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Mazda Protege5



  • bunk1968bunk1968 Posts: 119
    I went to and entered the greatest miles (150) that I could choose for an inventory search and still nothing came up for a 5 speed manual. Does anyone know if they are all gone?
    If not how can I search beyond what will let me?
    1. Is this car really as rough riding as I have read?
    2. Is this car's interior as loud as I have heard?
    3. Is the Protege ES basically the same car and do both the P5 and ES drive and feel the same?
    4. If yes, why does edmunds give the trans and engine a lower rating on the P5 than they do on the ES??
    5. Why did edmunds give the trans and engine of this car such a low rating?
    I know it sounds strange, but I am choosing between the P5 and a Honda Prelude, does anyone have any opinions? The Prelude would be about three thousand more, but I think maybe it is a smoother ride and an a more refined engine.
    I have found a used P5 with 15000 miles, silver, 5 speed, leather seats, moonroof, 2003 model and they are asking $13500.
    The Prelude I have found has 19000 miles, is silver with a 5 speed trans, 2001 model and is $16500 or best offer.
    ** are these good deals?
  • - The P5 has a "sporty" ride and feel to it, but most of us do not object to it. A dealer might be able to search a larger area and find a 5-speed for you. $13,500 for a used P5 might be able to be negotiated downward a bit. Consumer Reports has always rated the Protege (including P5) very highly. The Prelude would probably be good, too. Not sure how Edmunds could rate the ES so differently from the P5 if the engine is the same.
  • First of all, YES, there are plenty of 5-speeds left. Just change the city or zip that you are searching from to some place that's around 150 miles away and you can span your search out in concentric rings from where you live to find the closest 5-speed available. For example, I found most of them to be available in the Philadelphia area, including several w/ ABS/SAB option (hard to find).

    Second, you can do better on price. I was in your exact situation 3 weeks ago. Was going to buy used, but found I could buy new for equal or less money and get exactly what I want. That is true for the most part, provided you're willing to negotiate with the dealers you find from MazdaUSA site. I bought new (75 miles on it), red, 5sp, Sunroof/6cd, sunroof deflector, auto-dim mirror, wheel locks, cargo net, sub-woofer (2003.5 models only, I think.....the early 2003 models came with a luggage rack instead of subwoof). I paid $13,500 (plus tax/tag/title) and am infinitely happy with the car. They even delivered it to me (350 miles away) for $150.

    Now to answer your other questions:
    1) I agree w/'s a sporty feel, but I don't think of it as harsh. If your roads are riddled w/ potholes you will feel the roughness, but on relatively good roads, no issues at all. Speed "humps" (the large, rounded ones) are handled very smoothly.
    2) I don't think the interior is really that loud either, even though I wouldn't consider it quiet. However, I drove a Honda Oddyessey (still can't spell it!) before, and it was definitely noisier, especially the engine. At idle, the engine is very, very quiet. At speeds over 65mph, it gets louder as road noise starts to intrude more and it revs higher, but even at 80mph it's quite liveable.
    3&4) I can't answer because I've never driven a Protege ES.
    5) I don't know how Edmunds rated it, but it's certainly not a bad engine/tranny combo in my opinion. Although, I did feel the automatic was too sluggish for me, even with sport mode.

    I've never driven a Prelude, but I think the driving experience between the two cars will probably be quite different. Please do yourself a favor and test drive each first before you make a decision. Everyone has different requirements. I know Preludes are good cars, as most Honda's are, and I'm quite sure the engine/tranny will be more refined, and the noise level probably at least a little lower, although keep in mind that it has 3 years of use on it and no warranty left. The P-5 has 4yrs/48k bumper to bumper & roadside assistance on it. I really don't think of the P5 as "unrefined." I think the car is solidly built, has stellar reliability, is way fun to drive, economical (I avg 30mpg on regular unleaded), and hauls people & things quite conveniently, having 5 doors and all.

