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Mazda Protegé



  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    The Borbet Type B is close to the Mazda wheels in design, but have you checked out the Mille Miglia Spider wheels in 15", they look pretty good ,too.
    Also the ATP 55 wheels.

    The problem is many aren't made with four lug design. And you have to check to be sure whether the Protegé requires offset wheels: zero, positive, or negative. Most FWD cars use positive offset which pushes the hub surface to the outside.

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    ... are made by Enkei -- at least those for the 1999 and 2000 MYs. I know because a buddy of mine had to take one of his off when a STICK (yes, wooden) punctured his piecacrap Poortenza. "Enkei" is embossed on the reverse side of the wheel. They're a reputable name; I wonder if those wheels are available from Enkei or you have to pay through the nose to Mazda to get replacements?

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    I know my 323 has an offset (I forget the figure, it's in the service manual), the Pro likely does too. I'll look through my manual. Guess I could just measure the steel rims too (offset being the hub face distance from the center-plane of the wheel).

    Fowler & Meade, thanks for the tips on the wheels. I checked Enkei's website. Can't find the Pro's stock alloys on it.
  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008

    Filter Application Guide:


    4 cyl. 1.8L F.I. (DOHC)

    Vehicle Part Listing


     PureONE Filter PL14622

     Oil Filter L14622

     Air Filter A25049

     Fuel Filter N/S

     Breather Element N/R

     PCV Valve PV1030


    N/R : No Replacement Required

    N/S : Non-Serviceable Without Disassembly

  • C'mon Fowler..some nice 17" rims, chrome trim around the fenders, gold package, and a coffee can exhaust and you would be cool. Don't forget the stickers.

    I know the 17's are too big or they would be on my car, '01's do have 5 lugs but I think anything larger than 16" would be a little much. The factory rims on my '01 are OK but the Tantrum is way better looking. Looking at those rims on my '01 Accord is one of the things I miss most about it.
  • ashutoshsmashutoshsm Posts: 1,007
    I called and checked, they'd cost 433.35 EACH for my 95 DX. Now I'm not sure if he quoted me the price for 14" or 15" alloys, anyone with a 95-96 ES, which size did those come with?

    So - yes - you would have to pay through your nose for the factory alloys!

    I'll buy them off tirerack, I guess, unless ebay has someone selling theirs. Anyone know which other wheels might be compatible? I see a few Honda and Toyota compatible rims, if they're unlabelled and the right lug-pattern, ...
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Someone is on EBay selling a set of wheels from a P5/2001 ES model right now, as I type. They are up to like $255 or something like that, or were the last time I checked earlier today. The tires are not included, but that's pretty cheap for the wheels.

    Ashu: The 1995-96 ES came with 15-inch wheels and tires. All ESs did actually, up until 2001. They just upgraded to 16s this year.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    The bolt pattern or bolt circle is the diameter of an imaginary circle formed by the centers of the wheel lugs, and is an area that causes much comfusion in the wheel buying world.Verify your vehicle's bolt pattern before buying wheels.

    The center bore of a wheel is the machined middle hole that centers the wheel properly on the hub of the car. Most wheels are hub-centric, meaning that the vehicle is supported not by the lugs but by the center hub. Too small a hole and the wheels won't fit over the hub; too large a hole and the wheels may not be centered, resulting in vibration and eventual damage to the hubs and the wheels.

    It isn't easy to fit after-market wheels unless you check out every measurement.

  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    probably have a contract for the use of the alloy wheel style until after Mazda starts using another style, then they may be available to consumers on and in stores.

    You can find copies of older Mercedes wheels on and in their ads. Later sales help to reduce production/design costs and add to profits, if not many cars were sold using the wheels.

    ashi: When I said most of the wheels on tirerack are ugly, I was thinking about the styles with skinny spokes, almost nothing to look at. My main complaint about 5-spoke alloys has been seeing the rust on brake discs through the openings. Who wants to drive a new car with rusty wheels? ;)

    The ugliest stock wheels on a new car have to be the alloys that come on Volvos; they look like a huge beer can lid that was opened with an equally huge can opener, all-the-way-around. Current 5-spoke wheel design goes back more than 30 years, it's time for something really NEW and fitting for the new millennium, something with a tech look.

