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Mazda Protegé



  • Hello folks, I'm new to this town hall. I recently bought a 2001 Mazda Protege ES. I love it! I'll elaborate on it later on. I recently got my windows tinted, I live in San Antonio, Texas, because its HOT down here. I wanted to put my 2 cents into the conversation. I choose to go with FormulaOne tint, but SolarGaurd is a tint I've used in the past as well. I got mine done at Custom Sounds and I'm pretty pleased with the results. I choose the high performance film over the dyed film (not recommended, low quality, only 3 year warranty), and the all metallic film (would have gotten it but too expensive and does not come in dark enough color). It cost me $131 after $20 off coupon found in the back of the yellow pages. Tinting is pretty reasonable down here. The sides are 35% (Darn state law), but the back is 15% and so is the eye brow. It makes the tint look darker than it really is. It makes a huge difference in driving conditions, no glare. I think the best suggestion I have for all out there is go with a major brand of tint (look at the web site TintDude), don't get the dyed tint (cheapest one), and shop around. Also pay attention to how the people are at the shop. Is is a back alley shop or a legit shop, etc. Look for coupons too, especially at the back of the yellow pages. Also, no one down here would tint my sunroof. They told me that the glass is of a different material than the rest of the car and if tinted it will absorb enough heat to cause it to expand enought to crack. Well I've said plenty. Oh, yeah, go as dark as possible without going Limo dark (overdoing it), you'll love it. Alright folks, talk to you later.

    Peace Y'all!
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    I won't second guess his motives, I was just calling a spade a spade.

  • Gone for a couple of days and I have to spend 45 minutes reading posts...

    I am about to get my windows in Atlanta they want around $300 for tint. I've had my last few cars tinted in Clearwater, FL for $110 w/ lifetime warranty. Me thinks me will be taking a drive to Florida soon. The name of the place is Pelican and they did an awesome job on my 99 Accord. Just can't justify paying $300... the guy at the place here said that the titanium tint used at the other place was out-dated and would discolor. I had the 99 Accord for 2 years and there was no discoloration or bubbles in the tint, so for the $200 difference I will take my chances and enjoy the drive.

    As far as California goes..I went to a wedding in San Miguel..not sure if you are familar with that. It's about 150 miles or so south of San Fran I think. I enjoyed being in California but in San Fran a 1 bedroom shack/cottage was over $200,000. It's not worth it to me. I will stay in lower gas prices, lower mortgage (WAY LOWER), and not have to worry about eartquakes. However, I will take every opportunity to visit Cali.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Cool! bring your wallet and lighten it here in CA. We love tourists!

  • I think it looks great too, but I don't think it'd go well w/ the Protege. The black trim around the doors whould stand out pretty bad...
  • nematodenematode Posts: 448
    I had lunch with the guy who owns the modified Protege today. He lives in Ohio.
    Its a Black 01 ES 2.0 (auto. Yes, automatic) with the spoiler and all decals removed. It has 17in rims that look very much like the ones on the MP3. Its a totally custom 50-shot NOS system with the bottle bolted to the floor behind the passenger seat where you can reach it from the drivers seat. He also has injectors for 100-shot but has not tried them. He claims that with the 50-shot system (on the dyno) it makes 140hp at the wheels with no other mods. I dont know what that translates to at the crank (perhaps 170???). As expected, he says he gets horrible torque steer and lots of wheel spin when he wants it. He also claims that 0-60 is in the high 7sec and pulls the 1/4 in 16sec. I'm not sure I buy those numbers. My ES 2.0 auto probably gets to 60mph in 11sec so I dont think that the 40-50hp he is getting would strip 3+sec. He wants to do lots of intake and exhaust mods but is having trouble finding quality parts.
    I wonder what this does to his warranty?
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Thanks for the responses. I did see a 1 bedroom in Point Loma for about $700. I do have a degree, but I have no experience since I just graduated. That economic forcast that you were talking about doesn't sound good. I have "connections" down there, but they are all military. Orange County you say MaltB? Isn't that LA? I also have relatives in Fallbrook (sp?). If I could find a job in Southern California, I would be there yesterday. I just don't know where to start besides an internet job search.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Fallbrook is the north, inland part of SD county. North of that is Camp Pendleton and north of that is Orange County. Keep going North on the 5, wave at the Mazda HQ and go about 30 miles and you'll be in LA County.

