Does the Protege compare in reliability to Civic or Corolla?



  • dinu01dinu01 Member Posts: 2,586
    You come across as ignorant (the TH member agreemennt prohibits me from going any further).

    That being said, I don't bother discussing with people like that.

  • bottgersbottgers Member Posts: 2,030
    ......because someone would even think of comparing a Protege to his beloved, plain vanilla Corolla.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    don't appreciate your comments, eh?

    No reason for personal attacks and country attacks - that's plain childish.

    Again, I'll state - I see every model from every manufacturer on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. I review 100 cases a week, usually writing reports on 50 - the vehicles I see the least are Honda, Mazda, Suzuki and Toyota, in that order.

    Sorry, but Nissan, Subaru, VW, Isuzu and most domestics don't make the "least seen" list - I see plenty of them.
  • boggseboggse Member Posts: 1,048
    I find it interesting that you mention Subaru when your Town Hall Profile lists the following:

    * The car I am shopping for is a 2003 Subaru Impreza.

    I find it even more interesting since my wife and I are very close to deciding to buy a Forester, which is essentially an Impreza. Any comments?

  • boggseboggse Member Posts: 1,048
    Using car thieves as a benchmark for what cars are more reliable has got to be the most idiotic thing I have ever seen posted here. The only thing it benchmarks is which manufacturers are overcharging for spare parts.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    I see WRXs in lemon law suits, but half of them are beat to death or the service department doesn't care - must be a New Jersey thing.

    I don't see any major trends with the Impreza (and certainly not the Forester). I've only seen 6-8 Foresters out of 2,000 cases.

    I don't think you have anything to worry about. I contend that most issues are caused, rather than repaired by the service department.
  • dinu01dinu01 Member Posts: 2,586

    "Leading the sales gains for Mazda was its compact Protegé, which recorded a 50% year-over-year increase to reach 46,323 sales making it the third best selling passenger car in Canada".


  • dinu01dinu01 Member Posts: 2,586
    Other info you might care to know: Car and Driver Nov. Issue


    "Highs: Solidly built, sporty quickness of the controls, great driving position.

    Lows: Hard ride, abrupt clutch engagement, fairly noisy inside.

    The Verdict: A four-door Miata."


    "Highs: Great-fitting cockpit, slick shifter, good control layout, adept in the twisties.

    Lows: Way too many rattles, way too many shades of metallic in the paint, harsh ride, numb path control on the interstate.

    The Verdict: Something new from Honda — a loser."

  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    You and your buddy Mike are the ones causing the stir - lighten up.

    And yes, I've spoken with Canadian people before and I'm a big fan of Doug and Bob McKenzie, "The Great White North" guys. I understand the "eh" thing.

    Canadians never did anything to me, and probably not to you either, so lighten up - we have a lot of Canadians here.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    What's the big deal with sales numbers in Canada vs. the U.S.? Or sales numbers at all for that matter? What the heck does that have to do with the title of this discussion? You guys wanna get back on track and stop this incessant, never-ending and never-gonna-end Honda vs. Toyota vs. Mazda war? It ain't never gonna have a winner ...

    I've owned three Proteges (actually four, if you count my wife's 2002 Protege5). Here's my history from a reliability point of view:

    December 1991: Purchased new 1992 LX.

    August 1992: Hydroplaned and totaled car. (Bridgestone Potenza RE92s were bald at 28,000 miles -- treadwear rating was only 160 and I hadn't bothered to check them; I was a college student, and I encountered a heavy summer downpour. I hit the rear of a stopped Volvo 245DL going 45 mph. Safety perspective: Even though the car only had those motorized "passive restraint" belts, I walked out of it.)

    September 1992: Took insurance check and purchased another new 1992 LX.

    December 1994: Traded car for pickup truck after driving it 83,000 miles in only 27 months! (And to deliver pizzas at that!) Never had one problem with the car.

