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Mazda Protege5



  • My rotors are rusty, kind of annoying since it ruins the appearance of my awesome car. ;) I was thinking of painting my brake calipers but I can't figure out what color. I think a royal blue would compliment the silver.

    A couple weeks ago my license plates arrived and we put them on the car. Unfortunately the dealership had left only two screws per location instead of the needed 4. Anybody know where I can get more?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I think they're a metric thread. Not sure of the specification (an M10?). Take one of your existing ones and go shop for a "secure" license plate kit. Basically, this consists of 2-4 tamper-resistant torx-head bolts (usually brass or stainless steel) and an L-shaped wrench that fits the bolts.
  • dwryterdwryter Posts: 87
    amonte, I waited years for an update to the Integra. When the RSX first came out it was my first choice. But the back seat is unusable by anyone taller than about 5'4". Not only is the roof low but it curves in at such steep angles that the C-pillar is dangerously close to the side of the head; Concussion City for every lane change or turn. If you ever need to carry passengers in the back seat, the RSX may not be a good choice.

    By the way, you can rev the P5 about as high as the base RSX but don't need to. The torque comes in lower on the P5 so power comes more quickly than on the RSX, but you don't feel the surge by winding it out to high RPMs as with the RSX. The base RSX is quicker 0-60, by over a second. Some drivers find that more important than others.
  • ggilliomggilliom Posts: 22
    subyaudidude -- thanks for the reply.

    I've been taking my MX-6 to Patrick/Byers for years, and I've always had great service. And my parents love the Byers Chrysler dealership downtown. But the couple times I've visited their Mazda store to look at the Imprezas and P5s, they've seemed oddly disinterested. True, last time I was there, I mentioned I qualify for Splan, so that may have turned them off. But hey -- I'm trying to stay loyal to the brand.

    I'd love to know the name of your contact there. (send it to if you don't want to post it here.) If you're comfortable sharing the information, I'm curious to know if you feel you got a good deal.

    I agree about seeing Jettas coming and going. And about the history of electrical problems. Sounds like the P5 is proving to be very reliable, which is reassuring. Now, if I can just take a look at a white one with leather...

    I'll be curious to know how you like your P5 -- you've had some good cars in the past to compare it to.

    amonte -- it's tough to compare the RSX to the P5. Different prices, different purposes. I sat in the RSX at our local autoshow, and I thought the comfort and interior design (and materials) was AMAZING. But it's very low to the ground, tight inside, and can't haul nearly the stuff. Can't blame you for considering it, though!

    I've gotta have space for two kids car seats in the back. In fact, I still have to take them to the dealership and make sure they'll fit for certain in the P5...
  • subyaudidudesubyaudidude Posts: 136
    The guy I have always dealt with up there is Jon Haskins. He's a great guy, and he's always done real well by me. I personally have never seen a leather P5 before, and I'm pretty sure they don't have any up there now. However, he might be able to get you one. Jon isn't one of the regular salespeople. He's actually quasi-management now. But if you go in and ask for him by name, they'll find him. If you do go in, let him know that I recommended him to you. He's off on Fridays and Sundays, but works all other days.

    I think I got a pretty good deal on the P5. The listed sale price was $16,798, but they jacked up my trade-in by $1,000 to reduce the amount I had to roll over into the loan (I traded in a leased car to buy the P5). So essentially, I got it for $15,798. It's a stripped down version (only floor mats as an option). Edmunds has it at $15,734 invoice, and $16,388 TMV, so I really do feel like I got a great deal.

    My past cars have been:
    (1) 1982 Saab 900 (1989-1993)
    (2) 1994 Toyota Camry (1994-1996)
    (3) 1995 Nissan Pathfinder (1996)
    (4) 1993 VW Passat GLX (1996-1998)
    (5) 1999 VW Passat 1.8T (1998-2000)
    (6) 1997 Audi A4 1.8T (2000-2001)
    (7) 2000 Suby Impreza RS (2001-2002)

    As for my favorites, I would put the P5 third, behind the A4 and the 99 Passat. The A4 I loved, but there was a control-arm issue and because it wasn't discovered until I was out of warranty, Audi refused to fix it, even though there had been a number of reported control arm bearing problems. It could become a safety issue, so I sold it off before it got to that. The Passat was a great car too, but I traded it in on the Audi to get leather(ette) and a sunroof. It was also a Tiptronic, and in the end, I found that feature kind of silly. I never really used it all that much. The P5 is a great little hatchback/wagon. It's not as fast as the Impreza (or Audi or VWs), but it's still pretty quick. The ride is stiff thanks to the tires and suspension, but I like that sporty feeling. The gas mileage on it is going to be much better than the Impreza was, and switching from a 2000 Impreza to the 2002 P5 actually dropped my rates by about $5.00/month. Right now, we're paying about $1200/year for the two cars.

