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Mazda Protege5



  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    I've had my 5-speed 2000 Protege ES (OK, CLOSE to same engine) up to 100 mph several times on a really "convenient" piece of highway not too far from where I live. (You can see anywhere a cop would hide for about two miles ahead of you.) The car is very smooth, albeit a bit noisy, at that speed. Just once I pushed it all the way to see how fast it would go. Just a touch over 110 is all it wanted to do -- it was still creeping higher, but very slowly -- about 1 mph every five seconds at that point. I think drag was finally coming into play at that point. (And so, by the way, were my nerves, and my hands were so sweaty I could barely hold onto the wheel.)

  • mudflatmudflat Posts: 47
    I've had my automatic up to 112 mph on several occasions. I also find that road and tire noise are far more intrusive than engine noise. You have a problem that needs to be checked.
  • Your experience with tires is of interest to me because I am looking for new tires to put on my 2002 P5. It has the original Dunlops at 38K miles and still not totally worn out. From what I have read, sounds like I have been lucky. But I live in Minnesota and thinking strongly about replacing them before winter. The car didn't handle too great in the snow last winter for my husband so he went back to driving the 4-wheel drive truck. I was staying at home so didn't matter too much. This year though I am also commuting in the P5.
    I was hoping to find a decent all-season type tire and not mess around with snow tires. I don't care one iota about sports car handling and am just looking for safe handling. So your experience with the Traction T/A's interested me. When I went to the BFG website it indicated that using "this tire may require you to purchase new wheels or make serious modifications to your vehicle..." Did you have to do anything like that?
  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    I can’t know for certain how deep the remaining tread is on your 38,000 mile Dunlops, but assuming it’s largely erased, I wouldn’t care to drive around a parking lot in the snow with that little tread left. 2/32” is the typical legal limit for tire wear in most jurisdictions, I believe. At that wear point they’re great for dry roads (better than new, actually!), dangerous in the rain, and near impossible in the snow. I think you’re wise to get new tires now before the snow flies.

    BFG website says that there are no BFG tires that fit your vehicle. In other words they don’t make a 195/50-16 size. And evidently they warn buyers that a non-OEM tire size may require vehicle modification, which is a sensible disclaimer given their limited-information database. The operative word is “MAY.”

    Fear not. ;-)

    The BFG Traction T/A comes in a number of sizes that will fit your ’02 P5 just fine. In fact, those are the very tires I’m considering as replacements for both our Honda Si and our P5 (although at the rate we’re going with the P5, this tire will be long discontinued before we need it. :-)

    Since you say you’re indifferent to sportscar handling, may I assume you would appreciate an improvement in ride quality? The OEM 195/50s are not just firm, they’re harsh riding on anything other than billiard-table-smooth pavement. Very responsive, though.

    Tires are a compromise; the original tires on the P5 are biased towards performance at the expense of ride quality.

    Would you like a softer ride?

    If “Yes!” then this is your chance to make a change that you’ll probably like. I suggest considering a 205/55-16 in the T/A (It's cheaper than the 50 series, too, as I recall). It will fit just fine on the P5. The ride should be more comfortable (taller sidewall makes it more flexible and softer riding), but you may notice a slight reduction in steering responsiveness; the steering may not feel quite so crisp and precise. Remember, everything’s a tradeoff. This change probably won’t be dramatic, but it should help a bit.

    This slightly larger size is perfectly viable and in no way compromises safety. You just might find that at the race track, you’re lapping 1.5 seconds slower than with the 195/50s.

    The only downside is trivial: the speedometer (which reads high now, if yours is like my ’02 P5) will now read slightly low. That is, with the slightly larger rolling diameter tire, the speedometer may read 70 when you’re actually traveling at 71 mph.

    This is easy to check on the interstates. Find the small, green mileage signs at the roadside (on the right) that are spaced 1.0 miles apart (theoretically). Set the cruise to, say, 60 mph exactly. Now maintain that speed and time the car over a number of miles. Employing the formula D=R x T, where D is distance, and R is rate (or speed), and T is time, compute your actual speed vs. indicated. At 60 mph one covers 1.0 miles in exactly 60.0 seconds.

