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Mazda Protege Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    Hi, this is my first post to this board. I need to get my 19 year old daughter an inexpensive car. $10K or thereabouts is the most I can spend. We're both sold on the Protege. Hertz is selling '03 LX's with around 25K miles on them for $9995. The Mazda dealers around here (central IL) still have a few new '03s sitting around on their lots, and I'm wondering if it's possible to snag one for around the same money. There was talk here earlier this year of $6500 discounts off sticker which would put an LX auto at around $10K. But I don't know if all the rebates and dealer incentives that were available earlier for '03 Pros can still be had. Any advice on whether an LX automatic for $10K - 11K is a realistic objective at this point?
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    ... but a few months ago, my dealer (Richmond, VA) had $2,500 discounts on the '03s to get them off the lot. I would [non-permissible content removed]-U-ME something similar still applies, being that it's mid-2004 and almost time for the '05s to come out, LOL!

  • lonestarlonestar Posts: 15
    I bought a DX 5-spd. with rear spoiler, AC, and in-dash 6-CD for $11K. I dealt over the internet with a dealer 139 miles away. Some SoCal posters have bragged about buying ES models for $11.3K or so, but I don't think there is currently enough incentive money out there to get the prices down that far, or perhaps my dealer didn't want to sell at a huge loss. I can't complain about buying at $3.8K below invoice, though.

    There is a St Louis dealer that still shows Proteges in its inventory as of less than a week ago (Randy Blount Northgate Mazda). Go to the MazdaUSA website and click on "build and buy," then "search inventory." You'll have ZIP code and distance options from there.
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    This seems like it could be a very helpful tool
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    When did the last Proteges get delivered to dealers? I'm assuming any new ones still in dealer inventories have been sitting on their lots for at least a year...correct?
  • icvciicvci Posts: 1,031
    I think the last deliveries took place in July/August of 2003.
  • lonestarlonestar Posts: 15
    My new 2003 was built in July 2003 and was delivered to the dealership in Aug/Sept. Folks in the market for leftovers should check out the data plate to ascertain the manufacture date. Had mine been built in late 2002, for instance, I doubt I would have bought it.
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    "Had mine been built in late 2002, for instance, I doubt I would have bought it"

    Just curious.....why not?
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    Thanks for the replies. I called up a local dealer about a new '03 LX shown on their website. MSRP is $15,890 plus destination charges. Right off the bat he quoted me $12,462 including destination charge. I'm hoping to knock at least a grand off that.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    Check for what the same car goes for on a trade-in.
  • lonestarlonestar Posts: 15
    Maybe SoCal car dealers sell previous untitled new vehicles at used car prices, but that's generally not the case in the rest of America. I could've easily saved $1K to $1.5K buying a low-mileage used 2003 model, but I wasn't particularly enthralled with the idea of purchasing a fleet/rental car with all the abuse and lack of care they receive. IMHO, at the end of the day I suppose you have to decide which is mor important--price or piece of mind.
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    I'm not saying one should buy the car at the price of a trade-in but anything 2k over what you could trade the car in for seconds later is well...kinda ripping yourself off. This is an out of production model that's getting 10k or so on trade-ins. Everyone knows when you buy a car it loses value instantly. But 2k? 3k?

    In my area an lx with 100 miles, auto, moon, 6 disc, spoiler in outstanding condition is listing at 10,800 for a trade-in. So, is 14k a good deal? That's ~15.4 out the door.
  • smith1smith1 Posts: 283
    "In my area an lx with 100 miles, auto, moon, 6 disc, spoiler in outstanding condition is listing at 10,800 for a trade-in."

    Sure, because any new car loses a huge chunk of value when driven off the lot. But try finding a used car like that to buy. Who gets rid of cars with 100 miles on them? And if a dealer DID take this hypothetical vehicle in trade for 10,800 he sure isn’t going to resell it for that. He would want at least 11,500 for it, maybe more. So a brand new LX automatic for $12,400, as I was quoted right off the bat, isn't too bad a deal, and maybe I can get the price down further.
  • cowbuoycowbuoy Posts: 1
    I have done A LOT of research and have decided that the best used car for me is the 2001 Protege ES.

