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Mazda Protegé



  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "You know that little stick coming out of the floor of the car? That's the gearshift."

    Now I'm an idiot huh? Thanks for the little lesson on manual transmission cars and honda powerbands. Even though I used to have an Integra GSR and all 6 of the cars I've owned were manuals, I really didn't know any of that stuff. I've seen both sides of the spectrum. I've had the GSR, and I've also had an LX 5.0L Mustang. Go educate someone else.
  • maryboo19maryboo19 Posts: 21
    I don't care how you slice and dice it, the comparo should have been bewtween a P5, an Outback Sport, and a Matrix XR. I don't know what MT was thinking, how could the P5 even have a chance?

    I'd like to see how the Matrix handles with the 16's on the XR. I will say that the Matrix is a very competitive vehicle though. It was my second choice, but I couldn't get past the looks and the dash design. It also didn't feel as sporty, more mini-minivan-ish.

    P5's are going for close to invoice now, and have 3.9% financing. This isn't the case with the Matrix as it's still new to the market, so there will be a susbatntial difference in the out the door price.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I don't think that was rigged. The Matrix won fair and square. That doesn't mean I'd get one, but it won. My main gripe with the Matrix is that I think it would be better off with a bigger, less peaky engine. The Toyota/Lexus vvti V6 would have been a nice engine for that car.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Since you and zoomzoom refuse to stop the mudslinging contest, I'll join in on one subject you just brought up.

    I can't believe that you, with all the bragging you do about your high rpms and slick shifting talent, would stoop so low to put Eagle GTIIs on any car. They're lousy in the rain and loud as hell. And this isn't just my opinion. I get my oil changed at a brand-new Goodyear dealer in my neighborhood, and I frequently browse their tire selection while I'm waiting. I became interested in those tires about a year ago, because of the price like you, and when I asked the manager about them, he said I wouldn't want them -- for the same reasons I just listed. Even Goodyear's little "features card" next to the tire rated them only about three out of five "blocks" for wet traction and noise.

    But hey -- who am I do say these things? I've never owned a set! Let's hear from some of the people at TireRack who HAVE purchased them:

    "They are a good traction tire but the noise they put out is unbearable!! The way they roar you would think you were driving an old 4X4 with mudders on it. The car only had 36,000 miles when I put these tires on it. At 49,000 miles I could not take it anymore. I dreaded to wait until they wore out. Traded the car in on a 99 Silverado 4X4 which rides 5 times quieter than the Malibu."

    "The ride quality and its harshness was noticeably stiffer than the replacement touring tire. The Goodyears' aggressive tread design made it noisier too."

    "Driving in the rain is scary as hell with these tires -- brief hydroplaning is practically a certainty even when going below the speed limit."

    "I would not recommend GT IIs to anyone who wishes to avoid the guard rail."

    "You get what you pay for. Great price for a tire this size. Handling feels sloppy. You should not be able to hear tire noise over a 5.9 with dual exhaust at 75."

    (I would estimate that about two-thirds of the 37 customer reviews were negative, most talking about noise and poor wet traction.)

    I know this is going to draw a heated response from you, but that's all you've been posting for the last few days anyway. I'm prepared for the worst! Just remember two things -- (1) I used real data (customer reviews and Goodyear's own ratings) to back me up, and (2) you get what you pay for!

  • rbrooks3rbrooks3 Posts: 174
    Dropped off my Pro to have the cruise control switches replacd this am. Since tey gave away their last loaner car, I had to wait AN HOUR for the rental car to turn up. Given the extra time and nothing to do, I wandered through the showroom. I saw an '02 ES sedan identical to mine except for a few add-ons. I'm glad I checked it out because there's no way in Heck I'd ever get the factory Sport Exhaust now. The dealership added the factory Sport Exhaust, MP3 rear spoiler (wasn't the factory spoiler sufficient?), all four mud guards, a skirt kit and 17" Enkei wheels with 40series Dunlops. That added over $3,000 to the price!