    I wish you the best of luck in finding the right car for you. Let us know if you have any other questions. And did I mention......I love my new car!
  • plogicplogic Posts: 5
    I too was looking for any leftover 03 P5's in the Tri-state area of New York for the past month but could not find any. I think if you search you won't have any problen finding one that is slightly used. I ended up finding a slightly used one with 5,500 miles on it at a Mazda dealer about 50 miles from my house in the color & options I wanted. (White, 5spd, 6 CD changer & Alloys) They had it listed for $14,700.00 on the internet, but when I called & made an offer of $12,200.00 they immediatly counterd with 12,500.00 and we finally settled at 12,450.00 & now I'm a happy camper. I definitely like the sporty ride & connected to the road feeling, that's one of the reasons I bought this. I like the Prelude also & you can't go wrong with that choice either. Hopefully you'll get the opportunity to test out both. Good luck with your decision
  • bunk1968bunk1968 Posts: 119
    Thank you and yes I will need the luck you wish for me in consideration that it is difficult to find each of these cars near me so that I can test drive them.?
    Well, I guess I will have to just do my best. If anyone knows of a dealership that still has the maual P5, please let me know.
    Someone has just told me about a good deal on a 2001 Solara with low miles, but this was not the car I was planning on getting.
  • andrewkandrewk Posts: 59
    This may seem a bit odd, but when I was looking for the absolute best deal on a P5, I looked at the some of the travel section adds out of the Sunday paper to see what air fares were running. I saw that I could fly round trip from Indy to major cities in FLA for about $200. I then checked the inventories down there, found a several cars I was interested in and requested qoutes. Turns out I was able to negociate a local dealer down to a great deal. I don't know if this idea appeals to you or not.

    I echo many here in this forum about what a great car the P5 is. I got the 5 speed and love the car. It is such a rush to drive! You really do feel connected to the road. To me, the rev and buzz is the pulse and racing heartbeat of the car. You're aren't isolated or disconnected (yawn) like riding in a boat.

    Good luck with the hunt. You won't be disappointed if you get one!
  • dave1440dave1440 Posts: 1
    I found a local dealership with 4 or 5 Mazda Protege 5's. They are all pretty well stocked; alloy wheels, moonroof, roof rack, power everything. The sticker prices are a bit high, around $18.5 to $19.5. I know there is a $2500 rebate and the salesman said that they were looking to deal to get rid of them. Is $14000 a good offer to make? I read that people are getting these for $5000 or more below sticker. I appreciate any input. Thanks.
  • I got mine 3 weeks ago for just shy of $5k below sticker. The more loaded the car, probably can get more off the sticker (since there's more markup with each additional option). Bought mine for $13.5k (5sp, sr/6cd, wheel locks, subwoofer, cargo net, sr deflector, autocompass mirror). If you can't get them below an acceptable price level, see if you can get them to add on an option you would like for low or no cost. For example, add the audodim/compass mirror or sr wind deflector, cassette tape, cargo net....etc. If they don't have those parts in stock they can have them there within a day or two. The place I bought from did some of this for me in the negotiations.
  • bballabballa Posts: 56
    Has anyone else noticed, when after washing your p5, some dark streaks of sticky residue. When I first saw the car at the dealership it was filthy, it hadn't been detailed yet. It looked fine when I took delivery but the first time I washed the car I noticed the streaks. I figured it was residue from the protective plastic used in shipping. I cleaned all I could see with goo gone. Still with each of the last three washings I find more. What's up? Any answers or solutions will be appreciated. The color of the p5 is silver.
  • andrewkandrewk Posts: 59
    dave1440, I bought a P5 back in January for $5100 off sticker. As I recall, there was $2500 rebate, $1000 dealer cash, subtract those from invoice and subtract a guestimated 3% dealer holdback and it comes up roughly to $5000-5100 off. Perhaps that is at cost, or even a bit below cost, but they should be happy to unload a discontinued, 1.5 year old car. I wouldn't buy into their sob stories that claim otherwise.

    bballa, I had just a little of that sticky stuff but it was on the headlight of my p5. However, I did encounter quite a bit on my wife's new '03 Subaru which is a "seamist (pea) green."
  • bunk1968bunk1968 Posts: 119
    I have found a P5 5-speed that is a 2003 with 15000 miles. It is silver with leather interior.
    They are asking $13500, is this a good deal?
    I would also like to ask if anyone prefers the P5 over the Mazda3 and if so why?
    Oh, and one more thing. Is the Protege ES quicker than the P5? I thought maybe it was lighter in weight and ...
  • cdnp5cdnp5 Posts: 163
    I can't speak about your pricing as I'm from Canada but I have driven the Mz3 and do own a P5. I actually prefer the P5 over the Mz3 for everything but the 2.3 in the Mz3 is much nicer than mine. I prefer the slightly stiffer suspension plus the tighter and more connected feeling of the steering in the P5. I don't think there is any more room in the back of either car and if so its marginal either way. But you should be able to save some money on a new one if they have any left in your area. Is the ES quicker? Probably only .2 seconds, you would never be able to tell.
  • pappy55pappy55 Posts: 41
    13500 for a P5 with 15k miles? naw. go to a dealer and have them do a search for a new one.

    P5 vs Mazda3s (hatch, I presume). I own a P5 and just recently test drove the 3s hatch. I prefer the P5. Although the 3s had a bit more power, it just felt too bulky for my tastes. The interior felt cramped compared to my P5.

