Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Mazda Protegé



  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    thanks to Meade for first bringing up this tip, now when I get out of my Protege, before I put my foot on the ground, I make sure my hand is on a metal part of the door, now when I step out and close the door, no more shocks!!

    Although shock therapy could be beneficial sometimes :o
  • I would add a Nissan NX2000 to your list of cars in that price range. I really wanted one but I couldn't find one with a 5 speed in Montreal. I looked for like 3 months and then test drove a Protege which I bought. Anyways, the NX was the best compact coupe you could by back then for the price. It comes with alloys and most of them had t-roofs + AC. Like a poor man's convertible. They were made from 1991-1993. Make sure you go for the nx2000, not the nx1600. The nx2000 has the sr20de engine when it had the 7500 RPM redline. The last 5 years, the sr20 engine was tamed down alot unfortunatly.

    I read an article on it a while back. At the time, it was one of the 10 best handling cars...I think car and driver did this review. It was up there with porches! I think it has a limited slip differential as well. Jeez, I sound like a salesman. Anyways, I was willing to pay 4000-8000cdn for one a year and a half ago. I'm sure now you could find one in good condition for about 3500-7500. I'd love to get one as a second car to modify...but that's an expensive hobby when I'm still paying off a new(er) car.

    Other cars you might want to consider are Ford probe (same guts as Mazda MX-6), Infiniti G20 (may be a little more pricey), or a Celica
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    It was up there with porches!

    Never heard of a car with porches,is that front or back, covered or screened in? Hey, maybe it's an air dam.

    I know, it was a typo. ;)

    BT it's Porsches. ;)

  • meinradmeinrad Posts: 820
    I would highly 2nd browntrout1's recommendation of looking at the nx2000. I bought that car out of college and absolutely loved it. The t-tops were fun and the car handled fantastic. The engine had plenty of power for spirited driving. Oh man, I almost wish no one brought up that car, now I miss it again. At least I have the new Pro5 to take my mind off it!
  • Make sure you check with for its history. You need a VIN to input.
    I got a 2000 LX with 25K for 9300 dollars with a clean history from CARFAX.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Thanx for the tips guys! NO NX2000 popped up in my searches so far, maybe it's the same problem here in T.O. like in Mtl: not many were bought I suppose.

    As for the MX-3, I found a few in V6s with 5 spd, but almost none with the anemic 1.6 88hp engine. Why would I want that? More reliable as per different reports and less insurance $.

    Update: The car will be bough late May/early June, as I figured out a way to acquire the cash for it. It's all legal, no worries and I will still take very good care of the PRO :)

  • snagy1snagy1 Posts: 55
    do any of you have info regarding those inserts that go into the window channels (instead of the kind where you use double sided sticky tape) that can be used as a wind screen?. the tape kind always fall off and this other type seems better except maybe it would bind the window in its movement. thanks
  • The "WeatherFlectors" on this site install into the window channels.


  • fowler: My car has never seen more than 30MPG. I would be more accepting of the poor mileage if it offered a significant performance advantage over a Civic but it doesn't. In fact, the Civic's engine is smoother, gets better mileage, and equals (if not betters) the Protege in performance. The only bad thing about the Civic is that you can't get 4-wheel disc brakes on any Civic 96+ unless you buy an Si. The Protege does drive like it's on rails but so would a Civic if it had performance tires and 16" wheels.

    dinu: We have had 4 Integras. A 90, 91, 92, and a 94. Never had a problem with any of them. We sold our Only thing you have to check for is the timing belt and the CV axles. They drive great and have plenty of power with the 1.8L 140HP engine. We sold the 92 to our neighbor with 140,000 miles on it and he has not treated it very well (it now has 2 different kinds of wheels and tires on it and he has wrecked it once) but the engine still runs great. I would also recommend the Accord. It's bigger than the Integra and just as reliable it just comes down to what you prefer in a car.
  • mazdafunmazdafun Posts: 2,329
    It depends on how you drive and the fuel mixture (winter v. summer...winter fuel in temperate place has less energy/unit mass, resulting in lower mpg)

    Recently, I've been averaging 24-26mpg in mostly local and spirited driving. If I drive more sanely, I average 28mpg. My mileage is more than 70/30 local/highway and a short 6.5mi commute (one of the big selling points to me of my current job). My last job involved a 50mi one-way commute that took me through downtown Dayton. Traffic could be a real bear in the afternoons, easily turning a 50-minute commute into a 90-minute (or more) commute.

