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Mazda Protege Real World MPG



  • Remember the oil filter ? Most of the particulate matter is either blown out the tail pipe or knocked down by the oil bath . I really think the oil filters , most have a nominal 10 micron element(just larger than a red blood cell), made today are sufficent for most of the dust . no engine runs in a pristene environment as we all know. The valvetrain and bearing surfaces are under a constant bath and the finer paticles are dropped to the bottom of the pan ,mmmmm....I guess a mechanic can clean that at select intervals.... i.e sludge. But thanx for the concern...enjoy your poor mpg !
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    "Remember the oil filter?"

    Sure I remember the oil filter. But it takes awhile for those contaminants to get there giving those particulates plenty of time to do there damage. Don't forget that all that crud will also do a number on your oxygen sensors.

    BTW, I got 35 to 37 mpg out of my automatic 2002 P5 (128,000 miles on her now)on my last trip. :P ;)
  • I was consistently getting 23 to 25 mpg.
    I changed the spark plugs at 60,000 miles using factory original plug selection.
    My gas mileage last gas up (in town) was 28 mpg.

    I have also just recently put all season Kumho's on my steed, which doesn't help gas mileage at all.

    I will report mpg at next gas up.
  • 11b33t11b33t Posts: 51
    On my 1992 LX I average about 27 city and 34 hwy but I do have a lead foot which shows in my 2003 Mazdaspeed which can average 25 city and 32 highway but I do love the turbo boost..

    BTW the Mazdaspeed drinks premium only gas.. ;)
  • ardaproesardaproes Posts: 12
    My 2000 ES gets about 24 mix and about 22 city
    I rarely do any highway drives but i think i get somewhere around 28 hwy
    It is a 5 speed and with my driving habits and with mileage that it has i am fine with her drinking habits. :)
  • civiletticiviletti Posts: 86
    With 78k on the odometer, I still get about 24/34 mpg.
  • oldman15oldman15 Posts: 43
    5-spd 03 P5, 140K miles, new plugs & air filter, new OEM Dunlops(44psi):
    Numbers have been fairly consistant since new -
    Straight freeway, fillups before & after, Non-Ethanol gas, 37 MPG(one-time-best).
    Everyday mostly freeway, Non-Ethanol gas, w/ or w/out AC, I usually get 33MPG.
    Ethanol gas generally has dropped MPG approx 4 MPG.
    Winter drops it another 3 MPG.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    2003 Protege LX 2.0 automatic
    Urban driving about 20 miles each way to work. Average 42 mpg on same route when driving my 2009 Jetta TDI DSG.

    Still love the Protege for what it is. Very fun to drive. Tossable. Even if it is noisy.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Average 42 mpg on same route when driving my 2009 Jetta TDI DSG. Still love the Protege for what it is. Very fun to drive. Tossable. Even if it is noisy.

    Interesting. You drive a diesel Jetta but call the Protege noisy. I guess diesels have improved. ;)
  • Just bought a 2003 Protege5 with auto transmission a few weeks ago. A real treat to drive. I have filled the tank 3 times since buying and am loving the results, especially compared to my SUV. I have gotten almost 400 miles per tank, in my SUV I get 230 or so with a larger tank. I have had one trip with all highway miles and achieved 30 MPG. The other 2 fill ups have been in the 27-28 MPG range. I live in a very hilly area. The trade off between gas mileage and being a blast to drive is one I can live with.
  • With a little more break in you might his the 32-33 mpg range I have experienced in long trips from Ohio to New England!
    Good luck. The "Zoom Zoom" feeling never goes away!
    I still love every minute in the car (70,000 miles)
    Bruce Kennedy
    Canton Ohio
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Interesting. You drive a diesel Jetta but call the Protege noisy. I guess diesels have improved. ;)

    Your comment is so very 1979.;)

    Protege has a well deserved reputation for road noise and wind noise.
    It's handling, ergonomics, material quality and other attributes far outweigh the minor faults.

    Average 26 mpg and 27 mpg on last two tanks of fuel.

    Jetta averaged 41 mpg on same route for what it's worth.
  • On a 13 hour trip to Vermont from Ohio, I got 34 mpg one way.
    One way was climbing, the other, going down. The down run gave me the
    unbelievable mileage.
    I get a boost when I use Chevron fuel injector cleaner, or super high test gas.
    The cost per mile does not improve using the super high test, but it is a challenge to post the highest mpg.
    I always get a boost in miles per gallon when I put in new plugs, which has a good payback.
    I enjoy driving the Protege5 so much that I can't wait to drive to work and home.
    When I had an Austin Healy 3000 in 1968, I was hooked on that car so much I drove an hour and a half after dinner every night. Part of that mystique was that prior to that time, I was on assignment to drive a mobile 50 foot tractor trailer classroom and went from San Francisco to San Diego across the southern U.S. to Cape Canaveral, than then north to Pittsburgh and Chicago. 25,000 miles in 14 months.
    I got hooked on road joy.

