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Mazda Protege5



  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    Another new Protege5 review.

    The "Parting Shots" are great... it really puts things in perspective.

  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    I was looking at both the P5 and the Elantra GT. The P5 does handle better when pushed to the limit (bigger wheels and lower profile tires), but the Elantra GT has a better long-trip ride, comes standard with leather seats, CD, alloys, variable-speed intermittent front AND rear wipers, power heated sideview mirrors, and much more, for a few grand less. I own a 1999 Protege ES and love Mazdas in general, but I must say that the Elantra GT deserves a look.

    I just bought an Elantra GT two days ago. It is the best car I have ever owned so far. Great ride, awesome sounding 6-speaker AM/FM CD system, roomy cargo area under hatch cover, and more!

    Don't get me wrong. I love Mazdas, but Hyundai has really improved over previous generations with respect to quality and safety, all at a very reasonable price!
  • thanks sunbyrne!.. there were a couple reviews in there I haven't read before!

    I found the credits for the article at the "woman motorist" website humorous :)..

    'by Bob Storck, with contribution by Hugo Becker
    Photography By Brian Leshon'
  • For those of you who ordered Protege 5s and don't have VIN numbers yet, has your dealer given you an expected time of delivery?.. I ordered mine on May 23rd, and as of yesterday, the mazda dealer database still didn't have a VIN number on my car.. yet the database says expected delivery is first week in August.

    Should I be worried??.. I was under the impression that if I didn't have a VIN number, the car hasn't even been built yet. If that's the case, how are they going to build it, and ship it all the way to the east coast in under 3 weeks?.. any comments from former mazda owners who ordered would be much appreciated. I'm not counting on getting a straight story from my dealer :)..
  • smostormsmostorm Posts: 11
    i already have the VIN number on my car...but what's odd is that there is a silver p5 with everything i want (except with the polished alloys...bummer, no thanks) coming in the first week of august which does not have a VIN number, yet my car does and i don't even have an expected delivery time. well, "sometime in august," claimed the dealer. so something isn't adding up here. why is a car w/out a VIN getting here before mine? i understand your confusion and frustration aardvark_mark. i don't trust dealers as far as i can throw 'em. i still haven't gotten a straight story from any of them.
  • curemecureme Posts: 15

    I've got the mazda moonroof deflector installed on my P5 and it definitely reduces the wind noise (but it doesn't eliminate it). It actually looks pretty good and seems to flow pretty well with the roof rack. I had test driven one without the deflector and the wind noise was a lot worse. That being said, both cars are still really loud if you have the moonroof open so I tend to only open it while driving on surface streets.
  • phoenixmp5phoenixmp5 Posts: 60
    I read the previous postings regarding tire pressure and reduced mine to 32psi as stated on the drivers door. I liked the ride a heck of a lot more before the pressure reduction, as the car rode more like my Camry than the "rial racer" I had been driving for the past 2800 miles. Before reducing the tire pressure, I found the car to handle much more responsively around turns and coast farther when I let off the accelerator.

    This morning I took the car to the dealer for its first oil change and mentioned the tire pressure debate which had taken place earlier in the discussions. I was told by several people that the 32psi guideline is Mazda's guideline for the best ride! The tire manufacturer however, specifies the rating which will produce the best performance and the longest tread ware. This can change from tire to tire, from manufacturer to manufacturer and needs to be followed accordingly.

    The service department told me, they recommend inflating the Protege ES and 5 tires 2 to 3 pounds below the manufacturers rating of 51psi.

    The recommendation is based on the extremely hot temperatures we have here in the desert.

  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Posts: 210
    Sporin, thanks for that link--I hadn't seen that review, and it's an interesting one. Not that I'm not buying one anyway, but still interesting. I'm curious to see what Car & Driver will say about the Pro5, since they have such nice things to say about the ES.

    As for VIN #'s, my dealer doesn't have a VIN # yet for a car that he was promised by Mazda to be delivered the first week in August. (Why is it so hard to get ABS with a 5-speed?) Anyway, he says it does sometimes happen that the VIN# doesn't make it to the dealer much before the car does, but even he is starting to worry and the dealer's factory rep will be calling Mazda about it. We'll see if it really comes in the first week in August.
  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Posts: 210
    Oh yeah, one more thing, for compensate (#941):

    The Elantra GT appears pretty good by most accounts, however, the real killer (ahem) for this car for me is the IIHS crash test rating, which is "poor". Not even marginal. I have a six-month-old baby and I just won't even seriously consider a car with a "poor" crash test rating. "Poor" in a small car is about as bad as it gets. I'm not thrilled with the Protege's "acceptable," but that's still two classifications ahead of poor.

    Oh, and I can't stand leather seats, either, especially here in Texas. I also find that the Pro5 drives better--handles tighter with less body roll, has a smoother 5-speed. I felt that fit & finish were better on the Pro5 as well. You're definitely right about the sound system--much better in the Elantra. Yes, Hyundai continues to improve and I agree that this car was worth a look, but I still prefer the Pro5. But in another couple years (especially with the Ford-ization of the Protege), who knows, I might go the other way.

    Just my $0.02.
  • bri70bri70 Posts: 147
    Yeah, the Elantra forums are buzzing over the surprising results of this test. Surprising because the Elantra scored very well on the governments test.

    The consensus is that the "fix" will be a recall to adjust the airbag sensors and replace the seat latch. The structural integrity of the Elantra was very good.

