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Mazda Protegé



  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    I went to a Canadian Tire over the weekend and was looking at tires again. Without rims, they wanted about $515 for a set of 4 Michelin Arctic Alpins. That's about what I've been finding most places. However, the sales associate also showed me a tire that he said is made by Michelin and marketed by Canadian Tire. They were called Nordic (I don't remember the rest of the name). These tires were about $71 compared to $102 for the Alpins. Total, they came to about $365. He also said that people have told him that they prefer these cheaper tires over the Arctic Alpins. Has anybody had any experience w/ these Nordic tires? I'm worried that the rubber compound is the same as all-season tires and will therefore not give as good ice traction. Thanks

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    In a few weeks Paul will realize he's got a "cheap imitation" of an Audi or Mercedes. Maltb hit it (Paul that is) right on the head.

    Yeah Malt, Ford realized what crud they had in the 2.3 liter truck. Old-as-the-hills motor technology, crappy front twin-I-beam suspension, no sway bars, etc. I'm sure your new 3000 handles like a Porsche compared to the old horse I had (funny, I wanted to take it out to pasture and shoot it too).

    See you guys tomorrow. I gotta zoom-zoom to a meeting for the rest of the day. At least getting there will be fun!

  • How are you buying your car for $260 a month!? I pay that much and I am leasing. Sounds like you are getting a really great deal!

    Hey check this out...


    (Copy paste that without the img=)

    Don't they look great!? You can order them from here...

    Also I never noticed that my Jetta was anything much like an Audi. Went to the Audi dealer, they just got in the new A4s. They are to die for, maybe my next car in a year, but I would really like to be loyal to Mazda. We will see...

  • elec3elec3 Posts: 160
    Just for all interested, the sticker on my Pro5 came out to about $18,500 (give or take, it may have been a little higher). It has everything including auto except side airbags and ABS (also no wheel locks or alarm or anything like that). I had the dealer install a power moonroof at a local shop (cost around $800 and IMHO is much better than the factory roof). I didn't put any money down because I didn't really have any to put down and I got 4.9% financing. I bought back in June well before the September 11th thing, the major economic slowdown, and the introduction of 0.0%. My payments now are $365 a month for 60 months. Not great but not awful for zero down and no trade-in. I was aiming for $350 a month and didn't miss by too much.

    I have about another year and a half of school to go and will most likely drove the Pro5 until it is paid off. At that point I'll be 26 years old, my insurance will have made its major drop, I'll be pretty well established in my career, and ready to buy something more costly and more expensive to insure. Until then, it's zoom-zoom!

    PS: The Protege is an econobox because it's small (passenger and cargo room), inexpensive, and is available with a 4-banger only. On the other hand, how can you call something with auto, air, cruise, power moonroof, 6 disc in-dash CD changer, power windows/locks/mirrors and on and on an econobox? Granted you can get one stripped but luxury equipment is becoming standard even on small, relatively inexpensive cars these days. Oh yeah - and most people who would consider the Protege a true econobox have never driven one :)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I associate an econobox with something like a Geo Metro or something like that. (Even the Toyota Echo isn't an econobox to me, and it's pretty small.) The Protege is nowhere near an econobox, IMO.
  • sfratsfrat Posts: 205
    I'll try to answer a few from my point of view:

    I wanted a new car, because I want to be the only one that drives it, and won't find any "surprises" due to poor care by the previous owner. Certified has taken a lot of the worry about that out, but you never know.

    Carmax is great, I think. If your goign to by non certified used cars, I think the peace of mind that they offer is well worth the small price increase. I was very impressed with their inspection process.

    Financing: A car is too big of a purchase for most to buy outright. Much more affordable making monthly payments, and as long as you owe less than what the cars worth, you're not really going in over your head. That's why its important to make a sizeable down payment if possible. Meade's payments are so low, because of his trade plus I would imagine he's putting a decent amount down. My car was 17.5, and I put 6k down when I bought it, I pay 240 a month. I saved up for about 6 months and lived at home so I could save up to do that. I realize not all have that luxury.

    Another benefit of new vs used is financing. My bank wanted 7% on a used car loan for 48 months, Mazda gave me 0% if I bought a new one, with full warranty, road side assitance, etc. No question which way I'd go.

    I just got my Pro back from its 7,500 mile service, I also got a cargo net installed in the trunk. They didn't charge me for installation, and it was 42 dollars for the service. Talk about a deal.

  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    Meade said:
    "You guys are young and still very affected by peer pressure."

