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Mazda Protegé



  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Glad to hear eveything's good!

  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    I'll let you know Meade, when I get back. ;)

    What I drove the first time was a 1975 BMW 2002 (not last year's model, 2002 was the model number). No A/C and it was 120-degrees in the Southwest deserts through Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The Bimmer's seats were dark blue leatherette.

    The worst part of the trip was crossing the Mississippi River, at Memphis. I have a phobia about crossing bridges, I went into Arkansas at 120mph, WOT!! Driving 10 to 12 hours a day you can't stand up when you first get out of the car. It was a great trip though.

  • After much thought, I ditched my trouble-prone Mitsubishi Galant today and downgraded to a smaller, cheaper car with none of the luxo-goodies, a Protege DX, and I LOVE IT!

    I had to get the automatic for two reasons, first, my wife refuses to learn stick, and second, with the aggressive rebates, I couldn't find a stick anywhere in Los Angeles county.

    Actually, the automatic really doesn't hurt the car that much. It still has the firm ride and amazing handling, it still accellerates harder than a budget ride has any right to, and it still just feels terrific. At $11,200 with AC, Automatic and the 6 disc CD changer, I feel like I got a real sports sedan for the price of a Hyundai Accent. Not to slight the Accent (decent car last time I rented one), but this is on a whole different level.

    Compared to the Galant (2002 ES 4 cyl), the Protege is faster, handles better, has better seats and driving position despite the lack of height adjustment, and much higher-grade interior materials. The Galant, on the other hand, was much smoother and quieter on the highway, totally smothered any and all road imperfections, and generally felt like a Cadillac most of the time. Totally different character.

    One thing that was a bit tough was getting used to crank windows and manual locks again, its been a while since I did that myself. Still, putting almost 3,000 miles per month on a car, I just couldn't justify spending the money on something that will get massacred in resale value due to excessive mileage.

    Not sure what to expect in fuel economy. The Galant was listed at 23 City and 28 highway, and I never saw better than 20/25. The Protege is listed at 25/30, and I'm hoping its at least a little better than the Galant was. Admittedly, Galants are famous for poor fuel economy. How does everyone else's 2.0 liter Protege's do? Anyone got experience with an automatic?

    Well, I'll post more after I've had the car for a while.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    And that's a great price on a DX! I think about the only thing I'd miss is the adjustable driver's seat pan. I can do without power locks and windows myself; just more complex stuff that's more likely than the simple mechanical system to break down. Plus I have to "tweak" the window openings a few times each to get them right for cruising at speed (w/o making too much noise); this type of adjustment is way easier with manually-cranked windows.

    My wife's P5 with the same engine gets about 28-30mpg. Her's is also equipped with an AT. Since your DX is a little lighter and is more aerodynamic, it should do better. Her commute is mostly stop-n-go highway & local.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Time to change that profile now!

    Just out of curiosity, what were the problems with your 2002 Galant? It's not often these days hearing of a brand-new car (with the possible exception of a German make we won't mention here, lol) being citrusy enough to unload after only a year of manufacture.

    Welcome to the family; crank-up windows or not! You've got a lot of friends here, and I hope you'll stay along for the ride!

    2000 ES 5-speed
    Formerly 2 1992 LXs; 5-speed and auto
    (Wife: 2002 Protege5)
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    By the time I was two miles from my house this morning, I was No. 3 in a line of third-generation Proteges, in this order: a sand mica DX, a silver ES and my emerald mica ES! A little impromptu Protege meet! Cool! (Too bad the other two drivers appeared to care less about our little stellar alignment ...)

  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Both of my 2.0L Proteges (2001 ES and 2003 P5) have gotten around 23-32 MPG. Here are the typical numbers for the type of driving done:

    Autocross: 23
    Back roads trip: 32
    Interstate trip: 30
    Around town: 26 (not stop and go like CA Freeways, but lots of acceleration opportunities)
  • Thanks all for the welcome.

    My car is sand mica with a very stylish tan and brown interior (my last four cars have had gray interiors, time for a change).

