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Mazda Protege Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,320
    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 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).
  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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:
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,320
    It's funny... The post before yours is nearly a year old.. and talks about good availability.. But, I've been looking for used Proteges recently, and they are few and far between...

    I think the Mazdaspeed model is pretty cool.. It didn't get rave reviews, though... and towards the end of the run they were getting discounted pretty heavily.. Of course, that doesn't mean much, now that it's five years later..

    There aren't many comparables to judge that price on... A loaded ES with only 20K miles would probably have an $11K-$12K asking price... so, the price isn't way out of line and those miles are very low..

    I guess it just depends on how much you want it.. :)

    It isn't some weird color is it? Didn't they have orange and yellow in the Speed version?



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  • 11b33t11b33t Posts: 51
    Thanks for the reply and you're correct that one rarely sees a Protoge for sale for very long. I've also liked the Mazdaspeed but had never looked at them because I have my 92 LX that's still zooming along quite well.

    I did a carfax report on the car and it's clean as a whistle e.g. single owner, 20k actual miles reported, every tune-up done at the dealer is listed etc. It looks extremely good to me..

    Luckily the car is blue versus those wild orange & yellow options that were available for those who dare to be different! :shades:

    I'll take that test drive and have a mechanic lok at it her before I make the final choice. I'll drop a note on whatever the outcome is.
  • 11b33t11b33t Posts: 51
    Now the proud owner of a Laser Blue 2003 Mazdaspeed Protege! Parked her besides my 92 LX and can say that I still get a kick from owning Mazdas. These are two great cars and I can see where the 03 MSP got its good looks from! ;)
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,320
    Nice! Good luck with it...


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  • Just picked up a 03 LX with 49,500 miles for $7400 in central IL. Clean little car, just drove a 1500 mile trip on it and liked what I felt. What advice would owners add?
    BTW-STILL enjoying my '86 B2000, and had to put down my 84 GLC about seven years ago. It served me very well-over 215K and no timing replaced.

    Guess you'd say I'm a Mazda loyalist? :)
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,962
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  • 11b33t11b33t Posts: 51
    congrats on the 03 LX. Just ensure you keep to the maintenance schedule and I'm pretty sure you'll have minimal issues. You've got one the better small sedans in the market but I've been a Mazda owner since 1992 so lump me in with the loyalists.. ;)
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