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Mazda Protegé



  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    When I drive there, I try not to drive like a tourist. Usually, I am in a car with CT or NJ plates (relatives and friends) and I try to drive like an even bigger a-hole than the locals. That way, I don't get picked on. I've been in Cabs before too and they don't care if they hit someone. One time in Queens in a cab we were driving down a street with cars parked on both sides leaving barely enough room for two cars to pass. When another car is coming from the opposite direction, the cab doesn't slow down to make sure he can make it. He speeds up so he won't get stuck! When I got out of the cab, I looked and there were scrapes all the way down the side of the cab. I've also been in a cab when the driver was eating soup and steering with his knees in manhatten traffic while complaining about foreigners even though he was obviously a Russian immigrant. Jeez....
  • chicagoprochicagopro Member Posts: 1,009
    Lived in NYC for a year (and lived to tell the tale!)

    Would usually have my eyes closed while riding in cabs, fighting the urge to say, "Really, sir, we don't have to make EVERY green light between 120th and 42nd!"

    One time, a bike messenger got into it with my driver while stopped at an interstection...reached in slapped the driver in the face (hot day, windows open). Driver turned off the meter and started to get out to do god-only-knows what. I hollered at him to get back in the cab...fortunately, he did, light turned green, and we all continued on our merry way.

    It's a wonderful town!
  • chicagoprochicagopro Member Posts: 1,009
    This is from an article in the Chicago Tribune today:
    "Repeat drunken drivers in New Hampshire face tougher penalties: a fourth conviction now will mean up to 7 years in prison and at least 7 years without a license. In Pennsylvania, driving with a loaded paintball gun means jail time or fines. In North Bend, Wash., "inattentive" drivers who are fiddling with the radio or eating, for instance, can be fined an extra $300 if they get a ticket."

    Larry, didn't we tell you to leave those paintball guns at home? :)

    Happy New Year, everyone!
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    Happy New Year to all! Best wishes always and good luck in the new year. :)
  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    In Pennsylvania you can go to jail for driving with a loaded paintball gun, yet in Texas you can get away with driving with a real gun?
  • chicagoprochicagopro Member Posts: 1,009
    Yeah, I know--life just isn't fair :)
  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    Hope yours is safe and fun.

    Zoom Zoom :)
  • fowler3fowler3 Member Posts: 1,919
    The Mazda Protegé board is second only to the BMW 3-Series in number of posts!! The Lincoln LS is third. ZOOM ZOOM!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone!

    Best wishes to vocus in the coming year. :D

    newcar31, that may explain why here are no paintball guns in Texas. LOL

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    Best wishes for a prospers, safe and a great new year!

    BTW, did I spell "prosperous" correctly? ;-o

  • mlsreadmlsread Member Posts: 1
    interesting to log in for first time and read about the seat issue. I drove a protege for the first time yesterday and noticed the back of my legs hurt. thouhgt maybe it was from tensing up during the test drive. I am a 5feet 6 inch tall female. Are the seats a bit shorter than most? Liked the protege drive better than the Focus but the seat is a big issue.
  • mazdadude1mazdadude1 Member Posts: 49
    Hey mlsread.... make sure you take advantage of all the adjustments you can make with the knobs on the driver's seat. You can change the angle of the bottom cushion as well as its height. I have had my p5 for five months and found that perfect fit after driving and adjusting. I am 5'8" tall. I feel form fitted for the seats now. later
  • fowler3fowler3 Member Posts: 1,919
    No, the seat cushion is larger than in other compact cars. As mazdadude1 points out you need to adjust the seat to your liking. It's always a good idea when test-driving a car to adjust the seat and mirrors before driving off. Ask the salesman to give you a few minutes to do that.

    May people probably drove that car before you and adjusted the seat for themselves. It's easier to adjust the seat upward if you try to take your weight off of it, or by getting out and raising or lowering it, then make small adjustments when seated.