    Fallbrook isn't bad as you can commute to both OC and SD counties.

    I think you are on track with or the Sunday edition of a local paper ( ). I'm sure Jerry will give you his local one as well.

  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Do you work at Mazda HQ?
  • mhallackmhallack Posts: 32
    I don't know if anybody has noticed but there is a MP3 on Ebay that nobody has bid on. Based on what I've heard people pay (and what I paid for my MP3) the $16,000 starting price is pretty attractive (though it is reserve, so theres no way to tell how low/high it could go for).
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    ...but we will soon have a new member joining us. A Long Time Ago, In A Galaxy Far Far Away... In the Hyundai Elantra vs. Mazda Protege board, I have helped a Town Hall member decide on the Protege ES rather than the highly competetive Elantra and Sentra. Of course, Mazda's 0.0% APR and the S-Plan certainly helped. But, with payments equalling that of the cheaper Elantra, there was no better decision than the Protege!! Larry, thanks for all of your postings in there!! You took all of the heat off of me, LOL!!
  • webbrwebbr Posts: 2
    Hi shrique,

    I imagine most people who've purchased a Protege or Sentra in the last couple of years (since the Sentra redesign) have compared these two very similar cars. Both are reliable cars which fall towards the sporty end of the small car spectrum. You probably can't loose either way, but for me the Protege ES won hands down. I much preferred its exterior and interior styling, the interior space, and ergonomic feel. In particular, the shifter, steering and stereo controls of the protege feel much better to me. I LOVE the handling of Protege, but I can't honestly say that I know its better than the Sentra. I've never taken a test drive where I'm allowed to push a car enough to really feel a difference and I'm skeptical of anyone who says they could tell a difference only from a test drive. Reviewers seem to say that both cars have outstanding handling.

    My only reservation was that a similarly equipped Protege was a bit more expensive. When Mazda started offering the customer cash rebate, college grad rebate, low financing, free sunroof (when I purchased I was able to get all of the above - this is not always the case at times you must choose between the financing and rebate) it became no contest.

    One important point and judging by your inquiry it may be something weighing on your mind - I think many people have purchased the Sentra based on its higher horsepower and I'm guessing the folks on the Sentra board will tell you the Sentra feels much more powerful than the Protege. This is good marketing by Nissan but simply isn't true, at least not for the way 99% of us drive.

    This a bit technical but hopefully my point will be clear:

    The torques of the two engines are essentially identical and the protege's peak comes on earlier (135 ft-lbs @ 4000 rpm vs. 136 ft-lbs @ 4800 rpm for the Sentra). Thus, if anything, the Protege should feel slightly more powerful where most of us do our driving in the 2000-5000 rpm range. It is only at the very top end that the Sentra starts to out-torque the Protege hence the higher horsepower rating (horsepower is simply the product of torque * rpm).

    In addition the Protege is lighter (very slightly) and, more significantly, is geared more aggresively. So, for example, in a drag race the Protege will jump off the line somewhat quicker and will push you into the back of your seat with more force (what most people consider to be the feeling of "power"). The gains for the Sentra come only at the top of each gear because the Protege will ask to be upshifted sooner.

    So the Sentra will win the race, but all the gains will come while the Sentra is running at ~5500-6500 rpm in first gear, while the Protege has already upshifted to 2nd. And again with the Sentra in 2nd while the Prot is in 3rd etc. Even if you drive quite aggresively, your not likely to feel this very often in everyday driving.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    iamz is nuts to be jogging in high temperatures. Let me tell you something iamz, a heat stroke is no fun. I almost got what the Viking player got, a couple years ago.