    It's actually become my wife's car, and she likes it a lot too. She had the Miata, so she has a thing for Mazdas anyways. Incidentally, we have a 1 year old daughter and her Britax Roundabout seat fits in the back center position perfectly facing backwards. I don't think putting two child seats in the back would be a problem, though each would have to be on an outside seat (no middle positioning w/ two).

    Let me know if I can be of any more help. You can email me at
  • topp12topp12 Posts: 1
    I am debating on buying a Protege5. This month they have a $750 rebate, but I am wondering if next month will be better, the same, or worse. I don't want to rush into buying one, to find a better deal in a couple weeks.

  • tgif888tgif888 Posts: 351
    The current promotion runs through 7/8. So, I doubt it will have any new things for the month of June.

    subyaudidude-In S. Cal., the biggest dealership "Browning Mazda" have most of the Protege5 in leather. I ended up buying a silver Protege5 with Sport automatic and leather seat. The leather's qualtity is great.

    Good Luck.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    The California Mazda Protege Meet has been delayed until Saturday, June 29th.

    There are three main benefits for this:

    1. The meet will not be held on Father's Day.

    2. Being held on Saturday (rather than Sunday) will allow more sufficient time to get back to work on Monday.

    3. It will allow more people to come to the meet.

    There will also be a small fee of $10 per vehicle. This will cover the expense of the application and permit fees imposed by the California Department of State Parks. Extra money will be used to purchase food and beverages. This fee will be collected at the meet.

    The State Beach also requires a $2 entrance fee into the parking lot.

    The website has been updated to reflect the recent changes. If you have already submitted an RSVP to the meet, please send me an e-mail stating that you have received the new date!

    maltb, sharonf... can you attend now? :-)


  • jas9297jas9297 Posts: 26
    Just took my second out-of-state trip, and my first big one. A 645-mile round tripper. And I love my p5!

    MPG estimates were 31.7 mpg. I used about 17.3 gallons to go 546 miles. This was at least 90% hwy: 90 miles from the end of the shorter trip last weekend, car sat for a week in the city, then I drove from DC to CT, through NJ. The first fill-up was not filled, so I couldn't get a reading (you can't pump your own darn gas in NJ!). So by the time of the second fill-up, I had covered 546 miles. I tend to drive wisely, between 60 and 70 mostly hwy (now I've reached 1000 miles, I'll go as fast as 75). Probably did about 30 miles of city driving. On the return, I used used AC about 75% of the time.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    I depend on you folks for some daily entertainment here. ;)

    Hey, in case anyone is looking for an aftermarket roof rack for their bikes, THULE makes one that clamps onto our existing rack. It's a fork mount rack and the bike loads and unloads quickly.

    The bike rail is a little long and will contact the spoiler on the hatch when it is open, but the bike rail has a black end-cap that is smooth and has not harmed my yellow paint. You could always shave about an inch of the rail if your worried about it.

    Alot of you have complained about wind noise in the past, and if that's a concern to you, this rack will only add to the noise. When my moonroof is shut though, it isn't very noticable. If you don't have a moonroof, I wouldn't be concerned.

    All and all, the system looks pretty cool and works great and I am pleased with it.
  • mazdadude1mazdadude1 Posts: 49
    Have had my p5 since august and still as tight as a drum. Got over 10,000 miles on it. Still as fun as ever to drive. Love the engine sound on acceleration from the stoplights. Takes the twisties like on rails. All is sweet. later mazda maniacs!! :-) mazdaspeed coming soon i see.
  • ggilliomggilliom Posts: 22
    OK, new topic for conversation. I'm still shopping around for a sporty wago, and love the look of the P5. But I've yet to see one in the dark -- so I don't know what the amber instrument lighting looks like.

    In pics it looks cool, but I gotta ask: Do people generally like the effect? Is it easier/harder to read than traditional lighting? Would you change it if you could?

    Also... tgif888 -- if you get a chance, post a few pics of that leather interior. No dealers in my area (central Ohio) have any models, and I'd love to see what they look like.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    Yeah, our focus turned toward Matrix-vs-P5 topic for a couple of days because someone there though the P5 is slow compare to the Matrix.

    The red light of the instruments is really cool. At first I don't like it, but now I'm totally convinced. During the night, it blends well to the general color of the traffic, and it's definitively more relaxing for the eyes. I'll keep this color. Notice that all BMWs have the same color.

  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    On a way back from a soccer stadium, the route has three 90 degrees corners, one of those is followed by a long curve ramp. Heel and toe shifting in second, rev to third, and take a ramp fourth, I left the next car (a Toyota Celica) way back there! Man, this car is really awesome.

  • sharonfsharonf Posts: 120
    Re: dash lights. I like em....and since my P5 is red....the lights kinda match =)
    Funny note on this topic. When my 68 yr old mother first saw the car at night she commented on the dash lights...."how they match the lights to the car color?" Bless her heart! =)
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Green is more visible, but I find orange or red to be visible enough and doesn't affect my night vision as much. The green looks a bit bright, so I turn down the intensity when it's really dark (i.e. no street lighting) outside.