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Just read the review of the MP3 in the September issue of Car and Driver. Man, what a sharp car. I'm really interested in purchasing one when I am in the market around this time next year. My question... do you think the MP3 will still be around by that time, and if so, do you think that they'll be offering it for close to invoice? The Protege is definitely Mazda's best foot forward, IMO. I can't understand why anyone would pay to own a 626 when this little gem offers nearly as much room, and better performance, all for a lower price.
    Congrats to all you Protege owners... you're on to something that all the Civic and Corolla people (like my dad) are missing out on.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Mazda has only built 1,500 MP3's for 2001. There will be another version for 2002 (named either MP3 or MPS--Mazda Performance Series) that will be powered by something that "whistles", meaning a rotary engine, supercharger, or turbocharger. Of course, Mazda has stated that rotary engines will power ONLY rear-wheel drive vehicles. A supercharger is unlikely on a small 4-cyl, so it must be a turbocharger. Hopefully, they can tune it to produce over 200hp like the venerable 323 GTX. As far as I know, all 2001 MP3's have already been sold or are otherwise spoken for.
  • There is a dealership on the Daniel Webster Highway in Nashua, NH that as of last weekend still had two UNCLAIMED MP3's on order. They hadn't arrived, no one had claimed them, and they (claimed) to be selling them at sticker (about 18,200). One blue, one yellow. That's all i know.
  • I'm purchsing a new 2001 Pro from a dealer in Ohio, and I live in Michigan. How are the front licence plates attached: under the bumper, or through the front of the bumper. I'd like to make sure, so that the dealer doesn't slap a cheesy dealer frame there for the drive home to MI, ending up with two holes in the plastic.

  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Tell the dealer NOT to drill through the front bumper fascia. Usually, they'll comply, if they haven't already installed it, esp if MI doesn't require front plates.

    I'm stuck with the frame installed by the dealer. At least it fits flush with the bumper (OEM designed?). It's pretty much going to stay there too as I don't think it's worth taking off and refinishing the fascia. Too bad, the front looks better w/o a license plate.

    I did put a clear polycarbonate cover over the plate to help keep it flat and protected from road debris. Keeps the plate from getting all ratty looking and dragging down the look of my Pro.
  • protege_fanprotege_fan Posts: 2,405
    Here in Calgary we are not required to put in a front license plate. However, If I look closely at the bumper, I can see 4 tiny "divets" (tiny holes). These must be places to begin screwing in a license plate. The holes are very tiny and they are not through right through the bumper; they are just starter holes. Just tell the dealer that you don't want the front plate and they *probably* won't install it. Are front plates mandatory in Ohio and/or Michigan?


  • No, Michigan stopped requiring them 15(?) years ago as a cost savings measure, but the police sure weren't happy with that.

    Thanks, everyone for the info.

  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Before I post this message, I was just remembering how everyone was poking fun at Vocus for his love/hate relationship with his car. Well, now it's my turn once again to vent my frustrations... you can poke fun, but just a little bit ! :-)

    In the past few weeks, my '99 ES has startled making this awful grumble/rattle/vibrate noise from the engine compartment. It does it during cold start-up for a couple of minutes until the idle settles down. It has actually been doing that for the last year, and if I am not mistaken, I believe I have heard other owners complain about that same problem. However, now it does the same thing when the AC compressor is engaged at idle!! Not only do I get the infamous AC "jolt" when the compressor kicks on, but now I get this grumble/rattle/vibrate noise and it just sounds like the entire car is going to shake itself apart!!

    It is quite embarassing at stop lights (of course, this is after everyone here's me squealing down the road with those wonderful Midas brakes) since it is quite loud outside of the car. I had a friend in the car last night that I haven't seen in a couple of years. His comments were not pretty. "This is the car you've been bragging about?" As we go down the road rattling over every pebble, squealing to a stop at every light, and vibrating apart every time the AC kicks on. And of course, to top it all off, the CD player spit out a CD-R that it was playing just fine for the past few days, but suddenly decided it no longer likes it. It requires a regular CD for about 30 minutes before it will accept the CD-R again. Very strange!!