    The 205/50-16 will fit just fine, too. In fact, that size should make the speedometer just about perfect. The slightly shorter sidewall will make it stiffer than the 55 series.

    You could really make a difference by purchasing 15” wheels and getting an even taller sidewall tire. Don’t the regular Protégé sedans use a 15”? I’m not sure. There you’d be doing what is called a Minus-One modification.

    There are a number of choices available to you. They’re all perfectly viable, sensible, and safe courses to follow. Some appeal more to performance enthusiasts, others more to comfortable cruisers.

    There is no such thing as the RIGHT size tire and wheel combination for a car. Many different combinations of wheel and tire will fit just fine. Consider your particular needs and desires, then find the right combination that gives you the best compromise of characteristics meeting your needs.

    Check out the Tire Rack website, and maybe call them if you think you would like to buy mail-order. They’re a great company, very customer focused. I’ve dealt with them over many years, as have many others, and they have a great reputation. They’re good people, and I’m confident you’ll like them.

    And while you’re at the Tire Rack website, check out their tire reviews and focus on ride comfort, if that’s your primary consideration. That BFG tire looks good, but there may be something more comfortable yet in either another BFG model, or a different brand. In other words, not all 205/55-16s are alike. You might like a tire oriented more towards “touring” rather than performance.

    By the way, you can buy aftermarket seats (I saw a post of yours commenting on your seats). Google for car seats on the web. Prices start around $250 each and go up. Cloth and leather are available. I have a bad back, too, and the P5 seats and my back do not coexist in harmony. :-) Trouble is, I keep finding other things to spend money on than a new driver&#146;s seat, and so I make do. <sigh>

    Next time you&#146;re in a Honda dealership, go sit in the Civic Si seats. I bet you&#146;ll love them. We do. No sagging lower backs in these firm, supportive European seats; purportedly, they&#146;re German Recaro seats, a world renowned manufacturer of high performance seats. Recaros can be bought after-market, too.

    I hope this has been helpful.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    What he said.

    I couldn't possibly add anything more!!!


  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    You're a scholar and a gentleman, sir. :-)
  • Thanks so much for the reply! I really appreciate your time and effort on helping me to be informed.

    I had considered that there was probably an after market seat but like you there is always something else to spend my money on. Right now I just make due with a flexible back brace.
  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    You're welcome. :-)

    A couple additional thoughts about aftermarket seats even though you may not be interested at the moment; just something to keep in mind for the future: The seats are generic, so to speak, and there are seat rails available to fit a multitude of cars. One buys the seat(s) plus the appropriate rails to fit one's car. The advantage is that when one sells the car, one can keep the seat and install it in the next car with the only purchase needed being the seat rails to fit the new car, kind of like Yakima and Thule roof rack systems where one usually can transfer the rack to any other car with the appropriate fit clips.

    Also, just to peak your interest, I seem to recall that the distributor/retailer for Corbeau seats in the midwest is located in the Minneapolis area. If you're near there, you might want to visit them and see what's available. Corbeau makes a very nice line of respected and moderately priced seats.

    If you should visit the Corbeau dealer, pop in here and tell us about those seats, won't you, please?

    Oh, and if you should buy 205/55-16 tires for your P5, I'd personally like to hear how much they improved the ride over the 195/50 OEM tires.
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    I looked at the Kia ad on the newspaper. There is a 2005 Kia Spectra 5. What !? How come it looks so similar as the Protege 5 I am driving !? Kia calls the the sedan "Spectra" and the hatchback "Spectra 5". It is just liked the Protege trims.

    I checked the spec on edmunds and it is so similar to the P5. It is killing me. I doubt it will drive the same as the P5 (even it has 8 more hp). I still love my P5.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    You know what they say about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, well Protege5 you have been flattered.

    The Korean automakers are doing what many have accused the Japanese in the past: copying others' designs. Nowadays it appears to be done to the Japanese as much as by them. Case in point: the Camry being imitated by the GM Malibu.

