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I was car shopping with my parents last weekend and they decided on a 2002 CRV. In the finance office, the finance manager and I were talking and he asked what kind of car I had. I told him I had a 2001 Pro. He then responded by whispering to me, "personally, I think the Protege is a better deal than the Civic. Much better..."
"I know," I said with a smile.
Or at least toss it into the comparison board. Otherwise go bash the Pro on the Civic boards, there's plenty of them to cheer you on.
BTW: I had the best oryza sativa seeds tonight... has anyone ever tried them?
What's the point of having 2 180+hp cars compete against the Pro5 that has only 130hp (that orange-to-apple analogy)? Their preface that they want the most powerful engine from each vehicle automatically puts the Pro5 in a deep hole, since the only performance category the Pro will even have a chance against the other 2 would be the slalom. The Pro got busted in all the HP-related tests, gee I wonder why >:(
And then they bashed the Pro5 in the comparison chart for having yellow paint like there's no other choices available...
That whole article is biased in wording and selective in features for comparison, so that in the end the Matrix will be shown as the 'best' of the 3. Objective comparison it is NOT.
SHAME ON MOTOR TREND
Entering Rt.53 South from the Palatine-westbound onramp. Raining medium-hard (wipers on low) and I'm being careful on the ramp. Suggested speed is 25 mph, I'm doing that speed. Just as I am nearly done with the 270 degrees of right turn to complete the ramp, I do my head check to see if any cars are coming and need to be "merged" with (or rather...to avoid being "merged" with). I start to accelerate and I cross some heavier rain runoff puddles (which I didn't think much of at the time I was approaching them) and then.....
Oh !!! The back end starts to come around on me to my left. I counter-steer and it snaps back to the right, a little harder. I counter steer that direction (had to go almost full-lock right) and the back end comes around 180 degrees putting me face to face with oncoming traffic (coming straight for me at 65-70 miles an hour) and bearing down fast! I'm halfway in between the right two lanes out of three possible (Yes...I spun INTO traffic). I am rolling slowly backwards, so I pop it into Reverse and punch the gas. Trigger responds with a strong jolt (dropping into gear with the revs up a bit) and I get 10-15 mph backwards speed (still looking at the cars coming to kill me at what seems to be an accelerating speed) and I crank the wheel full lock left and floor the throttle, spinning the front end around to the right and nail the brakes.
I slide to a stop all the way off on the right shoulder. My heart is absolutely POUNDING in my chest! (I swear the other drivers could hear it as they drove past). I put on my flashers and sit there for about 5 minutes trying to convince myself to drive the rest of the way to work.
Now I gotta know. Why did Trigger spin like that? So I get out and walk back the 150 or so feet to where I spun to see 1/2" - 3/4" of water running across the on ramp from the steadily increasing rain. A Ford Taurus drives through (latest model) and sprays water everywhere. If he has the same tires that are on my wife's Sable, he has 9-10/32's of tread on Continental Sport Touring tires.
I take a penny out of my pocket and walk back to Trigger and check the wear. I still have about 2/32-3/32 most of the way around. I'm not down to the wear indicators yet, almost, but not quite there. I check the front's and I have about 3/32-4/32 left on those (mounted the better ones on the front for traction).
Only thing I can figure is that the front tires had JUST ENOUGH tread not to hydroplane through the extra water, and the backs must have hydroplaned, starting the whole thing. Needless to say...I have to repeat Meade's caution.
RE92 tires are just plain scary in the rain.
They may be pretty good when new, but watch out when they get even CLOSE to worn down. I've had many different tires on my cars over the years. None of them have ever acted as bad in the rain as these Bridgestone Potenza RE92's when worn. Heck..I ran two Pirelli P6's down to 1/32 of tread and still had better wet traction than these POORTENZA'S !!!
Now before you all think I am bashing Bridgestone, I will say that the RE930's I put on my '92 Pro LX were decent in the rain, even when worn out. My best friend had RE910's on his Escort GT that seemingly lasted FOREVER (72,000) and still gripped well in the rain. It's just something about the RE92's. They are really nice in the dry, and grip well then. Just keep 'em away from water!
