Mazda Protegé



  • fxashunfxashun Member Posts: 747
    Rite. No car rides as sporty as the Pro....Which limits its appeal to the mainstream.
  • newcar31newcar31 Member Posts: 3,711
    "I'm sorry the Pro is too jittery at high speeds to be compared to (that German car)."

    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.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    I always felt that VWs rode kind of stiffly and transmitted impacts kind of roughly (Golfs, Jettas), but I haven't taken a ride in a Passat yet.

    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.
  • shriqueshrique Member Posts: 338
    I found an article about future designs of internal systems on autombiles. Specifically it talks about how computers are going to change in cars to come. It's coming from a guy that helped program a prototype system. If your a techy it's really interesting.

  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    I agree with you about Fxashun and ZoomZoom. There is a compliment, but always a backhanded comment to come with it. I used to have a secretary like that at work. She lasted 2 months with me, and I canned her because of that and some other things. I really do dislike people like that.

    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.
  • maltbmaltb Member Posts: 3,572
    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.
  • chikoochikoo Member Posts: 3,008
    I know u and ZZ79 are obsessed with over the limit high speed driving, but within the limits of reality, what is the difference and/or similiarity between the 318i(4-banger) and the 1.8L ES?

    appreciate ur honest opinion.
  • jbolltjbollt Member Posts: 736
    Hey all...My daughter has our 96 Pro LX (just moved from AZ to Detroit) and is thinking about trading it for a 2001 LX or 2002 LX. Having just graduated form college, even with incentives, I believe she is better off financially finding a used 2001 LX. (seems the depreciation is quite high the first year) The 1.6L is fine for her, as it is slightly more powerful than her 1.6 in her 96. Seems most used 2001's avail are from rental fleets with the 1.6L. Her '96 has been in AZ all it's life, and only has 45,000 miles (automatic) Any advice from you guys on where in Detroit to look. Dealers to avoid? And what is this with the dealers being mostly closed on weeekends? How does one shop? My wife and I are flying out to visit her for a long weekend in a few weeks, and hope to help her with the transaction (to help her learn for the next time, so she can deal with it competently by her self) It can be a troublesome experience to the un-initiated!

    Thanks for any advice on values, and where to shop.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Member Posts: 2,405
    I've got a 2001 2.0 LX, 5spd manual Pro. I took a test drive in the 1.6 L (but it was an automatic) and found that (IMO) they were vastly different. Of course, I've got the Canadian model, so it the equipment is slightly different than in the US. I would recommend the 2.0 L engine just for the extra power, but that's a personal choice.

    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.
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    You can find a gently used 2001 Protege LX (less than 10K) for around $11K in the Baltimore area. It wouldn't probably be much different in Detroit. There is a difference between the 1.6 and 2.0 motors, a big difference. But the 1.6 is more powerful than the 1.5 in the 1996 models, so she would be ok.

    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.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Member Posts: 2,329
    Of course, I could always use more torque for pulling out of corners and turns faster. :)

    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.
  • shriqueshrique Member Posts: 338
    I don't think that particular computer geek is familiar with all the ECU hacking and overriding etc that is going on the "tuner" world. he's talking from the perspective of the average "hacker" type software guy.
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    The 2.0 Protege uses a little more gas than the 1.6, but it's worth it. I traded a 1999 DX for a 2001 ES, so I have owned both. The 1.6 was downright gutless with automatic to me, and dead with the AC on. The 2.0 was adequate with automatic, and gutless with the AC on. A step up, a small one, but still a step up.
  • fowler3fowler3 Member Posts: 1,919
    <<<Either Road & Track or Car and Driver also said it "does a nice BMW 2002 impression". If anyone is familiar with the old BMW 2002s, they were nice sport sedans in their day.>>>

    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.

  • dinu01dinu01 Member Posts: 2,586
    I would stay away from rentals. I know how I would drive one if I had to. Wouldn't care to slow down for speed bumps, hit all potholes, be less careful when parallel parking so I would hit the curb, hard on the gas to see what it could do( rev it to 5000 just for the sake of it) and brake hard to "test" it. Basically I would trash the mechanics of the car, while returning it in a good exterior shape back with a clean interior. Does the rental compay suspect anything? No. And that kind of car is the one they might sell to you. SO DON'T BUY A FLEET CAR!

    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.

  • the_big_hthe_big_h Member Posts: 1,583
    I emailed them for some info, and here's what they sent back:

    "Dear Hank,

    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 :D
  • fowler3fowler3 Member Posts: 1,919
    I had a 1986 Accord, a 1992 Accord, a 1994 Civic, a 1997 Accord, a 1998 Accord (for 30 days), a 1998 Odyssey, and the current 2001 Pro.

    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!

  • zoomzoom79zoomzoom79 Member Posts: 272
    I always miss everything.

    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.
  • rbrooks3rbrooks3 Member Posts: 174
    In my opinion, they have a line of great products. Their synthetic oil ses the most advanced building blocks available. Their base components are used in jet engines, so it's more than adequate for road cars. Their use in racing engines is widely known. Thier problem is cost. I last used Redline oil a few years ago and it as just over $8.00 a qt! try that in a car that holds almost 6.5 qts and change every 3,000-5,000 while driving 350 a week! It got quite expensive. But, the best is rarely cheap.

    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.

    Ron B.
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    I have had rattles in the Jetta since new, but they were tracked down and fixed. The VW dealer took time to actually care about what was going on with the car, rather than just being ignorant about my problem and saying it's never been heard of and there's no fix, like the Mazda dealer did to me THREE times with the 2001 Protege (when it woudln't start, when the radio broke, and when the tranny started squeaking).