    My Galant had an adjustable seat pan, and it was nice in that car, but the driving position on this one is actually much better than anything I could dial in with the Galant. In a way I'm glad its not adjustable as it really is "just right" and I'd hate to have some carwash attended lose my perfect settings forever.

    Here is a rundown of my Galant troubles.

    Horrible fuel economy, 17 City/20 highway, with an absolute best tank at 25 (65 MPH, cruise, no AC, windows closed). The car is rated at 23/28, so this was very dissappointing.

    Rattles, lots of them. Sometimes it was smooth and silent, but there was a persistent rattle in the dash that nobody could find, and another very strange intermitten sound that sounded likec rumpling plastic trash bags, again from inside the dash. Of course, these always magically went away when I brought the car to the dealer (not the dealer's fault, as I rode in the car with the tech).

    And the killer .... the brakes. This car ate front, right pads every 7,000 miles. Mitsubishi replaced the right caliper and both rotors, but the problem persisted. I finally got so fed up that I replaced both rotors (again), the pads and the lines with aftermarket (read high-performance) components and had the calipers and master cylinder rebuilt. Like magic, pad wear and rotor warpage stopped and my fuel economy improved by 3 mpg. Yes, I'm taking Mitsubishi to small claims court on this one.

    An axle halfshaft bent causing the car to steer poorly and the steering wheel to pulsate when turned slightly or when the brakes are applied. This was from a decent-sized pothole, but seems awefully delicate for 2-year-old car, and awefully expensve to repair at $400.

    Finally, at 23-months and 38,700 miles old, the car just felt loose. I could understand this had I used it as an autocross car, but fully half of those miles were freeway droning and the rest were just errand running.

    Anyway, thats why I sold a 2002 Japanese nameplate, loaded, midsize sedan to buy a 2003 stripped Japanese name and made car despite all the depreciation. The aggressive rebates are what made it possible.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Well, I've never really liked Mitsubishi for two reasons, the first admittedly personal and the second definitely outdated:

    1. Their styling. They appear to be amateurish attempts at recreating last-model Hondas and Toyotas.

    2. My 1988 Hyundai Excel (hey, I was a poor college student who needed a pizza-delivery car) had a 1.5-liter Mitsubishi engine and 5-speed tranny in it. At 38,000 miles (2K out of warranty) the entire transmission seized while I was driving, causing the car to come to an abrupt stop with its front wheels locked. Thank God I was driving 25 mph down a residential street (with my seatbelt on); I don't know what the outcome would've been had I been tooling down the highway at 65 in the rain!!! (Seems Mitsubishi "accidentally" shipped a whole year's worth of manual trannies out of the factory sealed with about a third of the transmission fluid they needed. Ooops.)

    Anyway, let me help you feel even better about your new car. My 2000 ES will turn 4 in May. I have 66,890 miles on it -- yes everyone, I just happened to look at the odometer this morning! It has never been in the shop for any repair, save two things I broke all by my stupid self -- a plastic doohickey in the trunk and a jammed CD in the CD player because I put one with a poorly stuck-on label into the player and it got stuck. The car has never had one real problem. My wife's 2002 Protege5 will be 2 in January, and it too has never had a problem in 28,000 miles. My former Protege, a 1992 LX 5-speed, went 83,000 miles in only 27 months doing pizza delivery (that's 750 miles a week y'all) and never went to the shop for anything other than routine maintenance.

    And people ask my why I like Proteges. Ha.

  • Got hit with a rock from a truck going the opposite way on Wednesday during a rain storm. Couldn't see who the truck belongs to and couldn't turn around to give chase. Ouch!

    It hit the roof an inch or 2 above the windshield, left 2 slight dings a some scratches al they way to the primer. The touch up paint is too dark and doesn't match well at all. I wish it would have hit the windshield, it definitely would have cracked it. In FL, insurance pays 100% for windshield replacement.

    Otherwise, the 02 LX is still perfect after 19 months and 22K + miles.
  • that the Protege was one of the better cars out there. I had a 1994
    Mazda 323 hatchback that wqas absolutely terrific, and so far, this one feels even better built.
  • Well me wife and I went out to the theatre tonight, and put about 50 miles on the new Protege. From semi-twisty suburban streets to a particularly twisty bit of LA freeway (110 into Pasadena), the car was a delight.