    But, if I had to get a new car today, the 3s would probably be it.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,322
    For me anyway. That goes for front and back.
  • I can't tell you which car is better than the other, because they're both great cars and it is totally a matter of personal preference and finances in making the right decision for you. But here are my perceptions and opinions.

    I have a P5 and have test driven a 3 hatch four times so I'm pretty familiar with it. I like both, but for different reasons. The 3 is more refined in general, little more quiet (not that much though), more powerful engine, more up-to-date dash/interior layout. Its looks are more polarizing (hatch anyway) which can be good or bad. The 3 "feels" bigger or heavier to me, but at the same time it feels more constricted inside than the P5. In general the 3 feels like a bigger car than it is, even if it offers no extra room (or even a little less).

    The P5 on the other hand feels like a small car to me, yet appears to offer a little extra space and seems less confining than the 3. It still has a nice interior - it just doesn't look as flashy or contemporary as the 3's interior. The seats in the P5 allow you to adjust the bottom cushion angle, which the 3 does not....that could make it more comfortable for some people. The P5 feels very open and good visibility, maybe because the beltline of the car is lower than the 3 (and most other cars nowadays). The P5 overall has a bit more "fun" factor to it....almost like a go-kart. It may not be as fast or flashy, but you really feel connected as a driver, moreso than in the 3.

    Now if you were insistent upon having an automatic transmission, I might steer you toward the 3 because I just didn't find the P5's auto exciting enough for me, though it's fine with 5sp manual. The real swaying factor for me was the price. At roughly $4-5k less than a comparable 3, the P5 is a real steal right now. Also, they only made the P5 for two model years (in the US) so it will also be a bit more exclusive over time than the 3. Hope this helps in your decision-making process.
  • bunk1968bunk1968 Posts: 119
    Great help all!
    I test drove a P5, but they only had it in an auto trans. It does ride a little rough, and I wished it's interior was a little quieter. I would really like to try the 5 speed, but none to be found in my area.
    I guess the price of $13500 was not too good??
    I was hopeing that was a good price for that car. I was going to offer $12000 and see where it went from there. It was exactly what I would want in the P5, stick, leather, silver, moonroof, and no roof rack, which I was told makes wind noise worse.
    Well if anyone else has any more input, I am all ears.
    Oh, and I had read a few posts where people had bragged about the Mazda6 and I had seen how one shopper for the P5 could not resist the Mazda 6 after he took it for a drive. Well, I have not driven one, but I saw that Edmunds rated it quite high. So, my next step was to see what owners of this car were writing. I was very surprised to see so many complaints?! Rusting doors, squeeking breaks, and ...
    I thought that maybe this would be the car for me since I found the ride of the P5 a bit harsh and loud, but after reading about all the problems...??? J.D. Power ratings were not so great for the Mazda 6 either?? Confusing.
    Maybe I should see if the Prelude I originally looked at is still available?

    P.S. I thought the Mazda3's looked great in pictures, but they did not seem quite as impressive to me when I saw them on the lot, I think it is the front end. Anyway, I was surprised to find that I actually like the P5's look better.
  • andrewkandrewk Posts: 59
    On my first p5 test drive, I too thought it rode harsh. DITTO on my second test drive when I got it up to 75 mph on the interstate. However, in retrospect, both times the harshness occurred on relatively rough concrete that is not typical for me. The ride in no longer a negative issue, but rather a positive one in that I am now connected to the road! I was pleasantly surprised on my first road trip when I took it up to 80 mph and it was fine.

    As far as the 6. I think they look nice, but I have never sat in one, let alone driven one. The 6 was never a consideration for me because I had zeroed in the p5 for it's discounted pricing, the great reviews and the great build quality.

    Speaking of quality, the p5 was made in Hiroshima, Japan. One of the reviews that I have speaks very highly of this. As I recall, the 6 is made or assembled in Mexico.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Flat Rock, MI.
    Compared to the P5, the 6 has (quality) issues.

    If you thought the P5 ride was harsh, try a 3 with the 16" wheels. I know you said the front end doesn't; do it for you, but it is MUCH quieter that the P5, although you lose a bit of that fun to drive trademark of the P5/Protege.

  • In the post above. We just bought a 3 to go with our 5 and autohound1 is right on the money with the comparison, imho.

    Incidentally, we were also looking at a Jetta wagon before we decided on the 3. Checked the specs and the 3 is actually bigger (longer wheelbase, longer overall, slightly higher off the ground, etc) than the Jetta wagon. We were a little surprised.
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