    Does anyone know of one - with a sunroof - for sale?

    What would be a fair price on this year and model?

    I was considering a 2000 but after reading about the upgrades in 2001, I decided on that year although I will have to stretch my budget (just finishing grad school and need a good set of wheels to start job hunting/working)

    Hey - anyone out there need an engineering/environmental geologist?
  • blueguydotcomblueguydotcom Posts: 6,257
    What would be a fair price on this year and model?

    Check Edmunds used car section and build it with the equipment you want. I punched it in for 50k miles, 5 speed, moon, cd and it came out to 7,300 private party. Odds are good you could probably pay less as Mazdas depreciate so fast it'll make your head swim. heck that's only 3 years old and the car's lost over 50% of its sticker. Ouch.
  • kenvkenv Posts: 5
    Just purchased a 2003 ES, brand new on lot. Only had 114 miles on it when I drove it off. Sticker was $18,060 (including ABS and side air-bags) and I got 'em down to 13,900. I had referenced other internet sales on two LX's that MSRP'ed at 18k and 17k and they sold for 13k and 12k - so I used the 5000 off as a target to throw at the dealer. My first offer was 13,000 plus my trade for TTL out the door. They came back with 14,300 and I countered with 13,800, They came back with 13,921 and I settled at 13,900.
    I also checked KBB for retail/used for that car and it booked around 13,500. Couldn't check it for new prices. I felt good about my purchase. BTW, the car was manufactured 7/03 and looks like it was delivered 9/9/2003. Got the last new ES in the area. Heck, I think in the South. :)

  • r34r34 Posts: 178
    I just bought a 2002 Protege5. It was equipped with autostick. It performs very well in city driving. However, I found that the engine was very noisy on the highway and the car was not willing to go beyond 70mph. The noise was liked it couldn't swift up to the next gear. Is it normal ? I tried another 2002 and found the same problem.

    Can I use the low profile 16" tires on winter (maybe no more than 1 inch of snow)?

  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    Hi r34 - you're in the pricing discussion, and your question would be better suited for our Protege5 Problems & Solutions discussion. Please visit that topic to continue.

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  • fblackfblack Posts: 26
    This is a bogus site. There are fake ratings in the system to boost their popularity.
  • peter24peter24 Posts: 1
    I speak Canadian, so bear with me. It's being sold by a friend of a friend, has only 60 kilometres (40k miles-ish?) and she's asking 5,000 Canadian, which is i guess around 4,000 US. Tiny bit of rust on roof, automatic, no AC.

    I read some horror stories about transmissions on these vehicles. Should I just stay away? Or try to low-ball her and cross my fingers.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    60 kilometres (40k miles-ish?) and she's asking 5,000 Canadian, which is i guess around 4,000 US. Tiny bit of rust on roof, automatic, no AC.

    Amazingly low mileage for a 10 year old car!

    Some would say the transmission problems on a 37K mile Protege are about a 100K miles away. Consumer Reports rates the transmission of the 97 model (the earliest report I have) as better than average; problem areas for the 97 include brakes, electrical, exhaust and fuel line.

    Her asking price seems way off. I would get a copy of the Black Book of Canadian used auto prices or another book or websource on the topic; many libraries have these available for free. You'll likely find the price closer to half.

    TIP: if you're negotiating bring your sources along to prove your point.
  • Hello, everyone.