I will be ordering my new Bridgestone Potenza S-03's THIS WEEK! I spoke to Brandon at Tire Rack. He suggested the 205/50WR15 size. The tests indicate they are better in the rain than most any other tire, and the dry grip is absolutely fantastic! I will probably buy from the Tire Rack @ $118 per tire, plus shipping, for a total of $499.60 shipped to my door. Add to that 15.99 per tire for mounting and balancing at their recommended shop (dealer wants 23.99 per tire for same service), and my total should be around $560.00 or so...more than most, but it puts one of the best possible handling tires on my car. TALK ABOUT ZOOM ZOOM!!! Won't make me faster, but will definitely improve handling...
I've said enough. I hope my heart rate drops down sometime before the end of the week. I am even more glad there was no one right there when I spun or I'd be facing a large repair bill today.
Any other stories like mine?
Hi Pat! :-)
I had to say it.
But really though...The P5 is a wagon in looks only. It doesn't hold anything and for merely $1600 more you get a vehicle that IS sporty, can carry over twice as much stuff and handles just a well. Sure it has it's negatives too but the test did have a "sporty" component to it and the Toyota can be sporty and practical.
I think they need to knock off that back door and make it a sport hatch myself. But I don't work for Toyota.
Pete -- Since you seem to be very concerned about hydroplaning, you really, really should consider replacing your Poortenzas with a set of Dunlop SP Sport A2s. I've put close to 1,000 miles on my set that I bought in February and I've gone from being a shy, 55-mph right-hand-lane driver in even a sprinkle to a confident, middle-lane driver staying up with the traffic in even a downpour! These things were MADE for the rain! (And they handle excellently too.) I bought them at TireRack for something like $79 each if I remember correctly (205/50HR15 size -- they don't come in the stock size for our 2000s, but this is "plus zero" sizing which doesn't create but a wee bit of speedo error (1 mph at 70).
Really -- go to TireRack and read the customer reviews on this tire. For $30 less per tire than you're considering, these things are a steal. And they're quiet too, and they have a treadwear rating of 420!
Funny, I was just thinking as I was driving home last night during that downpour that the Poortenza's seemed to be doing pretty well on Lake Shore Drive at about 50 mph. But I've got just about 10,600 miles on them.
Thanks for the heads up. I'll replace them before next winter.
In fact I compare her car to my 1986 RX7. Totally smooth throughout the rev range. Redlines at 7000 rpm and made adequate power 2000 rpm and up with the further up you went the more fun you had. Same with my FX16 come to think of it. 7500 rpm redline 3200 rpm at 60. Yeah that's probably it.
Maybe you just aren't used to the characteristics of the engine. A little revving isn't "boy-racer". If you're used to it it's just how you drive the car. We shift at about 4000 rpm. That only half the range. And actually only 500 rpm higher than we shifted the Pro. Only the power is still building in her car whereas the Pro felt tapped out. But of course we've been over that.
By the way, I bought Goodyear Wingfoot tires for the "green car". Wore like iron and looked ok. Just slow down in the rain. No wrecks, slide, hydroplaning or anything. I'm getting Eagle GTII's for the "Silver" car in 205/50/TR15 today. Had em on the FX. Great looking tires with a nice blocky tread pattern. $69 a tire at Tirerack. Great for what they are. W rated tires for a car that can barely do 110 is a serious waste of potential and money.
You say that "on paper" the Pro has the better motor but that the Civic puts its meager power down to the pavement better. But then you quote a 0-60 time from a magazine, isn't that on paper as well? Maybe the Civic is .5 sec quicker, I don't know, they're both slow anyway so it doesn't matter. But the way they go about making speed is way different. One needs to be redlined, the other doesn't. I guess that's what's called "superior technology" today.....whatever.
Now I'm an idiot huh? Thanks for the little lesson on manual transmission cars and honda powerbands. Even though I used to have an Integra GSR and all 6 of the cars I've owned were manuals, I really didn't know any of that stuff. I've seen both sides of the spectrum. I've had the GSR, and I've also had an LX 5.0L Mustang. Go educate someone else.
I'd like to see how the Matrix handles with the 16's on the XR. I will say that the Matrix is a very competitive vehicle though. It was my second choice, but I couldn't get past the looks and the dash design. It also didn't feel as sporty, more mini-minivan-ish.
