K-50K mile Proteges to pick from..

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  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    I'd pick the Pro over the Civic, but that's because of my personal tastes. My '99 ProLX has been very reliable (other than an annoying EGR valve that gets clogged with carbon every now and then....if yours clogs, just replace it). Statisticaly, I think it's pretty even across the Civic/Corolla/Protege models.

    Why I'd pick the Pro: more fun to drive, more aesthetically pleasing, more comfortable, more utilitarian (rear seat in the Corolla still a bit too puny).

    Why I'd pick the Civic or Corolla: potentially more fuel-efficient (depends on your driving style...I get an average 31.5mpg with my 1.6L AT-equipped Pro, though I get only around 24-25mpg if I drive more enthusiastically).
  • tonnstarrtonnstarr Member Posts: 1
    i own a 2003 mazda protege es with about 50,000 miles on it. it has been pretty reliable. i have two other cars (2005 pontiac grand prix and 1978 chevy malibu). i have never own a foreign car and only bought this one because ford owns mazda (33% of it anyway).

    my experience has been pretty good with my protege'. i am going to sell it soon because i only keep newer cars for about 2-3 years and only keep classics. nevertheless, if i were to sell today, i would probably sell for a little less than $10K. so if you were a little more willing to pay more more features and convenience in buying an 2003 es (the last year they made protege's) instead of a 2002 lx, you should keep looking. the car is a lot more stylish and i love it. it looks a lot better in the interior and runs like new.

    i am sure the 2002 lx for $8.5K is a good deal, but maybe you should wait a year. you can prolly get a something like mine if your willing to pay a bit more.....
  • bocatripbocatrip Member Posts: 194
    I have a 99 Protege DX to buy with 70,000 miles and is clean as a whistle. The timing belt, water pump, and cam and crankshaft seals were just done. It has brand new tires, and ice cold air as well. I might be able to get it for $4,000 which I though was high but the car is like new. Any thoughts?
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    99 Protege DX to buy with 70,000 miles ... might be able to get it for $4,000

    Very low mileage but this is no spring chicken (8 year old car). Did you check the Used Car section of Edmunds? I would check around as the price seems a bit high to me. Does it come with all the maintenance records?
  • bocatripbocatrip Member Posts: 194
    Since almost no car is an excellent I will place this car as between good and excellent. It is all original, no paintwork, no body damage, interior is absolutely new, and mechanically it runs great after being checked out by a mechanic. The only repairs that are going to be done before purchase is a timing belt, crankshaft seal, and water pump installation all paid for by the seller. That would have cost me $700. My seller paid $5400 for this car last year with 58,000 miles. I find these proteges to be real workhorses with very few issues. I had a 02 that my daughter wrecked a month ago. It was a great car before the unfortunate accident. Consumer reports loves these cars and give most years many better than average reviews. If these cars have very low miles the prices are stupid. I see many of these cars with close to 200,000 miles with happy owners that love their cars.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    I find these proteges to be real workhorses with very few issues. I had a 02
    Agreed. I have a 2002 Protege5 and it's been both a reliable and a fun to drive car.

    My seller paid $5400 for this car last year with 58,000 miles.
    Why is the seller selling it after only a year?

    My rule of thumb for calculating used car prices is to use a 10% annual depreciation for cars older than 3 or 4 years. In other words, for an 8 year old car according to my formula, the car would have depreciated 80% of its original price. So that 8 year old car if it originally sold for $15K in 1999 would be worth $3000 today. One should, of course, make allowance for individual examples, like those with low mileage.
  • bocatripbocatrip Member Posts: 194
    I appreciate the feedback. If I were able to buy clean original cars with good mileage for the dollars you are talking about, I could open up a car lot and sell cars for a living. Clean older cars are always at a premium. I have tried for close to a month looking for used proteges, and they either have 180,000 miles or low miles and the prices are scary. The 02 Protege I had cost me $9500 in 04 with 23,000 miles at a Hertz Rental lot. The car was newer than new and well maintained here in Florida. That same car today with 65,000 miles would be selling for close to the same price as I paid for it in 04 on car lots. Privately, if the car could be found, in pristine cond is still in the 8,000 range. Look at Car Max under Protege. You guys will be shocked. If I looked for a $3,000 Mazda Protege, all I would end up with would be an abused jerker. Used car prices are always affected by region. Here in Florida as in California, clean, decent mileage desireable cars bring strong money. $3500 would be great for the Mazda I'm buying but I'm going for the $4200 considering it's condition. By the way, the owner is selling because of his job relocation to NY. He's already there.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    Here in Florida as in California, clean, decent mileage desireable cars bring strong money. $3500 would be great for the Mazda I'm buying but I'm going for the $4200 considering it's condition.

    You're right about location as being an important factor in the pricing of used cars. In Canada, where many a Mazda Protege roams, you can have a used one at a good price. Due to depreciation, my 2002 Protege5 can be had for 50% of its original price.

    It's good to hear that that the seller is throwing in $700 worth of work and parts into the deal; in a way that reduces the price of the vehicle to $3500.
  • 11b33t11b33t Member Posts: 51
    Found a 2003 MS sedan, single owner with only 20k miles on her for $13k. It's turbo model (never had one of these) that's supposed to be fully loaded as well. Going to look at her later today, kick the tires & possible test drive. Any comments on the price e.g. negotiate lower or jump on it? :confuse:
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