Does the Protege compare in reliability to Civic or Corolla?
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That being said, I don't bother discussing with people like that.
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.
* 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?
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.
"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".
"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."
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.
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!)
1) Protege ES
2) Civic LX
3) Elantra GLS
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.
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.
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.
That and 8.6% financing did it for me.
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.
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".
Mott: Can you try with an intelligent or at least not-insulting post?
And Canada, rite?
"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.
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.
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.
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.
TSBs were designed to help technicians diagnose problems and now, unfortunately, they are used as a legal defense (excuse).
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.