    What struck me the most was the fact that the factory Sport exhaust tip was about 8" UNDER the car! It was no where near the bumper. It could be that there was a kit bumper on it, but it looked the same as mine. The window sticker only mentioned side skirts. The exhaust looked good, once you bent down and looked under the car. But all this garbage put the Pro over $20,000. The spoiler is just crazy, the rims and tires should include some spares because the roads in NY will eat one of those Enkie wheels in the first year. I know 2 people who lost wheels on their M3s in the first year. Go price one new factory rim from BMW to see the meaning of WOW. The side skirts did not do much for the look of the car either.

    On the bright side, there was a nice MP3 there that one of the service guys owns.
  • gandalf17gandalf17 Posts: 348
    any advantages/disadvantages to upgrading to platinum/iridium spark plugs and performance ignition wiring. Much appreciated.

    I also see the Si saga continuing.....

    Here's all i will add to it. Maryboo had it correct and I have stated this previously as well. Please remember ZoomZoom and Fxashun that I owned a Civic SiR before trading it in for the WRX.... I am well aware of it's positives and negatives and probably to a greater degree than either of you.

    The Protege ES is comparable to a Civic EX if one "must" make a comparison between two economy cars. The list of standard equipment is similiar, as is the price. The Si, or SiR, Civic here in Canada is an upper echelon, performance version of the Civic. It is much like the Nissan Sentra SER and SER V-spec. Or now, the Mazdaspeed Turbo Protege. The price of the Si is significantly higher than a Protege ES for two reasons. First, a lot of the items standard on the ES are "options" on the Si which jacks up the base price of the Si exponentially. Second, you will be hard pressed to have a Honda dealer sell you an Si at much less than MSRP. The ES may list on the high end, but the price is very negotiable. You could add a third reason if you want to discuss financing and the Honda rates for such financing. At the end of the day, a similarly feature equipped Si will cost you 4 to 5 thousand dollars more from new, than an ES Protege.

    If you want to compare the Si with the Protege, wait until you have driven the Mazdaspeed Turbo Protege or to a lesser degree, the MP3. I would imagine the Mazdaspeed Turbo Pro price will be remarkably similiar to the Si in price and so will the performance.

    If you must compare the Civic, stick with the Civic EX vs. Protege ES or LX comparison.

    If you insist on making illogical comparison's, let's discuss how the WRX will eat an Si, spit it out, run over it forwards, back up and run over it again and then laugh all the way down a Grand Prix or highway race. After it's finished that, maybe we can slalom....

    Anyway, please....enough.
  • gandalf17gandalf17 Posts: 348
    I have not read the Motor Trend comparison, nor have I driven a Matrix. However, I find it extremely difficult to believe that the 180Hp matrix with AWD would be capable of matching a WRX in any of the performance categories. Anyone who knows how to spool the turbo properly on the WRX and is not afraid to hit corners at what seems like insane speeds, should not have much difficulty beating most cars on the road. A few upper, upper echelon sports cars can match it, but not much else.

    Apart from that, what was Motor Trend thinking by putting the P5 against these two..... Who wrote that comparison test, FXashun and ZoomZoom??? :)
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    Why are we discussing the Motor Trend comparo here? Shouldn't that be brought up in the PROTEGE 5 board? Seems like there'll be more people there that can give you firsthand response from an actual Pro5 owner :D

    hmm maybe I will bring it up in the Pro5 board...
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I didn't say that I agree with the Motor Trend test results, but at the same time, I understand how they ranked the cars and how they came to their conclusion. I find it ridiculous that when someone's favorite car doesn't win a comparo, the magazine must have been paid off. That idea is a crock of..... Obviously, performance wasn't the only thing they considered when making the final decision.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Pat, could you please delete any further posts on this ridiculous "topic" that seems to be brought up here daily wither by us PRO owners (and I have too I will admit that) or by H cars owners.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Dude, you have no idea how happy I am to know you managed to get out of that OK. If you recall, I bended a wheel in late December/early January after sliding into a curb. Pro_fan from Calgary also spun out this winter on these tires, but he only damaged a hubcap. Meade's old PRO...well you've seen the pics. These tires will kill us people!

