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Mazda Protegé



  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    posted this in "problems and solutions" as well:

    hey guys (and gals) -

    2002 and 2003 Pro's are the same, right? all come with the 2.0 liter in DX, LX, or ES, right? is this the infamous 2.0 from the 626 that had issues?

    also, at 130hp, it seems kind of underpowered for a 2.0 liter. with an automatic, can a person driving a LOT (she has a 60 mile round trip commute each day at least) expect anywhere near 30mpg's in real life? or is it Civic/Corolla time to get better mileage.

    looking at 02 and 03 automatics, preferably with ABS and bags. good deals to be had on the inventory due to depreciation and the new 3 coming out.

    thanks for the input!

    BTW, my 99 Miata gets 30mpgs, and i sit in rush hour traffic, but it is also a 1.8, not a 2.0. and it is a stick of course. hoping the Pro can get at least that much since it won't be driven as "hard" as i drive my Miata.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    are mechanically the same, just differences in minor trims/packages.

    the 2.0 in the Protege is NOT the same as the one in the old 626. it may share the same engine block as the 626, but in a much more updated design. I have not heard of ANY serious engine issues with the 2.0 Proteges ever, they are very reliable.

    gas mileage depends on how much highway driving she does in her 60 mile commute. Low to mid 30's is possible if it's mainly highway driving, mid to high 20's if it's mostly city and stop-n-go traffic.

    the 130hp number is misleading, as it has a broad torque band from about 1500-5500, so it has a nice pep during acceleration.

    the leftover 3rd gen Proteges are great bargains right now IMO

    good luck!
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    just to confirm - the 2.0 liter in the 2002 Protege is NOT the same engine as in the 2002 base 626? that is good news! i had heard horror stories about 90's technology 4 cylinder 626 models. also, a 2002 came with a 3 yr/50k mile warranty, while a 2003 came with 4 yr/50k, right?

  • barich1barich1 Posts: 48
    The 1993-2002 4 cyl. 626 and 2002-2003 Protegé all share the FS-DE 2.0l engine. It has certainly changed since it was first introduced with the 626 in late 1992 (it produces more horsepower, no longer has hydraulic lash adjusters, etc.). And the Protegé must have some additional differences (such as the annoying cause of the "cold engine rattle," VTCS) because the 2002 626 was not ULEV whereas the 2002 Protegé was.

    I have not heard of any reliability problems with this engine, though. As far as I know, they (like most other Mazda engines) tend to be all but guaranteed to last 200k miles.

    The horror stories you've heard do only pertain to the 4 cylinder 626, but they are about the transmission, not the engine. The automatic transmission in the 1994-2002 626 4 cyl. is a Ford unit; the CD4E. They finally got it reasonably reliable in 1999 or so, but it's still not great and it's also not very smooth. The Protegé uses a Mazda transmission that is smoother, more responsive, and has a much better reputation.

    You're correct about the warranties.
  • edmund2460edmund2460 Posts: 293
    I have a situation similar to yours. The reason my trouble free 01 ES has only 27K on it is my 82 Jetta Diesel that still gives around 48mpg and uses the lowest priced fuel at the pump!
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    also, at 130hp, it seems kind of underpowered for a 2.0 liter. with an automatic, can a person driving a LOT (she has a 60 mile round trip commute each day at least) expect anywhere near 30mpg's in real life? or is it Civic/Corolla time to get better mileage.

    I ring the heck out of my manual 03 Pro (shift at 5k all the time) and I get 29 mpg constantly. It'll do better if I drove under 80 mph.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Even at 77,000 miles.

  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    My 5-speed never got better than 30MPG even on fairly laidback highway commutes.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    My 2.0L 5sp got 38 mpg on a trip where I kept it at around 65 mph. If I'm going 80-85, then it drops down to about 30 mpg.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    "My 2.0L 5sp got 38 mpg on a trip where I kept it at around 65 mph"

    I would go nuts only going 65 mph on the highway. I generally set the cruise at 72-80 depending on the speed limit at the time. I generally do 8 mph over the speed limit.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Well, there's not much you can do when you're driving on a two lane highway with little to no passing opportunities headed to northern Minnesota from the Twin Cities. All the trucks with boat trailers sharing the road with you pretty much guarantee that you're not going to go too fast.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    there are NO Proteges out there with ABS. ditto for Corollas. searched within 100 miles. and the Elantras OFFER ABS as a package, but it isn't actually produced without the sunroof option too. you SHOULD be able to get Package 4, but you find that they all have Package 5.

    ditto for Mazda3.

    she really wanted a smaller car with ABS. the only way to do it, WITHOUT a sunroof, is going the VW route. or base model Accord LX.

