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Mazda Protege5



  • isseyvooisseyvoo Posts: 121
    My admittedly unscientific impression is that they are definitely quieter than the stock Dunlops, with near equivalent handling (maybe not quite as sharp, but close). But I feel much safer in the rain and snow, that's for sure. Even when new, the Dunlops were treacherous in the wet.
  • 122856122856 Posts: 8
    I only had my Proxes 4's for about a week ... and my initial reaction to them is great. First of all, since I went to the 205 series, they visually seem to fill the wheel arch with less space around the tires. According to the salesman, the 205's would provide at most .25" of additional contact patch (width). He also said that there was enough room in the wheel area to handle the upsizing and had many installations to confirm that. So the bigger looking rubber may be more psychological. However, the tread has a cool looking aggressive pattern. The first couple of days after the installation of the new tires, I thought there was some more jiggle, maybe the sidewall was more flexible? It did not seem as stiff as the Dunlops, BUT it can really hold a tight line in fast curves and seems quieter. The ride seems softer and less harsh than the Dunlops too. I do have the psi's set at P5 recommended pressure.


    I ended up buying the tires from a local high performance shop, not a chain. Again, there were not very many shop options in this area. I made quite a few local phone call inquiries, Firestone, Goodyear, Costco, Merchants etc., went on the net to find local dealers etc. I did hone in on Toyos after reading hours of consumer review sites. The shop I ended up buying from is a good one... they also did a great 4 wheel alignment job and tire balancing too. There is not one bit of vibration from the tires or steering wheel, just smooth.


    Again, so far I am happy to be able to drive in the rain!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Excellent! Thanks for all the detail, Lee, and thanks for the corroboration, isseyvoo.


    In terms of tire size I compute 195 mm = 7 3/4" and 205 mm = 8 1/8" which works out to slightly over .25" per tire. For all four tires this works out to 31" contact for the Dunlops and 32 1/2" contact for the Toyos. That's about a 5% improvement with the 205 Toyos which sounds significant to me. Does anyone else agree or is this difference "psychological"?


    p.s. I would think that almost any four new tires would feel more secure than four older, perhaps balding, tires because of the additional new rubber. So new Dunlops may have made you feel better than your ageing ones. Nevertheless, four new Toyos is the route I'll be taking.
  • dwryterdwryter Posts: 87
    After comparing info about the different tires available in 205/50-16 here and on, I went with the Pirelli PZeros. They arrived during Southern California's heaviest rainstorms in years, and performed much better on wet roads than the Dunlops did when they were new. As others have said, the larger and slightly taller tires provide more cushion against bumps and potholes, which is nice. Turn-in is just a hair less immediate, but I doubt most people would even notice.


    One extra benefit is that the taller tire means lower RPMs at, say, 70MPH. You may not notice, though, because your speedometer will read lower-than-accurate speed because the tires turn fewer revolutions for distance travelled. When it says 70MPH now, you are really going a bit faster. (Anyone know how far off the speedo and odometer are due to the change?)


    The only downside I've noticed is that the aggressive tread pattern seems to interact with the diamond-cut grooves on some California freeways, making the car shimmy just a tad at about 60MPH. I haven't noticed it at slower or faster speeds. And it isn't bad enough to make me regret choosing the PZeros.


    Have any of you buyers of the BFGs, Toyos, etc. experienced this -- if, that is, your freeways even have these grooves?


    Regardless, I thought this information might prove valuable to others considering which tires to buy. Again, I don't regret having the bought the PZeros. They handle great, and are safer and quieter than the Dunlops when they were new.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Thanks Joel!



    The first time I drove across an iron bridge (originally built for train crossings) my P5 gave me a startle as it shimmied from side to side while the tires were locked into a groove. The P5 picks up anything on the road (potholes, cracks and in this case an iron web road surface). After that it became fun to hear the tires singing each morning to work and each night back.


    Pirellis look sharp. Being Pirellis and slightly larger I would guess the PZeros were pricier than the stock Dunlops. Is that true?