    I was so happy to get Potenzas on the PRO last summer, knowing that they have this brand on F1 cars and I thought at least some of that rubber compound would be on these tires. I know better now.

  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Let me clarify about my hubcap...It was my stupidity...I didn't really spin out. More like I was going to corner and managed to slip my back end out first and smacked the sidewalk.

    Actually, I haven't found the Poortenzas to be that bad so far....yes, they have sucked on ice...but any all-season would here in Calgary. I haven't had a chance to take it through large puddles, because I avoid them like the plague.

    Next winter, it's true winter tires for me. No way I can afford a new set of all season rubber anytime soon though. :(
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Go read the customer reviews about them at TireRack.

  • gandalf17gandalf17 Posts: 348
    Agreed. That type of logic, a la' conspiracy theory is silly. However, there is some truth that a lot of auto magazines and journalists, are heavily influenced by money and perks received from the auto manufacturers. It's always best to keep an open, unbiased mind. I think mainly why that performance review is a little suspect, is the inclusion of the P5 in that category in the first place. It's just an odd comparison. You have two AWD cars with significantly more horsepower going up against a FWD car with a huge HP disadvantage. I tend to think they could have found a more suitable comparison benchmark and that's why the article loses instant credibility with me.

    Edmunds, for example, does an excellent job with their comparison tests. However, they aren't perfect either... A few years back, 2000, they compared the performance of several entry level cars, the Protege among them. Problem was, most of the cars were manual 5spd's and the Pro tested was an automatic. Still, it won, or placed second in almost all of the performance tests except for the 0 to 60mph time. This is not surprising considering the auto-box.

    Yes, MOtor Trend must have rated other aspects other than just performance in order for the Matrix to come out on top of the WRX. The WRX, despite my obvious bias, is not the most refined automobile in the world, but it is simply one of the best pure performance vehicles to be had. Particularly when you use the value for your $$$ comparison. I'm interested now to read this Motor Trend article.
  • dsm6dsm6 Posts: 813
    Short of dropping in a bigger engine, or strapping on a big turbo, it would seem that the Pro 2.0 trades power past 90 MPH for low end torque. Hmm. What were those engineers thinking? I mean, I drive over 90 ... well ... not hardly ever. I drive around town all the time. Oh, now I get it.

    Seriously, it certainly isn't the best engine in its market segment, and it almost kept me from buying the car, but its growing on me now that it is broken in and I'm getting used to it. For my money, what little of it it took to by my Pro - relatively speaking, the suspension, brakes, reliability, and looks make up for any engine short-fall. "Your mileage may vary."
  • dsm6dsm6 Posts: 813
    For the record - AWD is only available on the lower powered Matrix (don't remember the power figure, but its output is less than the 2.0 Mazda). In other words, the 180 hp Matrix cannot be had with AWD.
  • bjewettbjewett Posts: 62
    Hi all,

    As a former protege owner who is considering a new one, I'd like to put in my $.02 as to the board.

    Y'all are getting pretty negative here. Why don't we say "if you like car A more than the Pro, fine". No need to be so harsh. If someone doesn't consider the Pro perfect, fine - it isn't...and neither is any other car.

    I'm convinced no one makes the car I want. Here's my vote for a great bias! I want 4/5 drs.

    1) civic si with 4 doors
    2) maxima optioned out which costs -way- under $30k
    3) mazdaspeed 3 without the wing, 450-watt stereo and in colors other than black and orange (how about sand mica, red, silver or midnight blue?)
    4) mazda P5 with 20-50 more hp/lb-ft
    5) WRX wagon with much better mileage, no turbo lag and a lower sticker
    6) subaru 2.5TS wagon with nicer interior and lighter weight (FWD?) or more power
    7) altima with nicer interior and which doesn't get "nice engine but overall lacking refinement"
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Well you did lose the back-end rite? Unlike you I turned into a corner and went straight in the curve with the side of the wheel to it. B/c it was a small street, I couldn't "adjust" my steering or modulate the brakes. It was all within max 1 second that I lost it and hit tyhe curb. Maybe my speed had something to do with it... I think it did.