    I was working in the yard doing some planting in 98 degree heat, 90% humidity, and suddenly I felt really sick. Real weak, started seeing sparkling things, got dizzy, went inside and sat down under a ceiling fan. It got worse.I had sevear stomach cramps. Clammy all over. Drank three glasses of ice water and I got over it by the next morning.

    My doctor said if I had stayed outside another 10 minutes I would have died. Those cramps were caused by the approaching stroke, damage to internal organs. Next time it will happen faster because of the first attack.

    It can hit you so fast. So take it easy and stay cool. And wear a hat! You will be glad you did years later when others are getting skin cancer. It takes a long time for it to develop.

  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    After test driving the 2001, and driving dozens on new 1999 and 2000 Protege ES's, I really feel that the 1999 and 2000 ES is the quickest. The extra low-end torque is nice on the 2001 ES 2.0, but it seems extremely reluctant to rev compared to the 1.8L. Is it just me? Car and Driver tested the 1999 ES at 8.4 seconds to 60mph. I haven't seen numbers near that for the 2001.

    Also, we haven't really discussed what will be coming for the 2002 MP3 (or will they call it MPS?). We know that it will be powered by something that "whistles." Will it be a supercharger or turbocharger? Horsepower? Torque? It would be great if Mazda put a 6-spd in it. Anyone heard anything?
  • bondobobbondobob Posts: 34
    It would be wonderful if Mazda could find a six speed to hook up to the 2.0 litre motor. (Even better if it would bolt up in place of the five cog box.)

    I am finding that the MP3 five speed has a really tall 1st gear. There is also a big hole between 2nd and 3rd. In fifth, you are turning 3500rpm at 75, at 110 you are into the 5000 range.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I have driven a 1999 and a 2000 ES automatic model, and own a 2001 ES 2.0 model. The 1.8 does seem a little more willing to rev, but their performance seems to be about the same. Of course, with the 5-speed, it might be a little different.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    Thanks for the insight webbr.

    After driving both in the same day I did find that the handling of the Protege felt lighter and more nimble. The Sentra felt heavier but it really stuck to the road when corning. Your right though the interior of the Pro is much roomier and very quiet. I was very impressed with that. I did notice though that the performance of the sentra FELT a little faster than the Pro.

    I don't know I keep running it back and forth and I guess I just have to figure out if the perceived performance gain (the sentra is approximately 1 sec faster 0-60 when flogged) is worth it to me. I felt comfortable in both cars......I don't know.

    Of course if I just figured out a way to get the extra 15 HP from the pro without resorting to NOS and keeping it cheaper than the $1k or so difference in price then I can just buy the Pro. (grin)

    You know when it comes to test drives I just flog the car hard. I figure I'm here to evaluate a car I don't let the salesman tell me where to go I just tell him right off the bat that I'm going to drive him around for a while. Me and a WRX salesman had one heckuva ride not too long ago. You know that car really is tailhappy on high g corners. (chuckle)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    People who test drive cars like you is one very good reason that you should be leary about buying dealer demos. :)

    The Protege has its advantages over the Sentra. Personally, I prefer the Protege's styling to the Sentra's. The back of the Nissan is just plain ugly IMO, but the Protege looks very nice to me. Also, the interior of the Protege is a LOT roomier than the Sentra. I didn't have a problem making a choice between the two, as I am 6'3 and couldn't really fit into the Sentra. :) But if you plan to have passengers in the back seat of the car for more than 15 or so mins., I would strongly suggest you choose the Protege.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    The reason why you haven't seen numbers near that for the 2001 is because no one that I have seen has tested the 2001 ES sedan 0-60 and I read a lot of car mags (Motor Trend, Automobile, Road & Track, Car and Driver, SCC, Super Street, Motorweek). If you know of a Mag that tested (not estimated) the 01 ES sedan 0-60, I want to read it. That car and driver test you are talking about for the 99-00 cars had them pegged at 8.9 seconds 0-60. The september issue of Car and Driver has a write up on the MP3 and it did 0-60 in 8.2 seconds.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    The Car and Driver article I am referring to is their first review of the '99 Protege ES. It is a November '98 article published just after the 1999 launch. I tried to post the link, but I get the error about posting more than 115 characters. Go to Car and Driver and in the search box enter "Mazda". At the very bottom of the results page is the link to the article, "Mazda Protege ES November 1998, An old favorite gets renewed and in the process gets much applause, too."
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I haven't seen that article since I was shopping for a Protoge. I know I read it way back when, but I didn't remember it since I wasn't looking at Protoges back then. Thanks for the info. Anyways, what mags have done full tests on the 01 ES sedan?
  • I'm considering purchasing a 2001 Protege ES , and I wanted to know if current owners religiously adhere to the Mazda-recommended services and service intervals. I particularly want to exclude car-obsessed individuals that, for example, have a 8 year old Prot and change the oil every 2500 miles, rotate tires every 5000 miles, and have the radiator flushed every year, plugs changed every 20K, new timing belt at 45K "just in case".