    May 2000: After horrible experience after horrible experience with the Ford-built, re-badged Ranger Mazda pickup, traded pickup for 2000 Protege ES.

    Today: After 31 months and 47,600 miles, the only problems I have had were both caused by me: Early on I tried to cram a box that was too large into the trunk opening; it was too tall and I broke the little plastic clip that holds the upper trunk springs together. (Cost of said clip: $2.00.) I also inserted a CD with a homemade label into the CD player (BIG no-no, it even says so in the manual) and jammed the player. But even though I caused both of those things, both were covered under the 3 year, 50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty (which, I might add, beat Honda's and Toyota's, but now Mazda's upped the warranty another step to 4 years/50,000 miles). Otherwise I've had no problems with the car.

    We bought my wife's Protege5 last January. She has just over 12,000 miles on it and the only time it's seen the shop was for two oil changes and tire rotation.

    In short, in almost a decade of driving four separate Proteges, I've never encountered a problem that I didn't cause. And one saved my life. (I just steer away from Bridgestone tires!)

  • nematodenematode Member Posts: 448
    For me:
    1) Protege ES
    2) Civic LX
    3) Elantra GLS
    4) Corolla

    Yes, I bought the Protege ES and I have 20k on it now. It was back to the dealer 1 time for a warranty repair (power window drivers side). It was a 10 minute repair for them. Thats it. It was also the cheaper than the Toyota and Honda a large margin AND Mazda was giving out low finance rates. If one does not like a firm ride and objects to a noisy engine then you could easily put the Corolla first. OR you are concerned about such things like resale or fuel economy then you could put the Honda or Toyota first. Build quality was the best (in my opnion) on the Protege. It was the worst on the Civic (I looked at 4). If you just want low cost high options then the Hundai is be best bet. Its also pretty nice. My main reasons for selecting the Protege were:
    1) The ride. Firm and well controlled or harsh to my mom. I really did not like the ride in the Corolla.
    2) Loud but nice engine. Pulls nicely from 3-5k rpm. I dont mind some noise but if you want refined the Civic has the best engine. The Corolla is also nice but more noisy.
    3) Looks the best of the bunch to my eye.
    4) Cost, finance rates, and nice dealer.
  • browntroutbrowntrout Member Posts: 24
    I think the Mazda/Ford association is misleading. While some of the Mazda/Ford products use the same parts/engines, the Protege is not one of them. The Protege is 100% built in Japan to the same standards as Nissan, Toyota, and Honda. Most consumer reports or consumer protection agencies have all these cars more or less rated equally in terms or reliability with Honda and Toyota sometimes having a marginal (very small) advantage.

    The clear advantage of buying a Honda or a Toyota is that they traditionally retain their resale value better. If you don't plan on keeping the car for more than 3 or 4 years, it might be better to get a Honda or Toyota from the resale value veiw. If you keep your cars for a longer time, then a Protege will last just as long and will be cheaper to buy and with more standard features.
  • townhall9townhall9 Member Posts: 78
    for the last year, or two, has dropped to a rating of "B" in the Consumer Reports Surveys. Still good, but a step below the Pro and Toy.
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Member Posts: 398
    Is the insurance on the Protege. For some reason, the pro costs more to insure than my 2k v6 accord. Full coverage 100k/300k 250 ded. pro-329, accord 298 per 6 mos. May have something to do with the category of driver normally buying them or they may be more susceptible to higher repair costs. I don't know. But just one more surprise after the purchase.
  • townhall9townhall9 Member Posts: 78
    equals crunch/call to insurance agent. Pro owners, from what I've seen, are young (at heart- in my case). I like to experiment with g forces, in the curves.
  • boggseboggse Member Posts: 1,048
    The Protege is labeled a "premium" economy sedan by the insurance companies, which puts it into the same category as such vehicles as the Jetta and Volvo V40. The category as a whole has a higher repair cost compared to the regular economy sedans. The Protege obviously would cost less to repair than either the VW or the Volvo, but they are there to drag it down (or up depending on your point of view). Why they did this is beyond me.
  • townhall9townhall9 Member Posts: 78
    One reason: too many buyers do insufficient research. For research: see Honorable Mention, under Most Wanted Sedans under $15K, in the edmunds "Editors Most Wanted Vehicles for 2003". (Some drivers like a tight/flat handling suspension.) Oh yes, and thousands of owners say they're reliable too.
  • lugwrenchlugwrench Member Posts: 213
    Very simple--Mazda has an almost non-existant marketing program outside of dealer incentives and financing. How many times have you seen a Mazda Protege commercial on TV?

