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Mazda Protege5



  • andrewkandrewk Posts: 59
    dave1440, I bought a P5 back in January for $5100 off sticker. As I recall, there was $2500 rebate, $1000 dealer cash, subtract those from invoice and subtract a guestimated 3% dealer holdback and it comes up roughly to $5000-5100 off. Perhaps that is at cost, or even a bit below cost, but they should be happy to unload a discontinued, 1.5 year old car. I wouldn't buy into their sob stories that claim otherwise.

    bballa, I had just a little of that sticky stuff but it was on the headlight of my p5. However, I did encounter quite a bit on my wife's new '03 Subaru which is a "seamist (pea) green."
  • bunk1968bunk1968 Posts: 119
    I have found a P5 5-speed that is a 2003 with 15000 miles. It is silver with leather interior.
    They are asking $13500, is this a good deal?
    I would also like to ask if anyone prefers the P5 over the Mazda3 and if so why?
    Oh, and one more thing. Is the Protege ES quicker than the P5? I thought maybe it was lighter in weight and ...
  • cdnp5cdnp5 Posts: 163
    I can't speak about your pricing as I'm from Canada but I have driven the Mz3 and do own a P5. I actually prefer the P5 over the Mz3 for everything but the 2.3 in the Mz3 is much nicer than mine. I prefer the slightly stiffer suspension plus the tighter and more connected feeling of the steering in the P5. I don't think there is any more room in the back of either car and if so its marginal either way. But you should be able to save some money on a new one if they have any left in your area. Is the ES quicker? Probably only .2 seconds, you would never be able to tell.
  • pappy55pappy55 Posts: 41
    13500 for a P5 with 15k miles? naw. go to a dealer and have them do a search for a new one.

    P5 vs Mazda3s (hatch, I presume). I own a P5 and just recently test drove the 3s hatch. I prefer the P5. Although the 3s had a bit more power, it just felt too bulky for my tastes. The interior felt cramped compared to my P5.

    But, if I had to get a new car today, the 3s would probably be it.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    For me anyway. That goes for front and back.
  • I can't tell you which car is better than the other, because they're both great cars and it is totally a matter of personal preference and finances in making the right decision for you. But here are my perceptions and opinions.

    I have a P5 and have test driven a 3 hatch four times so I'm pretty familiar with it. I like both, but for different reasons. The 3 is more refined in general, little more quiet (not that much though), more powerful engine, more up-to-date dash/interior layout. Its looks are more polarizing (hatch anyway) which can be good or bad. The 3 "feels" bigger or heavier to me, but at the same time it feels more constricted inside than the P5. In general the 3 feels like a bigger car than it is, even if it offers no extra room (or even a little less).

    The P5 on the other hand feels like a small car to me, yet appears to offer a little extra space and seems less confining than the 3. It still has a nice interior - it just doesn't look as flashy or contemporary as the 3's interior. The seats in the P5 allow you to adjust the bottom cushion angle, which the 3 does not....that could make it more comfortable for some people. The P5 feels very open and good visibility, maybe because the beltline of the car is lower than the 3 (and most other cars nowadays). The P5 overall has a bit more "fun" factor to it....almost like a go-kart. It may not be as fast or flashy, but you really feel connected as a driver, moreso than in the 3.