    To me the Pro5 had better steering and sportier handling. I don't know about the fit and finish. IMHO Elantra's fit and finish was just as good as the Mazda's. Overall I prefered the Elantra's ride. I was leaning towards the Elantra, it seemed like more car for the money. But I'll wait to see how Hyundai responds to the IIHS test.
  • butler11butler11 Posts: 12
    I've had my vin # for about 3 weeks now.The dealer told me that the car has been on rail for 3 days now.They told me that on Monday.It's only to take 10 -11 days to get from West Coast to where I live (London ,Ontario .Can).So next week some time .Can't wait!.Mine is Yellow .Does any one have any ideas on personalize plate for the P5 let me Know.
  • pro5girliepro5girlie Posts: 20
    I called my salesman, cause I'll be on vacation for a week, and said that my car is coming the first week of August also. I ordered around 5/29. He didn't give a VIN # either. I'm not worried. I'll just wait. I'm sick of worrying if it's coming in or not. He says first week, that's what I expect. I can't wait, though!
  • phasorphasor Posts: 12
    Whoever said that the black mounting strips do not come on Canadian models of the P5 is incorrect. Every Canadian P5 I have seen, including my 1-week old blue P5, has two black strips, slightly lower than the roof, running down the length of the car on both sides. On each strip, there are two plastic plugs that you can pop off, one at the back and one at the front, which reveal, what look like to me, to be mounting points for a roof rack.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    If the black strips are slighly lower than the roof, then those are the rain gutters/weld covers and not the roof rack mounting strips. Also, the roof rack mounting strips don't run the length of the car... they run from about where the moonroof would start and end at the rear hatch. The roof rack mounting strips are approximately 2"-3" wide and protrude about 1/2"-1" above the roof. Take a look at this picture of a U.S. Pro5.

    Right Half of Pro5

    Left Half of Pro5

    Unfortunately, Mazda posts their graphics in sections, so you can only see half of the car at once. You can see the recessed black rain gutters which start at the windshield. Now look at the mounting racks. They start on either side of the moonroof and are considerably wider and taller than the black rain gutters. All U.S. Pro5's come with those permanently installed and the crossmember attach to these. Does your Canadian Pro5 have those?

  • phasorphasor Posts: 12
    No, it doesn't, but I call those black mounting strips 'part of the roof rack'. If I were to remove 'the roof rack', I would take them off. The rain gutters already have special holes in them where the mounting strips go on, you don't have to drill holes yourself or anything. On my car, the holes are covered by removeable plastic plugs. You are saying that the black mounting strips are permanently installed, I'm just saying that that does not appear to be the case.
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    I agree that the P5 handles better. Those big wheels and low profile tires were tempting to me. If I was on a winding road, I would have more fun in the P5 without a doubt. And my wife still drives our 1999 Protege ES (45,000 miles on it and no problems).

    However, those crash test ratings were on the 2001 Elantra GLS, not the 2001.5 Elantra GT, which came out many months later. Structural integrity in these same tests, however, showed that the Elantra GLS was as good as any. And for the 5mph bumper damage test, the 2001 Elantra showed $0 in damage, front and rear, a rare feat. The Elantra GT also includes STANDARD side impact air bags.

    All-in-all, money was a VERY big issue for me, and I saved over $3,500 on my Elantra GT - the Mazda dealers here were selling the P5s above MSRP as they are selling fast. I must see the two P5 commercials every day on every network channel for a couple of months now.

    Good luck with your P5s everyone, but those who are low on cash should really consider the Elantra GT. Smooth car.
  • tcinsftcinsf Posts: 3
    O.k. folks, I have read alot of issues in regards to the vin #s' and delivery date. just to let you all know, I did not just sit there and wait for the car to arrive. I shopped around the 75 mile radius that's 8 dealerships. I called all the dealerships at least once a week, checking to see if the car i wanted was in. if your smart about it you would shop from at least three dealers(let them fight for your business) and do not let any dealer trick you into thinking this car is a hot seller and it's special order only. there is some truth to it (because they are slow in production, but the truth is that the dealers are holding out to see which buyer is going to pay over MSRP(greedy bastards)or they want you to think the car is so hot that you as a buyer have to pay top $'s for it. 2. Please, do not buy this car at either dealer suggest price or at MSRP, because this is a niche car and believe me they are not going all that fast. the dealers are trying to cash in on the hype of a new car. I been to several dealers who told me they sold all their P5 befor i got there and the car I wanted (silver 5sp ABS/moon roof) is their last one. Guess what, that car is still sitting in the show room two months after I bought my P5 at another dealership for alot below MSRP. i dealt with the internet manager, because I found out most of them are not working on commission, they are working on how many cars they sell and customer service reviews. best of luck on all your buying experience. remember do not pay MSRP
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    I didn't know that the gutter rails already have holes for the roof rack. Since all Protege5's in the U.S. come with the rack mounting strips already installed, I have never seen how they mount. However, if someone were to remove their's, would it be possible to get the plugs to cover the holes?
  • tcinsftcinsf Posts: 3
    there should be 4 black plastic plates that covers the the roof rail when the racks are removed. 2 plates are shorter for the front covering and the other two are longer for the back half.
  • Thank you all for the feedback on the vin# situation.. seems a lot of us are expecting protege 5's the first week in august, regardless of when the car was ordered.. will be interesting to see how things turn out :).. of course if I hear anything new I'll be sure to let you all know. cheer -Mark
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