    Honda, Toyota and Nissan have a huge marketing arm as well as incentives. VW, Hyundai and Kia also market their protects a lot better than Mazda. The new Mazda 6 is Mazda's main marketing project at this time. The car is being advertised in Car & Driver and other automobile publications.

    To answer your question, the buying public knows little about the Mazda Protege. Consumer Reports two years ago did more for the Mazda Protege than Mazda's marketing department when they named it the #1 vehicle in its class. Unfortunately, this is not the case now.
  • dinu01dinu01 Member Posts: 2,586
    As we know, the herd mentality might be one reason for it. Hey, I'll admit it, I was part of it too, but took a chance on this car (after extensive reasearch) and I'm a convinced Mazda freak now.

  • black_tulipblack_tulip Member Posts: 435
    I have no personal experience with the Protege but two of my friends are very happy with theirs after about 4 years. Funny thing is both started out to buy a Civic and got put off by the attitude displayed by the Honda salesperson.
  • dinu01dinu01 Member Posts: 2,586
    "Funny thing is both started out to buy a Civic and got put off by the attitude displayed by the Honda salesperson"

    That and 8.6% financing did it for me.

  • boggseboggse Member Posts: 1,048
    Amen! That is exactly what happened to me when I purchased my 2001 ES 5 Speed, AND when we went looking for a replacement car for my wife. We are going to get her a Protege5 very soon. A large proportion of Honda dealers think you owe them something.
  • stretchsjestretchsje Member Posts: 700
    Most people don't realize exactly how fun the Protege is until after they own one. At least, that's been my observation. They're wicked fun :-)

    As for reliability- listen to Zues! The Protege owners on this board will testify to it's great reliability- many with 100k+ miles. And if you don't listen to them, remember the the Civic is only rated "average" in Consumer Reports. Take that!

    Really, it's hard to compare reliability when with proper routine maintenance, any of these three cars will reach 200k+ miles. My 1990 Celica (~Corolla) has over 120k and still looks and runs like a new(ish) car. I almost bought a Protege, but am getting an Mazda6 now.
  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    My friend's wife has a 323 with 220,000 miles on it that she still drives every day. Mountainous Montana miles too. Not shabby.
  • paulo3paulo3 Member Posts: 113
    I don't think so! The 323 was virtually bullet proof.
  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    The Protege is the succesor to the 323. In some markets, they still call it the "323". In NA, they are different cars because one is newer, and one is older. We know the older 323 is bulletproof because it has been around long enough to prove itself. Time will tell with the newer designs, but if history means anything, the newer ones should be even more reliable.
  • mott_da_hooplemott_da_hoople Member Posts: 15
    I saw a new Protege on the road today. First one I have seen in over a month.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    especially the 5 model. I think Mott must live in Paragould, Arkansas - they only drive old Chevy trucks there because "Chevy" is the only word the insurance agaent can spell.
  • mott_da_hooplemott_da_hoople Member Posts: 15
    Look at my profile again, it isn't Arkansas but Argentina. The city I live in has a population base over 200,000 people.
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    relationship with the people of Argentina have to do with Mazda's relationship with the people of the United States?

    Mazdas are a dime a dozen here and very popular, but due to import restrictions or other matters of National agreements, Mazda may not have the same business relationship in South America as it does here.