    One could argue that the P5 is Mazda's take on the Ford Focus or the Honda Civic hatchback but it may be wiser to just look at each model closely to see the differences. When Consumer Reports looked at the Spectra they had some reservations and did not recommend it. On the other hand, Mazda products are routinely recommended by them because of their quality and reliability (the Mazda3 was CR's winning small sedan); Hyundai and other Korean automakers are trying to win those battles in the marketplace with longterm warranties. If the car companies continue to try to outdo each other by copying the best and then topping it with goodies we'll be the ultimate winners.

    p.s. it would be interesting to see the resale value of a Spectra5 compared to a P5
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Followup to 7193, 7187 ...

    Last week I went ahead with my dealer's recommended servicing of brakes with a special they were offering: clean & lubricate all 4 disc brakes + install snowtires for C$99 (normally this would have cost C$150). The brakes feel very fine (although they felt fine to begin with!). The purpose of the service is to ensure the brake calipers and pins are moving smoothly and not grinding away at the discs which are pricier to repair.

    According to the dealer rep this service is not covered under warranty. I still have my doubts about his explanation of the TSB as being advisory but not prescriptive. An independent garage convinced me that this is a wise service for cars with discs and quoted me the same price. Although the independent recommended this as an annual service I'm not convinced that it's worth it.

    It all comes down to trust. Would the dealer want to risk losing a long term customer over a couple of bucks?
  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    I had the guys in a Firestore store to do Wheel Balancing and Alignment at the weekend to resolve a vibration problem. I went there for Wheel balancing service but they told me 2 of my tires had uneven treads and I need alignment service.

    They put the bad ones to the back and told me I need 2 new tires 2-3 months later (well, maybe 5-6 months later because I will use snow tires in winter).

    They told me one time alignment is $59.99 and a lifetime alignment (as long as I own the car) is $145.99.

    I didn't go for the lifetime alignment. I wonder how often do P5 owners do alignment on their cars. I won't do it again unless it is pulling to one side. I usually keep cars for 4-5 years but I may keep my P5 for 2-3 years because I would like to get another one (may be the new 3S) that can perform better on highway.

    Anyway, I think I may need 2-3 more alignments before I sold my car. I wonder if a lifetime alignment is worth in my case.

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Some questions for you, Kenny:
    1. Have you had your tires rotated regularly?
    2. Can you see the uneven tire wear? What does it look like?

    I read in Consumer Reports that regular alignments are not required unless:
    a) your car is moving oddly (e.g. pulling to the side) or
    b) you've hit something (e.g. a pothole, curb, obstruction).

    We all hit potholes at one time or another, so it's not surprising that after a couple of years the alignment needs to be adjusted. If there is severe damage (e.g. something has been twisted or bent) the alignment may only be a temporary fix and you may need to have it done repeatedly. Assuming you rotate your tires, having two tires affected sounds odd to me. I normally get hit by a pothole on one tire (on the passenger side, of course) and that's the one that goes out of alignment. So far, I've been lucky with my P5 (knock on wood!)

    Anyone else want to straighten us out?
  • Thanks to all those who post their thoughts on tires. I've got about 45K out of the originals and still have a measure of tread, but maybe not enough for the NE winter. I guess I must have a light foot and be lucky to go this long.

    Only real problems I've had with the Mazda is brakes, excessive wear on the rears and just today a fluid leak. Other than that it's great.

    I have noticed corrosion under the polished surface of the alloys, which looks ugly in the area that has flaked. Anyone else had this? Does an attack with sandpaper, rubbing compound and laquer work as a remedy?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Only done once on my '89 323LX at 90k miles when I had all 4 struts and springs replaced. I'd brought it in for an alignment check around 45k miles and the technician and shop manager said they'd never seen a suspension so true on a car that'd been brought into their shop. That was a great car for the 14 years I had it. I felt bad about not driving it enough, so I sold it last year. I still miss it. :(

    Done once on my '99 ProLX when I replaced the struts (didn't need to...more preventive than anything). No problems before or after. Uneven wear on my tires was due to my over-inflating them (34 v. 32psi)...wear evened out after I dropped them back to 32psi. They (Dunlop SP Sport A2s) were wearing more on the insides of the treads.

    Never done on my wife's '03 P5. Tires are still originals and show plenty of tread left after almost 30k miles. Then again, she doesn't take corners as fast as I sometimes do.
  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    You wrote:
    "Uneven wear on my tires was due to my over-inflating them (34 v. 32psi)...wear evened out after I dropped them back to 32psi. They (Dunlop SP Sport A2s) were wearing more on the insides of the treads."

