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Mazda Protegé



  • I have no idea where the Civic RPMs discussion got going, but my '99 civic LX 5-speed turns about 3400 RPM at 80 mph. Downside of this car: not much oomph at low rpms. Upside: notably quiet at 80 mph for long trips.

    As to the turbo Protege - what is this about 180 HP in a MPS? The '02 Protege ES/MP5 is, what, 135 lb-ft/130 hp.

    If I could be a Mazda design engineer for a day ... 160-170 hp/lb-ft would be about right. I don't want a car with dual personalities (think old Ford SVO mustangs), just broader power and the kind of "excess acceleration" for onramps to match the handling that the Protege/MP5 already has. The interior, exterior of the current mp5 is fine by me - don't mess with the ES seat cloth design, ditch the big wing and stereo from the MPS.

    Mazda has to be treading a fine line. They can't offer something that blows the Focus/Focus SVT out of the water (Ford owns 1/3rd of Mazda). They don't want something to overshadow the upcoming 6 in base 4-cyl trim. They just need to address the many comments that the sedan/mp5 need some more power. The Passat 4-cyl turbo is, what, 170 HP?

    Actually, while Ford makes internal changes Mazda can make some money for them.

    As to reliability, Proteges are way more reliable than Jettas, and mazda has extensive turbo experience. Make my MP5 turbo midnight blue.
  • Anyone else notice that the gas gauge on their '01 ES goes very slow for the first half of the tanks, then VERY quickly for the last half?

    This is disconcerting, as you think you're getting great mileage and range, then boom! - the gas light comes on.

    BTW, I'm averaging 31 MPG Canadian (26.2 MPG US) and about 350 miles per tankful, for my normal city/highway commute. How does that stack up with everyone else?

  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    When manufactures decide on gearing, torque characteristics (which are directly related to engine size) are a major factor that they consider. That is why engine size DOES matter when you are talking about gearing, as well as a couple of other things. That is why my old mustang 5.0L loafed around below 2000 rpms 99% of the time. That is why I don't buy it when someone says that a Civic is only at 3000 rpms at 80 mph. I understand that some cars are geared for "economy" and some are geared for "sportiness" but 3000 rpm at 80 mph in a Civic?
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I noticed that in both the 1999 and 2001 Proteges I used to have. Totally normal. Never a problem with either one of their gas gauges in 38K miles on the first one and 20K miles on the second one.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    The '98 Proteges are pretty good cars, from what I hear. They are also the smallest bit roomier, due to changes in side impact materials in the doors or something like that (I read it somewhere). The base LX 1.5-liter engine is a little slow, especially with automatic. The power is adequate though, and fuel economy is pretty good from what I have read.

    There is one person in this room who has a 1995 Protege DX automatic, but he hasn't been here for about a week (he is making a long-distance trip). You could go back and read over posts in the forum if you would like.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    Every gas guage I have ever had worked that way. They are suprisingly non-linear.

    I get between 28 and 31 MPG depending on hwo much highway driving I do. My best ever was only 32.
  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Meade, you are in overdrive, if you put 3,600+ miles on a 5 week old car! ;-)

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Too funny! I must be in overdrive then. I have 3707 miles right now on my car, and it was bought 11/3/01 with 119 miles on it. :)
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    How far do you live/work from Laurel, Maryland? I had to drive up there Friday to pick up a telescope (one of my hobbies). We crossed the Potomac and came up 301 past all the cheap liquor stores, then through Patuxent Wildlife Refuge and into the metropolis of Laurel (yuck). I have a funny feeling I wasn't too far from you! I could feel the love!

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    If you can find an ES they are much better than the LX. However, the 95-98 Protege ES was about 5-10% of the mix. Narrow it down to an automatic that dogs the 1.8 and you have tough search ahead of you. I loved my '98 ES, it just needed handling improvements.
  • 3400 rpm at 80 mph in a Civic - yes. Really. 5th gear is way up there. My civic is geared more for mileage than power, and it isn't pretty if you hit the gas at under 2500 rpm. At least it makes for a reasonably quiet 80 mph. Rather have the turbo mp5...
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I take Route 3 home everyday from work actually. If you follow 301 North, it eventually turns into Route 3, which in turn runs into 97 North. 97 North then goes into 695, the Baltimore Beltway system. I go that way, then take 295 (BW Parkway) to get home. The BW ends right in Baltimore by the PSINet Stadium. I live literally 8 blocks from PSINet and the Inner Harbor. I work where the Capital Beltway (495) and 50 meet.