    Either works. Average human eye is most sensitive in the green to yellow range, but is still OK in orange, dropping off through red. Sensitivity really falls off in the blues.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    The only time I don't like the orange on silver instruments is when the light is low, like at dusk or in a brightly lit downtown at night. The numbers can wash out a bit.

    Other then that, I love it.
  • pciskowskipciskowski Posts: 155
    I love the red lights, especially at dusk.
  • stropro5stropro5 Posts: 9
    iamz -

    Does your Thule system add a second cross bar on to the front factory roof rack cross bar, or does the Thule fork-mount/tray attach directly to the factory rack?
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    It does add a second bar on top of the factory bar. If you want to see what it looks like, go to and look up the 89 Velo Vise Fork Mount Rack Pack.

    If you want to really see what it looks like on the P5, I can email you a picture of my car with the rack and bike mounted. My profile has my e-mail address.
  • Whew... just read a couple months worth of back posts... tiring.

    I am about to join your ranks, but am undecided between the pre/post-refresh versions of the car. Don't care much about tweeters in the door or leather accessories. The auto-stick seemed fun but I can only think of a few times when it would be genuinely useful - as a novelty it would be worth a few extra bucks but here is the question:

    The normal a/t has been around for a while and thoroughly tested/refined - is this the first car Mazda has used this version of the sportmatic on? As a rule of thumb, the more complex something is the more it will break - does anybody know enough about the details of how this works/how reliable other similar transmissions have been to speculate on its durability compared to the older version?

  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    The sport automatic transmission is new to the U.S. market, but it has been used since 1998 on the Japanese market Familia Sport 20, which is basically a Protege5 equipped with the FS-ZE 170hp motor and all-wheel drive.

    In actuality, it is probably just the same transmission with different programming. It really is not more complex. All that has been added is manual control over the computer's shift-points. In other words, normally, the computer will send shift commands to the transmission... the Sport Auto does the same for Drive mode, but waits for driver input for the sport mode.

  • mmdorfmmdorf Posts: 8
    Below is a link to pics I took of my P5:

  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    Nice pics. I sure wish I had a yellow P5.....Oh wait!....that's right, I do!!! ;) hehehe.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Rub it in a bit more. :)
  • joe2617joe2617 Posts: 88
    You should drive the sport auto. It shifts smooth as butter.
  • Does anyone know if mazda will produce a mazdaspeed protege5 sport wagon along with their upcoming Mazdaspeed Protege sedan? If they did I would take it over an SVT Focus in a second!
  • kad6kad6 Posts: 10
    Hi, i'm new here. New posting in here anyway. So i've been reading a lot about this P5 and today decide to make the jump and buy my first new car. I check the inventory of the closest dealer and find that they have a fully loaded P5. So i get over there take a quick test drive, and really like the car. I'm in Chicago, by the way, so I went to a dealer in Evanston. I noticed a Nissan dealer on the way there so I leave an go test drive an Altima. It's a bit expensive when loaded with what the P5 has so I come back to the Mazda dealer and tell em I'm ready to talk. He starts the price at 21grand, thinking I'm some dumbass. Obviously I tell his that price isn't fair, and I want a reasonable offer or I'm leaving. He offers 500 over invoice, which has about 19,600. I tell him I want no more that 100 over, or I'm leaving and he says okay. I'm happy at this point. Still a high price at 19 but I didn't think I could get a better deal for one with all the options. So we fill out the paperwork and wait, a total of 2 hours spent. THEN after everything and right when we're ready to sign the final papers, he drops a bomb. THE CAR HAS 1400 MILES ON IT. You don't know how mad I was. I has paying 19grand for a new car, not a demo with 1400 miles. He says that the one of the managers had been using it as his car to get home and back. I'm ready to leave and look inside the car, and the plastic has been pulled off. I think that the price is for a new car and not a demo, and I'll buy the car, but when the price is right. I ask the saleman, John, that 4000 off the price is okay. I mean at this point I'm buying a USED CAR. The manager comes over acting like it's our fault, and rudely says I'll go below 300 the invoice. I think it's time to leave. A demo with 1400 miles shouldn't be advertised as a brand new car, far less priced the same as one. Well screw the manager, and screw the AutoBarn in Evanston. I'm NEVER going back there, hell if they want to give me the car for 4000 under invoice. I really feel like they have done wrong. It would of been fine to tell me before the paperwork, so I know what I'm buying. Oh well. I hope they burn to the ground. Looks like I'll find a dealer further away, or just spend a bit more and get an Altima. I'm sorry about the long post but I really had to get that out.

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The car was new though, he did not lie about that. A car is considered new if it has never been titled, and that one had not, right? So there you go. It was not right what he did to you though, and I would call Mazda NA and complain and also write a letter to the dealership's manager.
This discussion has been closed.