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Mazda Protegé



  • that the Protege was one of the better cars out there. I had a 1994
    Mazda 323 hatchback that wqas absolutely terrific, and so far, this one feels even better built.
  • Well me wife and I went out to the theatre tonight, and put about 50 miles on the new Protege. From semi-twisty suburban streets to a particularly twisty bit of LA freeway (110 into Pasadena), the car was a delight.

    My wife the artist, who is totally disinterested in cars, made more than one comment about superior design elements. She loved the textured door handles, the instruments (even on the plain DX) and the overall interior design.

    This car even made me update my profile. I used to say how I've never owned anything except boring cars. That is clearly no longer the case.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    The car is fun to drive regardless of trim when compared to the competition.

  • I've got a 1991 LX that I bought new; best car I've ever owned. It now has over 213,000 miles and still runs like new. First clutch at 200,000 miles, front brakes at 138,000, rears at 184,000. The first significant repair was a radiator at ~100,000 miles (and it was only ~$300). Out of respect for its age, I normally don't take it much above 6,000rpm now, but get above 5,000 virtually every time I drive it. I've had to replace both CV joints due to torn boots (somewhere in the 120-160,000 mile range. I had to replace the heater core at around 190,000(~$800 due to the labor rate of $99/hour here in the Bay Area). A catalytic converter at around 195,000. A set of plug wires a long time ago (maybe around 80,000?) No other significant repairs- it still has the original starter, alternator, A/C, fuel pump, etc. My daughter has a '99 ES with about 45,000 trouble free miles on it. Mazda is definitely at the top of my list to replace my Protege when I finally need to. Maybe even an RX-8 (unless I can somehow justify a Honda S-2000).
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    It seems the olderProteges were great cars. Most of us posting here have the 3rd gen ones (99+) and no problems. Great cars!

  • I bought my car because of the handling, feel and price, but its very nice to know that it is one of the more reliable cars out there. I hope for many years of trouble-free driving.
  • Hi all! I need to get some tires here soon. It has sure been difficult to find an all season tire for the 2002 Mazda Protege ES (195/50/16). There seems to be nothing but high performance tires out there. High performance are nice but, they are not very good in Michigan winters! I can't afford to purchase two sets of tires (summer/winter tires) either. So, I am just looking to get an all season tire. Any suggestions? Has anyone had any luck with the Pirelli P6 four Season tire? Thanks everyone! I look forward to your suggestions.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    I have had the Falken Ziex 512's in size 205/50-16 for about 3000 miles.

    While the handling does seem a little limited compared to the Dumflops, I pretty much only remember them when they were bald racing slicks that stuck like glue. There is no doubt that the Falken's do great in the rain, as we have had record amounts of it lately, with a lot of it ending up in my basement.

    Snow traction I'm sure I'll be finding out in the next few months. While I don't expect them to be great, I'm planning on getting through this winter with basically brand new tires and getting snow tires next year.

    The 205/50-16 size does look a little large when you first see it, but now it looks good to me. Just took a little time to get used to them.

    I also liked the price. $80 each with free shipping from Mounted for $11 each at Costco.

    Oh, and if anyone buys them and doesn't like them, blame Ashu, he started all of this.

    meinrad (Raymond Wild, post #6719)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------

    I have opted for the Michelin Pilot Exalto 205/45R16. It's a directional tire unlike the OEM, not cheap ($128 from tirerack). Despite a lower profile, it's actually much quieter and smother than the OEM tires. The steering response might be a tad less direct. I think the handling on dry pavement is at least comparable to the Dunlop and the traction is even better on the wet surface. According to Michelin, this tire is *not* design for snow condition. I'll plan to get a set of snow tires since I'm going to make few ski trips this winter.

    bluong1 (Bruno Luong, post #6717)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------
    I had Falkens (ZIEX ZE-512) on upgraded ('tuner') wheels on my 95 Pro for nearly 10K miles, and was thoroughly impressed by their nearly perfect blend of the four important features : dry traction, wet traction, (some) snow traction (unexpected bonus!) and longevity (barely any visible wear in 10K, and warrantied upto 30K - longer if you get 60 or hgher profile versions!)

    I'd recommend those tires without hesitation.

    This discussion has to include the Falken ZIEX ZE-512! I had those on my car for around 10K miles, and was thrilled with their dry traction and amazing wet traction. They performed satisfactorily (or better, considering I had 50 profile high performance versions of them) through the single winter (with the Blizzard of 2003!) as well. When I sold them (and the wheels), based on just the pictures, they would have lasted through their 30K mile warranty.

    Ray has them on his P5, and Meade's wife's P5 has them as well. They noticed some extra edge wear, but have been happy witht he traction in the few thousand miles they've each had them.

    They're a good bet (as are Toyos, Kumhos etc) because they're as good as, if not better than, the overpriced junk from Michelin and Dunlop, and have a decent warranty - while being MUCH cheaper!

