Last post on Jun 09, 2012 at 11:01 PM
You are in the Mazda Protege
What is this discussion about?
Mazda Protege, Sedan
#8725 of 24043 We're from Ga....
Feb 28, 2002 (1:44 pm)
I've been watching Zoom post here for a while and decided to put my 2 cents in. Don't get her wrong, we love her Pro but she gets it bad at home about how there's not $12,000 worth of difference in the cars.
My Civic had no problem doing 120 while I was playing with that Maxima. Why was I "playing" with a Maxima in a Civic? Cause I have no problem wringing every last ounce of performance out of it. Most people don't do that to their cars for fear of something breaking. I maintain my cars to where I have confidence that it won't. By the way I was in FRONT of the Maxima.
The only mods are a flowmaster muffler and stock size 5 spoke Isuzu Impulse wheels.
The only issue I really have with the Pro is it's engine. Coming from a small revvy engine in my Civic the Pro doesn't have the same love for the upper rpms. That's a bummer for a car that's otherwise a joy to drive. That's the most glaring difference between the Civic and Pro though. It make the Pro the choice for around town errands and the Civic the road car for it's mileage and smoothness at high speed.
We obviously have a different idea of high speed too. In Ga everyone does 80 so that's no big deal. Most of the "fast" cars are doing 90-95. In daytime driving on the open road, most "cruisers" are doing very close to or over 100mph. The Pro's engine does not make very sporting sounds at those speeds nor does it feel like it's having fun. The Civic on the other hand is still building toward it's torque peak and actually becoming MORE responsive as the speed rises.
That has been my problem for a while when people talk about "low end power". I want most of my power up top where it can be used at speed. What's the point of having the torque peak at 2000-3000 rpm when the engine is revving past 3000 rpm at 60mph in 5th gear?
Vocus I'll answer that since I'm here...
When we bought the Pro we were going to the Honda dealer for a Civic. We had a 2001 EX-V6 Accord that we were tired of. The automatic did not like having 2 different drivers with totally different driving styles. It's supposed to have a logic chip or something and it did not like when we drove it back to back. So we got rid of it for a 5 speed. We bought the Pro for what it is a nice relatively inexpensive sporty sedan. We paid 15,200 for the car. After tax, gap, and fees we walked out with a check for $3000 and financed 19,000 with 0% financing and paid off a credit card. THAT'S wy we have a Pro. Were going to pay it down until we have no negative and buy a 6 speed CL after they've been out for a while. She has never said that the Pro sucked I don't think. It's just that we've owned countless Honda products that have served us very well and she has the allegiance also.
I've owned a couple Mazdas. A 1986 RX7 that was bone stock. Light little car that did an indicated 145 one day on premium gas while I was racing a Maxima. It didn't take well to regular though. It was OK except for a strange temp spike on warmup and it broke 2 door handles on the outside.
On the other hand, I had a white 10th Anniversary Edition that felt much slower and blew a 5th gear sychro and had a weird imbalance in the engine.
I got rid of it for a 1991 MR2 Turbo....Now that was a fast reliable car. Not a single non maintenance problem for 70,000 miles. Boy did that engine sound great with the Turbo spooling up inches behind my head. It would do close to 150. Had to use all of it running from a modified Miata one day.
Traded that for a Vigor. Did 125 and higher "playing" with a Ford probe between Chatanooga and Knoxville. Top speed was right aroud 140ish. No problems with that car while I had it.
After that was a 1991 300zx Twin Turbo. Quickie fast. Had to sell it cause I couldn't keep it out of triple digit speeds. There's a long story to go with this car the most important of which is that I got it for $5500.
This is just a drop in the bucket but I'll just say Zoom has a little experience with high speed vehicles and driving and 5 speed transmissions so if you see a black Protege with a brunette driving it and a USMC sticker on the back, don't mess with it unless you plan on running it up to the limit.
Feb 28, 2002 (1:49 pm)
Well NO WONDER none of your Hondas have rust. Not many cars do rust in Georgia, at least not for a long time. Guess what though? Honda sells a lot of cars in the rust belt and they should design them to hold up. Look at VWs rust warranty. 12 years! What are they (and most manufacturers) doing that Honda isn't? Honda knows their cars run forever, why not get the body up to snuff too?