    I recall when you originally described this, to me, bizarre effect of a 2 psi increase in tire pressures.

    Please don't misunderstand, I'm not challenging you; you say it happened, and I believe you.

    But I don't understand it.

    Auto manufacturers, and tire manufacturers, too, all recommend raising tire pressures 3 psi, or more, for extended high speed use (interstate trips), and for a heavily laden vehicle.

    For many thousands of miles now, I've been running 37/35 psi F/R on my '02 P5. "Regular" use Mazda recommended pressures are 32/32.

    I accurately measured the tire wear with my tire tread depth measuring gauge, which shows even wear across the tread on all of my tires.

    How do you account for the odd wear you experienced with only a 2 psi increase? Is there something odd about the suspension setup on your car?

    Kauai (who is interested in autocross competition and is respectfully curious about the phenomena you experienced. :-)
  • We had the corrosion/rust on the alloys on our 2002 P-5. The dealer replaced all 4 wheels at no charge (car still under warranty).

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I think it's partly the suspension set-up and the tire design.

    With the greater pressure, the entire tire gets a bit stiffer.

    And if you look at the Protege, you'll notice the tops of the tires slant in towards the centerline of the vehicle (camber, I think). This enhances handling in corners, but wears the inside of the tread more. This is reinforced by my observation that the outside rear tire is the first to skid or scrub when I take a turn fast. Afterwards, when I inspect the tires, I see a lot more wear on that tire. Not only is it skidding, but the slanted orientation puts even more wear on its inside tread.

    On my '89 323LX, the suspension set-up was such that the tires were almost perfectly vertical. This promotes longer wear and lower rolling resistance, but handling did get a little squirrelly in fast corners.
  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    Mazdafun wrote:
    &#147;With the greater pressure, the entire tire gets a bit stiffer.&#148;

    Yes, and this is a good thing, since it helps keep the tread flatter and in contact with the road under hard cornering where the tire wants to roll over onto the shoulder and lift the inner tread clear of the ground. It also gives crisper steering response and helps reduce tread squirm, keeping tire temperatures down. Overall, it&#146;s generally a good thing to do, with just one caveat: The ride can get noticeably harsher. A 3 psi increase in tire pressures will yield enough of a harder ride that most people would notice it -- and dislike it.

    Higher tire pressures ordinarily reduce shoulder wear, and increase central tread wear slightly if the pressure increase is substantial. If the opposite is happening, I'd investigate why.

    I think manufacturers generally suggest the _lowest_ safe tire pressures, because the general public would complain about the ride harshness of higher pressures, despite the performance advantages. It&#146;s all a trade-off, of course; there isn&#146;t one &#147;right&#148; tire pressure for a given situation in normal street use.

    Note that on their website, BFG recommends raising tire pressures by a whopping 10 psi (yes, ten) for driving in the rain.

    In autocross competition, one often needs to add quite a bit of pressure to tires (often to the max permissible pressure) to help control the tendency of the tire to roll over onto the shoulder under very hard cornering -- much harder than most people would indulge in on the street. With a standard street suspension setup, even the highest possible pressures will still result in severe wear on the outer shoulders of the front tires for many, if not most, cars.

    You wrote:
    &#147;And if you look at the Protege, you'll notice the tops of the tires slant in towards the centerline of the vehicle (camber, I think).&#148;

    Yes. Negative camber in this case. Negative camber is good for performance, but comes at the expense of increased tire wear on the inner tread. I believe extremes of camber can also make the handling less than desirable for normal road driving.

    In fact, for autox, one wants to set up 2.5º - 3.5º negative camber on most cars competing in stock classes. (You buy &#147;crash bolts,&#148; which permit this adjustment.) This, coupled with different toe settings, etc., will yield maximum performance. However, it comes at the expense of the car being largely undriveable on the street, and with extremely uneven and excessive tire wear that would be unacceptable for street driving.

    And one last note on autocrossing: You may wonder what the serious competitors do about the conflict between safe and sensible street setups vs. competition setups. The solution is simple: they haul their cars in on trailers! There are some very impressive setups at top-flight events.