    Ashutosh (post #6629, Sedan post #22524)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------ ----------------------------------------
    Avid Touring

    Had them for one year and 18K miles - show very little wear, perform very well on dry pavement (good sidewall design allows sharp cornering even if I went from 195/55/15 to 195/60/15), decent in rain (no ABS, so I'd rather not really TEST them to their limits) and good in snow.

    Dinu (Sedan post #22525)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------
    Meade seems to like BF Goodrich Control T/As.

    Michelin X-Ones are good tires. So are Yokohama Avid T4 and H4 (though they have a rep for squealing with moderate lateral loads); the T4 is a better all-season than the H4.

    I was checking out the Michelin Harmony tires for my wife's P5 (she wants better fuel economy and is willing to give up some handling). I haven't checked them for a size compatible with the ES.

    I like the Dunlop SP Sport A2, though I seem to have had a much better experience with mine than Meade did with his. Perhaps the different tire sizes has something to do with it (I have a '99LX with 185/65R14 tires...I left them at the stock size instead of upsizing as I have little enough torque as it is).

    Mazdafun (Chow-chi, Sedan post #22521)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------ -------------------------------------
    Stock rims are 16x6. I loved my Proxes T1-S in 195/50R16 (V rated like OEM Dunlops). I got them on my 2001 ES which took same size as all P5s. does not list them as being available (I have asked them to correct this several times, to no avail), but they are. However, they are not cheap. I paid $135 each plus mounting/balancing. They were definitely quieter than the SP 5000m toward the end of life, but it is a different noise. A sort of low hum which is barely there.

    Plus 0 size would be 205/45R16 which is the same as my 03 Miata. There are tons of tires in that size. I would expect increased tire squirm by going to 205s with a 6" wide rim. They might stick better overall, but I would expect them to track less accurately.

    I decided not to get the Kumho ECSTA 512 due to speed/load ratings. I disliked what I read about the Dunlop FM901. The Dunlop SP 9000 looked nice, but was more expensive than the Toyos.

    If you don't want to spend the big bucks for the T1-S, Toyo just recently came out with the TPT touring tire. Should cost about $97 per tire.

    Boogse (Ted, post #6181)
    ------------------------------------------------------------------ ----------------------------------------
    Proxes T1-S Tire Review (Summer only tire)

    Link to tire info:

    I had this tire on my Protege ES for about 1500 miles before I sold it. Compared to the Dumflops that came on it, the T1-S was a superb tire. Turn in may have been marginally slower, but the T1-S stuck like glue compared the the SP Sport 5000m. Wet traction was excellent, and hydroplaning was not evident as it was with the Dunlops.

    These are highly regarded tires, but they are a little pricey. I paid $135 per tire from a locally owned shop.

    I noticed no significant wear in the short time that I had them. At the time, I expected to get about 15,000 miles based on a treadwear rating of 280. My mother has had these on her 1995 Mustang GT convertible for about 20,000 miles, and they are currently showing about 6/32" of tread left.

    Since these are a summer tire, I plan to try the Toyo Proxes TPT on my 2003 P5 when it needs new tires since it is now our all-season car. I will seriously consider getting the T1-S for my Miata when the time comes. I would recommend the T1-S to any one looking for a maximum dry/wet performance summer tire. If you don't care about wet traction, then there are other tires to consider which may be better suited
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Has anyone tried and liked the Proxes TPT? I will most likely have to replace the tires on my P5 come spring time, so I was looking for confirmation that this is the way to go.

  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Back to tires :)

  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    Thanks so much for posting the collected tire wisdom of the Protege topic!

    I'm looking for new tires, too, and it was very informative to read all that.


  • My new DX has two rattles, one in the trunk or rear cabin (can't tell) and the other in or more likely under the glove box. Any ideas how to excise these or what the cause likely is? Other than the rattles (plastic on plastic up front, metalic-sounding in the rear), the car is phenominal, which makes these pesky rattles all the more annoying.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    Your dealer should get them out. My dealer said the first 12 months are for getting out rattles. My '01 LX didn't have any and still doesn't.

  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    Let's get a good group there! I attended the Subarau chat last Thusrday, they had 18 dedicated fans. We can't let Subys get ahead of us!

    Time: 9:00PM - 10:00pM EST and 6:00PM - 7:00PM PST

    Bring your questions and comments, doors open 15 minutes early for a longer chat. It's the fastest hour in the week.

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    "Meade seems to like BF Goodrich Control T/As."


    Meade seems to like BF Goodrich Touring T/A VR4s.

    Different tires.

    Several other members here have them on their Proteges, although I must clarify that they're 205/55-15s -- plus sized for the 15-inch wheels on the 1999 and 2000 ES. Dunno if there's a size for the wheels on the newer model.

    I will report that I now have about 14,000 miles on the BFGs and I rotate them about every 5,000 miles. The car rides well, corners very well, there is minimal road noise transmitted to the cabin, and they perform well (much better than the stock Bridgestone Potenza RE92s but not quite as well as the Dunlop SP Sport A2s -- when they were new that is) in the rain. So far I cannot find any appreciable wear on the BFGs, so I think I've found the tire that will stay with the car for the next 30,000 miles until I trade it for my new Mazda3 in 2005!

