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I knew it would be either you, zoomzoom, or vocus that would try to discredit my post. I was talking about the German/Mexican car, not the BMW. That German/Mexican car floats down the highway like a Buick compared to the Protege. It has a softer suspension and it weighs more so what do you expect? This "jitteryness" that you speak of is due to the Protege's light weight and stiff suspension, two things that I consider ADVANTAGES over that German/Mexican car. Besides, I really don't think it is that "jittery". Then again, I don't do 120 mph on a regular basis.
You and zoomzoom are pretty funny. You come in here and try to say nice things about the Protege but there is always a catch-----"I really like the way the Protege handles, BUT....." or "I really like the Protege's looks, BUT...." You seem to have the need to point out every little weakness of the Protege when pretty much everyone in here already knows the Pros and Cons. It's kind of like the kid at school that needs to point out to someone that they are ugly, fat, stupid, etc. Not that the Protege is ugly, fat or stupid, but you know what I mean.
The 318 is a fun little hatch. Friend of mine took me in a spin in her 318ti a couple times. Too bad they stopped selling them here, but then again, seems most BMW owners are more intereted in them as status symbols than in their drivability, so the poor little hatch didn't get many buyers.
I do have to disagree, however, with your post about the stability. My VW feels alot more stable than the ProES did. I don't drive at 120mph or even 100 all the time (but do at 80, and the VW is a LOT less buzzy), but it's nice to know that the car can handle that speed if asked to. I have the sport suspension and 17-inch tires though, so that might make the difference. Not sure.
The ProES is one of the best-handling cars I ever had though. The VW I have now handles just as well, but there's more body lean associated with cornering. I am going to fix that by adding the Neuspeed rear bar soon, so we will see how that works out.
My VW feels alot more stable than the ProES did
It should as it has a softer ride and weighs more.
Shrique: Great article but it seems to be a little dated in concept. Maybe he's talking about a standard PC protocol that would be special? I dunno, but it seems like there is plenty of hacking going on, it's just not mainstream.
appreciate ur honest opinion.
Thanks for any advice on values, and where to shop.
Not sure why your dealers are closed on the weekend...most up here are closed on Sunday, but are open fairly late on Saturdays.
If I were you, I'd search on the internet for dealers in your area and look through their online used car inventories. Try to get an idea what the car should be worth on the market. Also, try using Edmunds TMV value (FWIW) and Kelly Blue Book values to gauge the market values.
The thing I worry about with rental fleet cars are who knows how the renters have been treating the car? Big unknown...scary to me.
Hope there was some advice in there for you! Good luck.
I would not recommend buying a used rental car either. I just went through 2 rentals in 3 days (my car was in the shop, waiting for parts). The first one's door lock was broken and would not open, so I got a second one. I was pretty hard on both of them, harder than I am on my Jetta anyway.
For tooling around town, the 1.6L is just fine, thank you, and is quite smooth-running as well. Naturally, I wouldn't turn down more HP and torque if I could maintain the same fuel economy and reliability and use of regular unleaded.
I had a BMW 2002 in 1975 and it was a super small car. Lots of room inside, comfortable seats, plenty of power for its day. Mine was silver metallic with dark blue leatherette trim, perferated seats. You sat higher, the seats were more like chairs. Terrific visibility with almost 100% glass, thin C-pillars.
I drove it to California and back to Virginia on a vacation trip. The only place I noticed a loss of power was in Arizona at 5000 feet elevations. Otherwise, it drove beautifully, it was 5-speed. No AC and through the Arizona desert at 120-degrees F. it was HOT. AC was a $1550 option.
I had one problem with the 2002, around town driving it had a bad surge that the dealer couldn't fix. It felt like something was yanking the car back and forward. But highway driving it was superb, no surge.
The reason I bought the 2002, my best friend had a white one and I was looking for a car that had less trouble than the American cars I had been buying. LOL! He was having the same problem with his and didn't tell me about it. I'd love to have that car today! It's the only car I have owned that I dream about, that I am driving it again.
<<<fxashun noted: German cars are firm but supple with lots of wheel travel. Very well damped wheel motions. The Protege is just firm. Not much suppleness in its suspension. There's a difference.>>>
This is what I remember from driving the BMW 2002, it was just like fxashun said. When I drove over pothole patches the wheels dampened the bump, you felt almost nothing. In the Pro there is a hard jounce. Both have firm, independent suspension, but the BMW does it better...much better...yet the handling doesn't suffer.
The BMW 2002 became the 3-series later on. The base platform for the 3-series. In 1975, the 2002 cost $6,550. In 1981, the Mazda GLC sub-compact Special Edition hatchback cost $6,150. No comparison to a BMW 2002. The inflation that followed the Oil Embargo was setting in, prices were heading UP.
1.6 should be fine for town in DX trim. If she has some extra $ the LX 2.0 or ES 2.0 have more power and torque. Whatever she chooses the PROs are great cars. Buy from a dealer or buy private if possible: save on taxes and price.
Thank you for contacting Mazda North American Operations. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to you.
You've inquired about the 2003 MAZDASPEED Protegé. The MAZDASPEED Protegé will be limited to 1,750 units. 1,150 will be Black and 600 will be Spicy Orange."
so more black MS Protege is to be sold than the SPICY ORANGE, which is a very good thing
Before going Honda, I had a 1973 Audi Fox, the 1975 BMW 2002, a 1977 Audi Fox, and a Mazda 1981 GLC.
Average mileage at time of trade on most of them was 36,000. My co-workers use to say I was breaking in a lot of cars for other people. LOL!