    Yeah, Meade, always young at heart. But not THAT young. FYI, I will be 71 in December. Bet you didn't know that by the way I type. I have owned two houses, built an apartment house as an investment and owned other commercial property.None of which is as much fun as a car, but a hellofalot better investment-wise.

    Meade also said:
    "I don't think my dad will ever understand this."

    Dad's never understand anything because they were young once, too, and know how temptation gets young guys. Impulse buyers.

    When I had more income I threw it away on boats and cars. Now that I am on a fixed income I wish I had invested at least 50% of what I paid out on cars. In 1967, $10,000 invested in a good mutual fund, with not a dollar added later, would now be $2.5 million. Interest isn't as high these days, but with compounding in 30 years $10,000 would still be about $1.5 million. You could then afford any car on the planet. Think about it. No matter how old you get you will want a car if you can still drive.

    Meade, I understand where you are coming from. Also, I understand where Paul is coming from and he needs to read the above very carefully.

    I bought boats and cars to make up for losing my parents early in their years. I know the feeling. It doesn't work that way; you can't compensate with things. You have to choose between money and things and when you are old money is the most important. Make it while you are young, it gets a lot harder to find work later.

    This doesn't mean don't buy a car. It means save as you go along and keep your car longer. Never make a bad deal just because you want it NOW. Think about your needs in the coming years, other expenses, other beautiful cars you don't know about. ;)

    Thanks Meade, hope you enjoy the P5 and I hope Paul enjoys his Jetta. Cars won't always be this cheap, but then, they were pretty cheap 30 years ago, too. I paid $5,450 for a new Buick Riviera loaded, it had a 350hp V8, power everything. My income then was $15,000 a year. We use to figure the cost of the car as a percentage of annual income financed over 36 months. Anybody making that today has to buy an economy car.

  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    You said you thought about the C-class Benz, why didn't you get one? You can get the C-Class "Kompressor sport coupe" for $25,500. Its RWD, comes with a 6 sp manual transmission, 16 inch alloy wheels, electronic stability control, automatic slip control, ventilated ABS disk brakes, a 192 hp supercharged 4 cylinder, and power everything---standard. 4 year, 50,000 mile warranty with free scheduled maintenance for the entire warranty period. Mercedes Benz service departments. Benzes are VERY sturdy and reliable cars; you better believe it will hold it's value. As you can see, I wouldn't mind one if I had $25K to shell out. Oh yeah, one more thing, IT'S A BENZ FOR $25K!!
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Who knew that someday you would be able to buy a brand new Benz for the price of a VW?
  • speedyptspeedypt Posts: 200
    Meade...when paying someone else to do the install and are right. It may be cheaper to go with a local. For the do-it-yourselfer like me...who has the tools and access to a real lift (through my connected brother-in-law) I prefer to change things myself. I will be infinitely more careful, triple check all fittings and do it right when changing between sets of tires. I paid $426 for all of it, including the nifty Motorola radios.

    Service? Great. That sums it up. I got my shipment and the packing slip indicated I was to get 16 new lugnuts. They were nowhere to be found though. 1 phone call and three days later, I had 16 polished stainless steel lugnuts delivered free of charge via UPS. Best part was that I didn't even know they were supposed to be included! Valve stems, mounting (tire to rim), balancing and shipping were all included in the price. (Best deal I could find locally was $597.62 through Discount tire on same package AND it didn't include the radios). So I saved $170.00 up front. Warranty? Can be administered by shipping the tire back to Tirerack or THEY will find me a local shop to have it repaired or replaced. If I use their suggested shop, Tirerack pays for the repair.

    I have dealt with Tirerack on 6 occasions over the last 14 years. Never once have I been anything but totally pleased. Bought two sets of tires for my Rabbit from them, 1 replacement tire for my '92 Pro LX, a full set of RE930's for that same car (didn't care much for those tires but that's another story), bought 1 replacement tire for my wife's '92 Pro LX when Costco no longer carried the matching tire to the original set they sold me (Pirelli P600...great tires for the money), and most recently my snow tires/rims. I will definitely be buying my Potenza S-03's from them this spring.

    Simply put...I have had great experiences from Tirerack. Nothing bad I can say about them. I recommend them to anyone.

    Again though...if you don't want to change the tires yourself, go local. The extra money is worth it, especially if you use a trusted and careful shop. Nothing looks worse than dinged up rims.