    You said it hurt the backs of your legs, that sounds like the front of the seat was raised to high for your height. Set it to distribute your weight evenly front to back so there is no pressure on any particular part. Then adjust the distance for your legs to the peddles, make sure you can push the clutch and brake all the way down (if a 5-speed), and last, the rake of the seat back. Also adjust the height of the steering wheel. There's a lever under it, push it downward to free the wheel, move it up-down, then lift the lever to secure it.

  • tomcivilettitomciviletti Member Posts: 207
    Lots of interesting comments on driving in various cities. My experience is:

    Chicago - fast freeway speeds with close followiing distance.

    LA - clogged roads at commute time. Not as aggressive as Chicago. Mostly good drivers.

    Portland - moderate driving. If only they'd use turn signals.

    New York - Something completely different. Ignore all lane markers. Do anything you want as long as severe collisions are avoided.

    Seattle - More aggressive than Portland. It's always raining.

    SF/Bay Area - The most aggressive, closest tailgating, most white knuckle inducing.
  • zoomzoom79zoomzoom79 Member Posts: 272
    Long time no...type?

    Been really busy lately. Was shocked (although I don't know why) at the 400 posts that I had to sort through after a couple of weeks away.

    I have 7800 miles on my 2001 Protege and have no major probelms to report. It's just a bit tempermental when it's first started and it's cold outside.

    I would have to say the worst city I have ever driven in was Boston. I was up there about 2 years ago and they were doing some construction on I95 and there were no lane markers so it was basically a free-for-all. NYC wasn't that bad, although were weren't passing through during rush hour. San Fran wasn't too bad either, although again we weren't on the roads during rush hour. DC is bad as far as congestion is concerned. Any time we had a trip planned there we assured that we wouldn't be passing through during rush hour.

    As for Atlanta (where I live) people do drive fast on the interstates but most drive with caution. The token idiots being the exception rather than the rule.
  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Member Posts: 210
    Weird--it's been a while since I drove in SF Bay Area, but I didn't find driving there espeically white-knuckle-inducing. New York and Boston, yes, SF, no.

    I can give thoughts on other places I've lived and driven...

    Atlanta: Friggin' autobahn. Only city I've routinely been passed when doing 80 mph within the city limits. Better have your right foot ready.

    SE Michigan (Ann Arbor/Detroit): Car capital, even if not the best cars. Fast, but not as fast as Atlanta, but very skilled.

    Pittsburgh: Worst drivers in the universe. Lots of blind old people driving slow like in bad parts of Florida, but with narrow roads and steep hills. Impossible to drive three miles in the city without getting ticked off. Truly horrible.

    Houston: Texas has lots of room, so there's a lot of margin for error. Speeds similar to Michigan, but lower skill level due to too many idiots and housewives in enormous SUVs and pickups that they don't need. Otherwise not bad.
  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    7300 miles on my P5 with no major problems to report. Lot's of single-digit cold days ... starts right up.

    1 annoyance though... a buzzing-rattle from around the pass-side door, maybe near the speaker grill, at certain RPM's. Anyone else have this?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329

    What trim level did you test drive? I think the seat pan adjustments are available only on the LX and ES levels, unless Mazda decided to make it available on the DX recently.

    If it's on there, you'll see two knobs. The front one adjusts the height of the front edge of the seat pan. The rear one adjusts the rear edge height. This is a very flexible and easy system to use for making the seat pan comfortable. The seat pan is actually longer than in most compact or subcompact cars. This may cause your lower leg to hurt if the back of your knee hits the front edge of the seat pan, but shouldn't really bother your upper leg.
  • dinu01dinu01 Member Posts: 2,586
    I have noticed a rattle from the pass. door too when I used to drive at a certain speed. A quick check at the next stoplight showed I had some CD cases in the door pocket. Removed them and put them in the glove box and no more rattles. So check if you have any hard plastic/metal object on the door pockets...