    But back to your car. . .

    You wrote:
    &#147;This is reinforced by my observation that the outside rear tire is the first to skid or scrub when I take a turn fast.&#148;

    Whoa! That is definitely not right. It is _difficult_ to deliberately induce this kind of handling behavior in a front-wheel-drive (fwd) car, even by resorting to rough techniques to try to throw the car sideways. Driven reasonably smoothly, not standing on the brakes just short of lock-up and seriously unloading the rear tires while turning into the curve, your car should progressively slide the front end first. Definitely not the rear.

    This is compelling evidence to me that your suspension is misaligned and maybe even damaged.

    You wrote:
    &#147;Afterwards, when I inspect the tires, I see a lot more wear on that tire.&#148;

    I&#146;ll bet you do. ;-)

    And, again, that&#146;s abnormal, too. FWD cars usually wear out their front tires far sooner than the rears. I cannot think of any exceptions in normal use with normal setups, i.e. not competition setups. In fact, a good strategy for minimizing owner costs is to rotate the tires on an fwd car side-to-side only, keeping the rears always at the back. One can often get 80-100,000 miles out of the rears this way. The fronts will need replacement, but that&#146;s only two tires, not four. Obviously, the question is how many miles do you plan to drive the car before selling it? The downside of this is that you may want a different tire, while this method &#147;forces&#148; you to get the same tire at replacement time. It&#146;s a poor idea to mix different makes and models of tires on a car. Keep all four tires the same, except, of course, on &#145;Vettes, Porsches, etc. where the rears are larger than the fronts.

    You wrote:
    &#147;Not only is it skidding, but the slanted orientation puts even more wear on its inside tread.&#148;


    Your description is reinforcing my suspicion that there&#146;s something amiss with your suspension.

    The handling behavior you describe sounds decidedly abnormal to me -- dangerous, even. I&#146;m not an expert, but no front wheel drive street car should behave as you&#146;ve described here.

    You didn&#146;t happen to buy this car used . . . from a serious autocrosser, did you? :-) Just kidding! (They do some unusual things to get their cars to rotate better.)

    Let me see if I understand you correctly. The right rear tire shows abnormal wear with small psi increases, and left hand curves taken quickly result in the rear end breaking away and sliding, requiring steering correction. But the front tires show no signs of abnormal wear with small pressure changes? And the left rear is okay, too? It&#146;s just the right rear?

    Hard cornering on right-handers doesn&#146;t result in the rear end breaking away first, also? Is it just left-handers? Or, does it behave this way on right-handers, too, but not pronounced?

    Well, anyway . . . I urge you to find a really good alignment shop and get a four-wheel alignment. And have someone who knows what they&#146;re doing carefully check over the rear suspension components, including the bushings.

    You might do a Google search on autocross in your neighborhood and contact someone locally. They might be able to refer you to a quality shop that is known for doing good work on autocross competitors&#146; cars. Chassis/suspension alignment and setup is critical in autox competition.

    You wrote:
    &#147;On my '89 323LX, the suspension set-up was such that the tires were almost perfectly vertical. This promotes longer wear and lower rolling resistance, but handling did get a little squirrelly in fast corners.&#148;

    I don&#146;t like my cars getting squirrelly in fast corners, slow ones are tolerable, but not fast ones, thank you. When sliding through corners near the limit at speeds of 90+ mph, I want stability, just a touch of understeer, please, -- no oversteer. Getting out of shape in fast curves can take up a lot of road to gather it all up again, more road than may be available -- and then you&#146;re going to be unhappy. :-(

    Well, I see I&#146;ve done it again . . . another epic post. I hope my readers gleaned something useful from it. ;-)

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Kuaui, thanks for the comprehensive post.

    On my post, I meant inside rear tire, not outside. My mistake. That would certainly be bad behavior. :)

    Seeing as how when I drive easy, my car tracks straight and I do not observe uneven wear, my suspension is aligned fine (and it'd better be since it was done less than 10k miles ago, and I try my darndest to avoid bumps).

    And I don't think I mentioned front-rear relative wear speed. My front tires do wear more quickly in general. And with the Dunlops, going to 34 v. 32 psi did cause more wear on the inside of every tire, but more so on the rears (as they have noticeably more negative camber than the front tires), probably because the increased pressure stiffened the tire overall.