    Anyways, now for the obligatory I hate my car. Or was it something like "It is the most gosh-awful piece of donkey excrement I've ever owned. I just can't stand this cheap little car. Unreliable as hell, it goes back to the shop almost weekly for whatever didn't break last week ... I'll never, EVER purchase another Mazda product!" LOL... At least I can take this with some humor. I have no doubt the drivetrain will last forever. But, will the body and interior last that long?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I can not believe you are saying these things about the Protege. My DX was beat to hell in 37K+, and never squeaked, rattled, or anything like that. Not even the AC jolt.

    I have not really had any serious problems with either Protege. I actually have had more problems with the 2001 than I did the 1999 model. But they are all fixed for now, so it's all good.

    Since I have gotten the windows tinted, the car has been dramatically cooler inside in the summer heat. I am glad I got it done now, and it also makes the car look sportier in conjuction with the fog lights, spoiler, and alloy wheels.
  • nikecarnikecar Posts: 460
    my alty had a similar rattle at start up... was diagnosed as a bad idle pulley.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    I thought my 01 Pro LX was suddenly getting your problems, it got real noisy with a grinding sound as I approacherd a stop light. Turned out that I had my window down and the noise was coming from a '96 Honda Accord pulling up next to me. LOL

  • I think I'm beginning to have an A/C problem as well. It's intermittent so it's going to be hell trying to get it fixed at the dealer. I can start to hear them saying "Could not diagnose problem" when I walk in there to have them look at it. :)

    Well, here's what it's like...Every once in a while after I start my car (not every time), I have this weird nosie coming from the engine compartment that sounds like the A/C struggling or a belt slipping or something...hard to describe. It goes away after about 30 seconds, and will immediately go away if I turn the A/C button off inside. No change in cooling, and the A/C functions normal as always. After that the car functions as normal as ever....

    I also have this 'hissing' that comes from the driveline that I think I've mentioned before, and I will get these both checked up sooner or later, since they don't seem to affect the performance of the car.

    No, I don't hate my car. :) I consider these problems minor and as long as they get fixed under warranty then I'm happy. Then I'll be able to zoom-zoom along!
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    My beef is that these problems are starting to pop up and I have about 1,500 miles left on the warranty. Why does something tell me I'm going to have to spend a decent amount of money between 50,000 and 60,000 miles? If something expensive does happen in those 10,000 miles, it's bye-bye Protege before it starts costing me a small fortune. Maybe if I didn't have another 2.5 years of payments left, I wouldn't feel so bad.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    You keep referring to this "rumble/rattle/growl" or whatever as "these problems." Have you taken the car in and had it looked at? It could be nothing more than a loose heat shield. In fact, it sounds like one since you mentioned that it's getting worse but you haven't mentioned anything not working. The cycling of the a/c compressor is another factor making it vibrate.

    I wouldn't ditch a car, take a loss and get into another loan with something else that may or may not be as reliable just because of a rattle you haven't had diagnosed!

    Does the engine stumble when this is happening? Are you getting a check engine light? Does anything not work like it's supposed to? Take it in and have 'em look at it!

    My '92 LX (top of the line back then) never had one problem in 83,000 miles of ownership. But I still feel good when I think that I'm paying only $14 extra a month for 7 years/100,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage. I figure that's the equivalent of 3 lunches at McDonald's for 5 years' peace of mind. If you're that paranoid about chitty-chitty bang-bang, you may want to ask your dealer about purchasing the extended warranty before the factory warranty expires.

  • Anyone know of a URL where I can find a picture of a Pro LX2.0 with the no charge alloy rims now being offered on the 2001's?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Just look at a picture of any 1999 or 2000 ES model. They are the same wheels.
  • Guess we know why the alloy wheels are free now.. .Mazda was clearing out their parts bin. :)

    As far as problems and the warranty goes...If I have any trouble after 50k (when the warr. expires) then the car will be gone. Not wanting to take my car back and forth from the dealer even while it was under warranty kept me away from the Jetta. As I said before this is my first non-Honda/Toyota purchase since my very first car and it will probably decide whether I keep a more open mind in the future or if I go back to Hon-yota even if it requires sacrificing more money and a little driving fun.
  • hkchanhkchan Posts: 420
    Is it a $500 rebate plus free moon roof or 0% financing for 48 months and no rebate? What If someone chooses the 0% financing on an ES that already has the moon roof discount, does he get the discount?
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Did you guys get my e-mail two days ago? I sent out an e-mail to all of you who said you were interested in coming to MAPP II but I haven't gotten any replies. We've been having off-and-on e-mail problems at work, so I thought I'd better check.

