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Mazda Protegé



  • barosbaros Posts: 8
    for warranty repair this morning. (Driver side window won't go down)Looked at cars on showroom floor. They have a Pro ES - dealer add-ons,two-tone paint $1,495.00, Leather seats with Mazda logo $995.00(sharp),and dash kit $495.00 looks to be faux mother of pearl (cheesy).Must be selling every Pro they get to add 3k to sticker.........
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    For some reason my earlier post got erased. Mazda now has 0% financing again on Protoges except for the P5 and MP3.
  • For some reason, my posts on rebates got deleted too. Is Mazda going to extend the $500 rebate and the $400 college grad rebate. The Mazda USA web site says both expired 07/09. Any insight??

  • I called the 800 customer assistance number and got new information on rebates. There are two options - either special 0% financing on Pro ES and LX2.0 or $1000 rebate. On the DX and LX, there is either a $1500 rebate or $500 rebate with the 0% special financing. The $400 college grad rebate is also still in effect.

    Seems like now is still a good time to buy a new protege.

    Zoom Zoom Zoom
  • yooper53yooper53 Posts: 286
    I feel particularly qualified to comment on driving and surviving heavy winter weather. As I sit here I'm 20 mi. from Lk. Superior's south shore.On and off I've lived 32 winters here. 1)snow tires. My last car,a '96 V6 Ford Contour with 60 series all season radials was just about useless without snow tires. With FWD 4 are recommended and with them the car the car handled fine. But Lord the sound of 4 snows for 5 months wears thin early on. Anyway with previous winters all season radials had always sufficed. Did I say this was my first experience with low profile tires in winter? Which Pro model do you have? The point I'm getting at is that with the 50 series oem tires I don't really expect it to handle snow any better than my last car so may end up buying 4 snows this winter. 2)Parking.. Don't know what your situation will be north of the border but if you're in a pos to plug in while parked a block heater is a great investment and relatively cheap. Your engine will love you for it and you get heat sooner with one. Had a friend get a block heater installed at the "corner garage" and it leaked til he got rid of the car. Caveat emptor! Well I've been long winded enough (for now). I'm sure others from the "Far North" will post ideas. Good luck with the move. Yooper53
  • djmax813djmax813 Posts: 30
    My commute is only about 12 miles round trip each day. But i get such a rush in the morning getting into my 2001 Pro Es. You'd think i had a Jag or a Benz or something. It is so much fun to drive. I push it on some of these back roads. Barely have to hit the throttle. Very responsive acceleration and steering. Am i crazy to feel this way about basically a Japanese compact family sedan?
  • mhallackmhallack Posts: 32
    You aren't nuts at all. I'm amazed at how much fun my new MP3 is to drive. I was looking in the 25k to 35k range of sports sedans when I test drove the MP3 (which I had very little intention of buying). I can't say that it outperforms the IS300 or the BMW 325, but it absolutely would hang with them in a series of S-bends -- and for about half the price! Zoom - Zoom
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Thanks for the advice Yooper....I have a 2001 LS 2.0 Black manual Pro. Now I've driven lots in winter...but that was in my father's MPV and my g/f's Jetta. Here in Canada, most dealerships, including mine, include a block heater. So there's no worries about that. But I wasn't sure about the tires...Would the OEM Potenza's work well in the winter or would I be a lot better off buying a new set of winters? If so, can anybody recommend a brand (mid level...not too cheap and not too expensive)?
    Also, any advice on keeping the car rust free? The City uses a lot of salt/gravel on the roads and I know that this would be extremely harsh on the car. When is it safe to wash in the winter (if ever at all)? I plan on gettting the front and rear mudguards ASAP, so that's covered.
    Thanks for any advice!!

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    I don't know if you want to spend $500 or so. However,
    a guy (Gene) that posted here, pretty much last fall and winter, purchased four winter snow tires and rims from He really liked the setup and said he got great service from the people at Tirerack.

  • yooper53yooper53 Posts: 286
    Hi, I see oem's on your LX 2.0 are R195/55R15's. I don't know enough about tire grading to know if that size is considered low profile. If they're Not you may do well w/oem's. Although I can now keep my cars in unheated garage I still plugged my '96 Contour in. For about 4 hrs. BUT I need to get one put in the Pro, guess I'll go w/the dealer I bought it from for the installation. For some reason protege_fan I got the impression you'd never driven winter. Must be geezerdom slippin' up on me. Take care. Dennis
  • protegenicprotegenic Posts: 199
    Does anyone know if the S Plan applies to all Mazda vehicles? I am assuming it does, but you just never know.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    The answer is yes, sort-of. S-plan acceptance depends on the dealer's willingness to accept it. They make next to nothing on the deal so they may not like to lose an important vehicle in their allocation that could have been sold near MSRP. Also, I think the Tribute is exempt from the S-plan currently due to heavy back orders on it.