    BTW, I tried some 17" rims on my Pro about a month ago at my friends shop...I don't recommend them. Each ends up weighing about 12-15 pounds more than stock, and the acceleration and ride suffer a bit. Handling was noticeably better, but not worth the trade off in all aspects. The only way to really do it right is to get a set of REALLY light rims and Eagle F1 Supercar tires (also lighter) to keep the weight increase to a minimum and keep each wheel at about the same weight. I didn't get the chance to do so but my friend says it makes a huge difference and the car still accelerates about the same. He suggested BBS RX Ultralight rims with the Eagle F1 Supercar tires. Overall they weigh about 4 lbs less per tire than stock for my 2000 ES Pro. Downside? The full set like that goes for about $3400 smackers!!!! Not in this lifetime! I could see spending that if I had a showcar, but not my daily driver.


  • 70 posts in a little over a day .... geez.

    I think Carmax is a good choice if you want a used car. On some cars it can even make a lot of sense. However, with Hondas holding so much of their value and domestics and Mazda/Nissan/Mitsu offering such low rates it's hard to find a used car that makes it worth it. Although since I work for Carmax I can get pretty good deals on the cars that we buy and can't retail. My fiance bought a 94 LS400 for $10,000. Now that's a bargain.

    Speaking of the new MB C230 .. we drove it last week. It is a decent car ... but not for the money. For $25,900 you still have to add for CD, roof, leather, etc. so it really is a stripped Benz but it still has alot of safety equipment but for a few thousand more you can get an Acura CL-S and for a few thousand less you can get an RSX ... both of which offer more power and are still a premium brand .... just not as premium as the MB.
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    Fowler, I did a quick calculation and can't begin to see how 10,000 would become 1.5 million in 30 years with compounded interest. I assumed 5% interest, and did it by
    10,000*(1.05^30) = 43,000+

    Of course, if there's a way to do that, tell me about it!

    That said, I start on my first full-time job in a month or two, and do plan to keep my 95 Protege at least until I turn 25 (I'm 24 now). Six to eight months of 'real' income (I'm just a grad student now) and no car payments should be nice, as will (hopefully) my credit scores and insurance rates by then :-)

    But then again, (I like to think) I'm passionate about cars, and I can see myself being tempted by a nice, but pointlessly over-priced car (read Audi, BMW) in the next few months/year. Hopefully the nice Mazda 6 hatchback will be out by then, but something like the RX-8 is a tempting car for someone my age.

    And cars are bought more impulsively by the under-30 crowd than by anyone older, so I can understand how most people wuold do that once or twice in their lives :-) So quit picking on us young 'uns for now.

    Paul, now that you HAVE bought yourself a really nice car, enjoy it, and keep it for a few years at least! You've been through the impulsive buying phase a couple of times now, so try to come out of it wiser (and happier, and not financially upside-down!)

    And at least you've avoided the one thing that can get boring quickly - everyone wanting to car pool in YOUR car because of the huge back seat :-)
  • elec3elec3 Posts: 160
    carpool in my Pro5 because of the backseat even though it's bigger than most of my friends' cars AND has 4 doors. Usually they'd rather squish into a 2 door Accord or a little Cavalier or something. It's amazing how many backseats I've been shoehorned into only to say "Hey! My back seat is bigger than this one!" :)

    Someone once said that life is lived sort of backwards. When you're young and want to have all sorts of nice things, you don't have the money and when you finally have the money, you're too old to really care about all the nice things you wanted when you were younger. Sort of a variation of "Youth is wasted on the young." As a poor college student, I feel that all the time. I have essentially zero income and anything I do make goes towards school. There are times when I say to myself "I wish I could afford a motorcycle. Or an upgrade for my computer. Or a new pair of headphones (I like 'em expensive). Or even a 6-pack of good beer this weekend." I can't, and it often sucks. By the time I graduate and am making some real money, I'll be too busy and too old with too many commitments to have the same desires.
  • I don't know where this topic about the protege being a econobox came from...but i don't think its one.

    I just can't wait til I get my turbo motor installed, then ppl will be looking at my car like "what is that old peice of crap doing" and then i take off and run a 13 second 1/4 mile :P. Ohh ..i can't wait

    Meade: can't wait to see them pics :P. I've been trying to upload your MAPP II Pics but my copy of Dreamweaver keeps disconnecting me from my server when i try to move the files. I'll post a link here when i get them up though.

    To everyone: Would you all be interested in coming to a car show in early May? I went this to this past years Carlisle Custom Compact Power Jam and loved it. I don't know if any of you would like that sort of thing, but you can see some pretty insane cars there, and there are plenty of them (over 2000). I think it is May 3-5th, 2002. which is a weekend (friday-sunday). It is something like 20 bux to enter a day. If you show your car (i will be) it costs like 40 bux for all three days, and you get to park on the field (which i think is a better deal if your staying for all the days). Let me know if any of you might be interested in this?
  • syd968syd968 Posts: 27
    Now that I've got 1500 miles on my '01 es w/5 speed I thought I would start revving it some. I can't believe second gear reaches 60 mph! Anyone know where 3rd or 4th gear tops out?
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Thanks to everyone who posted last night. I really enjoy starting my day off reading and talking about my cool little car.