    Mlsread: Actually the PRO has the best seats in this class, as far as my test drives go. There are many possible adjustments and as someone pointed out, get out of the seat and make the adjustements, then get in, since your weight might prevent you from moving the knobs toward the "UP" position.
  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    Good idea, but I've already checked that. It's definately "in" the door.
  • elec3elec3 Member Posts: 160
    I've noticed a rattle in my Pro5 that is definitely front-passenger side but it's intermittent enough that I haven't bothered to track it down. I have narrowed the possibilities to 1)empty jewel cases in center armrest, 2)loose spring or screw or something inside passenger seatbelt buckle, 3) loose item inside glove box, most likely a zipper or extra fuse or light bulb. If yours is inside the door...well there's not much in there that's loose, I would guess some of the wiring or one of the connectors for power window or door locks. You'd have to take the door apart to find out for certain which may be unpleasant.

    Fowler: Thanks for the advice about an extra seat cushion. When I'm driving my Pro5 around town, I have my seat set up fairly sporty with an almost vertical back and the seat cushion raised quite a bit in the front and lowered in the back. I get a nice bucket feel and stay put in corners. I've noticed though that using this driving position becomes very uncomfortable very quickly if I'm out for a long drive (say over an hour). I end up with a rather sore lower to mid back from my torso being crunched up into a C-shaped position. For a long trip, I usually recline my seat back and flatten out the bottom seat cushion. This makes the seat feel decidedly un-sporty and downright flat, but it also feels more cushy (read: like in a normal, boring sedan) and is a lot easier to sit in.

    A final PS about new laws. According to my father, thanks to new legislation, a single, first offense DUI in Illinois will cost you a grand total of $9,000 in assorted fines, traffic schools, and court costs. They think it will keep even more people from driving drunk. I think it is ridiculous and financially ruinous for your average driver out there (especially with auto insurance premiums increasing across the board this year). Just a warning to my fellow Chicago folks out there.
  • nematodenematode Member Posts: 448
    MO: 75 down hill and 55 up hill. Really friggin annoying. Lots of left lane cruisers that dont understand thats its for passing only. Lots of right lane passes from displaced costal people. Cars here apparantly dont come with turn signals either. The drivers on the St. Louis side are very panic prone. They seem much better on the KC side. However, St. Louis is not typical of the midwest. KS and MN drivers flat out FLY!!! I've been passed while doing 90 in KS. The good part is that traffic is light and rush hour is non-existant if you avoid a few roads.
    ME: Its life in the slow lane and they like it that way. The exception being the displaced Bostoners around Portland/Freeport/Falmouth. Its also really easy to get tickets because most people are around the speed limit.
    OH: This is my least favorite state to drive through. Hog the left lane, no signals, careless lane changes, drive soooooo slow.
    PA: I lived in Pittsburgh for 10 years and Philladelphia for 10 years so....The above post about Pittsburgh drivers is DEAD ON. I should add that Pittsburgh drivers tend to be very tolerant of mistakes. In contrast, DO NOT screw up in Philadelphia. Also Philly has entertaining roads like the Schuylkill expressway and its wonderful left lane exits and ZERO distance merge lane merges (that merge into the LEFT lane), Vine St. expressway with people who have never been in the city, and the various red-light-only-for-reference-intersections on Roosevelt Blvd. If you have driven there they you know what I mean and know I'm not over stating things. BUT if you can drive there.....I did not think Boston was all that bad even though I spent half my time lost due to the lack of street signs and diagonal roads. My parents live near LA so I'm used to the CA drivers. 100mph when you can, sit when you cant (which is most of the time). The 405 is pretty entertaining to drive if you like near death experiences. NYC was also not as bad as I expected. I have driven there 6 times in the last few years and it was pretty easy in the city. Slow and congested but easy to get around. I contend that Philadelphia is the worst for badly behaved drivers AND poorly designed roads.

