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Mazda Protegé



  • edmund2460edmund2460 Posts: 293
    First I think it's important that Pro owners post when they have problems so Standefer's complaints should be welcomed. I follow the posts here and I seem to read very little complaints here compared to other rooms. Some comments about JS's post are:
    My 98 Escort is at 50,000 miles with no problems and I believe that car became a solid car AFTER sharing Mazda components. You need to look at total cost of ownership over a longer period. Unfortunately sometimes when problems crop up we assume they will never cease. I went through a period of that with my 82 Jetta Diesel. It now has 235K. I'll admit it's not much of a car in terms of comfort, but it is reliable as the sunrise. I spent 10K buying it and about 5K in maintenance costs (not counting tires and oil change costs). It probably gave me back 2K in gas savings. If it runs another 30K which I have no doubt it will, it will be worth it. I personally won't buy another Ford after having bought 4. So Standefer, go there if you must. It's a company that won't admit a car's problems till it becomes a class action suit. My 93 Sable has had a head gasket, new trans and new A/c and other problems that probaby add up to an A/c within the first 100K. But the engine still runs well and if it gets to 175K which I think it will, it will still be worth it. OK that's my 2 cents. THe other thing is that the Pro and the Aspire do share the same little midget size filter. I checked the catalog on Purolator. (I have an Aspire too). I'm miffed.
  • edmund2460edmund2460 Posts: 293
    In case you didn't know this JS, a JD Power study shows Ford assembly plants to rank dead LAST in initial quality of cars they produce of all American manufacturers - so where does that put it on a global scale. And I repeat, this is a company that brought it's problems on itself. I know from my own head gasket situation that they knew about this problem for years and did nothing, so I was not surprised about the Firestone incident. They have a bean counter running the company and I think William Clay would like to get rid of him ( his family owns a majority of the stock I believe) but the board still likes Nasser. I don't think Nasser has ever cared about customer satisfaction except when it became a crisis.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Just about everyone I know who has those new Focuses is wishing they never would have bought one. Ford quality has never been what it should. I can attest to the Escorts' reliability though. A company I used to work for had only Ford Escorts and Tempos, and they lasted right up to 150K being beat around with no problems, or little. Don't get it.

    And like I said, I never had half the problems with my DX as you have had with your ES. Maybe it was the early production thing. Sorry to hear your problems though. They have truly ruined a great little car for you.
  • my 1990 ford probe just went over 220,000 miles
    this past car I have ever owned...
    it's finally wearing down bit by bit...
    I hope my next car will last as long and run
    trouble free...
  • snagy1snagy1 Posts: 55
    thanks for info on bras, i agree the normal bras of yesteryear rubbed paint off, lately have seen these magnet ones by monsoon offered and they seem ok per the owners. thanks
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    When Protegés are bad they are VERY bad, but when Protegés are good they are VERY good. Let's face it, you didn't buy your cars to last a lifetime. I certainly didn't. It's a temp car at best. I may drive it two years, maybe more, but it will never get to 50,000 miles while I own it. The last five cars I owned didn't and they were Hondas. I always trade them off while they still have a lot of value ($$$). Makes the next payments lower.

    The car I REALLY want would be small or medium size; has beautiful styling; a great interior and dash; gets reasonable fuel economy; and rides like a Lexus LS 430. No company makes that car, yet.

    Frankly, I think sports suspension sucks. When all cars, regardless of size, can be made to ride smoothly and still have good handling.

    And last, but not least, my relatives drive Ford products: 2002 Ford Explorer, 2001 Lincoln Navigator, Ford F-150 pickup, Ford van, plus a BMW 740i and a Porsche 944. When deciding on a small car to buy, and wondering what they would think if I got a piece of crap temporarily, the Protegé was the only small car I had no problems driving up in.

    Their remarks: "We love your car." and "That's a nice looking car and all you really need." (The Corolla was definately out and so was an older Civic.) The Corolla, in particular, looks like the buyer does't give a damn what they drive as long as it gets them to their job at MacDonald's ontime. ;)

  • pjd58pjd58 Posts: 366
    a Mill. Red 01LX 2.0 Protege. Is this a tough color to locate? I really want to take advantage of Mazda's 0% for 48 and no charge for alloys and moonroof. I really don't want to compromise on another color, but may have to.

    Also, is approx $500 over invoice, with 0% and free moonroof and alloys a good deal?

  • The debate about Mazda vs. the world could go on endlessly. I have had several Honda products and all of them, regardless of make/model or mileage, have been darn near flawless. The Toyotas we have owned have been the same. My one experience with something non-Honda/Toyota was my first car, a 1989 Ford Probe GL. It had 160,000 miles on it when I sold it and other than burning oil the car ran great.

    Even though the one Mazda/Ford product I had didn't give me any major problems if I knew I had to buy a car and keep it for more than 3 or 4 years, I would buy the Honda or Toyota. You can flame me if you want but in my experience I would be more comfortable in a 100,000 mile Honda vs. a 100,000 Mazda or almost any other make out there.

    One thing about Hondas and Toyotas is that their basic designs seem to stand the test of time better as well as all of the "hardware" like knobs, switches, and power accessories. This Protege may change my mind, so we'll see.

    fowler: The one thing that kills me is that if anybody else my age at work had purchased the Protege everybody would be like "nice car" "congratulations". But with me they are like "uboughtawhat" "huh" "from an Accord V6 to a..." and "no way".
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    Check out the Stonguard (sp?) products. They're transparent urethane film (0.060 and 0.040in thick, for headlamps and sheetmetal). that you adhere to your car to protect its finish.

    I've had the headlamp protectors on my '99 Pro since early spring of '99 and don't have a single chip in them. Some dirt does accumulate around the edges though.