    I can get 34-36 mpg easily if I drive mostly freeway miles at a relaxed pace (about 65mph). However, I usually go at a faster pace and get about 31mpg on the freeway.

    I have to admit my wife's Saturn gets better economy (about 33-34mpg) in this type of driving as it's geared higher and has larger-diameter wheels, the set-up best suited for high-speed cruising. We're funny that way, I drive hard and fast on local, twisty roads and more sedately on the freeway, while she takes it easy on the local twisties and moves at a good clip on the freeway.
  • although the pro is no fuel economy champ, it is not as bad as epa #'s suggest. If you look at mpg's from comparison tests [like consumers report or car and driver] you see that the civic and corolla epa #'s are inflated. I do think Mazda could do better, though. My '99es gets 24-28mpg in town and 30-34mpg's hiway.

    In Portland, it is damp in winter and dry in summer. I get shocked wearing cotton jeans and t-shirt. It's the pro upholstery.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    I wouldn't be too quick to discount the V6 MX-3. I know several people who have over 150,000 miles on theirs and haven't had any problems. I also spoke with my service manager yesterday while I was picking up some touch-up paint. He said that there are no major problems with the V6. He also said that the 1.8L V6 was originally developed for the Miata, but it screwed up the 50:50 weight ratio, so they designed the MX-3 around the engine to fill the sporty hatchback niche. He recommended looking for a 1994 model GS if you want the V6. That was the last year they made the V6 version in the US. 1994 was also the first year the 4 banger went up to 105HP and 100ft-lbs. It may be different in Canada. If you get one with either engine, I will feel a twinge of jealousy. Good luck.
  • I talked to a Mazda rep at the Chicago auto show who said a protege sedan turbo will be out soon - in the next few months. If I remember correctly, he said it would be in the range of 170-180 hp, a limited run for the spring (a few thousand cars? better than only 1500 MP3s), with another run
    this fall (with different colors).

    Wish they'd extend that to the Pr5.
  • dsm6dsm6 Posts: 813
    IIRC, one poster who is a dealer (audi8q?) said around 190 hp, called the Mazdaspeed 3, or something like that. I agree that it'd be nice to have on the P5 as well.
  • tomciviletti: I have had a 1998 Civic and currently we have a 93 Civic. Both got 32-35MPG+ easily. My 99 Accord 4 cylinder 5-speed got 32-35 MPG and that's with a 2.3L engine. It may also help that you have the 1.8L engine instead of the 2.0L. The 2.0L seems to be geared for low-end driving and nothing else.

    This Protege is also the first of my cars to shock me on a consistent basis so it's probably just the type of fabric they use on it.
  • shriqueshrique Posts: 338
    Come on release this aftermarket!!!!!!
  • yooper53yooper53 Posts: 286
    I've had it for 8 months now and its been pretty consistent at 30 mpg average hwy. There have been several times I've supposedly gotten 35-37 mpg but those I wrote off as being anomalous. The 30 mpg has just been too consistent for me to believe it.

    A factory turbo Pro? I'd very likely get one, mpg notwithstanding and assuming of course they don't end up too Ford by the time I'm in the market.
  • chicagoprochicagopro Posts: 1,009
    Just got back from a mini road trip...from Chicago to just over the Michigan border and back.

    Roads through IN banked much better than near Chicago...could take curves at much higher speeds without feeling like I was going to end up in a ditch.

    Very high winds, though...between wind speed and my speed (avg 80 mph), felt like I was going to take off! Sliding all over the dry road. Definitely a little more exciting than my daily commute.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    It isn't just the 16 inch wheels and "performance" tires (if you can call them that) that makes the Protege handle well. Believe it or not, the ES Protege's suspension is tuned more for sport than for ride unlike the Civic.