  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    You aren't nuts! I hope. I get a rush just looking at my 2001 LX 2.0 sitting in the garage and sit in it at night, in the garage, with the lights on. Love the green instrument lighting. I don't drive much at night so that's the only way I get to see the lighting. Protegés are NOT just basic Japanese compact sedans. They are compact sport sedans at bargain prices with much lower maintenance costs.

    Since I live where there are no curvy roads, I use a nearby overpass and the return off ramps for fun driving, going around and around.

    I've owned many small cars in my time: Original VW Beetle (2), VW Squareback, Toyota station wagon, Porsche 914, BMW 2002, Audi Fox (3), Mazda GLC, and Honda Civic -- the Protegé is the best of all of them!

  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    As much fun as the Protege is to drive hard, STOP! After 45,000 miles on my '99 ES 5-spd, I have found that this vehicle is built to be driven like an economy car, not a sports sedan. The OEM tires were bald in 18,000 miles. The front brakes replaced at 20,000 miles. The clutch will need to be replaced in the next 5,000 miles. The suspension creaks. The interior rattles like a 20 year old car. The steering has developed some play in it. The shifter has become a major pain with lots of play, and you have to fight to get it in reverse. The engine goes TICK TICK TICK like a 300,000 mile Honda. Fuel economy has diminished considerably. Power has diminished considerably. I'm fairly positive this engine will require major work before it hits the 100,000 mile mark. I will replace the timing belt at 55,000 miles because the last Mazda 1.8L I had broke it's timing belt at 58,000 miles. By the time 60,000 miles comes around, I will need another set of tires and will have to redo all of the brakes. Gee. It sounds like an old beat-up car. I'm so glad I still have to make monthly payments for the next 2.5 years. I wonder if the car will make it that long. I have been extremely disappointed with the Protege now. I will not buy one again. The ride is extremely harsh and I have to blast the radio so I don't hear the rattles and road noise and wind noise. It is the worst car I have ever owned. Sorry to disappoint anyone here. I hope the newer ones are built better. I can't wait to catch up on depreciation. I can't believe how fast this car has depreciated. The sad thing is that the Protege/Familia/323 is Mazda's most reliable model worldwide. If this is the case, maybe the company should go bankrupt. By the time I am done paying off this car, I estimate I will have spent $5,000 on repairs and maintenance. I bought this car to get away from dumping money into a vehicle to keep it going. It seems my decision was wrong. Good luck everyone with yours. Perhaps mine was just a fluke of early production. Either way, I will probably never buy another Mazda again, unless perhaps I win the Lotto and can afford to keep one up and running...
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    Jerry? did a demon take over your body? it's not April 1st so I don't know what to make of it.

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I am utterly shocked at the review you just gave your Protege ES. Up until now, I thought you loved it more than anything.

    I have a 2001 ES with almost 10,000 miles on the clock, and already have a persistent creak in the driver's seat that the dealer cannot find or fix. I also have alot of wind noise, which I knew going into the deal. And my brake rotors are already warped too, but the dealer hasn't found that one yet either. He has 2000 or so more miles before the 12K mark when I will have to pay to replace them.

    I had a 1999 DX model, and it ran flawlessly. I used to run that engine alot harder than the 2.0 in my ES, and never had a problem. Actually, I did have one or two come to think of it. I had a persistent transmission shifting problem where the car tranny would kinda slip when stabbing the gas pedal to pass. Also, the engine stated vibrating a little harshly at 37K or so too. I think it was because the tune-up at 30K was done wrong (by Goodyear) though.

    I hope to be able to have many trouble-free years of motoring with my ES though. I guess time will tell whether I will buy another one or not. Probably not though, as I want a larger car next time around. And Jerry, you are right about depreciation. I owe about $17K on my ES now, and know it's probably only worth about $13K, even though it has only 10K on it and it's 5 months old. I got washed with the DX, as it was only worth $7500 with 37,364 on it 20 months after purchasing. Of course, that is high mileage though, and the DX is the basic, stripped model.

    In closing, I wish you better luck with your next car, Jerry. And sorry to see your enthusiasm dimish for this great little car. :(

    ZOOM "creak" ZOOM
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    What is everyone's average fuel economy anyway? Mine is pretty much in the 25-27 mpg neighborhood with a 2.0/automatic 2001 ES and a heavy foot. Mostly highway driving (80%) at 70-90 mph. Thanks!
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Avg mpg is about 28.6mpg, with about 60/40 city/hwy miles on a 1.6L 1999 LX.

    With mostly hwy miles (above 80%), I get 32-34mpg. I'd say I'm travelling at the 80% percentile so far as traffic speed goes (faster than most, but not THE fastest...I get less attention that way). :)
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Sorry about your rapidly deteriorating Pro. :(

    Seems like a fluke so far. My 99 is still doing well after 19,500 miles. There's some rust on some underbody suspension parts and the rear drum casings, but the body integrity is still good (rattles are mostly from stuff in my glovebox). Then again, I don't drive mine that hard. Luckily, the roads here are mostly OK.