  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    I don't think people are saying, "Don't ever say anything negative about the Pro!!" It's the fact that the same, illogical comparison between 2 cars (I'm not going to say which ones...we all know which ones!) keeps on coming up over and over again. Same arguements, same results. Quite tiresome.

    I readily acknowledge that the Pro is not perfect. But for me it fits the best and has everything that I need. I don't constantly need someone telling me that "it needs more HP...more HP." I know that. Actually, if you look at the negatives that people have for this car, it's really only the HP. Other than that, there isn't much more for negatives.
  • zoomzoom79zoomzoom79 Posts: 272
    Considering that we are in an almost severe drought here in GA I don't think fx has to worry about hydroplaning with the GTII's. We had them on his FX16's and we didn't have any problems and that car was great on the highway. Plus the Civic comes factory with Bridgestone's ... anything is an improvement except Kumho's or something.

    gandalf: I would whole-heartedly agree with you when you say that the WRX would run circles around my SI. With a turbo and 67 more HP I would hope that would be the case. Actually fx and I were talking about that last night, we both agreed that if a WRX tried to bait me into a race I would wave out of my SUNROOF and let him/her go on about their business. But did you notice where they commented on the WRX's low-RPM lethargy?

    Seriously, if they put a sunroof if that WRX fxashun and I would be REAL tempted to get one. AWD and 227HP. Fun, fun, fun. But you better watch out for the EVO. 250HP?? 0-60 in 4.3 and the slalom in 70.9 MPH ... no GTII's for that thing. Nobody really knows the exact HP yet but it should be fun to read that comparison test (or do your own) when Subaru puts out their higher output WRX.

    The last thing I am going to say about the SI/regular Civic is that they are far from gutless and anyone who's calling it gutless should come up with an even more severe term for the catavaric. You like your cars, I like mine. There's nothing else that can be said about it that hasn't already been said. My only request is that some people in here refrain from bringing the SI up because if they do I reserve the right to rebut any false statements.

    Did anybody who's read the MT test notice that they didn't get the P5 to 100MPH? Nor are there any braking tests from 100-0 ??
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Yeah I did lose the end as bit, but as I said that was due to the icy conditions...nothing that the Poortenzas or any other all season could have done.
    Hey, I've heard that Costco makes has cheap steel rims...anybody ever check them out? I heard they were like $30 CDN. Also, what kind of bolt pattern is there on the Pro LX? And size of rim needed. Thanks.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Why don't you get a WRX and get an aftermarket sunroof installed?
  • gandalf17gandalf17 Posts: 348
    thanks for the correction. As I said, I have never driven the Matrix and am not overly familiar with them, other than I think they are just plain ugly. Then again, a lot of folks think that about the WRX too. :) I think it looks like a big angry, muscular frog. :)

    On the engine analysis, I just want to add one thing. It's not the engine itself that is at fault. Simply, it's the way the engineer's sought fit to utilize the power and torque band. Mazda's 1.8L that used to be in the Pro had a different HP and torque band than the current 2.0L. If Mazda wanted, it could quite easily adjust the powerband so that you didn't reach maximum torque and horsepower until the higher RPM ranges. It's an engineering philosophy aspect as opposed to the quality or smoothness of an engine. Almost any engine is going to sound really quiet and smooth, even at 5,000rpm if it is only starting to get into it's torque band. It's also a driver preference. I happen to like high-strung engines, others do not. There is a reason teenagers worship the high-strung Honda engines. Most teenagers I know love to rev cars. I know I did and still do. It's a thrill they get from driving. Someone once said, "Enthusiasts know that it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.".... :)
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Are we back to mud slinging again? This is just too childish, I mean really. Ugh. Get over it.

    Pete: I am VERY glad to hear you are ok after all that. I know I would not have thought to make the moves you did. I would have probably been killed in that situation.