I think that the 01 Protege would've been a completely different animal with the same 1.8L engine that the 99-00's had. They should've just tweaked it a little to get to 130HP. It would've definitely been smoother and most likely had just enough around town power as well as being more willing to rev. The 2.0L just isn't my kind of engine but the 1.8L would've been.
While I haven't driven a Pro with a 1.8L we did have a 98? LX rental car one time and it's engine was fairly smooth, had adequate power, and cruised like a champ. That's what made us consider the Protege when I decided that I wanted another car. That and the add in the paper that had the Pro advertised at $15,000.
The Protege drives great and handles great but it lacks the overall competence of a BMW. But it costs half as much to buy and probably half as much to keep running too. It seems that every BMW we ever drove had some kind of warning light on. That sucks because I would love to have a 528 5-speed or a 328 5-speed.
As far as the Pro compared to that "Mexican/German" car my brain and pocketbook would take the Protege and my heart probably that "Mexican/German" far. The Pro is a good compromise for those that want a great handling and different car but still want what has historically been pretty good reliability. The VW is just fun to drive, and very upscale inside when new before the rattles and warning lights set in.
I also think their fuel addative is the best on th market. the price is about $5.50 a biottle and Pep Boys carries it. I use it with every oil change. My Pro will be getting it's first taste next week. I can't believe I'm closing in on 3,000 miles already.
I will also be changing the manual trans oil at the same time and I will go with either Valvoline or Mobil 1 full synthetic unless Red Line is available. Last time I checked, Pep Boys stocked a small quantity of the trans fluid. Sweepco if available is probably second best. It's been used by Porsche clubs for racing events for years. The trans fluid on the manual cars is something I change every 10-15,000 miles, so the use of redline is not that bad. Plus, I doubt the Pro holds much although I haven't checked the manual yet.
Three strikes and you are OUT.
And they didn't really "botch" the job. They left grease marks in the car, and another issue cropped up on me that I wanted them to look at. And instead of giving my car back while waiting for parts to come in, they let me keep my rental for 3 days as not to inconvenience me with running back and forth. Mazda would not do that, they would have made me come back. Been through that before.
(I realize that this wouldn't have applied to your protege, vocus.)
They would have if they would have kept the car overnight. But if they would have ordered parts for the car like VW had to, they would have had me come and get my car and bring it back 2 days later. I did it before, I know.
Also, VW gives me a loaner as soon as I drop my car off. I don't have to set up alternative transportation or anything like that. With the Mazda, I would have to bum a ride with a co-worker or else borrow a friend's car for the day. Not so with VW.
too few posts....
What email address did you use to contact Mazda North America Operations? I've got a question for them regarding Mazdaspeed.
The dealer near my work fixed the Pro's radio problem, but not the tranny problem. I got a chance to take both cars to this one (they service both Mazda and VW products), and there was a marked difference in treatment between the two brands. I got a rental car as soon as I dropped off the VW there, but not the Mazda. They also washed the VW, but not the Pro. Also, the VW service was not as good as two others I have been to (my selling dealer and the one I just took my car to this week).
My selling dealer, remarkably, was not as good as the one I went to this week.
(I took the VW to my selling dealer for diagnosis of a rattle, but it was not found.) And to the third dealer this week to find the rattle and repair it (they are also the ones that left my car dirty and fixed that too).
But in my experience, VW customer service has been alot better than Mazda, which is weird. I heard their customer service sucked. Guess not.
I'd rather not have the dealer wash my car anyway...who knows what they do...but that's my personal paranoia
I know service is bound to suck somehwere. But I was shocked at the treatment variation at the very same dealer, by the same service manager, between the brands.
Also, I had to "fight" for a loaner at the dealer near work that sells both Mazda and VW (my VW was exactly one month old when the radio died - a fuse blew). I didn't have to do that at either one of the other dealers.
Oh...and then I go outside and dry it.
Paul, while I also find it odd about the brand inequties at the same dealer, I have to say you are making some wild generalizations on Mazda and Mazda service. I have generally had nothing but good experiences with my dealer (which includes free loaners and car washes, at least on my Millenia). Does that mean they are all good? Of course not, but neither are VW's, for which plenty of evidence abounds. That said, no sour grapes here as I am glad to hear you are getting good service.
You can go buy a used Jetta GL 2.0 that's still in warranty for $11,000 or whatever, and get the same service as one would get in their ~$30,000 Passat.
Pete: I spent 3 hours with my gf's dad washing and waxing my car last weekend. Started raining within 3 hours.
heck, I even use the dreaded yellow polish cloths to buff with - the same ones that leave intolerable amounts of yellow lint on household furniture. And no one's any the wiser!
They have leather couches, a refrigerator full of sodas (for free), a free coffee machine, donuts, etc. And they provide a free loaner no matter what year your vehicle is if it is kept overnight for repairs. They also adjusted the parking brake and sunroof for free on my co-workers 93 Lexus. I'm thinking that instead of paying for lunch next we fxashun and I should just take his LS400 in for service
I can't comment on Mazda service because fortunately my Pro never required a visit to the dealer except to have the rear cargo net installed.
Oh, that's right. I came up short on the cost by about a factor of two. OK. Nevermind.
I seem to recall the same thing happening with a BMW 3 series, though my new Pro at less than half the price drives just like one. ;-)
Will the Lexus folks give me the same level of service if I bring them my Mazda? ;-)
You don't know how hard I am holding back from slamming Honda service, but it would be too easy.