    From where we had the MAPP II, I work about 30 mins. north toward Maryland, and almost 2 hours from Richmond and 95 (I drove to and fro North Carolina that way). That should give you some idea.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    is not 3000 rpm. It's not that much different, but it's different. That still seems way too tall though.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Considering the Protege ran 4000 rpm at 80 mph (my 2001 did anyway), that does seem low for a Civic engine. My Jetta runs 3000 at 80 though, and it's a 1.8 turbo. So it can be done.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Yeah, your Jetta produces a *little* bit more torque than a Civic 1.6 and it has a 5 sp automatic. Big things to consider.
  • nematodenematode Posts: 448
    I think that 50hp (or 180hp/180torque total) is upper limit before 2 main things happen:
    1) Torque steer. I hate torque steer.
    2) Reliability will go to hell without more internal mods.

    If you just want 50-100hp to mess around with you can probably set up custom 50/100-shot NOS system for WAY WAY WAY less than my $3k limit.

    My reasons behind the 30hp number are pretty simple:
    1) Low boost = high reliability
    2) Dont have to mess with the stock compression
    3) Dont need an intercooler
    4) Dont need intake mods
    5) MPG will remain north of 25
    6) Its enough to knock close to 1sec of the 0-60 time.

    If I was in charge of Mazda my Protege would have AWD, 270hp rotary, and an F1 shifter.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Subaru have all made or make reliable, efficient, turbocharged 2.0L 4 cyl. engines with 200 hp or more. The 2.0L turbo that Toyota used in the Celica and MR2 was an excellent engine with 200 hp. Mitsubishi until recently has used their 2.0L turbo engine in the Eclipse, Galant, Laser and Talon with up to 210 hp. That is also an excellent engine. Nissan uses a 2.0L turbo in Japan and it has powered a number of cars with in excess of 200 hp. SR20DET I believe. As you probably already know, the WRX uses a 2.0L flat four with 227 hp. In Japan, some of these engines make 280 hp, although even I think that is a little extreme for a 2.0L. My question is this: Why should the Mazda 2.0L turbo only make 180 hp? I'll tell you one thing: If the Mazda engine only made 180 hp, it still wouldn't be any more reliable than the above mentioned engines with the exception of the 280 hp versions.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    You can find a test drive report on '98 Protegés at, click on 1998, Mazda, then Protege´and scroll down.


  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    Have you ever given the name Protegé a little thought? A protegé is usually somebody's understudy or in training. Is that what we bought -- training wheels? LOL

  • Vocus...At the rate you are putting miles on that Jetta you'll have more miles than me at the end of next month and I've had my car since July.

    Gearing can make a huge difference in the RPM that a car turns. At 80MPH in 5th gear the Civic is right at 3000 RPM. I'll have my fiance double check our eyesight tomorrow though. As has been said here before, low-end power isn't much to talk about but it's a much quieter and smoother ride on the highway. The Protege's engine kinda reminds me of my 97 RAV4. It's fine up until about 70 but once you get past that point it's just not much fun to go fast and/or rev high. The higher the revs get the more buzzy the engine is.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    Being a "wordman," I have to respond to your pretentious post poking puns at our Proteges. According to my Merriam-Webster dictionary, a protege is "one who is under the care and protection of an influential person."

    I prefer to think that Mazda chose the name because the car was their little project in excellence -- the car that made the company, so to speak. Or you could consider that "Protege" is referring to how the car treats its occupants.

  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    My 2000 ES 5-speed is going to turn the 30,000-mile mark on the way home from work today!!! I guess it's time to treat this problem-free zoomer to the whole 30K service. (Ooops -- I "missed" the 15,000-mile service.)

    Now, I have had Proteges and other Mazda vehicles before, so I've done this before -- but do any of you 1999 & 2000 owners who've reached this point before me have any advice on stuff I should look out for?

    Lately I have noticed a very slight "rotten egg" smell sometimes when I arrive at my parking deck after my 20-mile commute. But it's usually after I've done some NASCAR-like expressway driving on the way to work with all the other crazies out there. I know this can mean a bad catalytic converter, but I refuse to believe this on a car with only 30,000 miles (and a Protege too -- my other Protege went 83K and never needed one, and I've never replaced a cat on any car I've owned). Could this be because the car's emissions are a little out of whack after 30,000 miles, especially since all I've done is change the oil, and whatever they do for the 30K service (i.e. change plugs, etc.) might correct it? I've only noticed it in the last month or so, and only on some mornings.

    Any ideas?