    I can unload the inside-rear wheel enough (by slightly braking) that it lifts & drags, which then loads the outside-rear wheel. If I push enough (usually by decreasing the radius of my turn), I can get the outside-rear and then the front tires to start drifting (and I can do it left or right). I don't drift much (as I intend to stay on the road and in my lane), but it can add a lot of excitement to a turn when all four tires are screeching. :)

    I admit it's more easily done when going downhill, probably because slightly less weight is over the rear tires. In fact, my favorite is a downhill s-turn, on which I can achieve a four-wheel drift with ease (and there's a generous shoulder). In turns on flat terrain, I have to work a bit harder for it and I can't sustain it for as long before a rear tire regains its footing. More often than not, it's just the front tires drifting a little when I try on flat ground (as you'd expect with a FWD car). I sometimes get the inside-rear tire to lift enough for it to start squawking too, but only with the Dunlops and the Falkens. The Firestones that were stock had so little traction, I'd usually get understeer before I got the rear end to drift out.

    Then I look at the scrubbed rubber ($$$!!) and I repent for a few weeks. :)

    And I'm the original owner of my baby! I try to take good care of it, though I push her a little sometimes. :)
  • Has anyone else had to have their alloys replaced due to corrosion? I will be talking to the Mazda rep Monday, but I'm thinking it should not be happening at 3 years on a garaged car, even in the northeast.

    With my brake issues: the warranty will cover both front calipers but the dealership want to charge me for pads and rotors (they were described as only worn halfway in August by the garage that did my inspection). I'm guessing that at least part of the need for replacement is due to failing calipers! They also want to charge me to flush and replace the brake fluid, which seems pretty abnormal at 43,000 miles. Anyone had a similar experience, thanks.
  • yes, our alloys were replaced (see my reply in message 7223).
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    I hate buying new tires, but I love having new tires.

    Went with the GF Goodrich Traction T/A's in 205/50-V16. The same size as the Falken's and I don't think I'll ever go back to the stock 195 size. I like the bigger look. Sears seems to have done a great job balancing them. I've had them at varying speeds up to about 85 and everything is solid as can be. I really liked using Sears for this. They came out to the car, measured the tread on the current tire, checked the size, put plastic on the seats and a mat on the floor. Then we walked back in and wrote up the order. The guy writing my order said he had worked installing tires for 2 years. He mentioned the stock Dunlops were one of the worst tires he had ever seen. Hard to balance and didn't wear very well. He thinks I'll like the BFG's better than the Falkens.

    I haven't had time to know much about the BFG's. They are a bit louder than I thought they might be, but MUCH quieter than than what the Falkens had become. They don't look quite as cool as the Falkens did. I liked the Falkens extra ridge (rim protector or something?). It just looked cool and the BFG's don't have that. They do look big and meaty though. We're expecting wet snow on Thanksgiving, so it was time to get something with some tread. So far I've gotten 20k on the stock Dunlops, 20k on the Falkens and now we'll see how long these last?
  • Yes, I am just about to have mine replaced they were bubbling and pitting real black were the brake fluid splashes. I had no fight I asked and they are replacing them no cost to me 2002 Mazda Protege 5 38,000 miles
  • A few questions for meinrad and others who've switched from the 195/50 16 to 205/50 16:

    1. Have you noticed slower acceleration and reduced gas mileage due to the tires' larger footprint?

    2. Has your cornering improved due to more rubber on the ground, or deteriorated from the taller sidewall allowing more sideways squirm?

    3. Can you tell if the increase in noise is due to the larger footprint, or the tire's tread pattern?

    I used to have BFG Comp T/A Radials on my '87 Integra and really liked them. They were quieter and better handling than the Michelin MXVs it came with. But I hesitate to move to a larger tire size if I'll lose acceleration, handling, quietness (such as it is), and economy. Unless the losses are very minor, of course.