    Fowler ... Wow, was I off on ages! Hey -- where were you a few months back when we were trying to find out how old all of us were? I thought Larry was the senior member in his mid-40s, LOL! I never woulda thunk it. My dad just turned 68. Funny you mentioned a Riviera -- that's what he drives now. I used to think that after age 55, your heart died (or your [non-permissible content removed] got tired) and you needed a car that cocoons you in marshmallow velour and disconnects you from the road. You are living proof that there is hope for me.

    Elec3 ... I don't know what you classify as "old," but I'm 36 and I still enjoy the good beer and a good pair of headphones. It's not that you lose interest in "the good stuff" -- it's just that your priorities change. Case in point -- I woke up this morning and walked downstairs to find the temperature about five degrees cooler than upstairs. A quick check revealed that the downstairs heat pump had thrown its reset switch and stopped running sometime during the night. Sure, a quick push of a button out on the compressor got it running again, but now I'm worried. This isn't the first time the downstairs heat pump has gone squirrelly on me, and a new outdoor unit is a cool (pun intended) $1,500. Ten years ago, if I had $1,500 to spend, I'd be planning on new wheels and tires, a new ham radio rig, etc. Today, it's these little "unexpected surprises" that keep you hanging on to your money and never seeming to have enough. Believe me, as your income grows, your expenses grow right along with it.

    Well guys, Richmond was a balmy 70 degrees yesterday (ha ha all you Canadians), and I got off work early after my meeting. Went home and spent a nice two hours washing my Protege. Boy he's gleaming now. I paid for that little outing, however. On this occasion -- the ONE time I decided not to take the cordless phone outside with me -- my wife needed me. Boy, she rolled up at 6 o'clock and chewed me a new butt. "I've been trying to reach you for an hour!" Followed by the infamous, "What if I'd had an accident?" and "What if Sean had gotten hurt?"

    Geesh. It was still fun washing the car though! Y'all have a good morning! I'm off to surf the net to find out why my heat pump's reset switch popped!

  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Last time I checked, a RSX type-S (the only RSX with more power than the C230) wasn't that much less than the Benz. The CD player is the only option that I would get. I could give a rip about leather and a roof. The RSX has 8 more horsepower, and a LOT less torque. The C230 is a more powerful real world car. All I am saying is that if I wanted a german car and had $25K, I'd be driving a C230 home.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Lessee here. Back in May 2000, there was a rebate on the Protege -- I think it was $1,000. I also had a trade-in, but it wasn't much -- I think I got around $3,000 for my truck. That plus the fact that this was the fourth car I'd bought from this dealership got me a pretty fair deal.

    I went in to my dealership armed with the information I'd gotten from NADA and Edmunds regarding how much my truck was worth, MSRP and invoice on the car optioned the way I wanted it, etc. I had it all figured out to a monthly payment. I drove the car, went back in with the sales guy, and told him how much I wanted to pay. He initially squirmed a little, but I stood fast. I used the line, "I can always keep driving my truck a little longer. I don't really NEED a car right now." He went off to the sales manager and came back with papers for me to sign.

    2000 ES 5-speed with everything (including cassette) except sunroof -- $269 a month for 60 months. While meeting with the finance guy I decided to go ahead and add the 7-year, 100,000-mile extended warranty. (By the way Paul, when you buy it with the car, you can wheel and deal on it just like you can with the car. It was a $1,100 warranty and I talked him down to $800.) Financed with the car it added $14 and some change per month, bringing my monthly payment to $284. Another cool thing they did was finance it through a local bank, and in return I got free checking at that bank and can pay at any of the branches -- and this bank is in Richmond's upscale supermarkets, so I can make my car payment while I'm buying groceries. (I could've gotten direct debit from my checking account, but I don't like people's hands in my pockets.)

    Anyway, there you have it. $284 a month for a loaded 2000 ES and the warranty. Not too shabby, I don't think.

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I'd like to thank you for lurking so efficiently on several other topics. LOL, I don't know how you get any work done! In particular, thanks for adding support to my argument over on the Cavalier topic. I don't know why these guys have to argue their point with me when I have a Cavalier AND a Protege in the driveway -- my THIRD Protege, by the way -- and it's easy to tell who parks where by taking note of the transmission fluid, antifreeze, wayward bolts and assorted other excretions and odors on one particular side of the driveway!

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