  • snagy1snagy1 Posts: 55
    anyone recommend a good front bra, have seen a magnetic one that seems good, any comments. thanks
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    I have a comment: Don't get a bra. They do more harm than good. They trap moisture, and they trap road debris.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    To tell you the truth, I'm sick and tired of taking this car back and forth to the dealership only to get the standard "unable to duplicate problem" or "no stored computer codes" or "no problem detected." Maybe I should have bought that Escort ZX2 instead like I originally had planned. I've never had any problem with the two Ford's I have owned. Come to think of it, they have some pretty large rebates right now that will eat my negative equity in my hunk of junk. I think I'll stop by the Ford dealership on my way home from work.

    The only Zoom Zoom I do is to the service department. I have been such a strong supporter of the Protege and Mazda here in Town Hall, so I haven't even mentioned half of what I have been through. Let's face the facts. Mazda can't turn a profit and hasn't for years. Mazda is at the bottom of the Japanese manufacturers when it comes to resale, reliability, and quality. Most current Hyundai's have higher quality ratings and higher satisfaction ratings than Mazda. The only saving grace for Mazda is the Miata. Everything else they build should be destroyed and recycled.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Jerry, hold your face out to me. Closer. There. Now ...


    Man, you're worse than Paul. (Sorry to use you as the yardstick, Paul!)

    I just spent a good few minutes scrolling back through the last several hundred posts -- almost a thousand, in fact. Jerry, you have a love-hate relationship with your Protege that outdoes Paul's. (Paul, you may step out of the dunking booth now. I have a new target.) :)

    But I want to make a point here. In the last 800 or so posts in this topic, Jerry, all I've found you complaining about are brake wear, clutch wear, a mysterious rattle and a finicky CD player. Not too bad for an abused 2-year-old car. "Abused?" you ask. Well, clues to your first two problems may be found in your own posts relating to "fast downshifts before hard corners."
    In fact, you yourself wrote the following in a post not 8 weeks ago:

    "Overall, I like my Protege. I have experienced a lot of problems and premature wear that is probably my fault. I bought the Protege because of its sporty driving dynamics. I just figured that a car with that type of dynamics would be built to withstand that type of driving, but I was wrong. It is still, in fact, an economy car. Cars like the Miata and RX-7 are equipped with heavier-duty performance parts that can withstand spirited driving...

    "As far as my comment that I would never buy a Mazda again ... I lied. I just need to stick with sports cars if I want to drive like I'm in one. A car with a larger engine would probably be better for me as well, as you don't have to push it as hard. Let's face it... the Protege is quick, but you have to push it."

    Funny, I've never found the need to "push" my Protege. It's plenty fast for the type of car it is. And after 24,500 miles, my clutch is fine and my brake pads show normal wear.

    Jerry, we're talking about a compact ECONOMY CAR here. (You admitted it yourself.) Sure, it has a spirited engine ... for an ECONOMY CAR. Mazda's tagline for the Protege is "zoom zoom," sure ... but it's the same tagline for their whole line, including the B2300 pickup. I had one of those (built by your almighty Ford, by the way, and it was a lemon), and believe me, its 2.3-liter 8-valve 97-hp SOHC engine (in a 3,100-lb. truck) did anything but "zoom zoom."

    By your own admission, you're a hard driver whose driving habits are punishing to your car. You admit that you force your car into hard corners, double-clutch a transmission that wasn't designed for it, and treat your car like a sports car. If you drive your $15,000 Protege like it's a $35,000 RX-7, you're asking for premature clutch wear, brake wear and engine rattles. I can't speak for your CD player because I don't know how you treat that, but you did say about six weeks ago that you've "never had my radio cut out on me no matter how loud I play it."

    No hard feelings, friend ... but geesh, don't blame the car for the torture you've dealt it! These things are NOT Porsches or BMWs ... but if you'll compare BOTTOM OF THE LINE, ENTRY-LEVEL CARS (which the Protege is for Mazda), I think you'll find the Protege outdoes most, if not all, competitors!

    You just picked the wrong car for your driving habits, Mr. Jarrett!