    Regardless of fuel economy, exactly how does a Civic engine perform "equally, if not better than the Protege's"? They both have similiar hp ratings, but the Protege's engine has far more torque. I could be crazy, but it sounds like the Protege's engine performs better. To quote Oscar Jackson of Jackson Racing:

    "Horsepower is what sells the product; torque is what actually moves it"

    As we all know, torque is directly related to engine displacement and engine displacement is directly related to fuel economy. Could that possibly explain why the Protege, Sentra, Focus and Elantra (all with 2.0L engines) all get worse gas mileage than the Civic yet all have more torque? I'll tell you one thing, it isn't just the Civic's VTEC wizardry (chuckle) that makes the Civic get good gas mileage. All other things being equal, in a naturally aspirated gasoline engine more torque = more displacement = more gas, plain and simple.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I used to average 24-26 mpg with my 2001 ES when I had it. That was with only 130hp. I have a 180-hp 2002 Jetta turbo now, and it averages the same while providing a LOT more power.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    Gee, could that be due to the 5 valve head and turbocharger? When I was talking about fuel economy and displacement did you notice the verbage "all things being equal" and "naturally aspirated"?

    I think a more apples to apples comparison would be VW's 2.0L vs. the Protege's 2.0L.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    Number one, the 2.0 in the Jetta averages about the same or better as the Protege 2.0. I had a loaner 2.0 Jetta, I know.

    And number two, I would expect a Protege with 130hp and no turbo to get better economy than a 180-hp turbo engine in anything. I just think the fuel economy in the Protege is kinda low for a car marketed as "economy".
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    The fuel economy in the Protege isn't the greatest, but when you compare it to other 2.0L engines in it's class, it's about the same. If I wanted better mileage, I would have looked at echos, corollas, civics, and TDI Jettas. Um, no thanks, no thanks, no thanks, and no thanks.

    As far as comparing the 1.8T vs. the 2.0L in the Protege, again, that's not a fair comparison.

    #1 In order to get a 1.8T, you have to spend more money.

    #2 The 1.8T has a 5 valve head

    #3 The 1.8T is a more recently designed engine than the 2.0L Mazda.

    #4 A turbo does not automatically mean dramatically lower gas mileage. Case in point: The naturally aspirated VW 1.8 in Europe gets similiar mileage to the turbo 1.8.

    #5 You are still paying more money to keep fuel in your car because it requires premium.

    I think you understand what I am getting at. Apples to apples is the only way to compare engines. In that respect, the 2.0L Mazda engine is arguably better than the VW 2.0L. It doesn't have a history of oil consumption either ;)
  • newcar: Having a Civic and a Protege in the driveway I can tell you that if you put larger tires on the Civic it will handle just as well as tthe Protege.

    The Civic is good for a 0-60 of 8.4 seconds while the Protege is good for 9.1 seconds all the while the Civic gets better gas mileage and it doesn't run out of power after 4000 RPM. Guess that Vtec "wizardry" is good for something after all. The engine gives you better fuel economy and it loves to rev whereas the Protege just buzzes louder the higher the revs get.

    And if a larger engine always equals worse fuel economy how can a 5.7L Vette get 28MPG? An Acura 3.2CL Type S is goord for 28MPG as well. My Accord 2.3L was good for 32MPG as previously stated. Maybe the 2.0L in the Protege is improperly geared or tuned but it definitely seems like Mazda put minimal effort into the design of the engine whereas Honda themselves will tell you that they are primarily an engine company that happens to make exceptional cars.
  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Posts: 210
    The current Civic line of engines does indeed get better mileage, no question about it. It's newer and better engine technology. I'll be interested in seeing what happens with the new line of SVT engines Mazda has engineered. I find the Pro's mpg to be passable if not stellar. I'll believe that Honda is an engine company first--they certainly shouldn't be paying anyone real money for their styling. Sorry, couldn't resist.

    But I think the difference in handling is NOT just the tires. My wife's 99 Pro LX doesn't have the performance Dunlops that the new P5 and ES's currently have. It has crappy Firestone Potenzas. But both my wife and I agreed when we test drove the Pro vs. the Civic that the Pro handled better, and IIRC correctly, C&D's slalom tests bears this out. I would attribute this at least in part to the TTL rear suspension in the Pro.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    You said the Civic's engine performs better. Regardless of gearing, weight, smoothness, etc., the Protege's engine produces more power. Whether that translates to 0-60 numbers is irrelevent because you said that the *engine* performs better. You say that the Civic doesn't run out of power after 4000 rpms. Well, it doesn't have any power UNTIL 4000 rpms. Around town here, I'd rather have the power before 4000 rpms. Believe me, I know what it's like, I had an Integra VTEC. No torque gets pretty tiring around town.