    BLUE - i thought you had a 330i? i swore you used to have a Jetta Wolfie that you hated so you got a 330i? wrong guy? or is your Pro a 2nd car?

    29mpg leadfooting it is good indeed! but like i said, no Mazdas out there with ONLY ABS.

    thanks for the input though everyone!
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    Out of all the cars I have owned and in the 8 years I have been driving my ABS has only activated three times and during one of those I purposefully stopped hard to see if it would activate. It's probably more important in areas with more severe inclement weather.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    i myself really like ABS. i don't have it on my Miata, but i won't be driving that in the snow/slush, and try to avoid rain (except for pesky summer storms). it has been and is on my other cars though. but even in dry weather, anything that prevents lock-up is a good thing in my opinion.

    but for the person that is looking at cars right now, well, lets just say she needs all the help she can get, especially with regard to braking. :)

    i would consider the Kia Spectra with all the airbags and ABS and long warranty, but it is too new to tell if it will be as reliable as the competition like Protege and Elantra.

    it does bug me that car makers offer things in print, but don't actually produce them. ABS is quite important, or VW and other makers wouldn't offer it as standard equipment on all models.

    but what do i know...
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    to have it. But you can ask the salesmen, most people won't pay for safety. They expect it to be standard. I know finding a Civic SI with SAB would have been next to impossible. But they did offer it. I saw one in three years.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    i don't really agree, but that happens sometimes :)

    i think a person WILL walk away from a car if it doesn't have the ABS or side airbags that they want, but i have never heard of anyone walking away from the Protege (or Civic or Elantra etc) that they want (right color, etc) BECAUSE it has $250 airbags....

    i am one of the "have" to have people for sure! ;)
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Without ABS and side airbags on my 03 Protege I would not have purchased it.

    Having worked in the sales arena in the past I do know that safety equipment was near the bottom on the list of "must have".
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Any car that my son rides in has to have safety features. My SI doesn't have SAB's but it does have ABS and stuff. I couldn't care less before I became a parent.

    These forums are misleading. It seems everyone has NAV and or a V6 when one is offered. Not to mention the ratio of manual transmission enthusiasts. Even though the highest selling models are 4 cylinder automatics in nearly every mid range vehicle.
  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    From Detroit to Tucson in my daughter's 2002 Pro LX in 3 days..we logged just under 2100 miles...WOW! 29-30 mpg with a FULLY loaded and packed car... We couldn't even see out of the back window. We were doing 70-80mph most of the way with the A/C on constantly. The car performed without a hitch. We had one strong thunderstorm the first afternoon, just south of Detroit, and no other rain the whole way! Awesome car for the price...CDs sounded great, without a skip. It was a very nice some quality time to spend with my daughter, after not seeing her for 2.5 years..or so...

    I had asked in this forum a week or so ago about changing the plugs and or wires prior to the trip...and was given some good advice, which I processed, and made a decision...Time didn't allow us to work on the car in detroit, only to get her stuff packed and get on the road. I had complete faith in the car, and my faith was proven correct, as the trip went very smoothly. I'll get to the plugs and wires this week.

    First night out, after leaving Detroit at 2:30 PM Monday, we stayed in Terre Haute, IN. Next night, Tuesday, Shamrock, TX. Wed morning, we went off the interstates, and took the US route (70? 60?) through New Mexico via UFOS sighted ! ;-) Saved about 100 miles vs driving I40 to Albuquerque. We arrived in Tucson 8:00PM Wednesday. My wife was very anxious but excited that we made it back safely, and exstatic to see her daughter home again. Not so sure she was happy to see me back. ... Just kidding...

  • jbolltjbollt Posts: 734
    I guess I posted last week in the Protege Problems and Soultons Forum, (#2177 "Suggestions") not there..oh well..sorry...but, my guess is that most folks read both, so I will not double post.

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