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    "Lately I have noticed a very slight "rotten egg" smell sometimes when I arrive at my parking deck after my 20-mile commute."

    Eliminate cabbage and bake beans from your diet and that periodic rotten egg odor will disappear. BTW, those late night Taco Bell runs don't help either! ;-}}}

  • protegextwoprotegextwo Posts: 1,265
    Meade, I'm paying the dealership $245.00 for the following work to be done at 30,000 miles.

    Oil & Filter change
    Rotate Tires
    Replace Spark Plugs
    Change Tranny Fluid
    Replace Air Filter
    Top of All Fluid Levels

    All Lights
    Brake Lining
    Steering & Suspension Components
    Check Alignment
    Engine Drive Belts
    Cooling Hoses

    Body Hinges

    Ok, all this work might not be required by the owners manual. Some of this stuff might be fluff. However, it's my nickel and I'm going with the dealerships 30,000 mile maintenance service package. I think of this as insurance for potential problems that could occur after Mazda's 50,000/3 year warranty runs out. Often times the service managers can pull a few strings for their best customers. BTW, I'm taking my wife's PRO-ES in Friday and mine next Thursday! We both have 31,000+ miles now! Yikes, $490!

  • Did you get your protege5? (I'm too lazy to search through all of the previous posts.)

  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Larry: After the accidents and now the maintenance, you are just made of money aren't you? :) Just kidding.

    Meade: I had almost 38K on my 1999 Protege DX when I traded it in, and almost 20K on the 2001. I never noticed a rotten egg smell from either one of them. That might signify a PVC valve change in due. That's part of the 30K maintenance too I think, but not sure.

    When I had my 30K done on my Protege DX, they messed up the tune-up (I think) and the car idled roughly for the next 7K+ miles that I had it. Make sure if you notice any problems, to take it right back to the service place right away. Also, I took my car to Goodyear and had the 30K maintenance done. It definitely will be cheaper than the dealer's 30K maintenance would be. Also, don't worry about missing the 15K service. It's only an oil change and tire rotation. They try to add alot of extra things in there though, so be warned.

    Jason: Meade didn't get the P5 yet. When are you getting it Meade?
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    I've noticed something that is very periodic and very strange when I drive my new Pro5. I sometimes get a very short loss of electrical power and it seems like a loss of engine power. Mostly it's in the morning when I'm driving to work with my lights on. It's incredibly short probably less than 1/3 of a second. All I notice is a very slight change in engine noise and a dip in my lights. I've only seen it a couple of times. My first instinct is that i have a loose main ground.

    Any ideas or experiences?
  • dsm6dsm6 Posts: 813
    I lost track of the two turbo threads, but one was with respect to a turbo kit for an existing protege 2.0L, and the other was with respect to a factory turbo 2.0L. Peak hp would, and should differ for each.

    For an add on turbo kit for an existing 2.0L, 180 hp or less seems like a reasonable number. For a factory turbo 2.0L (like Nissan's, Subaru's, etc.), that sounds modest. Why? The factory folks can lower the engine's compression ratio (as mentioned by nematode) as a first order, easy to accomplish measure to make higher boost levels safe. They can of course, with greater ease than with an engine already on the road, beef up other components if they so desire. So, this 180 hp level as being a limit of reliability on a 2.0L is relative to whether or not you are referring to the turbo kit for existing proteges, as mentioned in one thread, or a factory turbo for an MPS protege as mentioned in another. Then there is nematode's point about torque steer - another issue entirely.

    Personally, if mazda produces turbo mps protege , I'd like to see around 200+ hp - actually it will depend upon the cost of the car. Whether or not mazda wishes to acknowledge it, a turbo mps protege with its price increase, performance image, and by the virtue of its forced induction, will be compared directly to the WRX. The WRX has 217 hp.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    Actually it's at 227 according to the factory numbers.

    I agree about the aftermarket turbo. Unless your willing to make some fairly significant changes to your engine to get the higher HP numbers a 20-30 hp jump would be well within reason. I think when you start messing with compression ratio's etc your messing with the reliability and stability of your engine. When your car needs to take you from A to B daily it's touchy to mess with it's reliability. personally I would be happy with somewhere in the 10 hp range. I'm hoping I can get that on my P5 with a new exhaust and maybe some induction changes. Preferably after my warranty runs out. (GRIN)
  • dsm6dsm6 Posts: 813
    If for some reason you have the ac on (ac will come on with defroster, will it not?), I would imagine you would see a dip in engine rpm, dimming of the lights, etc., when the load on the engine changes as the ac compressor cycles on. Just a thought.
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