    Three strikes and you are OUT.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Member Posts: 2,405
    Didn't you just complain that you had to take your Jetta in AGAIN after they "botched" the job the first time?
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    Yeah, but they gave me a free loaner both times. Mazda would not do that, I would have to rent a car, borrow one from a friend, or else sit there and wait for the car to be done. That's a pain!

    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.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    give out free rentals now for unscheduled maintenance issues?

    (I realize that this wouldn't have applied to your protege, vocus.)
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    Yes it would have, Kevin. My Protege was a 2001 model and they started that back when I bought it. It's called the "Driver's Assurance Program" or something like that.

    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.
  • chikoochikoo Member Posts: 3,008
    or what?

    too few posts....
  • bjewettbjewett Member Posts: 62

    What email address did you use to contact Mazda North America Operations? I've got a question for them regarding Mazdaspeed.


  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    I thought they started that this model year. My bad. When the Pro 5 was one of the last cars I was looking at, I read over that plan. It seemed to me that the plan would give you a rental as soon as you turned over they keys of your car. Even if it was only going to be a few hours. I must have read a little to much into the plan then.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Member Posts: 1,583
    they don't have it linked from their 'contact us' menu, I had to search for it in their website:
  • chicagoprochicagopro Member Posts: 1,009
    Looks like I'll be going to MAPP III, although without my Protege.

  • protege_fanprotege_fan Member Posts: 2,405
    Let's clear one thing was your particular dealership that was giving you problems, no? Not MAZDA right? Big difference if you ask me.
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    Yes, the problem was with Mazda, thank you. I have a problem when I take my car into service for something that's wrong with the car and do not get a loaner or any rental for a discount or anything like that. I also have a problem when the tech tells me, "yes there is a problem with your car, but we don't know what it is or what to do to fix it". That makes no sense to me at all! I could see if this was NOT a Mazda certificed mechanic. But it was. Come on now.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Member Posts: 2,405
    My point is that maybe that particular dealer had shoddy service. I know that there are different levels of service between different dealers. Come on're not going to sit here and tell me that all VW dealerships offer amazing service. We know that's not true...just as I'm willing to admit that not all Mazda dealers are stellar. It's like anything...there are some good ones and some bad ones.
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    This was the selling dealership of the Protege that said they could not find the problems with my car. They are known to have the best Mazda customer service.

    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.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Member Posts: 2,405
    There are hundreds of dealerships around North America...some service is bound to suck...some is bound to be good.

    I'd rather not have the dealer wash my car anyway...who knows what they do...but that's my personal paranoia :)
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    Here, they run it through one of those automatic brush ones at the dealer (at least at the dealer I went to this week, they do). I do the same thing to it though, because I don't have space to wash it outside (I live in the city).

    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.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Member Posts: 2,405
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    I know, I know. I have no choice though. The self car wash we have just doesn't seem to get my cars clean. And the brushless one doesn't either.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Member Posts: 2,405
    What about one of those high powered spray washes? What I do, is take my own wash mitt up there...spray it down with low pressure + soap, then scrub away, then from way back, rinse with the high pressure. Then use the spotless rinse, then go pay. Works well, and I don't have to worry about the brushes of death.

    Oh...and then I go outside and dry it.
  • protegenicprotegenic Member Posts: 199
    You watch it start to rain within the next 24 hours.

    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.
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    Our brushless car washes in Md. are different. You pay, then do what you have to do in the 4 minutes you get for the $2 in quarters.
  • vocusvocus Member Posts: 7,777
    If they can offer it for the Millenia, why not the Protege too? That's not fair, I don't think. Just because you paid more for your car than I paid for mine, you get better treatment. That's not right at all.

    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.
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Member Posts: 1,007
    PF, you described (precisely) the steps I use when i get a chance to hand wash it. In addition, I follow all that up with hand drying the car (cotton towellettes), and every other wash or so, with a quick application of some Turtle Wax, followed by wiping it off. The package says buffing is not needed to make it shine, but it helps :-)
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Member Posts: 2,405
    I dry with cotton towels too, but I'm gonna switch to micro-fiber I think. I HATE the lint left behind w/ cotton towels.

    Pete: I spent 3 hours with my gf's dad washing and waxing my car last weekend. Started raining within 3 hours.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Member Posts: 2,405
    Don't let Larry hear that you're using Turtle Wax Ashu...He'd run the love train right over you! LOL!
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Member Posts: 1,007
    One advantage of white is its tough to spot lint. Even with a highly glossy finish (atleast as glossy as 7 year-old untended white cars get, anyway!)

    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!
  • zoomzoom79zoomzoom79 Member Posts: 272
    The good service you all are talking about with VW and Mazda doesn't hold a candle to our local Lexus dealer.

    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.
  • dsm6dsm6 Member Posts: 813
    I knew I should have purchased that Lexus IS300 instead my Pro. Oh wait, It's all coming back to me now. I remember test driving the IS300, then looking at the price, then ...

    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? ;-)
  • zoomzoom79zoomzoom79 Member Posts: 272
    I'm thinking my SI will get serviced at the Acura dealer.
  • protegenicprotegenic Member Posts: 199
    The dealer just started offering this service in 2001 when they purchased the dealership. Any car purchased since then get a bath whenever you care to bring it in.

    You don't know how hard I am holding back from slamming Honda service, but it would be too easy.
  • zoomzoom79zoomzoom79 Member Posts: 272
    Luckily none of my "black" cars have required service at the dealer and I have a independent repair shop for the other stuff. I did have my 99 Accord's 30,000 mile service done at the dealer and it was pretty uneventfull.
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