P5's are going for close to invoice now, and have 3.9% financing. This isn't the case with the Matrix as it's still new to the market, so there will be a susbatntial difference in the out the door price.
I can't believe that you, with all the bragging you do about your high rpms and slick shifting talent, would stoop so low to put Eagle GTIIs on any car. They're lousy in the rain and loud as hell. And this isn't just my opinion. I get my oil changed at a brand-new Goodyear dealer in my neighborhood, and I frequently browse their tire selection while I'm waiting. I became interested in those tires about a year ago, because of the price like you, and when I asked the manager about them, he said I wouldn't want them -- for the same reasons I just listed. Even Goodyear's little "features card" next to the tire rated them only about three out of five "blocks" for wet traction and noise.
But hey -- who am I do say these things? I've never owned a set! Let's hear from some of the people at TireRack who HAVE purchased them:
"They are a good traction tire but the noise they put out is unbearable!! The way they roar you would think you were driving an old 4X4 with mudders on it. The car only had 36,000 miles when I put these tires on it. At 49,000 miles I could not take it anymore. I dreaded to wait until they wore out. Traded the car in on a 99 Silverado 4X4 which rides 5 times quieter than the Malibu."
"The ride quality and its harshness was noticeably stiffer than the replacement touring tire. The Goodyears' aggressive tread design made it noisier too."
"Driving in the rain is scary as hell with these tires -- brief hydroplaning is practically a certainty even when going below the speed limit."
"I would not recommend GT IIs to anyone who wishes to avoid the guard rail."
"You get what you pay for. Great price for a tire this size. Handling feels sloppy. You should not be able to hear tire noise over a 5.9 with dual exhaust at 75."
(I would estimate that about two-thirds of the 37 customer reviews were negative, most talking about noise and poor wet traction.)
I know this is going to draw a heated response from you, but that's all you've been posting for the last few days anyway. I'm prepared for the worst! Just remember two things -- (1) I used real data (customer reviews and Goodyear's own ratings) to back me up, and (2) you get what you pay for!
What struck me the most was the fact that the factory Sport exhaust tip was about 8" UNDER the car! It was no where near the bumper. It could be that there was a kit bumper on it, but it looked the same as mine. The window sticker only mentioned side skirts. The exhaust looked good, once you bent down and looked under the car. But all this garbage put the Pro over $20,000. The spoiler is just crazy, the rims and tires should include some spares because the roads in NY will eat one of those Enkie wheels in the first year. I know 2 people who lost wheels on their M3s in the first year. Go price one new factory rim from BMW to see the meaning of WOW. The side skirts did not do much for the look of the car either.
On the bright side, there was a nice MP3 there that one of the service guys owns.
I also see the Si saga continuing.....
Here's all i will add to it. Maryboo had it correct and I have stated this previously as well. Please remember ZoomZoom and Fxashun that I owned a Civic SiR before trading it in for the WRX.... I am well aware of it's positives and negatives and probably to a greater degree than either of you.
The Protege ES is comparable to a Civic EX if one "must" make a comparison between two economy cars. The list of standard equipment is similiar, as is the price. The Si, or SiR, Civic here in Canada is an upper echelon, performance version of the Civic. It is much like the Nissan Sentra SER and SER V-spec. Or now, the Mazdaspeed Turbo Protege. The price of the Si is significantly higher than a Protege ES for two reasons. First, a lot of the items standard on the ES are "options" on the Si which jacks up the base price of the Si exponentially. Second, you will be hard pressed to have a Honda dealer sell you an Si at much less than MSRP. The ES may list on the high end, but the price is very negotiable. You could add a third reason if you want to discuss financing and the Honda rates for such financing. At the end of the day, a similarly feature equipped Si will cost you 4 to 5 thousand dollars more from new, than an ES Protege.
If you want to compare the Si with the Protege, wait until you have driven the Mazdaspeed Turbo Protege or to a lesser degree, the MP3. I would imagine the Mazdaspeed Turbo Pro price will be remarkably similiar to the Si in price and so will the performance.
