Mazda Protege

The now discontinued Mazda Protege made its first appearance in the United States auto market for the 1990 model year, and was the first sedan every to be offered by the Japanese based company. Throughout its history, the Protege remained popular with consumers for its unmatched reliability and cost effectiveness. Although it underwent several makeovers in its time, to add improved features and enhanced cosmetic appearances, the Protege was famous for retaining a base of solid, durable craftsmanship at an outstanding value for its price tag. The premiere generation Mazda Protege originally offered three distinct trim styles for 1990 and 1991, a 4WD model, DX, and a more upscale LX option, which offered standard cruise control, tilt steering, and cassette player, as well as power window and door locks. Beginning in the 1992 model year, the choices were slimmed down to only the LX and DX trims. The 1994 model year meant the beginning of a second generation Protege, when this four door sedan underwent numerous exterior changes and interior improvements. In 1995, the vehicle received a completely redesigned look, and saw the addition of the ES trim, which was most included air conditioning as a part of the standard package, and optional alloy wheels. The 1997 model year brought with it several redesigned features, and in 1998, a compact disc player was added to the list of standard amenities in both the LX and ES trims, and optional in the DX. In 1999, the third and final generation Mazda Protege was rolled out, with numerous available features. This was also the first year that an AM/FM radio was available, as a standard feature for the LX and EX, and an add-on for the DX. After some minor touch ups in 2000, the Protege received yet another makeover for 2001, this time giving it a sleek, sporty look, and an all new MP3 model, available exclusively during this year. At this time a wide range of available and standard amenities were available across the various trims, which included steering wheel mounted controls, a rear spoiler and sunroof. The 2003 model year marked the end of production for the Protege. A MAZDASPEED version was introduced for the final year, living up to its name by offering a high level of power and a turbocharged engine to make for an exhilarating ride. Regardless of the chosen trim style or model year, the Protege boasted spacious room that provided passengers with exceptional comfort, as well as a smooth ride and easy handling. In order to round out the total package of the Protege, safety features in later year models included driver-passenger airbags, as well as an optional antilock braking system. In 2001, the vehicle received a five star driver and four star passenger, frontal crash test safety rating from the National Institute for Highway safety. The Mazda Protege remained loyal to consumers with a highly efficient and performance driven vehicle, perfect for meeting everyday tasks.