Last post on Jan 25, 2009 at 9:59 AM
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Mazda Protege, Mazda Protege5, Sedan, Wagon
#310 of 335 New 2003 ES Owner
Jun 01, 2004 (9:26 am)
I've been reading this Forum for over a month now. Started in the Mazda3 forum, but after I came to grips with the fact that I probably wouldn't be able to get in one (based on my budget) I decided that the Protege would be my 2nd choice. If I had the time, I may have held out; however, my old car was a 92 Nissan Maxima with 198,700 miles on it. It would stall on me at random times and the A/C was not blowing cold. Here in Dallas they both are issues. I got my money's worth out of her. So I was hoping to at least be able to drive her on a lot for a trade.
I located several Proteges (over the internet) still new on a few area lots and checked them out. Unfortunately, they sold by the time I got to them. I did notice that they sold for about 5,000 under MSRP so I used that ammo to help buy the ES I found on a lot near my work. The sticker was $18,060 w/ABS, side air-bags, and wheel locks. I managed to get them down to $13,900 including my trade ($600.00 towards TTL).
After reading some more on this site I decided to go with the Mazda extended warranty - because I will keep the car for a while. Got 7yrs/100,000 w/$50 deductible for $799.00.
I am very pleased with car. It's white, which wouldn't have been my first choice since my Maxima was white, but now I'm pleased with the color too. Wish it had the moonroof and 6 disc in-dash changer though. Anyway, it's all you guys have said yours were, and I look forward to driving mine every time I get in it. It had 114 miles on it (brand new) when I drove it off the lot. Now, I'm up to about 700 "babied" miles.
A few things I want to do is to tint the windows (right away) and upgrade the speakers to the Kenwoods that many of you have gone with. I've checked out the on-line Mazda sites you have mentioned you purchased yours at, but I've also seen some on Ebay for less. Debating whether to go with the Mazda ones because of the factory wiring/connectivity or save on the Ebay ones. Also would like to know how easy the speakers are to get to for self-install. I visited tboggs' homepage (http://homepage.mac.com/tboggs/Menu7.html) where he shows pics of his installs, but I'm not too car audio savvy. Plus I don't want to risk causing any cosmetic damage. I will try though if you all advise that it's easy. Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
Also, what are anyones thoughts on going with an early oil change for the first one? Or, should I just wait for the 1st scheduled one?
Thanks for your time - if you took the time to read this. This is a great forum and has been a great help so far.
#311 of 335 Stop into the chat Ken!
by PFFlyer@Edmunds HOST
Jun 01, 2004 (10:02 am)
New faces are ALWAYS welcome...
It's Tuesday, so it's Mazda chat time again. Drag a friend along tonight!
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#312 of 335 Ken, be proud.
Jun 02, 2004 (5:01 am)
You may wind up being the final owner of a new Protege to post information here. I thought that by mid-2004 all the 2003s would be long-gone!
Welcome to our happy family. Some of the long-time regulars (Larry, Protegextwo; and Dinu; to name two) have just jumped ship for new cars (Larry traded his two 2000 ES's for two Pontiac Vibes and Dinu traded his Protege for a Mazda3), but they still hang around and offer advice. I still own my 2000 ES and my wife drives a 2002 Protege5. I plan to trade my Protege, which is still going very strong at 75,500 miles, for a Mazda3S 5-door next May, but we'll probably keep the Protege5 for a couple more years since it only has 30K on it. At any rate I plan to stick around here as new owners always show up -- used Proteges make pretty good deals!
Welcome, and enjoy! I'm 75,000 miles ahead of you, and zooming ever on!
#314 of 335 Congratulations on your new ES.
Jun 02, 2004 (5:19 am)
It should treat you well.
The front speakers in the door are fairly easy to get at. Just remember to take your time and don't force anything (except for the grip on the passenger door, after you've removed all the screws you need to pop some snaps). Wiring isn't hard. If you go with the Mazda-supplied ones, it's just unclip the old ones and clip the connectors to the new ones. Other than that, Crutchfield may supply adapters if you buy from them. If not, then you'll need to use a soldering iron.