    My only observation is that you only seem to want to throw stones, and that, my friend, is a waste of time.

    Like my Mom always said, "If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all".
  • dinu01dinu01 Member Posts: 2,586
    As we already know the best-selling car or truck is not necessarily the best. That being said PROs are quite common around here, not as common as Civics or Corolla, but common nevertheless.

    Mott: Can you try with an intelligent or at least not-insulting post?

  • dinu01dinu01 Member Posts: 2,586
    "So what does Mazda's relationship with the people of Argentina have to do with Mazda's relationship with the people of the United States?"

    And Canada, rite? :)

  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    I think of "North America", not just the U.S.
  • dinu01dinu01 Member Posts: 2,586
  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    Just a reminder of some of the things you have said:

    "The only thing Canadians are experts on are beer, donuts and hockey in that order."

    I'm insulting? Hello, Pot, this is kettle. Go back and read the forum from the beginning. You and Mott are the ones stirring things up in here.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    The flames will be deleted and I'd like everyone to please get back on topic. Don't respond to trolling, just enjoy yourself and let the Host take care of violations of Town Hall rules.

    thank you

  • walterchanwalterchan Member Posts: 61
    It is possible that Mazda reliabilty will outbeat Civic and Corolla. This is based on my opinion so I don't want to scare out a lot of people. When I read the discussion, "How reliable are used Ford Festiva/Aspire?" here in Edmunds, almost everybody is a proud owner of the Ford Festivas. I know that this car may be cheap, unsafe, and laughable but the Ford Festiva is a special car. Festivas were assembled by Kia but was designed by Mazda using Mazda engine, which was Made in Japan between the year 1988 and 1993. I have read every reviews here and everybody keeps on commenting on how reliable Festivas are. Many people abused their Festivas but the Mazda engine itself is very indestructable and refuses to give up. Many Festivas have at least 200,000 or perhaps 300,000 miles in it and many people commented that it still has the original clutch, original engine, and original transmission. I'll give an example of a 1988 Festiva. Some owners of the 1988 Festiva even commented that after 300,000 miles later and 15 years, they only spend less than $1,200 for repairs since purchased it new. When I read the Honda Civic reviews and Toyota Corolla reviews for the year 1988 version, it appears that Mazda engine was more robust than Civic and Corolla. You can find out more of that in or in car reviews.

    Walter Chan
  • dinu01dinu01 Member Posts: 2,586
    The late 80s 323 engines of the Proteges wre great! Many great cars that are still on the road today, yet no one looks at them b/c it doesn't have an "H" on the hood.

    I know my Protege bought in 2001 is as reliable as a Civic/Corolla w/out a doubt. Most people have this notion that Hondas and Toyotas are the best cars on Earth, yet this stems from past years when they oferred inovative technology and more features than the domestics or their Japanese competition. Nowadays, I believe Honda makes the best 5spd trannies and engines, Toyota still delivers on longevity in a package that cannot be made more boring than it is (thus un-appealing for myseelf and others that want to drive, not be driven), and Mazda has a somewhat negative reputation b/c of problems in the 626 sedan, B-series truck and more recently teh Tribute, the last 2 being Fords 100%, the 626 having a Ford auto tranny.

    The Protege, Miata, MPV are all great cars that have been on Consumers Report recomemded list for many years. The Protege, a I said before handles much better, brakes better, looks better (personal view), has a better interior and feels more of a quality car than a Civic since the new Civic was introduced in 2001 - a step backwards for Honda in the eyes of many. The Protege is also much cheaper when you factor in rebates and interest rates.

  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    I'm a repeat Mazda customer. I had a '92 Protege LX that I bought new. When I traded it in after driving it for Pizza Hut delivery -- 83,000 miles in only 28 months (almost 3,000 miles a month -- 36,000 a year!), all I had done was scheduled maintenance.

    I now own a 2000 Protege ES that has 49,000 miles on the odometer. I have yet to have a problem with the car. A year ago this month we purchased a 2002 Protege5 for my wife, and in 14,000 miles she hasn't had one problem with the car.