    My wife the artist, who is totally disinterested in cars, made more than one comment about superior design elements. She loved the textured door handles, the instruments (even on the plain DX) and the overall interior design.

    This car even made me update my profile. I used to say how I've never owned anything except boring cars. That is clearly no longer the case.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    The car is fun to drive regardless of trim when compared to the competition.

  • I've got a 1991 LX that I bought new; best car I've ever owned. It now has over 213,000 miles and still runs like new. First clutch at 200,000 miles, front brakes at 138,000, rears at 184,000. The first significant repair was a radiator at ~100,000 miles (and it was only ~$300). Out of respect for its age, I normally don't take it much above 6,000rpm now, but get above 5,000 virtually every time I drive it. I've had to replace both CV joints due to torn boots (somewhere in the 120-160,000 mile range. I had to replace the heater core at around 190,000(~$800 due to the labor rate of $99/hour here in the Bay Area). A catalytic converter at around 195,000. A set of plug wires a long time ago (maybe around 80,000?) No other significant repairs- it still has the original starter, alternator, A/C, fuel pump, etc. My daughter has a '99 ES with about 45,000 trouble free miles on it. Mazda is definitely at the top of my list to replace my Protege when I finally need to. Maybe even an RX-8 (unless I can somehow justify a Honda S-2000).
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    It seems the olderProteges were great cars. Most of us posting here have the 3rd gen ones (99+) and no problems. Great cars!

  • I bought my car because of the handling, feel and price, but its very nice to know that it is one of the more reliable cars out there. I hope for many years of trouble-free driving.
  • Hi all! I need to get some tires here soon. It has sure been difficult to find an all season tire for the 2002 Mazda Protege ES (195/50/16). There seems to be nothing but high performance tires out there. High performance are nice but, they are not very good in Michigan winters! I can't afford to purchase two sets of tires (summer/winter tires) either. So, I am just looking to get an all season tire. Any suggestions? Has anyone had any luck with the Pirelli P6 four Season tire? Thanks everyone! I look forward to your suggestions.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    I have had the Falken Ziex 512's in size 205/50-16 for about 3000 miles.

    While the handling does seem a little limited compared to the Dumflops, I pretty much only remember them when they were bald racing slicks that stuck like glue. There is no doubt that the Falken's do great in the rain, as we have had record amounts of it lately, with a lot of it ending up in my basement.

    Snow traction I'm sure I'll be finding out in the next few months. While I don't expect them to be great, I'm planning on getting through this winter with basically brand new tires and getting snow tires next year.

    The 205/50-16 size does look a little large when you first see it, but now it looks good to me. Just took a little time to get used to them.

    I also liked the price. $80 each with free shipping from Mounted for $11 each at Costco.

    Oh, and if anyone buys them and doesn't like them, blame Ashu, he started all of this.

    meinrad (Raymond Wild, post #6719)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------

    I have opted for the Michelin Pilot Exalto 205/45R16. It's a directional tire unlike the OEM, not cheap ($128 from tirerack). Despite a lower profile, it's actually much quieter and smother than the OEM tires. The steering response might be a tad less direct. I think the handling on dry pavement is at least comparable to the Dunlop and the traction is even better on the wet surface. According to Michelin, this tire is *not* design for snow condition. I'll plan to get a set of snow tires since I'm going to make few ski trips this winter.

    bluong1 (Bruno Luong, post #6717)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------
    I had Falkens (ZIEX ZE-512) on upgraded ('tuner') wheels on my 95 Pro for nearly 10K miles, and was thoroughly impressed by their nearly perfect blend of the four important features : dry traction, wet traction, (some) snow traction (unexpected bonus!) and longevity (barely any visible wear in 10K, and warrantied upto 30K - longer if you get 60 or hgher profile versions!)

    I'd recommend those tires without hesitation.