If you must compare the Civic, stick with the Civic EX vs. Protege ES or LX comparison.
If you insist on making illogical comparison's, let's discuss how the WRX will eat an Si, spit it out, run over it forwards, back up and run over it again and then laugh all the way down a Grand Prix or highway race. After it's finished that, maybe we can slalom....
Apart from that, what was Motor Trend thinking by putting the P5 against these two..... Who wrote that comparison test, FXashun and ZoomZoom???
hmm maybe I will bring it up in the Pro5 board...
I was so happy to get Potenzas on the PRO last summer, knowing that they have this brand on F1 cars and I thought at least some of that rubber compound would be on these tires. I know better now.
Actually, I haven't found the Poortenzas to be that bad so far....yes, they have sucked on ice...but any all-season would here in Calgary. I haven't had a chance to take it through large puddles, because I avoid them like the plague.
Next winter, it's true winter tires for me. No way I can afford a new set of all season rubber anytime soon though.
Edmunds, for example, does an excellent job with their comparison tests. However, they aren't perfect either... A few years back, 2000, they compared the performance of several entry level cars, the Protege among them. Problem was, most of the cars were manual 5spd's and the Pro tested was an automatic. Still, it won, or placed second in almost all of the performance tests except for the 0 to 60mph time. This is not surprising considering the auto-box.
Yes, MOtor Trend must have rated other aspects other than just performance in order for the Matrix to come out on top of the WRX. The WRX, despite my obvious bias, is not the most refined automobile in the world, but it is simply one of the best pure performance vehicles to be had. Particularly when you use the value for your $$$ comparison. I'm interested now to read this Motor Trend article.
Seriously, it certainly isn't the best engine in its market segment, and it almost kept me from buying the car, but its growing on me now that it is broken in and I'm getting used to it. For my money, what little of it it took to by my Pro - relatively speaking, the suspension, brakes, reliability, and looks make up for any engine short-fall. "Your mileage may vary."
As a former protege owner who is considering a new one, I'd like to put in my $.02 as to the board.
Y'all are getting pretty negative here. Why don't we say "if you like car A more than the Pro, fine". No need to be so harsh. If someone doesn't consider the Pro perfect, fine - it isn't...and neither is any other car.
I'm convinced no one makes the car I want. Here's my vote for a great car...my bias! I want 4/5 drs.
1) civic si with 4 doors
2) maxima optioned out which costs -way- under $30k
3) mazdaspeed 3 without the wing, 450-watt stereo and in colors other than black and orange (how about sand mica, red, silver or midnight blue?)
4) mazda P5 with 20-50 more hp/lb-ft
5) WRX wagon with much better mileage, no turbo lag and a lower sticker
6) subaru 2.5TS wagon with nicer interior and lighter weight (FWD?) or more power
7) altima with nicer interior and which doesn't get "nice engine but overall lacking refinement"
I readily acknowledge that the Pro is not perfect. But for me it fits the best and has everything that I need. I don't constantly need someone telling me that "it needs more HP...more HP." I know that. Actually, if you look at the negatives that people have for this car, it's really only the HP. Other than that, there isn't much more for negatives.
gandalf: I would whole-heartedly agree with you when you say that the WRX would run circles around my SI. With a turbo and 67 more HP I would hope that would be the case. Actually fx and I were talking about that last night, we both agreed that if a WRX tried to bait me into a race I would wave out of my SUNROOF and let him/her go on about their business. But did you notice where they commented on the WRX's low-RPM lethargy?
Seriously, if they put a sunroof if that WRX fxashun and I would be REAL tempted to get one. AWD and 227HP. Fun, fun, fun. But you better watch out for the EVO. 250HP?? 0-60 in 4.3 and the slalom in 70.9 MPH ... no GTII's for that thing. Nobody really knows the exact HP yet but it should be fun to read that comparison test (or do your own) when Subaru puts out their higher output WRX.
The last thing I am going to say about the SI/regular Civic is that they are far from gutless and anyone who's calling it gutless should come up with an even more severe term for the Protege....like catavaric. You like your cars, I like mine. There's nothing else that can be said about it that hasn't already been said. My only request is that some people in here refrain from bringing the SI up because if they do I reserve the right to rebut any false statements.
