1997 Mazda Protege

  • 1997 Mazda Protege DX Sedan

    DX Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      1.5L I4
    • MSRP
  • 1997 Mazda Protege ES Sedan

    ES Sedan

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      1.8L I4
    • MSRP
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1997 Mazda Protege Review

Good economy car and suitable for a small family.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1997 Mazda Protege is a front-drive, four-door sedan that boasts the biggest interior in its class, along with an ample amount of luxury and attractive style. It was constructed in an assembly plant designed to manufacture luxury sedans, which helped it achieve a superior level of quality. Drivers can expect decent acceleration to get from point A to point B. More importantly, it has excellent handling, which is comparable to that of a luxury car. In addition, passengers are able to enjoy a comfortable ride with plenty of room, making it a good option for a small family.

The Range

Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 1.5-liter four-cylinder, 1.8-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Mazda Protege DX, Mazda Protege LX, Mazda Protege ES

What's New

The 1997 Mazda Protege sports some styling revisions to the interior and exterior.


The 1997 Mazda Protege has approximately a 175-inch length, 67-inch width, 54-inch height, and 103-inch wheelbase. It has a style that is both attractive and sophisticated. It features protective body molding, body-colored front and rear impact-absorbing bumpers, a front lip spoiler, internally-adjustable door mirrors, halogen bulb headlights, and tinted glass. A power moon roof and power door mirrors are optional. It weighs about 2400 pounds and sits on 13-inch wheels.


The interior of the 1997 Mazda Protege is roomy enough to accommodate five passengers. In the front, there are two reclining cloth bucket seats with height-adjustable head restraints, divided by a console that includes two cup holders and a storage tray. Pockets in the doors and bins on the seats make for easy storage. The dash contains logically-arranged gauges for clear readability, conveniently-located controls for easy use, and a storage console. In the rear, there is a cloth bench seat that fits three people. It comes with power windows and locks, passenger assist grips, front reading lights, and an AM/FM stereo with a cassette player included and four speakers. A CD player is optional.

Performance & Handling

The 1997 Mazda Protege DX and LX come packed with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces a paltry 92 horsepower and 97 lb-ft of torque. Under the hood of the ES is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that pumps out 122 horsepower and 117 lb-ft of torque. Both engines can be mated with a four-speed automatic or five-speed manual transmission. Although these engines lack power, it offers excellent fuel economy, while still providing sufficient acceleration.

The 1997 Mazda Protege is built with an independent strut front suspension with a stabilizer bar and coil springs teamed with an independent strut rear suspension with coil springs. The result is an extremely smooth and stable ride, and the sporty handling makes it a fun car to drive. Drivers are able to maneuver gracefully in traffic and take corners with ease. Rack-and-pinion power-assisted steering is predictable and responsive, enabling precise control at all speeds.


The 1997 Mazda Protege has driver and front passenger front-impact airbags installed. Child safety locks are used on both rear doors, and optional features include four-wheel ABS and an anti-theft alarm system.

EPA Fuel Economy

Mazda Protege DX: 24/32 mpg city/highway
Mazda Protege LX: 24/32 mpg city/highway
Mazda Protege ES: 22/28 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Comfortable ride
  • Roomy interior
  • Good fuel economy

You Won't Like

  • Lack of power
  • Road noise
  • Tends to get blown around

Sum Up

Good economy car and suitable for a small family.

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