    This discussion has to include the Falken ZIEX ZE-512! I had those on my car for around 10K miles, and was thrilled with their dry traction and amazing wet traction. They performed satisfactorily (or better, considering I had 50 profile high performance versions of them) through the single winter (with the Blizzard of 2003!) as well. When I sold them (and the wheels), based on just the pictures, they would have lasted through their 30K mile warranty.

    Ray has them on his P5, and Meade's wife's P5 has them as well. They noticed some extra edge wear, but have been happy witht he traction in the few thousand miles they've each had them.

    They're a good bet (as are Toyos, Kumhos etc) because they're as good as, if not better than, the overpriced junk from Michelin and Dunlop, and have a decent warranty - while being MUCH cheaper!

    Ashutosh (post #6629, Sedan post #22524)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------ ----------------------------------------
    Avid Touring

    Had them for one year and 18K miles - show very little wear, perform very well on dry pavement (good sidewall design allows sharp cornering even if I went from 195/55/15 to 195/60/15), decent in rain (no ABS, so I'd rather not really TEST them to their limits) and good in snow.

    Dinu (Sedan post #22525)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------
    Meade seems to like BF Goodrich Control T/As.

    Michelin X-Ones are good tires. So are Yokohama Avid T4 and H4 (though they have a rep for squealing with moderate lateral loads); the T4 is a better all-season than the H4.

    I was checking out the Michelin Harmony tires for my wife's P5 (she wants better fuel economy and is willing to give up some handling). I haven't checked them for a size compatible with the ES.

    I like the Dunlop SP Sport A2, though I seem to have had a much better experience with mine than Meade did with his. Perhaps the different tire sizes has something to do with it (I have a '99LX with 185/65R14 tires...I left them at the stock size instead of upsizing as I have little enough torque as it is).

    Mazdafun (Chow-chi, Sedan post #22521)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------
    Stock rims are 16x6. I loved my Proxes T1-S in 195/50R16 (V rated like OEM Dunlops). I got them on my 2001 ES which took same size as all P5s. does not list them as being available (I have asked them to correct this several times, to no avail), but they are. However, they are not cheap. I paid $135 each plus mounting/balancing. They were definitely quieter than the SP 5000m toward the end of life, but it is a different noise. A sort of low hum which is barely there.

    Plus 0 size would be 205/45R16 which is the same as my 03 Miata. There are tons of tires in that size. I would expect increased tire squirm by going to 205s with a 6" wide rim. They might stick better overall, but I would expect them to track less accurately.

    I decided not to get the Kumho ECSTA 512 due to speed/load ratings. I disliked what I read about the Dunlop FM901. The Dunlop SP 9000 looked nice, but was more expensive than the Toyos.

    If you don't want to spend the big bucks for the T1-S, Toyo just recently came out with the TPT touring tire. Should cost about $97 per tire.

    Boogse (Ted, post #6181)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------ ----------------------------------------
    Proxes T1-S Tire Review (Summer only tire)

    Link to tire info:

    I had this tire on my Protege ES for about 1500 miles before I sold it. Compared to the Dumflops that came on it, the T1-S was a superb tire. Turn in may have been marginally slower, but the T1-S stuck like glue compared the the SP Sport 5000m. Wet traction was excellent, and hydroplaning was not evident as it was with the Dunlops.

    These are highly regarded tires, but they are a little pricey. I paid $135 per tire from a locally owned shop.

    I noticed no significant wear in the short time that I had them. At the time, I expected to get about 15,000 miles based on a treadwear rating of 280. My mother has had these on her 1995 Mustang GT convertible for about 20,000 miles, and they are currently showing about 6/32" of tread left.

    Since these are a summer tire, I plan to try the Toyo Proxes TPT on my 2003 P5 when it needs new tires since it is now our all-season car. I will seriously consider getting the T1-S for my Miata when the time comes. I would recommend the T1-S to any one looking for a maximum dry/wet performance summer tire. If you don't care about wet traction, then there are other tires to consider which may be better suited
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Has anyone tried and liked the Proxes TPT? I will most likely have to replace the tires on my P5 come spring time, so I was looking for confirmation that this is the way to go.

  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Back to tires :)

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