Did anybody who's read the MT test notice that they didn't get the P5 to 100MPH? Nor are there any braking tests from 100-0 ??
Hey, I've heard that Costco makes has cheap steel rims...anybody ever check them out? I heard they were like $30 CDN. Also, what kind of bolt pattern is there on the Pro LX? And size of rim needed. Thanks.
On the engine analysis, I just want to add one thing. It's not the engine itself that is at fault. Simply, it's the way the engineer's sought fit to utilize the power and torque band. Mazda's 1.8L that used to be in the Pro had a different HP and torque band than the current 2.0L. If Mazda wanted, it could quite easily adjust the powerband so that you didn't reach maximum torque and horsepower until the higher RPM ranges. It's an engineering philosophy aspect as opposed to the quality or smoothness of an engine. Almost any engine is going to sound really quiet and smooth, even at 5,000rpm if it is only starting to get into it's torque band. It's also a driver preference. I happen to like high-strung engines, others do not. There is a reason teenagers worship the high-strung Honda engines. Most teenagers I know love to rev cars. I know I did and still do. It's a thrill they get from driving. Someone once said, "Enthusiasts know that it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow."....
Pete: I am VERY glad to hear you are ok after all that. I know I would not have thought to make the moves you did. I would have probably been killed in that situation.
Something similar did happen to me in my 1999 DX though. I was going 65mph on the highway, and this car cut me off and slammed on the brakes. When he did, I zipped the wheel to the right quickly to miss hitting him. When I did, the car just started going back and forth kinda quickly, and eventually spun around. I was sitting diagonally across a 2-lane highway in the middle of rush hour, and my car stalled from rolling backwards while in "drive". It was dry that day too, I don't know how I managed to spin the car around. It was weird.
And as far as the Matrix, I drove one. I drove a XR 130-hp model with automatic. I liked my Protege ES better. The Matrix was dead at low speeds, no surprise since it has the Celica's little engine that can't. You have to rev the crap out of it to get any power, then it's noisy as hell.
On the Civic situation, my friend has a 2000 Civic EX coupe. She has it modded a little bit, but not much. It couldn't outhandle the Protege that I used to have, and cannot catch the Jetta (of course not). And it had DRUM brakes in the back, not discs. I know, because she painted her calipers in front but could not do it in back.
Also, the Si listed for close to $20K when it was new. The only reason you got a good deal, ZZ79, was because yours had been damaged (paint work). You said that yourself. Of course you are going to get a good deal when the car's damaged. DUH!
Yes, the very low rpm output (below 2,750rpm) of the WRX and turbo lag is very evident. If you ever race it from standstill, and I rarely do this as I don't like the wear this puts on my clutch, you have to keep your clutch engaged while revving the engine to about 3,500rpm-4,000rpm. This starts spooling the turbo and then you just have to let the clutch go and hold on for dear life since you can't even spin the tires for more than a fraction of a second. I tell you, the G-force is pretty incredible. It takes away wrinkles and years from my face like nothing else.
Yes, the EVO VII is my dream car right now. I hope they bring it here. That, or the Sti WRX.
Okay, enough about the WRX too. Besides, I have the wife's Protege today and I think I noticed a valve leak in her rear right tire. I brought them all up to 33psi about a week ago. On the drive in today I noticed that the car was jittery in the rear and pulling to the right. Sure enough the tire pressure was 28psi. I tightened the valve and will be watching that tire.....arrrgh.
As far as having fun with a high rev engine - I test drove an Acura RSX type S. If I had the money, I might have purchased one. It was fun to run that engine out to the red-line. The type-s employs a three lobe profile version of vtec on the intake side, along with variable cam phasing, that allowed it to get fairly decent low-end, and excellent high end, and fuel efficiency as well. There was still a noticeable thrust at high rpm as the third cam profile hit, and that made the low rpm end seem slower, but in reality the car is no slouch at the low end. Good fun, but too much money. I've also driven an Integra GSR. That system didn't work as well, IMO, as the new three profile system. At the track, I'm certain it would be a hoot. As a daily driver, well it would still be some fun, but a bit annoying at times. YMMV
Really, it is incredibly subjective. It has alot to do with what you've been driving on a regular basis at that point in time. For example, my wife's Pontiac Grand Prix GTP feels like it just got an infusion of torque now that I drive the Pro as my daily commuter, but it also feels more heavy and sloppy in corners, with rubbery brakes and less road feel, than it ever did before.