  • manavimanavi Posts: 150
    I think Meade has you pegged. Why don't you buy that Escort and trash it for awhile, then you can go complain on a new board.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "Mazda is at the bottom of Japanese manufacturers as far as resale, reliability, and quality" What? Where does Mitsubishi come in? The only Mazdas that have suffered poor reliability and quality ratings are the FORD/Mazdas. Ie: 626 (built at the Ford/Mazda auto alliance plant in flat rock michigan) The B2500, B3000, and B4000 are Ford Rangers. As far as resale is concerned, of course Mazdas are not going to be as good as Honda and Toyota because THEY COST LESS TO BEGIN WITH. You think a ZX2 would have good resale value? Meade and Jerry: There is no car out there that can put up with constant abuse, NOT ONE. Not BMW, not Porsche, not a Corvette, nothing; with enough abuse, ALL of those cars will eventually break guaranteed. If you think a BMW or other performance car is immune to mechanical problems, give me 5 MINUTES with it and I'll bet you a million bucks I can fry the clutch and ruin the engine, not to mention many other parts. By the way, the Protoge is ranked very good as far as reliability and build quality is concerned, something that cannot be said for the ZX2 or Focus (how many safety related recalls has the Focus had?) I am not Ford bashing, I used to own one and it treated me well. Cars are built to withstand use that they are intended for. The Protoge has 130 hp so the brakes, clutch, etc are engineered accordingly. Double clutching? Enough said.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    It'll fit your driving style better. Cost roughly 2X, I think, but should be an interesting combination of the old RX-7 and a compact sedan.

    Meade is right on. The Pro is a fun-to-drive economy car. Fits my wish list exceedingly well (I'd like a BMW 3-series, but I just won't spend $30,000+ on a car...probably keep me from getting an RX8 too).
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Having fun kicking me around the Town Hall are we? :) I don't really have anything to complain about with my Protege these days though. Just had to clear up some little stuff in the beginning, but running well at almost 13,000 miles already.

    And as far as the Protege not taking punishment well, my DX did for 37K+ miles without trouble. Maybe I was just lucky or something.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    The RX8 will break too if you don't treat it nice, not to mention that it will cost more to fix it when it does break.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    I had an Escort and did trash it and it held up much better than the Protege. The Protege has been babied compared to just about every other car I have owned, and it is by far the worst. Maybe I should subject it to the real torture I subjected the other cars to. Hard cornering and double-clutching (BTW, how would a transmission be specifically designed for double-clutching?) occurs maybe once or twice a day, if at all. My Escort GT and RX-7 were subjected to that constantly. Most of the time, the Protege sits in traffic on the freeway and I'm lucky to get it out of first gear.

    But, I really don't want to hear anything until your cars rack up 48,500 miles on it. My car was wonderful too (if you don't count the various warranty repairs when it had less than 1,000 miles on it) for the first 25,000 miles. But, I think I will take your advice and get rid of the car and get something else. What should I get? Well, considering that Mazda is practically on the bottom of quality reports, I guess just about anything would be better.

    What it comes down to is that I don't trust my car. I really believe that it will give me nothing but trouble in the future. It truly is the worst car I have ever owned. I've driven more Protege's than just about everyone in this room combined. And, I can pretty much gaurantee that any previous Honda or Toyota owners will be disappointed with how the Protege holds up. I guess I'll sign my farewell and wish good luck to everyone here. And remember, don't Zoom Zoom because it will cause nothing but Doom Doom...
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Show me the report where Mazda (better yet, the Protoge) is at the bottom of quality and reliability.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Pretty much close to Honda, Toyota and Nissan.

    They all are also near the bottom in terms of satisfaction with the dealer and service.

    There have been rare instances where a particular transmission was bad (Ford designed and/or supplied, naturally), but they're more the exception than the rule.

    Not that there's a direct correlation, but my '89 323 with 138,000 miles on it is in as good shape or better than most any Civic, Corolla or Sentra out there (most 323s too...:).

    No solace to jstandefer, but the Pro is still statistically a great car (is it ever any consolation for the few who get the bad blip?). You'll occasionally find a stinker of a Honda or Toyota too, but not as frequently as you'll find a lemon of a Ford, GM, Chrysler or VW.