    Now if you were insistent upon having an automatic transmission, I might steer you toward the 3 because I just didn't find the P5's auto exciting enough for me, though it's fine with 5sp manual. The real swaying factor for me was the price. At roughly $4-5k less than a comparable 3, the P5 is a real steal right now. Also, they only made the P5 for two model years (in the US) so it will also be a bit more exclusive over time than the 3. Hope this helps in your decision-making process.
  • bunk1968bunk1968 Posts: 119
    Great help all!
    I test drove a P5, but they only had it in an auto trans. It does ride a little rough, and I wished it's interior was a little quieter. I would really like to try the 5 speed, but none to be found in my area.
    I guess the price of $13500 was not too good??
    I was hopeing that was a good price for that car. I was going to offer $12000 and see where it went from there. It was exactly what I would want in the P5, stick, leather, silver, moonroof, and no roof rack, which I was told makes wind noise worse.
    Well if anyone else has any more input, I am all ears.
    Oh, and I had read a few posts where people had bragged about the Mazda6 and I had seen how one shopper for the P5 could not resist the Mazda 6 after he took it for a drive. Well, I have not driven one, but I saw that Edmunds rated it quite high. So, my next step was to see what owners of this car were writing. I was very surprised to see so many complaints?! Rusting doors, squeeking breaks, and ...
    I thought that maybe this would be the car for me since I found the ride of the P5 a bit harsh and loud, but after reading about all the problems...??? J.D. Power ratings were not so great for the Mazda 6 either?? Confusing.
    Maybe I should see if the Prelude I originally looked at is still available?

    P.S. I thought the Mazda3's looked great in pictures, but they did not seem quite as impressive to me when I saw them on the lot, I think it is the front end. Anyway, I was surprised to find that I actually like the P5's look better.
  • andrewkandrewk Posts: 59
    On my first p5 test drive, I too thought it rode harsh. DITTO on my second test drive when I got it up to 75 mph on the interstate. However, in retrospect, both times the harshness occurred on relatively rough concrete that is not typical for me. The ride in no longer a negative issue, but rather a positive one in that I am now connected to the road! I was pleasantly surprised on my first road trip when I took it up to 80 mph and it was fine.

    As far as the 6. I think they look nice, but I have never sat in one, let alone driven one. The 6 was never a consideration for me because I had zeroed in the p5 for it's discounted pricing, the great reviews and the great build quality.

    Speaking of quality, the p5 was made in Hiroshima, Japan. One of the reviews that I have speaks very highly of this. As I recall, the 6 is made or assembled in Mexico.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Flat Rock, MI.
    Compared to the P5, the 6 has (quality) issues.

    If you thought the P5 ride was harsh, try a 3 with the 16" wheels. I know you said the front end doesn't; do it for you, but it is MUCH quieter that the P5, although you lose a bit of that fun to drive trademark of the P5/Protege.

  • In the post above. We just bought a 3 to go with our 5 and autohound1 is right on the money with the comparison, imho.

    Incidentally, we were also looking at a Jetta wagon before we decided on the 3. Checked the specs and the 3 is actually bigger (longer wheelbase, longer overall, slightly higher off the ground, etc) than the Jetta wagon. We were a little surprised.
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  • b1900b1900 Posts: 3
    Has anybody else had problems with tire wear. The tread my Dunlops are very worn and the tires have about 20,000kms (12000miles) on them. Also I'm looking for a reasonably priced replacement (Goodyear quoted me $250.00cdn/tire for the eagle-rsa).
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    It's kind of tough to search but if you do you'll find numerous posts of the absolut same thing.

    There are not a lot of tires in the stock size. A lot of us have gone to 205/50-16 to get more choices. Also, a few of us have put on Falken Ziex 512's. Although after 10k miles I don't think they will last much longer than the Dumflops. But at $75/tire they are much cheaper.

    Kuhmo has some tires more reasonable priced also.