protege_fan: I don't like aftermarket sunroofs. I don't know if you've ever paid attention but an aftermarket roof has more of a "lip" to it than a factory roof and it has a visible frame. The lack of a factory roof kept me out of a CR-V a couple of years ago.
gandalf: I'm not crazy about the Matrix either. Just not my cup of tea. Out of that group I would probably have to pick the WRX first, the P5 second, and the Matrix third.
I completely agree with everything you say in that second paragraph.
Also, have you seen the Hyundai Tiburon ad? They say "It's the most fun you can have with the seats up". Talk about blatant innuendos.
vocus: Your friend's EX came stock with 14" rims while the Protege has 16" rims. And talk about apples to oranges. A $15,000 127HP EX vs. a $25,000 Jetta with 180HP... $25,000 will get you alot of cars other than the Jetta that have better performance AND reliability.
I am going to exercise my right to correct false statements about the SI as well ... it listed for $17,400 new. Far from $20,000. And yes it has paintwork but you can't tell and there is no frame damage. Carmax would also wholesale a car for having an aftermarket sunroof. They have very high standards for the cars that go on the front lot. 3 people have already offered to buy the car for $14,000-$15,000 so obviously the damage isn't anything anyone else is concerned about either. As soon as I get my good computer back with the USB ports I will take some pictures and upload them.
Anyways, back to the Protege. I've had computer problems for the past week so I haven't been posting at all. I guess I missed Protege vs. Civic wars, part 3 eh? Anyways, this is really getting old. Many people have mentioned that the Si should not be compared the the Pro ES and I agree.
As far as the engines, you have to keep in mind 2 things about the current protege. 1, they wanted higher volume here and they got that. The 3rd gen protege has been a huge success for Mazda. They marketed this car to the masses. Most people drive an auto car, and don't race or rev the cars to death. So better low torque is better for most people. While I do agree that the 1.8L engine is more enjoyable, it was not a good engine for auto trannies.
Now, about the MS3. People have been complaining why the power output (170HP) is so low. It is a limited run car so designing a whole new engine for it is pointless. Mazda also plans to sell a turbo kit to current protege owners so changing the pistons to lower compression ones to allow for higher boost is not an option. Don't forget the the 3rd gen protege is at the end of it's product cylce so introducing new engines is a waste of money for Mazda. They are in this to make money, not to please a handful of enthusiasts.
Also, I know about the aftermarket sunroof thing with Carmax. They cut the value of my first Protege when I tried to sell it to them, for having an aftermarket sunroof. They also cut it because of the extensive rocker panel damage from jumping a curb when making a right. The dealer did not check for this stuff though.
As for me, the ability to buy the turbo kit makes me happy. My '02 pro could use more hp than it has and not upset the good handling. haviung just bought it, selling it to lose money to buy something else would just be plain stupid. To trade it in on a MS3 would also cause be to take a ca$h bath. But, Mazda has deliberately decided not to alienate me and offer the turbo kit. Personally, I appreciate that from Mazda. the fact tat I can get more hp and they may get more money from me makes everyone happy.
Now, I have only 2 questions left for Mazda. 1) when will the turbo kit be available and what's the price? 2) What will it do to my Mazda warranty? If it's not too pricey and won't void my warranty, I'll do what I can to afford it. But, if it voids the warranty (which I doubt or why market it in the first place as the vast majority of these cars are still under warranty)I'll pass. Once my warranty expires in 3 years, why would I bother adding the turbo kit then? If cars keep goign the way they are a 170hp Pro in 3 yrs won't be that exciting. Mazda should be aiming at making the money now, so I assume the warranty won't be affected. But, we'll see.
But is your new car the most perfect thing?
why don't u spell out the areas in which it is lacking? we might enjoy ur UNBIASED comparo then....
frankly speaking Fxashun does a better job at comparing cars...he does not get carried away.
Thanks -- in all respect --