Last post on Jun 10, 2012 at 12:01 AM
You are in the Mazda Protege
What is this discussion about?
Mazda Protege, Sedan
#17267 of 24043 The perfect car...
Oct 02, 2002 (7:05 pm)
isn't out there! All cars have their problems, good design ideas, bad design ideas, things we like, things we don't like. We buy what we can live with for a while, and still look for something better or hope will be better.
Like Newcar31, I still DO NOT like the Protege's ride. It is uncomfortable, if not jaring, over patched roads and has a tendency to bobble front to back. What Mazda needs to do is make the LX models softer riding for those who want it, rather than forcing all buyers to accept stiff suspension of various degrees.
Otherwise, the Protege is probably the best small car compromise a buyer can make. Better interior trim than the Civic and Corolla, especially Korean cars. Heck, it beats the new Altima hands down -- all that hard plastic those owners have to live with just to drive a good-looking body.
Lately, "World Class" has started to mean something else to me -- it was designed to travel over cobblestone streets and unimproved rural roads in Europe and Third World countries. If you have ever driven on cobblestone you will know what I mean -- RUMBLE, RUMBLE, RUMBLE -- tire noise is nothing compared to cobblestones. And very easy to skid on when damp with the morning dew...wet is another story.
World Class seats: Very FIRM for long distance comfort. This is a copout for cheaply made. Look how reviewers complain about Camry, MB, and BMW seats being too hard. The Pro's seats are very good for its class, better than in more pricy cars. What the manufacturers got away from were too-soft seats with stretchy fabrics that looked bad on the used car lots. Make them firmer so the fabric still looks good. They did it for the dealers, not for the customers' comfort. Same thing for hard dashes instead of soft vinyl-covered versions that cracked.
The paradox is very apparent in Italy: narrow, bad streets and roads verses exotic cars. Mostly poor people with super expensive rides parked in the streets outside of pock-marked old houses with broken shutters.
What good is a $140,000 Ferrari if you have to deal with ancient, late 19th century plumbing at home? The water tank is up near the ceiling with a long chain to the handle. The hotwater heater hangs on the wall like our papertowel dispensers and is about the same size. World Class? Count me O-U-T!
Real "World Class" is here! Our homes come first, our cars come second or even third. Perfection is in the eyes of the beholder. If you have both you are blessed.
I parked next to a BMW 5-series not long ago, couldn't help but notice the gaps between the rear bumper facia on the BMW were wider than on my 2001 Pro. The door/fender gaps were wider too. Is it our Pros are better built than a BMW? If so, we are driving perfect cars and don't appreciate them.
Perfection isn't what we are looking for, we become bored too quickly with what we have. If you found the perfect car what would you, eventually, replace it with? No, the fun of owning any car is its imperfections, within limits, and dreaming about what you will buy in the aftermarket to fix it up and make it personally your's. Luxury car buyers wouldn't think of doing that. Neither would the owner of a
"perfect car". For most buyers, today's cars are too nice to screw up with cheap mods.
#17268 of 24043 Perfect car
Oct 03, 2002 (2:19 am)
I would start with a protege es and add the rims, side/rear skirts and interior from the mazdaspeed protege. Add a front lip spoiler, mp3 suspension, add 30 more horsepower, 30-35mpg city, short shifter, LSD for the higher horsepower, tinted windows, and that stonegaurd stuff to keep it looking pretty.
About the protege's suspension, I personally love it. I love the handling and the harsher than usual ride doesn't bother me at all. However, if I go somewhere with my mom she doesn't like it at all but its not her car so I don't care.
Oct 03, 2002 (4:24 am)
Yep, my '80 900GLi had the same sleeve you had to pull up to engage reverse.
Interesting you said "money pit." In the one year I owned this car, I sank more than $3,000 into it in repairs -- and it only had 60,000 miles on it when I bought it. Keep in mind this was in 1985 dollars.
I still keep telling people though -- when it WAS running, it was the most enjoyable car I've ever experienced. Everything was done "right" with the way the car fit, handled and behaved. Man, even my first -- uh -- well, "romantic encounter" -- was in that back seat, and man what a back seat that was! I had that car my first year of college, and I used to drive half of the four-hour trip to school (at around 3 a.m. on Monday morning after spending the weekend with my girlfriend back home), park in the corner of a rest area and sleep on that back seat! And then resume the trip a few hours later.
Needless to say, I have some (very) fond memories of that car. But some painful ones too, usually involving the wallet!
#17270 of 24043 Just as I predicted ...
Oct 03, 2002 (5:16 am)
Number One this morning!
#17271 of 24043 Dash design
Oct 03, 2002 (5:20 am)
Another reason many auto makers have gone away from the soft vinyl dash design is that the US government has relaxed the design requirements since the introduction of ubiquitous dual front airbags. Still, it is obvious that some manufacturers make inexpensive dashes look better than others.
As for the BMW 3 series, I haven't ridden in a 330, but I have ridden in an M3 convertible. Its ride was pretty stiff. The ride may have been very close to perfect for me, but the Protege comes awfully close as well for a lot less money.
Oct 03, 2002 (5:47 am)
is exactly the car I'm talking about. It was a 2 door model, not a convertible. It has the best ride/handling combo I've ever experienced. I know that good handling sometimes means a stiff ride, but this BMW is magic. It rides beautifully and at the same time handles like it's on rails. That's my definition of "Germanic". I've driven an M Roadster also and it rides kinda choppy, but the rear suspension is from the old 3 series and M editions usually ride a little stiffer. Having said that, I realize it's a little unfair to compare a 3 series with a Protege.
Oct 03, 2002 (6:32 am)
>>>and then as I slowed to 10mph the tranny downshifted again! (tach jumped from ~700 to ~1k, and stayed at 700 once I completely stopped.)<<< That is MY problem. My tranny shifts close to 0mph, not 10mph. That is why I feel a clunk/jerk. Maltb, how do I get my dealer to upgrade my programming on my cars computer so that it shifts as prescribed? ie at 10mph? and not near to 0-3mph? Please. I need you help on this one.
Oct 03, 2002 (6:33 am)
buy a 5-speed then YOU control how and when the car shifts .. not a computer.
#17275 of 24043 anonymousposts
Oct 03, 2002 (6:38 am)
sure. just give me the money 'cause I cannot afford to buy one right now. #$#
Oct 03, 2002 (6:56 am)
lol ..... we should take up a donation to buy you a manual tranny .. I bet your enjoyment of the Protege would shoot up significantly.