On the driver door, make sure you disconnect (and reconnect) the power window and side-mirror control boards from their wires when you remove the trim panel.
The speakers in the rear deck can be a hassle to replace, but the results are worth the effort, I think. It took me more time to do those than the ones in the front doors. I didn't figure out how to remove the panel completely, but got it detached enough I could work underneath it to replace the speakers. You may break a few of the plastic fasteners here, but you can always buy replacements from your parts department.
I didn't post pictures, but I did describe in text how I replaced mine in the Protege Accessories and Modifications board (msgs 272 and 274). You can go to that board, do an "advanced search" for "speaker" and "replacement" in the message text and restrict the search to just that board. It'll list every message posted about the subject in that board.
#315 of 335 Re: Ken, be proud. [mdaffron #312]
Jun 03, 2004 (4:37 am)
I was affraid I might be one of the last and there'd be few left here to play with. Thanks for responding. Hopefully, I can contribute some around here as me and my car get further aquainted and broken in.
#316 of 335 Re: Congratulations on your new ES. [mazdafun #314]
Jun 03, 2004 (5:03 am)
Hi, thanks for the info. I read your other messages on the speaker install - very informative and concise.
A few questions - hope you don't mind...
Did you feel that the Kenwoods were a sufficient enough upgrade?
Was the sound/power/clarity noticeably improved?
I don't need to thump loud, but I would like to crank it once in a while without fear of blowing any speakers. Actually, I think the stock stereo sounds pretty good already. Guess I just like the idea of having better, more durable, speakers in there.
I've found the two on-line Mazda parts dealers that carry the speakers. Do you think having the connectors was worth it? I have seen the speakers that tboggs recieved on Ebay for around 80.00 for rear and 60.00 for the front. Curious as to whether or not they're the same. The model number is (at least for the rear).
What was the model number on the front speakers you put in. The back ones are eXcelon KFC-X698, right?
I think that'll do for now.
I suppose any further discussions on this will need to be posted in a different section. If it needs to go to the Accessories board let me know.
Jun 03, 2004 (7:42 am)
Actually, I put Pioneer speakers in my LX (TS-A68?? in the front and TS-A6999 in the rear). I still had the stock head unit at the time. They made a big difference in the highs and lows. The highs aren't as clear as with component tweeters mounted by the side mirrors, but they're much more vibrant. And bass can actually be felt, especially when I rest my arm on the door. With the stock head unit, I had to dial it up to 4 bars (out of 10) to get decent volume with the factory speakers. With the Pioneers, I was happy with 3 bars (I obviously don't blast the heck out of my eardrums). The new speakers also have rubber surrounds (instead of foam) and polymer cones (instead of paper), so they should last the life of the car (or as long as I will hold onto it). The stock speakers in my '89 323 lasted about 5 years before the foam surrounds and paper cones gave out. I replaced those with Pioneers too.
At the time, Crutchfield didn't have install directions and only a so-so connector adapter (designed for some Civic, if I recall correctly), as they didn't consider the aftermarket for Proteges to be big enough (they do now). I had to modify the connectors a little so they fit with the stock connectors, but I didn't have to cut any of the stock wire harnesses.
If you don't want to mess with cutting, crimping and soldering, you may want to go with the Mazda-custom Kenwoods or go with a reseller like Crutchfield who may (I haven't checked) offer their own adapters.
#318 of 335 Re: Speakers. [mazdafun #317]
Jun 04, 2004 (4:32 am)
#319 of 335 Protege vs. Elanta vs. Forenza
Jun 05, 2004 (4:13 am)
Wasn't sure where to post this question... Anyone have any comments about how the Hyundai Elantra and Suzuki Forenza compare to the Protege? Obviously the Forenza is new for 2004 so such a comparison may not be legit.