    Something similar did happen to me in my 1999 DX though. I was going 65mph on the highway, and this car cut me off and slammed on the brakes. When he did, I zipped the wheel to the right quickly to miss hitting him. When I did, the car just started going back and forth kinda quickly, and eventually spun around. I was sitting diagonally across a 2-lane highway in the middle of rush hour, and my car stalled from rolling backwards while in "drive". It was dry that day too, I don't know how I managed to spin the car around. It was weird.

    And as far as the Matrix, I drove one. I drove a XR 130-hp model with automatic. I liked my Protege ES better. The Matrix was dead at low speeds, no surprise since it has the Celica's little engine that can't. You have to rev the crap out of it to get any power, then it's noisy as hell.

    On the Civic situation, my friend has a 2000 Civic EX coupe. She has it modded a little bit, but not much. It couldn't outhandle the Protege that I used to have, and cannot catch the Jetta (of course not). And it had DRUM brakes in the back, not discs. I know, because she painted her calipers in front but could not do it in back.

    Also, the Si listed for close to $20K when it was new. The only reason you got a good deal, ZZ79, was because yours had been damaged (paint work). You said that yourself. Of course you are going to get a good deal when the car's damaged. DUH!
  • gandalf17gandalf17 Posts: 348
    Agreed. If you notice too, I never claimed the Si was slow from a start. Not quick, but not gutless either. I would call it adequate.

    Yes, the very low rpm output (below 2,750rpm) of the WRX and turbo lag is very evident. If you ever race it from standstill, and I rarely do this as I don't like the wear this puts on my clutch, you have to keep your clutch engaged while revving the engine to about 3,500rpm-4,000rpm. This starts spooling the turbo and then you just have to let the clutch go and hold on for dear life since you can't even spin the tires for more than a fraction of a second. I tell you, the G-force is pretty incredible. It takes away wrinkles and years from my face like nothing else. :)

    Yes, the EVO VII is my dream car right now. I hope they bring it here. That, or the Sti WRX.

    Okay, enough about the WRX too. Besides, I have the wife's Protege today and I think I noticed a valve leak in her rear right tire. I brought them all up to 33psi about a week ago. On the drive in today I noticed that the car was jittery in the rear and pulling to the right. Sure enough the tire pressure was 28psi. I tightened the valve and will be watching that tire.....arrrgh.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Ok, this is really off topic, but anybody know why you can't buy Mitsubishis in Canada??
  • dsm6dsm6 Posts: 813
    I agree, in part anyway, that its a question of tuning. They've tuned the 2.0 for lower end power, yes, but it seems it should either get more low end power/torque or get better fuel economy, if you look at some of the competition. As I said, I feel personally (my opinion) that the car's suspension, brakes, steering feel, reliability, and looks out-weigh this engine short-fall, so I'm happy - and that is all that matters to me.

    As far as having fun with a high rev engine - I test drove an Acura RSX type S. If I had the money, I might have purchased one. It was fun to run that engine out to the red-line. The type-s employs a three lobe profile version of vtec on the intake side, along with variable cam phasing, that allowed it to get fairly decent low-end, and excellent high end, and fuel efficiency as well. There was still a noticeable thrust at high rpm as the third cam profile hit, and that made the low rpm end seem slower, but in reality the car is no slouch at the low end. Good fun, but too much money. I've also driven an Integra GSR. That system didn't work as well, IMO, as the new three profile system. At the track, I'm certain it would be a hoot. As a daily driver, well it would still be some fun, but a bit annoying at times. YMMV

    Really, it is incredibly subjective. It has alot to do with what you've been driving on a regular basis at that point in time. For example, my wife's Pontiac Grand Prix GTP feels like it just got an infusion of torque now that I drive the Pro as my daily commuter, but it also feels more heavy and sloppy in corners, with rubbery brakes and less road feel, than it ever did before.
  • gandalf17gandalf17 Posts: 348
    the Mitsu's are coming to Canada. They have opened up an office here in Toronto and will start making the cars available through dealership by 2003 apparently.
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