    OFF TOPIC: I76. All 350miles of it is a speed trap. They will get you from the land and air. All patrol cars have instant-on and like to hide on the other side of overpasses to mute their signals even further. They also will use tag and chase units and seem to target out of state plates way more frequently than one would expect.

    Other ineresting drivers can be found in DC. They must get a different kind of licence there as normal rules of the road dont seem to apply.
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    What you say about DC and CA drivers is completely true! I haven't driven in many places (only been driving almost 5 years so far), but I was on the I-5 in CA and those people are nuts! I was passed like I was standing still when I was going like 80 mph. I will take DC over them any day.

    DC: I drive the Capital Beltway daily to and from work. These people use the left lane for flight simulation I think. Typical speeds are 80-95 mph easy on a clear day. In DC itself, they cut in and out of traffic with no signals, and swear words if you say something to them. I tell you, some of these people make you wanna have a pickup truck with a gun rack on the back! :)
  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    Traffic is non-existant in MN? I wish. 494, Crosstown, 35W, 394 are all congested every day. 494 has traffic in both directions all day long. I know its not as bad as some cities, but it's still bad. Throw a blizzard into the mix and you have yourself one of the worst traffic jams possible. During a blizzard, it once took me 2 1/2 hours to travel 12 miles. I can't imagine it being worse in any city. I do agree that when traffic is light, people fly here.
  • shriqueshrique Member Posts: 338
    It once took me a couple of hours to drive 3 miles. I figured it out later and if I would have walked I would have beat my roomate home by a couple of minutes (assuming a reasonable walking speed)
  • chikoochikoo Member Posts: 3,008
    Zupster lower the tire pressures to 28-30. I do that all the time and get great ride quality. No uneven wear observed till date on the tires(35,000 miles).

    on the advise for changing over to touring tires, does anybody have any experience about the BFGoodrich Touring T/A VR4 (205/55/15)? I don't seem to find anybody cursing this tire on tirerack, but then nobody is actually praising it either.

    all inputs appreciated.
  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711 got that right. A blizzard traffic jam makes an LA traffic jam look like the indy 500.
  • zupsterzupster Member Posts: 20
    Chikoo, I did lower to 28.5, with a noticable difference, but still too much of jolting effect for me. I'm taking a month off from driving it, but I'm still curious as to why I didn't notice this before.

    I took the 3 test drives last year when on business trips, never once did I notice that the ride was overly stiff ('01 LX, '01 LX, '02 LX).

    Could I have bad struts/shocks/springs?

    Perplexing. My guess is that the '02 LX must have gotten the sport suspension from the ES along with the 2.0 engine, and I just didn't drive it enough over bumpy roads to notice.
  • meinradmeinrad Member Posts: 820
    I don't think I've seen any of the terms I've heard to describe some driving habits....

    Chicago Slide=Exiting a right exit from the far left lane, cutting off many lanes of traffic in the process.

    Texas Exit=Trucks exiting over burm and ditch to exit highway onto access road when actual exit is backed up.

    And although it's not actually driving, Pittsburgh is the only place I've seen that people save a parking place with a folding chair and the amazing thing is other people respect that.
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    You drove all LX models before, then bought the P5 model. The P5 has the 16-inch tires compared to the 14-inch higher-profile tires on the LX model. That's why there is more impact harshness over bumps and such. And if you think your car rides hard, you should try my 02 Jetta GLS 1.8T with sport suspension and 17-inch tires. It's downright jolting over bumpy roads that my 2001 Protege ES took in stride.
  • dsm6dsm6 Member Posts: 813
    How about a California Stop = rolling through a stop sign/light.