    Driving is an end in itself, and it is great to be able to use a utilitarian necessity for pleasure. Clutchless shifting is a joy with the ZF transmission (I bought the MP5 by special order the first week Mazda produced with ZF clutchless shifting transmission, side impact bags, and sun roof. Aside from the rear wheel well and door bottom rust emerging, the car is sound, and I am staying on top of the rust with polishing compound and wax. I have 72,000 miles on the car, and will probably invest heavily in eliminating the rust cancer and rust proofing so I can drive the car into the ground.
    I've had Toyota Cressida, Dodge Maxivan, Olds Bravada, Volvo Wagon that I took to 225,000 miles before SELLING, with the Bravada sold to a friend and still running at 140,000 miles.
    A useful and family fun vehicle becomes an old friend, and it is tough to let them go.
    My wife has had four Miatas. We currently have a lightly driven 3rd car '99 Miata with 36,000 miles on it. It is a psychological "being cool" boost for my dear Polly (64). Her license plate is ZZ MIATA, mine ZOOM OH (OHIO). Yes we are committed to the Zoom Zoom experience. We have had some lighting replacement annoyance with the Protege, but otherwise we replace brake pads, rotors, and filters with oil changes and that is about it.
    You will buy a Mazda if you test drive one. Try a RX-8 which is a really impressive piece of engineering and design, and a machine you "want to be seen in" and you then drive a Miata, and the Miata wins hands down. Emotion overrides every time.
    If you love to drive, you pick the car that is most fun to drive. Mazda has the formula down. Drive a Volvo or Focus equivalent which is the same set of hardware, but different performance objectives, and the Mazda will always win.
    The Mazda product people are passionate in their development and they listen to their fans.
    Zoom Zoom Zoom.

    Bruce of Canton Ohio
  • I concur. I was new product develop manager for Fram for 5 years, and the K and N delivers performance at a cost in engine wear.
    For performance/fun people who will turn a car over to get the latest technology and ZOOM, the K and N makes sense. They know what they are doing, to deliver performance and fun.
    Bruce of Canton
  • When did you replace your timing chain?
    Older Protege's needed to be changed at 65,000 miles.
    I hear 105,000 is ok for 2002 forward.
    Bruce of Canton
  • Do you really like the lines of the M3 better than the MP5?
    I just love the MP5 design.
    I can tolerate the M3 lines because of the continuous performance improvement.
    I'm getting near retirement and looking at the M6 wagon which has the MP5 design profile and a softer suspension, more room in the front and back (although the rear seats in the MP5 have more room than the larger M6 wagon).
    Can you figure why Mazda is holding back on availability for the 2010 M6 wagon?

    Bruce of Canton
  • I've been running into a similar problem with my 2003 MP5 automatic. I've been averaging around 20-21 mpgs, as low as 18 and occasionally on a drive out to Las Vegas as high as 25. Needless to say, this seems like a far cry from the upper 20s I was hoping to be getting when I bought the car. Any advice or suggestions for things to get checked out?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    According to Consumer Reports, 25 mpg is the overall average for a Mazda Protege automatic.

    As to improving fuel efficiency, the usual nostrums apply including driving smoothly, avoiding lots of short trips and proper vehicle maintenance.

    In the case of the Protege, you might want to check that the fuel emissions system (including the EGR valve) is in good working order.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    edited April 2012
    Been a while since I posted here. I'm still driving my 2001 Pro LX and it is beginning to do poorly
    on mpg, but it has only 48K on it. Gets an inspection the end of the month. One surprise, the Check Engine light came on last week. That was the old bug the Proteges had in 2001. I didn't tighten the gas cap on the previous fill, when that was done, the Check Engine lamp turned off.

    My reason for not trading: you can't beat the Mazda Pro for being practical, frugal, roomy, and reliable. And its lines are Classic, similar to M-Bs. For a smoother
    ride buy Khumo Summer Cruising tires or any brand with soft rubber sidewalls.
    Have yet to see anything worth trading for, that offers considerably more in all areas. Although, the Kias look promising.

    fowler3 :D
  • 105f2dc105f2dc Posts: 5
    edited July 2013
    After 118K miles with my ES 2.0 (2001) and zero problems (ok the seat belt warning does not work) I have come to realize that using a gentler approach can mean up to 6 miles more per gal. I have been experimenting with slow gentle take offs from start, coasting to red lights or down steep hills, no A/C or at least intermittent use when really needed to cool things off a bit, I have improved mpg from 27 to 33. On the highway to work I drive 2 miles above the 60 mph speed limit on cruise. I use premium gas (always have). I have agressively maintained it, changed all belts when doing timing belt together with water pump. Right now I am having both coil packs and wires changed along with new Iridium plugs. Mobil 1 every 5K. This car runs so smoothly and looks good inside and out (I did have it painted, but the eco-interior has held up very well). Anything can happen as the miles go by but so far this is a winner in my book.
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