    Supposedly you can peel them off w/o leaving any glue, but I haven't done this myself.

    I think they now have pre-cut kits for the Protege, first time ever. Guess there're enough Pro owners asking for the stuff. The only Mazda products they offered pre-cut in the past have been for Miatas.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    We should alert each other to potential problems with our Pros. The earlier the better, to try to nip these problems before our warranties expire, and to make sure we all make Mazda aware.

    Anyway, the discussion recently has been interesting, to say the least. :)
  • logger1logger1 Posts: 14
    Earlier posts indicated this a delay factor. I'm trying to get an LX 2.0 with these features. The dealer does not seem to have visibilty on when they will be in the delivery flow .. weeks, months, this year. Any info out there on delay factor?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I took a whole role (25 exp.) of pictures of my Protege today, and will post them when I get them developed.
  • hkchanhkchan Posts: 420
    "I always trade them off while they still have a lot of value ($$$). Makes the next payments lower." People buy what they want and as often as they want but I hope you didn't think "making the next payments lower" was a valid reason to trade in a car every two years.
  • mhallackmhallack Posts: 32
    >"I always trade them off while they still have a >lot of value ($$$). Makes the next payments >lower." People buy what they want and as >often as they want but I hope you didn't think >"making the next payments lower" was a >valid reason to trade in a car every two years.

    Yes, I had my last car for nine years. Five years of $0 payments would seem to be lower overall than trading the car when it still had a lot of value.
  • mhallackmhallack Posts: 32
    My pitiful attempt at quoting in the last message obviously didn't work, but thats not why I'm writing this:

    The day my first payment was due on the MP3, I was hit by a Ford Explorer. They decided that their lane wasn't large enough and they needed part of mine. I thought they were going to pull over, then they dove in front of some oncoming traffic and got away (while I was stuck in 3mph rush hour). Got their tag, but it was stolen.

    Fortunately, they mostly hit me with their tire, as I have buffed a lot of it off and left what appears to be fairly superficial damage. The Racing Hart wheels in particular took a lot of their tire out without, evidently, being scratched. Not that I actually wish this on them, but if they are riding on Firestones and they don't take the vehicle in, I may not have to find them: they could end up in the paper.
  • yooper53yooper53 Posts: 286
    Ouch! That's got to hurt. But their utter disregard for the oncoming traffic is criminal. As long as no innocent parties are hurt I'd just as soon see people like that "end up in the paper!!!" Makes the roads safer for the rest of us. Its as simple as that. IMO.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    I agree about the Honda cars, had only one Toyota and it was a lemon (1971), but Toyota makes better cars now. My last Honda was a 1998 Odyssey which had 18K miles on it when I sold it -- no problems in the three years I owned it. The one before that was a '98 Honda Accord, had it 30 days. Quickly grew to hate that car, it's seats were painful and I got rid of it. Also disappointed in the finish.
    I traded in a '97 Accord on the '98. Nothing wrong with it, I, like Paul, bought the wrong color. It was dark blue with grey trim.

    I sold the Odyssey because I had a lot of equity in it and that gave me a good downpayment on the Protegé. When interest on car payments was tax deductable they weren't so bad; now, it's wasted money along with depreciation.

    Hindsight is perfect vision; The money I have thrown away on cars since 1967, if invested THEN would have grown to over $3 million today, without investing another dollar. :P Think what I would be driving now?

    The big mistake young people make, and I made it then, is telling themselves, when they have jobs and disposable income,"I want to enjoy it while I'm young!" You will also enjoy a new car when you are older, IF you save and invest now. When I was your ages most cars cost only $2500 to $3000 with AT,AC and power windows, etc. By the '70's big cars were still only $6500 and luxury cars were $7500 up. I remember a BMW I almost bought for $6500, in the 5-series. Glad I didn't.

    But $15K for a small car today is still an outragious price, IMHO, and so is $50K for a Cadillac or Acura or whatever. That's what inflation does and in the years to come they will go even higher. Plan for it now.

    black01coupev8, the last Acura CL I rode in my impression was, 'This doesn't ride any better than an Accord.' It was noisy and not at all what I expected.

  • chikoochikoo Posts: 3,008
    you are lucky that your Escort lasted so long!!!

    I have driven a rental Escort and they shake and rattle(10,000 miles ) so much that I feared that it will break apart. I even took it back to the rental agency just to make sure that this car will not breakdown in the middle of the i-95.

    tough luck Jerry. Too bad you thought you had bought a Tank....
  • grubbs1grubbs1 Posts: 69
    I test drove an ES last year and loved it but I opted for a pickup due to the utility (OK and the he-man feeling you get driving one). Anyway, it's that time again and this time we will be getting a sedan. I test drove a deeply discounted Altima, a Sentra SE and a Protoge ES with auto. The Altima is OK and the engine is pretty good but the car seems too big for a four banger. Also, IMHO, it is getting old. The sentra was OK as well but I just didn't get that feeling. The interior was weird, especially the skinny stereo. When I drove the Pro, I loved it! I don't like the color of the plastic around the center dash components but hopefully it can be replaced with the LX's. The response of the engine was impressive and the brakes felt precise. Also, the overall quality was impressive for an 'econobox'. We will probably have that black beauty in the garage by tomorrow. I would like to hear from owners as to their level of satisfaction with their Pro's, pluses and minuses, etc. Thanks!
  • grubbs1grubbs1 Posts: 69
    My last 'Mazda' was a 1989 Mercury Tracer. I owned this car for eleven years and racked-up over 144,000. I had no engine or tranny problems. When I sold it, it was still running great. Also, the integrity and build quality of the car was sound as everything was still working great. This car was built in Hermosillo, Sonora. Too bad this plant now builds the (out of) Focus.
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