    Have fun.
  • 122856122856 Posts: 8
    I haven't posted since I bought my bright red 5 speed '02 almost three years ago... and have to say it's been a great fun ride. Other than a noisy sunroof (metallic noise on glass rubbing sound when open over rough roads), which by the way, kudos to Mike M. and staff at Whitten Brothers for their diligence, the car is still a blast to drive. I currently have 38,000 miles on it and am currently looking for tires to replace the original Dunlops. The tires still seem to have a lot of tread, but the middle tread is more worn. I find the tires fine during dry sessions, but a little disconcerting when wet. I found a site, that carries a tire that is new to me and this size (I think). Has anyone had experience with the Toyo Proxes 4, V rated 300 treadwear at $68.00 per tire? It sounds interesting.
  • cdnp5cdnp5 Posts: 163
    Try checking out, its a Canadian version of TireRack. I've heard good things about them but have not used them myself, well not yet. I think they have tires from $125 each and up that will fit our cars. I will probably need to replace my original tires this year as I now have 113,000kms on my P5. I can also say that I'm still on my original brake pads. Today its snowed, tomorrow it will be 25C. I don't know when to switch my tires with this weather.
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    Whooooly Mooooly, do you ever turn the wheel. I really don't know how anyone gets near that many miles on them. I know they won't all wear out it 15k like mine did, but man, tha'ts a lot of miles on those tires.
  • 122856122856 Posts: 8
    Yes, I am actually surprised how much tread remains, especially with other people's tread wear experience. It will probably even pass state inspection in June (3 year anniversary of purchase), but I will definitely buy new tires before winter. That is why I am doing my research on replacements now. The Dunlop OEM never really performed that well in snow and fortunately, Richmond Virginia doesn't get much of the white stuff. I figure that I do about 40% highway, 60% city.
  • b1900b1900 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the responses. Does anybody have any experience or opinion on Hankook tires? I'm considering either them or the Kumho's. Does the speed rating have any effect on tire wear?

    The Dunlop's look great on the P5 but man, what a piss off to only get 20000kms on a tire for a $20,000 car.
  • gintoginto Posts: 12
    I retired (bad pun...sorry!) my OEM Dunlops at about 36K kms. I switched to a set of dedicated winter tires last fall, and was going to put the Dunlops back on this spring, but then remembered how scary they were in the rain. They had maybe 4/32" left, and I probably could have legally drove them for another 5K km or so. But it got so that when I lent out my car to family members, I had to warn them to take it easy if the roads were wet. The tires had to go, for my own peace of mind.

    My tire dealer recommended Hankooks for me as well. They were well reviewed by some auto mag, and apparently great value for the money. The tread pattern on the Ventus K102 (I think that was the model) was awesome, if that matters to you.

    Other friends have also recommended the Kumhos. These get good reviews as well, and are even better value. These friends all drive slammed Civics; I don't know if this means anything, tho.

    I decided to go with the Toyo Proxes TPT. It is a bit more expensive, but it gets even better reviews than the others, and I'm directly familiar with and like the Toyo brand. They are V-rated and have a 400/A/A rating. I got them in the stock 195/50R16 size.

    So far in my 2 days driving on them, the TPT's seem equal to the Dunlop's in the dry, and far superior in the wet. The turn-in seems just a touch less sharp than the OEMs, but the ride is more compliant. Straight line tracking is fine. I realize it's really difficult to compare my subjective 3-year old recollections of the Dunlops when new vs. the Toyos today... the turn-in disadvantage may just be because of the "shaved" Dunlops.

    I expect the Toyos to last longer, since they have a 100K km treadwear warranty. Also until May 31 Toyo will send you a $50 Roots certificate if you buy a set of 4 tires. (FWIW, I didn't even know about this bonus until I was paying for the tires, so my purchase decision wasn't affected by this).

    One final item: The original balance weights left a big scar on each part of the rims where they were removed from. Look like big paint chip-outs, exposing the metal underneath. Anyone out there with ideas about how to refinish just these spots on the alloys? It's not enough to bug me (yet), but I'm worried about corrosion.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I'm glad my tire shop uses the stick-on weights.
  • spokelsespokelse Posts: 1
    I have a 2002.5 MP5, its a tiptronic, "automanual" its a gem, I autocross with it, pretty successfully, its a busy car, but it handles handles handles, so you have a tradeoff, very very good road sense, more noise more rough ride, to get a perfect balance, you need a BMW, 3 times the cost. The new Mazda3's will be more refined, still a lot of fun I suppose. My sense is that the MP5 is a misfit car, something unexpected and very successful in its design, but its not a car for every occassion and situation. And you can get an MP5 for around 11k or so with low miles. Just be patient.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    I'm over 35,000 miles on the original Dunlops and will probably replace them by mid to late summer. I corner pretty hard when I can find good fun roads and this has not led to my tires wearing prematurely. My gut feel is that "hard braking" is more likely the cause of most premature tire wear. My original brake pads are still at 50% front and 75% rear and that's with over 65,000 miles on the car.
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  • jabba1900jabba1900 Posts: 20
    My first ever message on these boards, although I've been an avid reader for quite some time!

