Last post on Jun 09, 2012 at 11:01 PM
You are in the Mazda Protege
What is this discussion about?
Mazda Protege, Sedan
#14924 of 24043 Vocus - 626 Impression
Jun 29, 2002 (7:22 pm)
Yes, I think the 626 has more of a closed-in feeling than the Protege. While I was impressed with the 626 power and luxuries, it felt too....... let's say "Americanized".
What do I mean by Americanized? Well, for starters, the appointments on the car itself. One of the things that sold me on the Protege' was the accents. Very European. For instance, black door handles on a sand paint job. My Protege' is Shimmering Sand Metallic, by the way. On the other hand, the 626 fits the mainstream, American style in this respect. It doesn't seem very well accented.
The seats in the 626 were a substitute leather much like my 2000 B2500. To me, this was unappealling. Very hot when the car is outside during the depths of summer. I also felt more confined in the 626 than in the Pro. I'm 5'10 and 195. I think the console in the 626 seems taller than the Pro therby giving the feeling of more confinement.
I was not impressed with the design of the moonroof on the 626. Apparently, the air dam did not function correctly. After receiving the 626 as a loaner, I went over to my in-laws who happen to live two blocks from the Mazda dealership. Took my father-in-law for a spin around the block with the moonroof fully open and the radio on. The wind noise was horrible at 30 MPH! The only other car I owned with a moonroof, an '85 Jetta with US Specs purchased new in Germany, did not exhibit such terrible wind noise at low speeds. Yes some, but not as pronounced as the 626. My Jetta had a crank handle for the moonroof and the air dam on it was taller and stiffer. An aerodynamics issue maybe? If I remember correctly, I've driven down Autobahn 45 at 85 MPH (140 KPH) with the moonroof open and the wind noise didn't seem as bad.
Don't get me wrong. The 626 is a nice car. I could have raided the old savings account and coughed up enough for such a beast. But after driving the loaner, I'm perfectly happy with my Pro.
As I've seen mentioned on this board, the Pro brings back the old "seat of the pants" feeling I had with my '85 Jetta. The Pro seems stronger and handles better than the Jetta did. The gear ratios on the Pro seem closer.
I've seen you talk about your Jetta here, so I'll mention mine. My German-made Jetta was a good, reliable car that I paid $8,500 for in June, 1985. Took delivery from a VW dealership in Wetzlar, Germany. The deal was arranged by a broker who catered to the military. Put 88,000 miles on it in 3 1/2 years and had no problems whatsoever with it. It was the first "new" car I had ever owned. And thus far, the best. The car had the basic US package plus A/C, power steering, moonroof and skibag. 5 speed. No radio. Bought a German-made Blaupunkt AM/FM cassette and installed it. When I purchased the Jetta, unleaded gasoline was just becoming available in Germany. So I took off the catalytic converter (legal to do so at the time over there) and ran it without. Even without the catalytic converter, I could only manage about 115 MPH on flat stretches of the Autobahn. But it was stable, I'll say that.
As you are probably aware, the climate in Central Europe doesn't exactly require A/C. I think I ran the A/C for a total of maybe 8 hours in the three and one-half years I owned it.
I sold the car in December of 1988. Returned to Germany two years later. In 1993, I saw the soldier I'd sold the car to. He stayed in Germany because of his wife. Five years later, he still had the car and had driven it another 80,000 miles. He said he put new tires and brakes on it along with some minor repairs.
Anyway, good luck with yours. I've noted the problems you are experiencing. Personally, I don't think the newer models share the same quality as the older models.
#14925 of 24043 Finally getting a Pro
Jun 29, 2002 (8:36 pm)
I am getting a 02 ES 5sp on tuesday. I can't wait to drive it home. It is sunlight silver with ES premium package, wheel locks, 6cd changer, and alarm. I would rather have a refresh model but this is the only es they have and it is the only car I found that has everything I want.
#14926 of 24043 took my Protege to its LIMIT today...
Jun 29, 2002 (11:49 pm)
went to Summit Point raceway in West Virginia, and had a 30 minute session of FULL SPEED driving on the track.
And what happened on the track? For the first time ever in the time I've owned the car, the brake failed to stop the car when the pedal is to the metal (e.g. MAJOR brake fade, and I think I wore out my brake pads BIG TIME). Tires were pushed to its limit trying to hang onto the asphalt. Engine was in the 6000rpm range throughout the whole session (turned off O/D so it only went up to 3rd gear), and the gearing on the automatic is SO TALL that the top speed I could achieve on the straightaway was a SLOW 92mph (another guy with a manual P5 reached 110mph on the same straightaway).
All in all, definitely fun times. But I realized something as S2000s and Porsches and other sorts of sports cars were passing me left and right. At the end of the day, the Protege is just an economy car that handles well for its price. In stock form, it simply isn't fully ready for the rigors of track racing. Sad, but very true
Jun 30, 2002 (6:52 am)
Sounds like fun, although a little too scary for me.
Anyway, now I have a dumb girl question (do I ever ask any other kind?)
You said the top speed you could achieve was 92...I'm not really following. Is that because you turned off the O/D?
I was at 95 or over just last week (don't tell my mom!), although not for any sustained length of time. Was I imagining it?
Jun 30, 2002 (7:18 am)
92 was the fastest I could get my car to in the straightaway section before I have to brake for the turns. Obviously I could reach 3 digit if it was just a straight line, but a racetrack has turns you know
basically what I was trying to say is the gearing of the automatic is too high to allow fast ACCELERATION, thus limiting my top speed...
#14929 of 24043 OOOOoooooohhhhh....
Jun 30, 2002 (7:31 am)
NOW I understand...thanks!
That's right...forgot to take into account those pesky turns.
Good luck at FedEx Field today!
Jun 30, 2002 (7:31 am)
How was the California meet?
Jun 30, 2002 (1:20 pm)
My insurance on my 2001 Pro ES went up $113.28 per year from 2001 to 2002. It is still reasonable, just less so. It broke out to:
$1.86 less for Bodily Injury Liability
$19.14 more for Property Liability
$33.00 more for Comprehensive
$63.00 more for Collision
The class stayed the same, but the "SYM" category changed from G to J, whatever that means. In addition, my multipolicy discount shrank from $113 per year to $62 per year. There is a note at the bottom of my continuation notice which states:
THE PREMIUM FOR THIS POLICY REFLECTS CHANGES IN RATES APPLICABLE TO NORTH CAROLINA PLACED INTO EFFECT UNDER PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 36, CHAPTER 58 OF THE NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL STATUTES.
Sounds like I have the state to thank for my increased bill.
Jun 30, 2002 (8:25 pm)
What company are you insured with? State Farm just hiked all their policies up, because they are losing money left and right. Just wondering if you were with them. They just hiked up my rate too.
#14933 of 24043 Big H....
Jun 30, 2002 (8:26 pm)
Hey, sounds like you had a great time at the racetrack the other day. I wish I had the chance to run my Protege (when I had it) on the track, I bet it would have been fun.
I am still driving the 2002 DX (read the Jetta forum if you all want the current "drama" update with my car) and I had it up to 95mph today on the road. Not too bad, but that 2.0 engine sure does get loud at that point.