  • After owning my Protege5 for 1 year I decided to trade it in for a Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback. As much as I loved the car the stiff ride and seats were taking its toll on my back. I also needed additional storage space. I still own a Mazda6, which I use as a confortable V6 cruiser on long trips. I received $10,500 as a trade in, which was $500 more than I was expecting. Got a good deal on the Lancer Sportback and could tell on the test drive this car will be with me a long time. Best of luck to those who own a Protege5. Its a great car and even with the back problems gave me a great amount of pleasure.
  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    1. Have you noticed slower acceleration and reduced gas mileage due to the tires' larger footprint?

    No. Didn't notice any difference in either.

    2. Has your cornering improved due to more rubber on the ground, or deteriorated from the taller sidewall allowing more sideways squirm?

    Improved. No. Worse. No. Although I think the ride got a bit softer. Slightly taller sidewall shouldn't have had much difference, but I don't seem to feel every little pepple quite so much.

    3. Can you tell if the increase in noise is due to the larger footprint, or the tire's tread pattern?

    Tread pattern. The Falken's were quiet when new, but got much louder as they wore. I don't think it had anything to do with footprint.

    Basically, I didn't notice any real difference in the way the car drives due to the larger tire size. I switched to get a larger selection of tires. I've stayed, as I've grown accustom to the way it looks. I think it looks better with the larger tires.
  • Traded my 2003.5 P5 (white w/leather) on a MZ3S sedan, (titanium gray w/black-red cloth, auto, ABS,SAB,SAC, MRf w/6CD, sport pkge + w/rear spoiler, auto dim mirror w/homelink/compass), and I love it! My P5 was GREAT while I had it and I had abolutely no problems w/it, but the MZ3 beats it hands down, it just "feels" right and it feels MUCH bigger and MUCH more refined. I also LOVE the dash at night. It looks and feels far more upscale compared to the P5 (and to any of the competition).

    Don't get me wrong, like I said, my P5 was GREAT and fun while I had it, and thanks to it, I was introduced to the Mazda zoom-zoom factor. Mazda has a sure fire winner w/the MZ3, and I am SO glad I made the switch!

  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Congratulations on your M3!

    A bunch of questions before you leave this forum.
    1. How many miles did your P5 have?

    2. What's your favorite memory/trip/experience with the P5?

    3. What tipped you over to buying the M3 at this time? In other words, was there anything that the P5 was lacking or was the M3 too seductive to pass up?

    4. Did you trade-in the P5 for the M3 or did you sell it privately?

    5. Your P5 had a leather interior; did you choose cloth for your new M3 or did the model not come with leather?

    Happy Trails!
  • 1. How many miles did your P5 have?

    7666. After 19 mths of ownership, (I'm reired and travel a lot, (fly then rent a car), so I really didn't drive it too much. Plan on putting more miles on the MZ3 though, (might drive it to CA next summer).

      2. What's your favorite memory/trip/experience with the P5?

    Driving it , and the ability to haul many large objects, (tables, plants, bags of mulch, bikes, etc).

    3. What tipped you over to buying the M3 at this time? In other words, was there anything that the P5 was lacking or was the M3 too seductive to pass up?

    The MZ3 interior quality, feels very upscale, and the ride to me felt much more solid in the MZ3. Also more power. The P5 5-spd, to me, wasn't very smooth, (kinda jerky), the MZ3 auto much more refined. Yeah, it seduced me and the MZ3 definitely put a bigger grin on my face.

    4. Did you trade-in the P5 for the M3 or did you sell it privately?

    Traded it in. Dealer played games w/low ball value, (of course), but I stuck to my guns, (but I was nice!). Word of advice to anyone trading in a vehicle, ALWAYS take a copy of Kelly BlueBook and the Edmunds TMV. It's a must have! Many thanks to the folks here on Edmunds, I think I got a pretty good deal and went into the dealship as an informed buyer, which saved me a lot of money. Knowledge=Power.

    5. Your P5 had a leather interior; did you choose cloth for your new M3 or did the model not come with leather?

    Choose cloth. Living in FL, leather gets kinda warm in the sun! This dealer had the best inventory around, (Eddie Accardi of Pompano Beach). He had one gray w/leather, but I liked the ones w/cloth better. Note: I usually prefer leather, but the black/red looked "different", and I was ready for a change, I think.

    I will explain more details on the MZ3 buying experience board later, in the next week or so.

This discussion has been closed.