The Mazda Protégé remained unchanged for 1998, but was completely overhauled for 1999. Buyers were introduced to a brand new interior and exterior style, a beefier engine and more optional upgrades as well as five new body colors. Safety feature updates marked the 2000 model year, with updated ABS brakes, front-seat side-impact airbags being made standard, and a new button for the parking brake. Various trim levels also got some stylish revisions this year, too. The exterior was revamped again in 2001 to be more modern and curvaceous. A 2.0-liter engine was introduced, replacing the aging 1.8-liter one, and various updates were made to improve steering and handling. 2002 saw the 2.0-liter engine made standard. Several trims received minor luxury and cosmetic updates as well. Only subtle changes to different trims marked the limited changes for 2003.