Feb 28, 2002 (2:06 pm)
correction, the 2.0L in the Protege has its torque peak at 4000rpm and HP peak at 6000rpm. 130hp6000 rpm and 135ft-lbs.4000rpm to be exact (taken from Edmunds spec sheet). If it's revving at 3000 (lower on auto, don't know about manual) going 60, then the Mazda engineers geared it perfectly so it's running at the 'sweet spot' of its power band.
One of the reason why the 'zoom zoom' slogan fits the Protege well is that they have quick accelerations from a stop, thanks to its broad torque band. Mazda tuned the engine so that it is FUN to do quick bursts here and there on city streets, not for top-end speed.
here's a little something to look at, a dyno chart for a 2.0L Protege, taken from protege5online:
notice the abundance of torque up front, THAT is the ZOOM-ZOOM factor
#8728 of 24043 Honda's and Pro's and Zoom Zoom
Feb 28, 2002 (2:14 pm)
Honda's have a bit of a reputation here in Canada for rusting. There is a LOT of salt on our roads in the winter. Honda's were abominable for rust in the late eighties and early nineties, but they seem to have greatly improved the painting and metal in the cars since that time. That said, almost all of my friends who own newer Honda Civic models have had small "spot rusting" issues around the door panelling, wheels, muffler and exhaust pipe.
I'm not aware of any rust issues with the Pro and they ceratinly don't have the rep for being rust prone. Then again, not as many people own them up here as they do Honda's. Our own 2000 ES, 5spd hasn't a spot of rust on the body or underbody, but I am a total anal-retentive nut concerning maintenance so..........
Okay, zoomzoom, you make the comment that, "but we all know the Civic would win any contest about reliability, economy, durability, and most performance tests."
I can't say how strongly i disagree with those comments. Reliability ratings over the last 3 years show that the Protege has had far fewer reliability issues than the Civic. Look it up in Consumer reports, the LemonAid guides, and pretty much most detailed automotive information journals. The vaunted Honda quality has been taking a few beatings the last few years with all of their de-contenting.
Economy: Okay, the Civic gets better gas mileage. Mainly cause the engine produces far less torque at lower rev bands used in average driving and slightly less horsepower. The VVT-i helps a little but not as much as most people think. Honda's don't depreciate as quickly, but they are far more expensive initially for a comparably equipped model and they don't offer competitive financing. that makes it about even. Also, Honda's are more expensive to maintain, although their parts are cheaper and more accessible than Mazda parts. As a side note, the salespeople, dealers and mechanics are typically arrogant and treat customers with condencension. I say about even.
Durability: Don't think you or I can prove this point as i don't believe any hardcore data reflects this. Also, it really greatly depends on who the owner was. Sure, you see lots of old Honda's out there. I see old Mazda's too, but remember that Honda outsells Mazda like 10 to 1...you're going to see more Honda's.... i see a lot of Ford Tempo's out there too. Not to mention the reliable Pontiac Sunfire....
Performance Tests: This one is my favorite. Please show me the performance test where the Honda will beat the Pro. In acceleration I would say even. They use a different torque band and the pro has the advantage up to about 5000rpm. After that, advantage Civic. Not the case though if you compare the 1.8L Pro.... A Civic will not beat the 1.8L Pro simple as that.... Handling Test: Not close and you know it. There isn't a car in this class that handles like the Pro. Remember, i used to own a Civic SiR so I think i know.... From a performance standpoint, the Honda manual gearbox is simply unmatched. The best I have ever felt. Great shifter and clutch engagement.
Anyway, i could go on..... Honda's are good car's. So are Protege's. I have owned 2 Honda's in my lifetime and encouraged my mother to buy an Accord, which she did. However, if you are comparing the current model of the Civic, weak anemic engine unless you get the Si, softened suspension with the non-wishbone and almost Toyota Corolla like handling....against the current model Protege, I'm sorry, the Pro simply wins hands down.
Honda really doesn't make em like they used too...at least not the Civic. Now, slide an S2000 my way and let's talk.
Feb 28, 2002 (2:31 pm)
newcar: I work for a car dealer here in Atlanta. We get tons of trades in from all over the place and I still have only seen 1 Honda with rust. And if you are an "uninformed" enough of a customer a dealer here will sell you rustproofing even on a Saturn. What do you think was more valuable to that salesman? Telling you that you don't have to worry about rust on Hondas any more or pocketing a grand from selling you something the car didn't need?