    Tip: When buying 4 tires try to get a deal. On previous sets of tires I shaved off a few dollars by rounding down the price or having a "free" service included. Making the deal is easier if you have multiple choices (i.e. multiple choices of vendors and tire brands).
  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    You wrote:

    "Kauai, I'll check on the long post limit for ya :) "


    Thanks, KC. :-)
  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    You wrote:

    "The paradox: as the machines become more refined, our driving becomes more crude by ignoring safety and courtesy."


    Yessir. We live in an increasingly uncivil world.


    And the driving skills aren't too good, either. :-(


    You wrote:

    "The F1 races (returning in March!) are a mix of skill, endurance, daring, and chance; too many drivers rely on the last two only."


    Today's F1 drivers do things that would have been unheard of in my youth. Stirling Moss goes on about that at times. Jackie Stewart's safety crusade over the years has had a number of disagreeable unintended consequences. Stewart worked so hard to make racing safer -- and it is, maybe too much so -- and the drivers turn around and make it more dangerous with their lunatic aggression!


    Speaking of "endurance," today's F1 races are typically over in 90 minutes, aren't they? The 1957 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, 14.2 miles of 178 curves (IIRC), and lots of elevation changes, lasted over 3 hours. And they did not have any seat belts, either. Just to put things in perspective.


    I witnessed that race. I was ten years old. There are scenes from that race burned forever into my memory. It was one of the greatest races in motor racing history. <sigh> Ah, the Good Old Days. ;-)


    Please excuse this old man's reminiscences.


    We sure do have wonderful cars to drive on the street today, don't we? My dad would have gotten such a kick out of our P5. :-)


    -Kauai (drifting off into the land of good memories. ;-)
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Tech says there have been no changes to the post character limit - you must have just scribed a REALLY long post back there...



    Host - Wagons
  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    Hi, KC,


    You wrote: "scribed."


    An excellent word; I like that. It's not often that I encounter an exceptionally literate person these days. :-)


    -Kauai the Scrivener


    P.S. Are you saying you didn't read it? <sniff> ;-)
  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    Aggressive tread pattern tires may be quiet early in their life, but will likely become noisier as the miles build up, according to a conversation I had recently with my Tire Rack rep. He said they refer to it as "heel and toe wear," if I recall correctly. That is, the large tread blocks wear front to back in a pattern that, over time, leads to greater noise.


    So. . . today's quiet new tire may be tomorrow's noisy used tire. Just something to consider.


    For most of us, this is not a disincentive to buying performance tires, for tires are, after all, our "lifeline," and quality tires are always a wise investment.


    -Kauai the Scrivener (who reckons tires are just about the most important bits on his car. ;-)


    P.S. A reminder for the forgetful folks: Tires lose about 1 psi for each 10 degrees F drop in ambient temperature. With winter&#146;s low temperatures, one needs to check those pressures and add air as needed to maintain the minimum safe pressures recommended by the car manufacturer. It was a mere 5 degrees F max here today! (Below zero overnight!) Don't forget to set the pressures for OUTSIDE temps if your car is kept in a garage. My unheated, attached garage is about 15 degrees warmer than outside. I adjust my pressures accordingly when setting them inside the garage.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    "Meade: Yes I live in Richmond, VA too. Interesting place to live and work. Would be great to get together and swap car stories."


    Drop me an e-mail at


  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    I was an English major, they beat words like "scribe" into you when you're not looking ;)



    Host - Wagons
  • dwryterdwryter Posts: 87
    autonomous wrote:


    > Pirellis look sharp. Being Pirellis and slightly

    > larger I would guess the PZeros were pricier than

    > the stock Dunlops. Is that true?


    Actually, they're a bit cheaper despite their larger size, $97/tire vs. over $100 for the OEM Dunlop SP5000. (Prices at Fortunately, the unsteady feeling from the treads dancing with the diamond cuts on freeway concrete does not include singing. The PZeros are quieter than the Dunlops.


    By the way, I had a blowout last year and had to buy a new Dunlop SP5000 to replace it. That new Dunlop now has 11,000 miles on it and I can no longer use it, having gone to a larger size. So, if anyone needs a practically new replacement for the original tires, same brand and everything, let me know and I'm sure we can work something out.
  • dwryterdwryter Posts: 87
    "Aggressive tread pattern tires may be quiet early in their life, but will likely become noisier as the miles build up..."