    I think lemon cars show their stripes early on, but jstandefer has a point in that we should see how well our Pros hold up to 100,000. So far, I can see my 99LX lasting at least a decade and at least 100,000 miles. Bummer I'm inclined to hold onto stuff until it falls apart as I find myself often drooling over new cars. :)

    I do think that dealer service is still subpar. Too bad, brings down some great automobiles.
  • sfratsfrat Posts: 208
    I agree with most everyone here, any car will suffer from poor treatment, and Jerry judging by what you've posted about your driving style, I would say your rough on your cars. The RX7 could probably handled it well, surprised that the Escort took the abuse so well. You do have a decent amount of mileage, not a lot, but its probably been a lot of hard mileage.

    Anyway, Vocus do you think you could post some pics of your car with tints on it? Did you wind up going with dye tints, or hybrid tint? I'm curious to see how it looks.

    Have a good weekend all.
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    I wrote "Mazda is at the bottom of the Japanese manufacturers when it comes to resale, reliability, and quality." I should add safety ratings to that too, judging by the IIHS, with the sole shining star being the 626. Although, Mazda does seem to share the bottom rung quite often with Mitsubishi.

    I truly believe Mazda build quality and reliability have gone downhill from the late 80's when they were building superb vehicles, such as the 323, 626, RX-7, and the true Mazda trucks. As Ford management continues, Mazda will continue its downhill slide. Life I've said many times before, my '82 RX-7 was a superb vehicle despite its age. Now, look for deep cuts in product development as Ford (Mazda's wallet) has announced they are cutting 5,000 management positions with more cutting to come in order to turn a small profit in the next year. Vehicle lines such as Mercury, Lincoln, and Mazda who can't turn a profit will seriously suffer as Ford can no longer bolster them. If Ford is cutting its future vehicles and R&D, that means every company Ford owns will suffer greatly. Maybe I'll just get myself a late 80's Mazda like an MX-6. Still a good looking car and super reliable and super cheap. I'll expect to spend money to keep it up, but I wouldn't have any payments. Meanwhile, 36 more months of $351 on a car that's falling apart before my eyes is just plain evil.
  • hkchanhkchan Posts: 420
    Someone must've stolen jstandefer's id and password. Wait. He must've been kidnapped. These posts can't be from the same person, unless he has a multiple-personality disorder.
  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Posts: 210
    Geez, Jerry, I think you get the 180-degree award for this year. I'm sorry to hear that your car is giving you so much trouble.

    However, I think it's important not to over-generalize. You have a sample size there of 1. Generalizing to the entire population of Mazdas, or even Mazda Proteges, based on your one car is a mistake. As Mazdafun pointed out, the overall numbers on the reliability of the Protege compare favorably to the Civic or Corolla. Here, for 1999:

    The same ratings as the Civic, Corolla, and Sentra--all positive. If you want quality/satisfaction ratings where you can also read the reasons for the ratings, look at, and sort by average rating:

    The Protege has the best average rating other than the Volvo S60, but the S60 has only been rated by < 20 people. The Protege has a higher average rating than the Civic, Corolla, or Sentra. Note that this doesn't apply all the way through the product line--the 626 is closer to the bottom of the pack. I'd certainly concede that through the full line, Mazda finishes behind the other Japanese makes (except Mitsu). But not the Pro.

    I have no comeback on resale, though. The Pro doesn't hold its value the way a Civic does. Yes, it starts cheaper than the Civic, but the Civic holds a higher %, too. I tend to drive cars until that's not really much of an issue, though, so that one doesn't bother me much--but it is a consideration for many.

    Dealer experience is probably not Mazda's strong suit, either. The experience we had when we bought my wife's 99 LX was negative and when I went shopping for a Pro5, I didn't go back there. I was very happy with my last experience, though, so we'll see how that goes over the life of the car.

    You may very well be right about the future of Mazda, too. When the Protege, Focus, and low-end Volvo all share the same platform (in 2004), then I know I'll certainly be a lot more concerned, especially with what Ford is doing with the R&D budget. Let's just say I'm glad we got our Pros before Ford got their hands on 'em. (Not that I dislike Ford, but I don't think those kind of business arrangements generally result in the best products. Too much "design by committee.")