    A 5.7L vette achieves those numbers with a feather light throttle foot, 1st to 4th gear shift, and an ultra tall 6th gear. Anything less than that and you will not get 28 mpg. I challenge anyone to drive a Vette with the purpose of getting good gas mileage. When driving down the interstate, this motor is barely running, which is why it can get those kinds of gas mileage numbers. This all takes us back to the point of "all things being equal". The Protege does not loaf down the freeway at 1300 rpm, you cannot perform 1st to 4th shifts, and it doesn't have 6 gears. If it did, it would get much better mileage than the Vette. If you ask me, GM cheated by doing that 1st to 4th shifting when figuring out gas mileage. Another thing: The GM small block we are talking about has been in development for over 40 years, I hope it's efficient.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    Both the current Civic and 1.8T VW(Audi)engines are great, high-tech engines. As a result, they suffer from 2 major failings: they cost more up front, and they will cost more to fix. While the Protege may not match in HP or MPG, the economy of the Protege becomes clear when it comes time to get service(Honda) or fill up with premium(VW). Has anyone seen the new VW commercials where they actually ADVERTISE that their piston/valve setup is interfering? I'm not sure who ever thought that this was a good idea to design an engine this way without a timing chain(instead of a belt), but I can imagine a painful repair bill to replace 12 intake valves when the belt goes. Civic engines are interfering as well. I do not know about the Protege's. Perhaps someone else does? Hondas also have to have their valve clearances checked every 5000 miles. Regular service on a Honda is outrageous, and most "weekend" mechanics will balk at working on them. Also, their "sulev" cars have a lot of emissions recalls which makes one wonder exactly how "green" they really are.

    Don't get me wrong, Hondas and VWs are fine automobiles. I owned a 2000 Jetta GLX VR6 for over a year. It had a great, torquey engine and was almost as smooth as a Cadillac on the highway. On the down side, it handled like a Buick and was always in the shop for warranty work. The Civic was our second choice after the Protege. It might have been our first except for the 0% financing and pompous sales staff @ the Honda dealer. Insurance is cheaper too, at least in Durham, NC. In hindsight, I feel we made the right choice. My point is, overall, I think the Protege will cost us less money than the Civic, and I am positive that it will cost less and be more reliable than the VW.
  • You must drive like a bandit to have gotten that low of mpg figures in your Protege. Also, having had the A4 with the 1.8T, I can attest that it did not get anywhere near the same mpg as what I get in the Protege. I averaged 22-24 in the A4 where I get 28-30 in the Protege, with much more urban driving than I previously had with the A4. Again, the 1.8T is a great engine, but I think the Pro engine is getting a bad rap here. Is it the most fuel efficient? No. Is it the quietest on the highway? No. Does it do a good job of meeting the real world daily demands of most people? Yes, but you can't please everyone.

    Good discussion on this BTW. Glad to see everyone is being civil!
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    I believe: PRO will be cheapers to run in the long run (7yrs)
    I know: I wouldn't buy a VW b/c of its many problems and costly repairs.

    I don't know however what is better b/w the PRO and Civic, although I expect the PRO to be cheaper to maintain, but Mazda parts and svc. is one of the most expensive I see...

    I know I LOVE the low-end torque of the PRO around town and HATE that I can;t go faster on the highway b/c the engine doesn't want you to, while the Civic is fine in the city and beter on the highway. Nevertheless, both are IMO the 2 best small cars out there. I chose the PRO b/c it's fun to drive and the $ numbers were right and not over-inflated like at Honda.

    Boggse: Thanx for the update! I need all the help I can get in this one. It will be the only 10 yr old car I've had so far and while before the choice was easier with more $ available, I'm buying this one by myself 100%, so the 94 MX-3 might be a little pricey. I have to admit I would prefer it to a 92/93 Integra. We'll see. as for everyone else, say something on this issue :)

  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    The reason why I think the Protege's engine perfroms better is because it's better suited for what it was meant to do. The Protege is much more relaxed when driving in traffic with 4 people. In contrast, a Civic feels strained. When I had my Integra, I would always get beat at stoplights by family cars and trucks unless I really wrung the little 1.8L out. Who drives above 4000 rpm all the time? Don't get me wrong, it was a fun little car, but it was gutless in everyday driving conditions. I can't imagine the Civic being any better, especially when it has passengers.
Sign In or Register to comment.