    I had a girlfriend like that once.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Interesting. Thanks Joel. The PZeroes are on my list for comparison with the Toyos and Dunlops in the spring; I'll report back.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Speaking of F1, anyone want to predict if this will be another Schumacher year or should we just assume this is the Schumillenium?


    Your notes about SF make me wonder what are the favorite cities for drivers. Monaco is probably not Schumie's first choice. NYC Montreal is a great drive; one pleasure is finding roadways that can be timed so that you cruise from one end of the city to the other without hitting the brakes or stop for a light. There's also the mountain and the port area for some variety. Recently the 40, a major artery, has been repaired and slightly widened to make for a more secure drive. Which makes me wonder what other driveability characteristics should a city have? I would exclude street racing in the urban core although having a track nearby can be an important outlet for those who want to exercise themselves and their machines.
  • dwryterdwryter Posts: 87
    For years I bought tires at, then had Costco mount, balance and install them. The latest price for that was a reasonable $14/tire. But as of last August, Costco (at least the ones in Southern California) no longer provide this service. Also, they've discontinued their policy of special-ordering tires they don't normally stock. Since they have very limited selection, my favorite option -- using Costco -- is gone.


    So I checked around a bit. wanted $97 each for the PZeros. Sears doesn't normally stock them, but said they'd order them for only $237 each (gee, thanks). Evans Tire, a local chain I think, wanted $105 each, so I went with them. Most of the $32 (4 x $8) difference in price between Evans and would have been eaten up by shipping costs, and I'd have had to pay someone else to mount/balance/install.


    Just one man's tiresome tale of some tires.
  • cogs25cogs25 Posts: 39
    I've been following the discussions on replacement tires. I'm specifically interested in how the replacements do in snow, as I got stuck twice recently in 5" of snow with the Dunlops. Those with newer tires in the snow belt, are they better or worse than the Dunlops?


  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    If you're getting 5" of snow you should consider separate tires for the winter. All season tires may be fine but winter tires have several advantages (see message 7201 for details). You may want to think of these tire choices in terms of winter boots and running shoes; some people wear running shoes all year long but do you really want to chance it with 5" of snow?
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    According to Desrosiers Consultants, in Canada the Mazda3 ranked as fifth top seller for 2004. It "is close behind to the The Toyota Corolla sedan was fourth, with annual sales of 44,563, an 8.4% decline from 2003. The hot-selling Mazda3 (sedan and hatchback), a new model for 2004, was fifth with total sales of 42,680 - up an astounding 1215% when compared to its predecessor the Protégé." For more information, check the Automobile News section of Canadian Driver (
  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    You wrote:

    "Those with newer tires in the snow belt, are they better or worse than the Dunlops?"


    I'll pitch in and offer a few ideas.


    I suspect your question, as asked, is difficult to answer. New tires will have 10/32" or more of tread, and in consequence will surely be superior to the (likely) near-bald tires that were discarded when the new tires were purchased. Thus, the comparison is not really fair. Of course the new tires will perform better in the snow regardless of what brand or model just because of the advantage afforded by the deep tread vs. the worn out Dunlops.


    A proper comparison would require a new Dunlop compared to a new alternative. Typical "end users" don't have such options for making comparisons.


    Your best bet might be to visit the Tire Rack website and read their reviews of tires. See what appeals to you, and then ask about that particular tire on various discussion groups, and use the search feature to find comments as well.


    For what it's worth, if you live where you need to drive a lot on snow, today's dedicated snow tires are amazing, performing far better than the best of the four-season tires. They're well worth the money if you spend a lot of time on snow and ice. Be sure to buy four, not two, if you choose this option.


    I regularly see it said of four-season tires that they do well at NOTHING. I suspect that's a slight exaggeration, but still... something to think about.


    It's a bit late in the season to buy snow tires, though. The manufacturers apparently produce only a limited number, and when the supplies are exhausted, that's it until next season.


