Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Does the Protege compare in reliability to Civic or Corolla?



  • 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 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 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?
  • 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 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 Posts: 3,711
    Have you heard of the Protege engine "rattle" before?
  • zueslewiszueslewis 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 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 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 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).

  • Hey guys... have a '93 DX with 120,000 miles... it's great and fun!! :) No problems with it!

    As for the current models... you're probably going to find that the reliabilty is really good. 10 years down the line, the honda or toyota might be better, but honestly I'd say you can take the Mazda to 150,000 easily. I really don't think you'd have a problem. :)

    My guess is, it's just going to be up to you on the test drive. The protege has been well known for Autocrossing (if you're really into that, check out the mazdaspeed protege... sweet stuff). The Honda and Corolla aren't bad cars by any measure... though I've driven my roommates 2001 Corolla a lot and I didn't like it compared to my 1993 Protege.

    As for the cold engine noise issue on newer models.... as of right now... there is a fix that is slowly being distrubted to dealers... it involves an ECU flash and a replacement solenoid for the VICS system. The cold noise does not harm the engine at all. It is a system designed to reduce emissions from cold engines (which are typically much higher than when the engine is warm).

    If you want more info visit
  • built on the same platform? or share parts? someone educated me on this subject. I know Ford owns Mazda so I'm curiously if and when they did this. I know the chevy prism and toyota corolla are identical..what a bargain.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    just 39% of it. As I understand it, the second generation Escort was built on a modified (enlarged) 323 platform. Mazda helped out considerable with the redesign, and it was built in a pair of factories which were co-opperated by Ford and Mazda.
    Not sure about the 3rd gen. Escort. Some parts are shared between the Escort and Protege, especially the Escort GT. Almost no parts are shared between the Protege and Focus, and if they are, it is most likely a fastener or something else generic.
This discussion has been closed.