    I know it's no consolation, but most cars with stock parts that are driven hard will fall apart (VW, BMW, Honda etc.) in a few years. I've been in rattling examples of pretty much all makes (some due to hard driving, most due to bad design or execution).

    Well, Mercedes and some of GM's larger sedans may not, but they're usually overbuilt. May be next time you can get one of BMW's "M" cars. They usually have upgraded brakes, rotors, suspension bits to better bear hard use. Still, I'd be looking at replacing them parts at 60 or 90k miles if you push them hard.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    I'm happy if I can break 280 miles per tank with about 50/50 city/highway. I'm ecstatic if I can break 350 miles per tanks with all highway. Basically, that breaks down to 21 mpg 50/50, and 26 mpg highway. I probably average about 18 mpg around town. For some reason, it doesn't seem to matter how I drive the car. It just always gets lousy mileage. I remember when I was averaging 31-32 mpg on the highway, and about 26 mpg in town.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    That I have driven all of my cars I have owned even harder than this and they all lasted. Granted, the RX-7 was designed for that type of use. But the 1991 Escort GT I used to own was always bulletproof no matter how hard I drove it (but it was a rattle-trap). That had the Mazda 1.8L. It is based on the Miata's engine, so perhaps it too was designed to run hard. The 1996 Ford Ranger I used to own, which now belongs to my father, was pushed very hard (4-cyl 5-spd extended cab) because you had to just to keep up with traffic. That truck has over 90,000 miles on it now and has no rattles and has only had basic maintenance performed, along with new brakes and tires at 60,000 miles.

    I still wish I hadn't traded the RX-7 for the Protege. That 1982 RX-7 was quieter, smoother riding, quicker, more comfortable, and handled better than the Protege. Plus, there were no payments on it, so when something did go wrong it wasn't like pulling teeth to have it repaired. For an 18 year old car, it sure was terrific. I now see that the old saying is true... "They don't build them like they used to."
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I break about 300-320 miles per tank, but my 2001 has the larger 14.5 gallon tank in it too. So I am pretty happy with the economy. It's about the same as the DX I used to have, but with alot more get up and go.

    I am still in shock about that review. :) Definitely a no-holds-barred look at the Protege. I commute 70 miles a day, and add mileage quickly. I tend to tire of cars quickly though, but really wanna keep this one until it lays down and dies (or starts costing me alot of money to repair). I hope that will be at least around 150,000 miles. Since I will have 100K before it's paid off, I would love to be able to have at least a year or so without a car payment due.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    you forgot the jerking/jolting A/C.....nail in the coffin.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Not only does it jerk and jolt, it now barely cools the interior (but the service department says it's still within "specs").
  • hp9000hp9000 Posts: 5
    I was looking for an injector cleaner for my 98 Protege LX (Canadian, the same as the ES in the States) but since there are no Chevron stations nearby, I couldn't find any Techron. So I dropped by the local Mazda dealership, and they have a Mazda Injector Cleaner; has anyone used this stuff already? How good is it? And do you have any idea who makes it (is it Techron under another name or is it just another brand to avoid?)

  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    The last tank full, was up to 24.4mpg all city driving,from 23.4 earlier. My LX 2.0 has only 1985 miles on it. Most speeds are in the 35mph to 45mph.

    I don't drive hard, brake ahead and slow down early to avoid brake problems and running up on cars in front of me. RPM's stay below 4000. Occassionally drive on expressways to get rpms up and speeds up to 70mph.

    Avoid potholes and don't slam the doors. No rattles. Avoid steep driveways to prevent body twisting.

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Had to brake hard today to avoid rear-ending someone who was confused about which way she wanted to go at a green light (looked like she wanted to go straight at a "T" intersection). I wasn't expecting her to stop suddenly at a green light like that.

    Anyhoo, the brakes on my 99LX worked wonderfully. Even w/o ABS, managed to maintain control. Too bad the stock Firestone FR680-2s (read: Ford asked them to reduce the cost of the regular FR680s by removing a ply of polyester) don't have much grip. They squealed like pigs being stuck.

    I should probably drive harder to wear them down faster. ;P They're lasting way too long for my liking (looks like the tread will last me for at least 30,000 miles...I should stop rotating them).

    Any feedback on the new 550s from Yokohama? I was looking at Avid T4 and H4 tires, but heard they squeal rather readily. I'm hoping for better from their new designs.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    I have 30,000 on my '99 es.
    I hate 2 things about it:

    1. Jolting A/c at idle (but cools like Ice on the freeway)

    2. Front passenger seat is placed way high to sit comfortably, at least I find it a problem when my wife is driving(not so in the corolla). my knucles hit the dash and head is barely 3 inches below the roof - feels awfully tight and sways when turning.

    The driver's seat is excellent though.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    I forgot about them poor-tenzas...noisy.....but still going...i'll get at least 10-15000 more on them.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    "...and head is barely 3 inches below the roof - feels awfully tight and sways when turning."

    your head sways when turning? hmmm

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