    I think I might try out the Pittsburgh Park, if for no other reason than to save on some door dings. Let's not start up the revenge of the door dinged discussion, though. OK? I don't want anybody to get another lecture from Meade. ;-)
  • tomcivilettitomciviletti Member Posts: 207
    mention of the Schuylkill Expressway in Philly is enough to make me sweat. Anyone who values his life should avoid that deathtrap: basically an 80mph narrow city street w/o traffic signals/
  • chicagoprochicagopro Member Posts: 1,009
    In Chicago (and perhaps other snowy cities, as well), it's a common tradition--especially on side streets--for people to save parking spots that they have spent several hours shoveling out in the winter. Folks use folding chairs, milk crates, old furniture, whatever they have on hand. During a period of particularly heavy snow last winter, the mayor actually gave his official blessing to this practice. Obviously nothing that would hold up in a court of law, but people usually respect the 'saved' spots and look elsewhere to park. But I have never seen nor heard of folks saving spots when the streets were clear. Don't think that would be tolerated.
  • fowler3fowler3 Member Posts: 1,919
    Neither of those driving positions is very good. Try something inbetween. I set my cushion high for better leg support and recline the back somewhat to offset a lumbar pillow I made. Some drivers like the on-top-of-it position, others prefer the Italian style with raked seatback and straight arms, hands on wheel at 9 and 3. You need to experiment more. Make small adjustments and give it a try.

  • fowler3fowler3 Member Posts: 1,919
    Once again we will have our regular Thursday night chat at 6:00PM PT, 7:00PM MT, 8:00PM CT, and 9:00PM ET. Join us for lively conversation and kidding around. Bring your questions. Moderator_dee should be back to relieve us snowbound Southerners and folks in Buffalo with stories of sunny California. First one in turns on the lights.

    Fix something hot and spicey and have fun!

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Member Posts: 1,265
    The locals pronounce it and call it the "Skoo-kill"! It is not only fast and narrow, it's also loaded with lots of curves. The worse feature of the "Kill"? It runs East to West, along much of it's route. The sun can be blinding, and traffic will go from 70 mph to almost a crawl in 100 yards or less during morning and evening commutes on sunny days. Very verrry scary expressway!

  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Member Posts: 210
    Nematode--yeah, Pittsburgh drivers are very tolerant of mistakes because half of them have nowhere to go and are getting there at 10mph slower than the speed limit. Bleach.

    I had the pleasure of spending five weeks in Rochester, NY last winter due to a medical emergency, and I have to concur, snowstorms really make for ugly traffic. 90 minutes to go a few miles on surface streets because of various mishaps. You'd think they get enough snow in Rochester that people would know how to drive on it, sheesh.
  • SporinSporin Member Posts: 1,066
    The LX suspension and wheel/tire package is definately softer then the ES adn Pro5. The ES and Pro5 feel just about the same and are definatley firm... but in a good way. :+) The MP3 is even firmer.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    ... And to think they only called for a "dusting." I love our weather forecasters. They don't forecast the weather anymore ... they merely keep up with it.

    The 2000 ES with its treadbare, 30,500-mile Poortenzas actually bulldozed the Protege out of the driveway -- the front air dam actually working as a plow a little -- and got me the 20 miles to work on our unplowed, unsanded roads this morning. (Eight inches overnight is rare indeed in Richmond, so we don't have the equipment to remove it very fast. Our subdivision's road out in the suburbs probably won't see a plow until the snow melts.)

    Ah, what a winter wonderland this morning! Let it snow!

  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    You must be by Charlotte. I just got an e-mail stating that the Charlotte offices are closed due to a severe winter storm. Ha ha ha, having fun? 8 inches is "severe"? He he he
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    Meade: They said on the radio here in Baltimore, Md. and DC that there was a possibility of a "light dusting" of snow today and a winter weather advisory in affect. I hope it doesn't start here, because I am not trying to drive ~40 miles in snow (it took me 3 hours last time I did). Oh yeah, did you get the P5 yet?

    Todd: People in the MD/DC area can simply not deal with snow when driving. Hell, they can barely deal with rain. They act like they are nuts! I remember back in Jan. 2000 it snowed like 8 inches or so, and everything closed down for the day. :)
  • shriqueshrique Member Posts: 338
    ...does anybody have any experience about the BFGoodrich Touring T/A VR4 (205/55/15)?