    I have looked around Edmunds and townhall for awhile and finally decided to join (and asking for help :D)

    I am looking for a RELIABLE (that's really the most important factor i'm looking at) small sedan/coupe/hatchback/wagon. and it comes down to Civic, Corolla, Sentra and Protege. And surely civic and corolla seem to be more expensive than other two. but i can live with a little uncomfortable seat and whatnot. Therefore my first question (yet has already discussed alot) is does Protege last as long as Civic? (simply i have not seen a Protege or Mazda with 150k)

    Anyway, i found this dark green 2002 Protege DX (no power option, which i dont really mind) with wooping 60k miles on. it was priced 7000 but i lowered to 6000 dollars. a car looked pretty clean and well. would it be a good deal??

    i mean u all guys seem to get a NEW protege for so low prices, i dont know if i am doing a right thing. (i mean i can just downpay what i have and go on to a payment plan. what u think?) let me know what you think about that 2002 protege dx!!!

    Thanks so much.

    p.s : i will need to make a long trip (700 miles one way) once in a while since i'll go to a college out of my state. (so yeah.. a lack of cruise system is not good, but i thought it wouldnt be that bad.. hehe)
  • xan87xan87 Posts: 1
    to answer your first question i owned both a 97 civic 2dr 5spd and i now own a 03 protege lx.
    i rolled my honda about 6 months ago and then bought the mazda.
    the protege has the civic beat in every aspect as far as im concerned. its faster looks better and parts are not as expensive. like a 450 dollar o2 sensor for my honda. the only thing is mine runs a slightly higher rpm at 65 70 mph. but mine had 19k miles when i bought it for 11.7k so i would say its about average. if you could i would suggest trying to get the price down to 5.5k
  • I'm searching for a Protege and found a 2002 LX, auto, ABS w/ cruise control w/ 29k, very clean w/ minor scratches at rear. The asked price is $9500. I have lowered it down to $8300. Is this a good deal?
  • Hello!

    I am interested in buying my first car and I found a 2002 Mazda Protege LX and I would like your opinion on it.

    The dealer asks $8,485. It is a certified pre-owned, 5-speed manual, sold "as-is" (no extra warranty) and comes with bucket seats, power locks/driver mirror/steering, sunroof, alloy wheels, driver/passenger airbag, A/C, radio + single CD player, Cruise Control, bucket seats but -no- ABS. They told me that for their inspection they changed oil and filter, did some work on the breaks (something about rotors), new wiper blades, fluids, installed newer tires (Toyo, with pretty good tread depth, but not brand new) and also did alignement.

    I was wondering what do you think about this car? Is it worth the $8.5K? I intend to use this car for the next 3 years as my only car so I am looking for something reliable. Also, I am a graduate student, which means I do not want to spend a fortune in servicing the car (although I am thinking of byuing an extended warranty).

    All info, comments and help is appreciated! Thank you!
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    Why not use Edmunds Used Cars section for information about this car, including its TMV (true market value)? You'll need to know its mileage. Assuming 15,000 miles per year a 2002 vehicle will be averaging about 60,000 miles at this point; a car with less mileage than this average is valued more and vice versa.

    Before buying any used car it is wise to have it checked / certified by an independent garage that you trust or that a friend recommends. What you want to avoid is a car that's been involved in a serious accident.

    It is also wise to ask for all the service records to get an idea how well the car was maintained. Unfortunately, not every driver keeps track of these.

    An extended warranty can be pricey but may bring you peace of mind.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 64,880
    That is all very good advice...

    Also, if there is no extended warranty, then how is the car CPO? That is pretty much the whole point of the certification process... so that you get an extended warranty... otherwise, it's just salesmanship..

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  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    CPO = Certified Pre-Owned?
  • I forgot to add the milage: 66.4K miles.

    As for the certifiaction, they certify that they did the 150-odd point inspection that the manufacturer reccomends, and that they have corrected any problems found during that inspection. They do have extended warranty plans, but at additional cost. I guess my question is whether I should look more into this car, or I should keep looking around for something better, even if it would cost a bit more.
  • autonomousautonomous Posts: 1,769
    whether I should look more into this car, or I should keep looking around for something better, even if it would cost a bit more.
    The Protege is a good reliable car but the question is: Is the price fair? Have you tried the Edmunds Used Car section? The site uses Autotrader to show the prices of similarly equipped used cars selling in your area. You could use this information to guage if the price you're being asked to pay is fair.
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