    I'm not surprised at people getting 38000 miles out of their tires. I'm currently at 62000 km on my 2002 Protege5, and my tires have 4/32" of treadwear left. It's all about driving style, and I guess I'm not zooming quite as much as other people...! I figure I can still wait until next summer to change them. The stupid dimension Mazda put on this car means tire replacements will be expensive, but I'm hoping that the longer I wait, the more cheaper choice there will be as new manufacturers are getting into this market. Hoping to pick up 2 sets (summer and winter), since winter driving in Ottawa is no fun on all-season tires...

    Now, I'm hoping people can help me out with something. My comprehensive warranty expires this summer, and I want to make sure I don't get any nasty surprises after the fact. My experience with Mazda dealers has been shoddy at best, and I want to take the car to an independent mechanic for a complete check-up, and then go to Mazda to get them to fix anything that is covered. So far I have had very little problems with the car - changed ventilation fan under warranty, and had to pay to change discs and pads on the notoriously weak rear brakes (now making sure the sliding pin is lubed at all times!).

    What in particular would you recommend I get the mechanic to take a look at? Anything you can suggest would be greatly appreciated!
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Hi jabba

    The first thing you want to do before you even go to the mechanic is have the engine compartment and entire underside of the car professionally steam cleaned. This way, the mechanic can quickly see even the smallest fluid leaks.

    You want to have all vital fluids analyzed for color and smell (there is spec to that, each has a specific color, and nothing should ever smell burned). You also want them checked for debris content... metal shavings can mean bad news.

    Have the electrical system thoroughly tested for consistent voltage - electrical and electronic items are the most common failures that will cost you the most money short of the powertrain.

    The suspension should show no signs of fatigue. Alignment is not covered, but the springs and heavy-metal parts (control arms, etc.) should last the life of the vehicle.

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  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    My factory stereo died only five months after my warranty expired. Oh well, much happier with my aftermarket unit now. :)

    In addition to checking for leaks from the engine, have the transmission checked out as well. Flush the fluid and look for any symptoms of damage. Proteges don't have a history of bad transmissions, but if yours does, it could be costly to fix.
  • jimmcknightjimmcknight Posts: 28
    - It's been an enjoyable first year with our yellow P5. Only problem is with the Dunlops - outside edges are feathering after 4,000 miles, especially on left side of vehicle. Dealer says, " Dunlops always do that!". Translation - it's the customer's problem, so take it to a Dunlop dealer and good luck! Sounds more like an alignment and/ or balance problem to me.Dealer said they checked and everything was fine. I doubt if they did anything at all. I'm a very conservative driver and have kept inflations at 31 psi +/- all along. Car vibrates at all speeds now, otherwise I'd ignore it. What a great car, though - almost everybody looks at it and admires it. Purchased 10 yr/ 100,000 mile warranty, so we've got a long time to enjoy it!
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    And that does sound more like an alignment issue. My wife's P5 has over 21,000 miles on her original Dunlops, and they just started to show noticeable wear after around 15,000 miles.

    Then again, she drives it, and she's easier on her tires than I am on mine. :)
  • jabba1900jabba1900 Posts: 20
    Thanks a lot kcram and mazdafun. That's a great little laundry list for me to bring to my mechanic!

    mazdafun, I understand you being happier with an aftermarket stereo since the factory one is crap. I've heard that just changing the speakers can make a big difference, though. What does the dash look like with an aftermarket unit? Personally, I think the interior of the P5 is very nice, and I really like the big buttons and clean look of the factory stereo, so I've been a bit hesitant about checking out other stereos, which often only have push-buttons instead of dials. Any tips?
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Most welcome, jabba

    I have had the luck of a clean engine compartmnent save my buns a couple of times when I *thought* something *might* be leaking... and spotted a leak before it got serious.

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