A Protege isn't faster than the Civic even from a stop. The Protege 2.0L has been tested at 9.0 .. a Civic EX is 8.4. And the Civic's margin only increases as the revs get higher and it gets in it's "sweet spot". And if you look at the dyno you can see the Protege's torque dropping off instead of building. At 4000 RPM a Protege has reached it's torque peak while the Civic is still building up to it's peak.
Why would you want to do quick bursts on city streets? It's much more fun to do quick bursts on an open highway where you can actually wind the engine up instead of speeding up then immediately slowing. I bet your brakes are mad at you. And anyways, on the highway you will be going faster than 60MPH so downshifting in the 2.0L Protege is almost pointless because it's already about to hit it's peak.
#8732 of 24043 0-60 time means diddly poo
Feb 28, 2002 (2:35 pm)
didn't you read the spec? the POWER peak (what makes car go fast) of the Protege is now at 6000rpm, which is a very good spot given its 6500 redline. The 4000rpm is the TORQUE peak. Put it another way, HP is important at high speed, and torque is important for quick acceleration, and I think Mazda did a decent job of gearing the Protege to have plenty pull and decent top-end power.
Feb 28, 2002 (2:47 pm)
Too bad the Protege actually seems to have gotten slower with the larger engine. If I recall, the 0-60 times were always in the mid 8 second range on the 99-00 ES/5sp. And when talking about which car is faster, doesn't it depend on the type of driving you're doing? I don't care for the high revs in my car at GA highway speeds, but I do like how responsive the car is in stop and go traffic and on those curvy mountain roads at a respectable RPM (read <6000 rpm). I am sure the Civic is fun too, but I don't care to operate in the higher revs that would require from what I have read. It just boils down to what floats your boat I guess. I can certainly respect why ZZ79 enjoys her Civic so much as it sounds like it suits how she drives very well.
Feb 28, 2002 (2:54 pm)
Last time I checked the Civic had fewer problems in Consumer Reports than the Protege. Maybe you have a special "Protege Lovers" edition.
And Civics may be more expensive but if you don't consider the 0.0% (which not every Protege owner qualifies for) then it's not that big of a difference considering the Civic's added resale value a few years down the road. Now with the 0.0% then yes the Civic is more expensive but to 300,000 people a year it's worth it. 5 times as many people buy the Civic as the Protege and that's amazing how many used Civics are out there which also command a premium over other small cars. We just sold a 99 Civic Si with 25,000 miles for $15,998 within a few hours of being on the lot. Guess what invoice was on a new Civic Si back in 99?
And it's still yet to be shown how a Civic is more expensive to maintain. The Civic is Intellichoice's top pick for value and that includes maintenance, insurance, and depreciation. And I don't know what Honda dealers you go to but we've had good experiences with all but one Honda dealer in this area. I was in and out with my Coupe in about 2 hours and that was October of 00 when the 01's had just hit the lot. Besides, it's your choice what dealer you buy your car from. It's definitely not a reason to buy a Protege over a Civic.
And how many Ford Tempos do you see with all the hubcaps, spotless interiors, without blue smoke, and paint that isn't falling off the car as it goes down the street? I guess since Protege's are so rustproof they sell all 59,999 where you are because here Civics are definitely in the majority.
Performance: See above. Or just look at page 138-139 of the June 2001, volume 46 #12 of Car & Driver.
Weak and anemic? The Protege has more engine to work with and still only has 3 more HP. And it's not even like the 3 more HP gives it an advantage. It just uses more gas.
And no, the Civic doesn't haven't double wishbones anymore but the Protege never had them in the first place. So maybe, like I've said, you should go out and buy a 93 Civic EX. It's faster than the Pro, gets better gas mileage, AND it has that all important front and rear double wishbone setup. The 01 Civic EX and the Protege ES pull the same numbers on the skidpad and that's with the Civic's smaller tires and "softened" suspension.
And since we've talked about everything else let's talk about safety. The Civic gets a 5 star rating ... what does the Protege get? Guess we need to add safety to the list of the things that the Civic does better.
Again I'll add this disclaimer: "I'm not saying I don't love my Protege, because I do. I just realize it's opportunity areas." But I also realize the Civic's. It could have a more distinctive design. It could have 4 wheel disc brakes. It could've kept it's front and rear wishbones. It could be cheaper. But you know what, that's not what the car was mean to do. It was mean to be safe, reliable, somewhat sporty transportation...which it is. That's why over 75% of Civics are LX automatics instead of EX 5-speeds. But that's also why they sell 300,000 of them without giving them away for below invoice and 0.0% interest.