Mazda Protege5 a good commuting car?

swawesomeswawesome Member Posts: 1
Hopefully people still read this forum! I am looking for some advice!
I recently started a new job where I'm driving 100 miles round trip every day! Currently I'm driving a 1991 Mitsubishi Montero. To put it bluntly, this thing is no good for the commute. I am looking at buying a new, smaller car but I am also getting married and looking for a house so I'm going low budget.

I started looking at mazda3 hatchbacks, but I have started seeing a lot on the protege5 hatch's and I really like what I'm seeing. The low price would really help me out and I've seen several on craigslist for around 4,000 with under 100k!

So, anyway, to my questions!

- One of my big complaints with my current vehicle is it is ridiculously loud going down the hwy. I can barely hear my phone sometimes. I've read that the p5 is "noisy." How loud we talkin here?

- Am I just being cheap and stupid opting for the cheaper p5 over the mz3? There is a solid price jump.

- I drive a car that's over 20 years old, so 2002 doesn't sound that old to me. Can I expect to get a reasonably high amount of miles out of an mp5?

Thanks in advance for any replies!


  • luis35luis35 Member Posts: 2
    I just happen to stumble on this hopefully not to late. Ive owned my P5 going on 7 years now. The noise level is ok i talk on my phone all the time. Besides their are bluetooths with noise suppression etc you can use. Its not OMG noisy but they are comparing them to the Corollas and Civics of the time they are just a little bit more noisier and ride is slightly choppier than those cars. The reason the P5 was meant to be a drivers car. This means the driver will have more "feedback". Its sort of the go carts of cars. It has excellent handling right up there with BMW's. The strut tower is reinforced with sway bars out of the factory. The car will almost always maintain its composure over sharp and winding turns. If i lived on a mountain with narrow lanes and sharp turns and had to choose a modern car this would be it. The engine is also a little more noisier but not by much than its competitors at the time. Engine is peppy but probably could use 10 more HP. You shouldnt have a problem accelerating and merging. The engine is a little torquey than its main rivals at the time. It gives decent gas mileage. There is one major fault and my car has this problem. You can search the web. It is prone to rust especially in the rear quarter panels. Please double and tripe check this. The car has proven to be remarkably reliable. Minor problems are the car due its to handling, suspension and design eats tires. So expect tor replace them every 20K or so. The headlights also burn out more so than your average car. Other than that its your basic maintenance and you should be good to go.
  • luis35luis35 Member Posts: 2
    The newer Mazda3 have been more refined although it does maintain most of Mazda sporty handling characteristics. Refined meaning the cabin is less noisier and less choppy. Sort of like a better handling Corolla. For some of the pure driving enthusiast out there they much prefer the way P5 "go-kartish" handling and characteristically and looser steering.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    like a better handling Corolla

    I've owned a Protege5 for ten years and now drive the Mazda 3 hatchback. Likening either to a Corolla is not enlightening; there are too many differences.

    The Protege5 is a lighter vehicle than the Mazda 3 hatchback which helps compensate for its lower power and gives it, as you say, a go-kart feeling. The interior has more noise issues due to the hatchback, but nothing that would compel me to give up a good car. My concern with a 10+ year old Protege5 is the number or repairs that would be required especially in the rust belt. I loved my P5 but I have been more than satisfied with the Mazda 3 as its replacement.
  • harveyb1harveyb1 Member Posts: 1
    I bought my Protégé 5 2002 new. I opted for the GTR package (discs all round, high performance intake (K&N air filter) and exhaust). It currently has 150,000 km on it.
    In response to your question, Yes, it is a good commuter car.
    I am very happy with the car.
    Like any car it needs its maintenance but the one thing that is a drawback on this car is the tires. They are a real oddball size thus expensive. A set of rubber will set you back $800. All other maintenance (struts, timing belt, brakes) all seem to cost about $700. (Canadian).

    The car is fun to drive. Do not use cheap gas or it will carbon up.
  • autonomousautonomous Member Posts: 1,769
    edited June 2013
    a drawback on this car is the tires. They are a real oddball size thus expensive ... will set you back $800.
    TIP: After the original set of Dunlops, my P5 was shod with BF Goodrich and General; each 205/50/16 V rated and priced under C$700 (installation included).
  • mustangleader4mustangleader4 Member Posts: 2
    My PR5 has 220,000 miles. Finally replace clutch recently though the mechanic said I could have waited little longer. Just replace fuel pump sensor and starter but other than that, everything is fine. I had computer reprogrammed along with KN filter, and Mega Flow muffler. Runs much quicker than the stock car and love driving it every day. Own a Speed 3 as well though I like drive the PR5 better on a daily basis.
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