  • walterchanwalterchan Member Posts: 61
    The Ford Festiva is based on the same platform as to the Mazda 121. I think the Mazda 121 is the best Mazda product in history, in my opinion. New Mazda, even built in Japan, is not as good as the 80's.

    Walter Chan
  • disgruntled4disgruntled4 Member Posts: 13
    I recently bought a 2003 ES as a replacement for my '90 SE. Now, that car was a beast! 250,000 miles on it! Given, virtually everything quit working...AC, heat, auto seat belts. But the engine was created to last. Now, this new car, I'm having trouble already at 1300 miles! There is a rattling in the engine under cold acceleration. Mazda has told me that it is an engineering problem, and they hope to have a fix for it eventually. So, even though I checked for problems prior to buying, no one mentioned this. So just know that Mazda has not posted this problem yet, but it exists. I'm currently looking for anyone with the same complaint. Anyway, they told me just to ignore it. One bit of advice: don't wait until 1000 miles to rev the engine. Do it before you buy it. I made the mistake of babying it, and didn't know about the problem until it was too late. Now I'm stuck.
  • boggseboggse Member Posts: 1,048
    The death rattle has been documented here before. I suggest those with it band together and threaten Mazda with class action litigation. Even though it is obviously a small number of individuals, Mazda must be held accountable.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Member Posts: 2,405
    Class action? It's a known issue, but Mazda has stated that it does not affect engine performance or long term wear. It's annoyance to those that have it, but what are you suing them for then? Annoying you?
  • disgruntled4disgruntled4 Member Posts: 13
    i didn't even know about others having this problem. although Mazda has said it's not a problem, it DOES affect performance and will surely bring down the resale value. I can only imagine trying to sell it and telling the potential buyer "hey, that noise is nothing." I know I wouldn't have bought the protege if I had known about it. I am frustrated that I couldn't find anything about this problem prior to my purchase. It is obviously something they keep a lid on, right? Where can I find info on this problem?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    As contained in my reports:

    The manufacturer’s publishing of a technical service bulletin on the engine noise issue does not relieve them from having a minority of vehicles that are defective and does not relieve them from being liable for a vehicle with uncorrected mechanical problems. Manufacturers tend to think that just because they publish a TSB on a given issue, they have a “get out of jail free” card. The manufacturer, in my opinion, is still responsible for the appraisal differences between this car and one like it without the problems described in these repair orders.

    When looking at potential used car purchases, appraisers may choose between the vehicles with the minority of the vehicles with these issues and the majority of these vehicles without these issues. In that light, there is a huge value difference.
  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    Have you heard of the Protege engine "rattle" before?
  • zueslewiszueslewis Member Posts: 2,353
    My opinion on TSBs is the same, whether it's a common issue or not.

    TSBs were designed to help technicians diagnose problems and now, unfortunately, they are used as a legal defense (excuse).
  • jrdwyerjrdwyer Member Posts: 168
    Honda and Toyota both make some great products. My previous car was a '92 Civic hatchback and I had no problems with it in 65K miles. But it was too small, so I shopped around and ended up with a '95 Protege LX 5 spd.

    After 153K miles, it still runs as good as when I bought it. The engine dosen't burn or leak any oil and the clutch and tranny are strong. So I feel the Protege is definitely as reliable or possibly more reliable than a Corolla or Civic.
  • canoe2canoe2 Member Posts: 128
    Rarely see any Civic/ Mazda323 in older models before 1990 in Canada, but there are many Corolla still around. This proves the Corolla is very reliable.
  • dinu01dinu01 Member Posts: 2,586
    Many Corollas still around? I have seen a limited # of Corollas manufactured before the early 90s, but quite a few Civics. The 323s were very few before 90, but you can see many 323s/PROs and Civics as of 90+ (at least in Montreal and Toronto).

This discussion has been closed.