    I put Dunlop Winter Sport M3 tires on our Si this year. They're super for our needs.
  • isseyvooisseyvoo Posts: 121
    I have been pleased with my Toyo TPTs (original size) in the wet and snow. Of course, as an all-season tire, it's a compromise compared with dedicated snow tires, but the Toyos are clearly far superior to the Dunlops in bad weather (even compared to the Dunlops when the car was brand new--Bought it in Jan. '03 so it was baptized in snow almost immediately) and almost as fun in the dry weather.
  • After much searching I am about to buy a used P5, I am looking at several but noticed somthing that didn't make sense to me. In the 2002's and from what I've seen of the 2003's, P5's with cloth interior and the side airbags have a little srs badge on the side of the seat, presumably where the the bag pops out. I am looking at a late run 2003 model, with ABS and side airbags and leather interior, it is the only leather car I've seen but it has no little srs badge on the side of the seat, the window sticker that seller has clearly states ABS w/ side air bags.... what's the deal ??
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    In the U.S. at least, my understanding is that if the P5 has air bags it has both front and side. Maybe thay didn't want to but the sticker on the leather.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Side air bags were an option on my wife's 2002 Protege5, as part of a package deal with a sunroof she didn't opt for.


  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    Meade wrote:

    "Side air bags were an option on my wife's 2002 Protege5, as part of a package deal with a sunroof she didn't opt for."


    I have an '02 P5 with the sunroof, but no side air bags.


    So, to contribute yet another "nope" <laughing>, I think the side air bags were packaged with ABS; that's my distinct recollection. However, since I seem to forget a lot of things these days, I wouldn't bet a lot on it. ;-)


    -Kauai (an old fart whose memory is suspect, and who has mixed feelings about ABS. ;-)


    P.S. A "refrigerator box," you say? And your wife and son stick by you? You must be an awfully nice fellow! :-)
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    You're right. Damn my memory is getting worse all the time. I remembered that the sunroof and air bags were tied together as an option, I forgot that it was just the side air bags.
  • iamziamz Posts: 542
    I wonder if your sunroof is aftermarket. I wanted the side air bags and remember that I had to buy them as a package with the sunroof. Maybe the sunroof was available without the side air bags though.
  • I bought my 2002 P5 on 3/30/02. At that time in California, the sunroof was one option (took it) and side-air bags/ABS was another (didn't take it). I remember partly because I wanted the side-air bags, but didn't need ABS in San Diego where we have no weather, and $800 was too much to pay for both.
  • kauai215kauai215 Posts: 190
    Iamz wrote:

    &#147;I wonder if your sunroof is aftermarket.&#148;


    Nope <laughing>, my sunroof is OEM standard equipment from Mazda, itemized on the Munroney sticker, etc.


    Iamz wrote:

    &#147;Maybe the sunroof was available without the side air bags though.&#148;


    Yep, there were many new 2002 P5s on the lot at the time with sunroofs, but without ABS/airbags. I wasn&#146;t interested in the ABS/airbag cars if I could avoid them.


    Iamz wrote:

    &#147;I wanted the side air bags and remember that I had to buy them as a package with the sunroof.&#148;


    [Let me see if we have the original Mazda Protege5 brochure in our files. . .]


    Found it! Along with an explanation for possible misunderstanding: The ABS is indeed packaged with the side air bags, _and_ this package &#147;REQUIRES moonroof.&#148;


    As a stand-alone option, a &#147;Power sliding-glass moonroof with interior sunshade&#148; is available. That&#146;s what I got.


    In this 2002 Mazda Protege5 product brochure, there is no option for &#147;ordering&#148; ABS _or_ side air bags, separately -- they come packaged together or not at all. And if you opt for the ABS/airbags, you get a moonroof whether you want it or not.


    As most of you know, this sort of &#147;packaging&#148; is characteristic of import cars, where one cannot order them specifying each item as desired, the way one has typically been able to do with the American makes. If you want cruise control on an import, for example, you often are forced to take a package of things, some of which you may not want.


    Increasingly, cars are coming with &#147;everything,&#148; and there may not be any options to speak of. For example, on our &#146;02 Civic Si, the _only_ option, as I recall, was side airbags. Everything else is standard. I&#146;d have passed on the power sunroof if I&#146;d had that option, and I&#146;d probably have passed on the ABS, too, which, on this car, is excessively aggressive. (Autocrossers often pull the fuse on the ABS on the Si to defeat it during competition.)


    Hope this helps resolve the confusion.


    I wonder if the original poster bought that P5, and, if he did, how he likes it so far?
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