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Mazda Protege Owners: Meet the Members



  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Have fun in your new Pro!!
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    You'll find the Protege rewarding beyond its price tag, like many of us have. :)
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    thanks everyone, and iam looking forward to posting very positive reviews regarding my pro es if the way its rideing now is any indication. just went over the 1000 mile mark so now that iam basically out of the so called break-in period i can open it up a little bit and put some zoom-zoom- into the car, and hopefully the fuel economy will improve as well as i put on more miles.thanx. steve
  • Hey all.
    I am the proud new owner of a Mazda Protege5. It was purchased new a little more than a month ago. It was my wife who actually saw it/loved it/drove the purchase process, but I really like the car as well.

    We got it fairly loaded: AT, moonroof, abs/side air bags, 6 disc changer, leather, polished wheels, and roof rack. Silver color outside, black inside. It looks very sharp. (My wife wanted the AT, I would have preferred the manual; but it's not a big deal.)

    I love the way that it handles but it is too bad that the engine feels uninspired. Just doesn't seem to be much of anything there. I don't know if it is the AT or the engine, though. I have used the sport shifting feature off and on and it still seems to be sluggish, so I figure it's the engine.

    The one problem that we are having with it is the gas mileage. I have seen a few others here mention it, too. The sticker said 25/30 but we have been hovering in the 22-25 range ever since we got it. We even removed the roof rack a few tanks ago to see if that would have an effect. (It doesn't seem to have changed much, which is good; the roof rack adds a nice touch to the sporty look of the car.) This is the same type of driving that gives me 30-32 MPG in our old car (a Mazda 626 4 cylinder). We haven't taken it in to the dealer yet, but we are getting very close to that. Everyone we mention it to says that it needs to be broken in some or it is the cold weather. The other car still gets 30+ in this cold weather, though...

    Anyway, love the car so far. Will continue to enjoy it as long as we figure out this gas mileage thing.

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    And hang in there. I think mpg increases after the first 1-3k.

    Other things you can try:

    Increase tire pressure from 32 to 34psi (the setting on my wife's P5).

    Use synthetic motor oil.

    Use a clean air filter (or replace more frequently than called for in the manual).

    Removing the roof rack only makes a noticeable difference at highway speeds.

    Winter formulations of fuel typically have less energy capacity, so expect about a 3-5% drop in mpg.

    My wife complains about the mpg she gets in her P5, as it's a little lower than that of her old SL2. But she now averages 29mpg (not bad for a wagon IMO). She averaged 26mpg when her P5 was new. The transmission is geared more for acceleration feel, and the throttle is also calibrated for launch feel. Feather the throttle when starting and coast as much to stops. That by itself will probably give you a couple more mpg. However, it does take a bit of fun out of launches and stops. And try to carry more speed through corners. The P5 is very capable in this regard and it's a load of fun too. But it will wear your tires a bit more, though it will wear your brakes a bit less.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Since you have only had your P5 for about a month, I would wait until after your first oil change before getting too concerned about fuel economy. Even though the engine doesn't have a mandated break-in period, I have found with both my 2.0L Proteges that fuel economy improves significantly after ~5,000-10,000 miles. Also, use Chevron gasoline or add Techron additive to keep your fuel injectors clean. Since I do not have a Chevron nearby, I get it whenever I travel, and the engine usually seems more responsive after about a half tank, and fuel economy always improves.

  • Always been a Toyota family, decided to take a chance on this Mazda. Seems like the Pro is a worthy alternative to Corolla/Civic. Anything about this model/year that I should be aware of? Keep in mind the standards to which I've become accustomed with Corollas (one '93 and one '03).

    Thanks, all!
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    only diff would be ride quality and alongwith that the road noise.
    Other than that, It can't be beat.
    Honestly, interior trim is too good, as is the space.

    just enjoy your zoom zoom.
  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
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  • Greetings everyone, I am new to this site and a prospective first time buyer of a Mazda Protege5 Sport wagon. I am looking at a 2003 that lists for 17,745 and with rebates is selling for 14,000. It sounds like a good deal, but I am concerned about its performance in snow, as I live in the northeast. The salesman has told me I can put 15inch snows in place of the 16inch Dunlops that are currently on the car. Has anyone else changed the tire size, and is it okay to do so, I am not very mechanically minded and I am going into this with very little knowledge of the Mazda line. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  • Sounds like an OK deal for 14k, but I would try to get them a little lower. It is a leftover, afterall. But still a great car. Glad I got one before they all gone.

    Lots of people have gone w/ the 15" wheel/snow tire combo from (I haven't though). Last snow/ice here in N.C. my SP5000Ms seemed to do ok, although they only have 3000 miles on them.
  • cdnp5cdnp5 Posts: 163
    I do have snows tires (and need them) up here and love it. At first you will notice a bit of a difference but considering its winter, you will be driving slower anyway. I wouldn't leave the Dunlops on it if you didn't have to. Plus this will help the Dunlops last longer as they don't have a long tread life (25-40k miles, depending on your driving).
  • I bought my P5 last week after a bit of work and research. I worked with 3 dealers willing to go $5000-5100 off who were about 100-150 miles away. After I got my best deal, I gave my local dealer the opportunity to match the price and he did. Mine stickered for 17.8 and I bought it for 12.7!!