  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    for advertising chat! LoL.
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    ... yeah, get the Falkens, and blame me if you hate em :)

    Another manufacturer that's been making an impressive line of tires lately is Toyo - and they just came out with an excellent new All Season - the Proxes 4 or PZ4 or something like that. Seen it in action lately - apparently also a great blend of All Season and handling capabilities, with excellent 300+ treadwear, a nice low price (same as the ZIEX) and GREAT looks. Put those on your radar too.

    My cwappy Michelins on the Mazda 6 are ready to wear out by the end of winter. Some aggressive driving and their awful All Season hard traction which causes them to break off in chunks when driven too hard are to blame :) If I decide to get light 17" wheels and sporty summer tires, I'll get the Falkens or Toyos for the 16" as the All Season/Winter option.
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    (that's a cute name, if somewhat unusual for an Indian)

    The tires are Michelin MXH4s and I've been driving them like I drove my performance Falkens on the Pro. They just can't handle 'em. These tires, when bought aftermarket, come with a ridiculous 60K+ mile warranty. Yeah, the tread will last pretty long, but the little sipes and grooves that keep dry and wet traction at safe levels die out much earlier.

    My pro had the (essentially identical) 80K mile warrantied XH4's and was hydroplaning under hard acceleration (itself a misnomer with a 92hp engine) at 25/30K miles). The tread would certainly not have worn out for more than twice that, though - but the tires were too unsafe and disappointingly traction-less to continue to satisfy my driving style and expectations. That's what I'm referring to.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    None here either. This is uncommon if not unheard of in the 3rd gen PRO.

    See your dealer.

    Chat: Will try my best to attend :)

  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Are you hitting on Tori? Who is Tori?!

    On the tire subject: Were you referring to the Toyo Proxes TPT? That was what asking about in boggse Nov 25, 2003 8:09am. Can you elaborate?
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I made all four of my Dunlop SP Sport A2s squeal while taking a tight corner today. But I was still well in control. They complained, but held on tightly; I couldn't discern much drift from my intended path. My daughter told me wasn't in the least bit fazed when I asked her about it afterwards (she is used to my sometimes aggressive driving...I hope she doesn't emulate her old man when she starts driving).

    Wish I could say that I planned that, but I hadn't completely. While putting in yet another shopping center, they redid a stretch of road. There used to be a fun compromise corner in it, but now that is gone and in its place is a hard left, which I wasn't expecting. My Pro took it like, well, a pro. :)

    Seriously, I took it fast, but it while it was tight, there was a wide shoulder, visibility was clear and the road was dry and grippy (being fresh asphalt and the temp was actually up into the 60s this afternoon).

    I totally left the woman who was tailgating me in her Acura up to that point. She left a respectful distance between us after that. I probably gave her quite a scare and she didn't want to be too close to me. :)
  • brajabraja Posts: 25
    Have 150 miles on the new 03 pro LX. Considering
    going on a 275 miles (one way) interstate trip.
    I may have to maintain constant speed for 2-3
    hours each way. Does this violate the break-in

  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    I totally left the woman who was tailgating me in her Acura up to that point. She left a respectful distance between us after that. I probably gave her quite a scare and she didn't want to be too close to me.

    I suspect your daughter when she grew up and start driving - unlike this woman - won't let it goes that easily. :-)
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    I may have to maintain constant speed for 2-3 hours each way

    Why you have to? can't you just keep varying within 60-75mph, keeping the constant speed no longer than 5 minutes?
  • Yep, do not maintain a constant speed. I'd rather drive slow a while and break the speed limit a while than dig ridges into my cylinder walls. If you have a 5 speed, you can also drive in 4th a while.
  • just disengage the overdirve for a few minutes at a time.
  • steven39steven39 Posts: 636
    well, i have had my protege es for 2 months so far and all is well.what amazes me about this car is how solid it feels and how stable it is on the highway,although it does tend to get a bit noisey at times.the build quality is very good as is the definitley feels like a much more expensive car than it is and is way better than the toyota corolla i test drove before deciding on the protege.the corolla got blown all over the highway at 55 mph and if a semi truck passes you you better hang on for dear life,while the protege stays well planted at all times.anyway, iam very happy with my purchase and if the new mazda 3 turns out to be like the protege i will get a mazda 3 in a few years.steve
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Glad to hear all's good in PRO land.

  • brajabraja Posts: 25
    Thanks for the advice on breaking in. I have been
    just testing the car and have put about 150 miles. The car feels terrific below 60 MPH - smooth, quiet and solid. However, after 65 MPH,
    there is a low, rumbling/whooping noise (similar to wind noise when you leave a window open slightly, except this is not as loud). At 80 MPH
    (the maximum I went), the engine revs at 4000 RPM
    and this noise is more intense. Is this normal
    engine noise? Otherwise, the ride is very stable.
    I'm wondering if this is wind noise getting through some place not sealed properly...

  • My DX has more wind noise than other cars I've owned recently, but not too bad. As for engine noise, there is some exhaust noise, but it is quite pleasant (I think they tuned the exhaust for just that effect).
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