    Regardless, Jerry, I just hope that whatever you do, it works out better for you. Having a car you don't trust sucks, regardless of who made it.
  • hkchanhkchan Posts: 420
    Someone must've stolen jstandefer's id and password. Wait. He must've been kidnapped. These posts can't be from the same person, unless he has a multiple-personality disorder.
  • hkchanhkchan Posts: 420
    One potential problem with rating resale value by the percentage of retained value after X years is that it may be based on the original MSRP. I don't know if that's the case. You can generally get a Protege for a higher percentage below the MSRP than a Civic or Corolla.
  • fritz1224fritz1224 Posts: 398
    I think he now knows he got in over his head with those payments and he wants to blame it on the car. $351/mo for 60 mos. Jeez, I'd be sick too. So he still has 36mos left @ $351 that's over 12 big ones. Almost as much as what you can get a new one for. I don't think it's so much the car causing his pain, I think it's his wallet.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    You CAN get a new for one for around 12K. Local dealers here are advertising 01 LXs for around 12K and you can get a 00 ES for around 12K. If the loan term was for 60 months on Jerry's car, that Protoge cost him $21,000 dollars.....ACK!!
  • jstandeferjstandefer Posts: 805
    Unfortunately, I bought mine near the beginning of the 3rd generation. February of 1999 to be exact. There was no such thing as special finance rates or big rebates or discounts when they first hit the market. My Protege was one of the first three ES's the dealership received.

    The payment doesn't hurt a whole lot. But it doesn't leave a ton of room for problems that pop up. It didn't bother me until I started nearing the end of the warranty where I started to realize that problems I have had may be precursors to expensive repairs later on. In the first thousand miles or so, it already had a new valve cover gasket, windshield, windshield gasket, and headliner. A rattle already existed when I test drove the car, but I didn't think much of it.

    My Protege is probably not the best example of the breed out there. It probably suffers from early build quality issues as the rattles show quite clearly.I'm not a big fan of ditches and other road irregularities, so I avoid rough streets. The rattles just keep appearing. I really can't think of any interior panel that doesn't rattle, except for the rear door panels.

    My big beef with the car is the wear items. I may drive the car hard, but looking back at previous vehicles I have owned, I realized that these parts are wearing in less than half of the mileage of those same parts in a previous vehicle. New tires at 18k miles? New brakes at 22k miles? Come to think of it, those evil Midas brakes that replaced them have 26k miles on them now and still have about 10k-15k miles left on them!! The Nitto tires have practically doubled the life of the OEM Potenza's. Perhaps, if I replace the clutch with aftermarket parts and put good quality brakes on it, the car will last quite a while. Before the Protege, I typically averaged 50k miles for brakes and 30k miles for tires. I have only replaced one clutch, and that was the RX-7 at something like 130k miles. The Escort GT's clutch (and that car was certainly abused and beaten) still felt fine at over 100k miles when I traded it in. The Protege's, on the other hand, isn't going to last another 10k miles...

    I guess this is just a good example of cost cutting. My 82 RX-7 was quieter, smoother, and a whole lot more refined and reliable than the Protege. I guess this is typical of most new cars compared to the old ones...

    "I'll huff, and I'll puff, and I'll blow your Protege in!"
  • mhallackmhallack Posts: 32
    Hearing how many problems you've had, it really sounds like you have a lemon (though it may not qualify under the law). Based on all the quality & reliability reports I've seen for Pro's yours is definitely a statistical oddity. It happens though, to every car manufacturer. Lexus makes lemons too, they just make less of them than the average manufacturer.

    I understand your feeling though, my father had a 73 Ford Maverick, bought new and totally's engine literally gave up the ghost at 35,000 miles. Worthless hunk of junk and he never bought a Ford again. Then in 76 he bought a VW Dasher which couldn't get from one gas station to the next in between jump starts (BAD electrical system). I had a 77 Cordoba and a 87 Horizon that both required monthly maintenance larger than a car payment. More recently, one of my friends went through weekly service visits with a Ford Escort, and monthy visits with a Nissan Sentra (from right after they started making them in Tn). Also, one of my co-workers has a Town & Country that is two years old and goes in the shop EVERY month. Of course, in almost every case I could give you examples of these same cars running reliably (well, except the Cordoba).

    What was the treadwear rating on the poortenzas? I won't be surprised when my Dunlops run out early, but I knew they were low-treadwear summer tires going in.
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