    I actually bought that tire in a slightly different size 195/60/15 (I think it's been a while since I bought those tires) I will say one thing about them. They wear like Iron. I had the tires for 1.5 years and one of them got an object in the side wall and I had to buy a new one. There didn't appear to be any apreciably difference in the older tires and the brand new one.

    The only complaint that i have is that as they get older (about 20k miles) they don't handle the snow as good as when they were new. They still work great in the dry and wet just not snow or slush. Obviously get more opinions before you make a decsion but I was perfectly happy with them. (I had them on a Saturn SC2)
  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    That's really funny to me. When I went to the University of North Dakota, it was 55 degrees below zero with a 88 degree windchill, snowing with high winds and schools and businesses were still open.
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    I am so sorry, but that would have been one day when I would have been calling work and telling them it was too darn cold for me to come out. :)
  • chikoochikoo Member Posts: 3,008
    Thanks Shrique.

    How noisy were they?
    How was the wet traction? (hyrdroplane, et al)

    Especially in relation to the RE-92 poortenzas?

    I am after this tire 'cause BJ's wholesale is having a great deal $73.99 + $9.99 / tire. This includes the tire itself, installation, disposal of old tire, balancing, lifetime flats repair, lifetime rotation and balancing.
    so $335.92 (no tax in DE), I can get new tires.

    But again, how good are they?
  • zoomzoom79zoomzoom79 Member Posts: 272
    You think that it's funny calling 8 inches "severe" .. here in Atlanta we got about 2-3 inches of snow and all of the schools are closed along with some businesses. But we can't even drive in the rain so it's probably a good thing.
  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    I'm not that crazy. Of course I didn't go to school that day. Anytime that there is a possibility that I may *die* from walking to class and be found in a snow bank 4 days later I think it would be safe to skip class.
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    so far here in southeastern Virginia, and yes, the place is virtually shut down. And it's still falling.

    Every one makes fun of the southernish states that are paralyzed by even as little as an inch or two of snow, but the thing is that there is little or no removal equipment. They can't even do a good job of clearing the primary roads, and the secondary roads are just left to melt whenever they get around to melting. So regardless of whether anyone in these parts knows how to drive in snow and ice (they don't!), the roads are very dangerous.

    Oh well, this is fun! I haven't seen this much snow here in maybe 20 years! :-)

    Sedans Message Board
  • fowler3fowler3 Member Posts: 1,919
    We got about 4 inches last night and all the schools, daycare centers,etc. are closed. Store shelves are empty: no bread, no snacks, stuff kids eat up when they have to stay home. Get this, I live in a townhome community which takes care of cutting the grass and trimming the shrubs, but they don't send anybody to shovel our short driveways and sidewalks -- that cost $60 per homeowner every time it snows. I wait for the stuff to melt, to heck with them.

    More snow expected Sunday.

    Last January,we had 10 inches, stayed on the ground a week, followed by an ice storm, another week went by and another snow storm on top of the old -- I was stuck indoors for over two weeks. To the east, Durham got 22-inches the first storm. It was February before planes could take off and land.

  • fowler3fowler3 Member Posts: 1,919
    The reason Southern cities shutdown, without snow removal equipment the parking lots can not be cleared, so people stay home. Also, they don't know how to drive on snow and especially ice. SUV owners think 4X4 means their vehicles never skid on ice. LOL! They skid worse than cars. Although many SUV's are not 4X4, the roughest offroad stuff they drive on is a gravel driveway. ;)

  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    I saw this guy pass me in a 4Runner in the snow back in February, 2001 when it snowed here in Md. last (the day before I got my 2001 Protege actually). He was going about 55 mph on a road that's limited to 50 anyway, in the snow. When I got up about 2 miles or so, he was sitting on the side of the road, front end in to a ditch with his air bags popped. Then gonna sit there and curse and scream. Come on now. Dummy.
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