    I'd like feedback from the typical person, who changes the oil every 5000 miles, plus or minus 500 miles, gets their first tune up/rad flush/trans check around 30K, rotates tires each 15K and generally doesn't obsess over the car.

    Will a Protege with this "relaxed" maintenance plan, driven reasonably, last 5-7 years? Or is following the Mazda service recommendations absolutely required for maximum vehicle life (excluding warrenty concerns)?

  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I haven't seen that article since I was shopping for a Protoge. I know I read it way back when, but I didn't remember it since I wasn't looking at Protoges back then. Thanks for the info. Anyways, what mags have done full tests on the 01 ES sedan?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I used to have a 1999 Protege DX, which I maintained normally. I used to change the oil and rotate the tires every 7500 miles. I got a tune-up at 27K, and drove the car hard all the time. I also needed 2 new tires and a set of brakes by 27K as well. In the total of 20 months and 37,364 miles (as long as I kept it before trading it on a 2001 ES), I spent like $600 in maintenance on it, including 3 tires (one was lost at 9K due to a puncture), the 30K service (done at Goodyear), oil changes, air filter, wiper blades, and 2 alignments. These cars can definitely take a beating and keep on going. And also, 5K is about normal for maintenance anyway. Considering I have a friend that drove 25K without changing her oil, 5K is damn near perfect. :)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I am going to try to time my car from 0-60 mph (2001 ES automatic). I will probably run the test like 5 times to get a variable time. I will have to use a stopwatch though, but will post the results when I get time to do it.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    They're pretty reliable. I have a '99LX that I change the oil (synthetic) and filter on every 7500 miles or major season change, whichever comes first. I've rotated the tires ONCE (I'm trying to wear out the factory-spec FR680s). Just passed 23000 miles (short commute).

    I still have an ancestor to the Pro, an '89 323LX that has surpassed 137000 miles and is still going strong (some body rust...darn midwestern salted roads). On pretty much the same intervals so far as regular maintenance, although I rotate the tires regularly as I like the Michelins I put on it. I also put on new springs and shocks at about 96000 miles (slight sagging), it's on its second radiator and 3rd muffler (2nd was a poor-quality Midas job...won't do that again). I guess I'll be holding onto it until the body disintegrates (it's my first new car).

    If you take reasonably good care of the Pro (or any similarly well-designed and constructed car), it'll last you well past 100000 miles.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    anyone interested in a 2000 pro ES? brand new?
    my dealer(Pacifico Mazda, Philadelphia) has a few for @12,000.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    anybody think that the tranny is not shifting smoothly?

    Change the tranny fluid. Worked like a charm for me!!
  • bjewettbjewett Posts: 62
    Not to beat a dead horse isn't dead yet.

    I also drove a sentra se followed by the protege es stick in the same day. Despite
    the HP difference, the protege 'felt' about as fast, confirming what the torque
    info is telling us. The sentra is a -very- nice car with a great interior, but there
    is very little back seat room. When I set the front seat the way I like it (which isn't
    all the way back), I could barely fit in the back. And, the protege chassis is nothing
    less than terrific.

    My only wish is for more power in the protege, though I can live without it and
    will probably buy a 5-speed ES 1ES this fall (if I can find one).
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