    I have been out on snow once with the stock 16 tires and it did okay.
  • Hi, my name is Andy and I am the proud owner of a new Protege5. I apologize for my last post without introducing myself first.

    As I mentioned, I bought mine last week at a nice discount ($5100 off). I wanted and got a 5 speed and the only option was the ABS and side air bag package.

    I am absolutely thrilled with this car!! All of the positive attributes that I read in all the reviews are there: great handling, great build quality, great value, etc., etc., etc.

    I find the power more than adequate as I joyfully crank through the gears.

    The suspension is admittedly a bit firm, but it is not bothersome to me. However, I do not like taking the car much above 70 mph as it gets a bit to busy and buzzy for me. This car will be a urban runabout for me, so this really isn't a problem.

    I could not be any happier with this car!!!
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    My wife and I are quite pleased with her P5, and I'm very happy with my Protege. Yours should reward you with fun reliable service, as ours have.
  • kenvkenv Posts: 5
    Hi all,
    I've been reading this Forum for over a month now. Started in the Mazda3 forum, but after I came to grips with the fact that I probably wouldn't be able to get in one (based on my budget) I decided that the Protege would be my 2nd choice. If I had the time, I may have held out; however, my old car was a 92 Nissan Maxima with 198,700 miles on it. It would stall on me at random times and the A/C was not blowing cold. Here in Dallas they both are issues. I got my money's worth out of her. So I was hoping to at least be able to drive her on a lot for a trade.
    I located several Proteges (over the internet) still new on a few area lots and checked them out. Unfortunately, they sold by the time I got to them. I did notice that they sold for about 5,000 under MSRP so I used that ammo to help buy the ES I found on a lot near my work. The sticker was $18,060 w/ABS, side air-bags, and wheel locks. I managed to get them down to $13,900 including my trade ($600.00 towards TTL).
    After reading some more on this site I decided to go with the Mazda extended warranty - because I will keep the car for a while. Got 7yrs/100,000 w/$50 deductible for $799.00.
    I am very pleased with car. It's white, which wouldn't have been my first choice since my Maxima was white, but now I'm pleased with the color too. Wish it had the moonroof and 6 disc in-dash changer though. Anyway, it's all you guys have said yours were, and I look forward to driving mine every time I get in it. It had 114 miles on it (brand new) when I drove it off the lot. Now, I'm up to about 700 "babied" miles.
    A few things I want to do is to tint the windows (right away) and upgrade the speakers to the Kenwoods that many of you have gone with. I've checked out the on-line Mazda sites you have mentioned you purchased yours at, but I've also seen some on Ebay for less. Debating whether to go with the Mazda ones because of the factory wiring/connectivity or save on the Ebay ones. Also would like to know how easy the speakers are to get to for self-install. I visited tboggs' homepage ( where he shows pics of his installs, but I'm not too car audio savvy. Plus I don't want to risk causing any cosmetic damage. I will try though if you all advise that it's easy. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
    Also, what are anyones thoughts on going with an early oil change for the first one? Or, should I just wait for the 1st scheduled one?

    Thanks for your time - if you took the time to read this. This is a great forum and has been a great help so far.

    Aim High!
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  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    You may wind up being the final owner of a new Protege to post information here. I thought that by mid-2004 all the 2003s would be long-gone!

    Welcome to our happy family. Some of the long-time regulars (Larry, Protegextwo; and Dinu; to name two) have just jumped ship for new cars (Larry traded his two 2000 ES's for two Pontiac Vibes and Dinu traded his Protege for a Mazda3), but they still hang around and offer advice. I still own my 2000 ES and my wife drives a 2002 Protege5. I plan to trade my Protege, which is still going very strong at 75,500 miles, for a Mazda3S 5-door next May, but we'll probably keep the Protege5 for a couple more years since it only has 30K on it. At any rate I plan to stick around here as new owners always show up -- used Proteges make pretty good deals!

    Welcome, and enjoy! I'm 75,000 miles ahead of you, and zooming ever on!

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    It should treat you well.

    The front speakers in the door are fairly easy to get at. Just remember to take your time and don't force anything (except for the grip on the passenger door, after you've removed all the screws you need to pop some snaps). Wiring isn't hard. If you go with the Mazda-supplied ones, it's just unclip the old ones and clip the connectors to the new ones. Other than that, Crutchfield may supply adapters if you buy from them. If not, then you'll need to use a soldering iron.

    On the driver door, make sure you disconnect (and reconnect) the power window and side-mirror control boards from their wires when you remove the trim panel.

    The speakers in the rear deck can be a hassle to replace, but the results are worth the effort, I think. It took me more time to do those than the ones in the front doors. I didn't figure out how to remove the panel completely, but got it detached enough I could work underneath it to replace the speakers. You may break a few of the plastic fasteners here, but you can always buy replacements from your parts department.

    I didn't post pictures, but I did describe in text how I replaced mine in the Protege Accessories and Modifications board (msgs 272 and 274). You can go to that board, do an "advanced search" for "speaker" and "replacement" in the message text and restrict the search to just that board. It'll list every message posted about the subject in that board.
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