Last post on Jul 13, 2011 at 1:12 PM
You are in the Mazda Protege
What is this discussion about?
Mazda Protege5, Wagon
#7036 of 7874 I'm Back!
Mar 01, 2004 (8:23 pm)
Well, after 1.5 years with a 2002 P5 I traded it on a 2003 4Runner last May. I guess I always wanted to "try" owning an SUV even though I had always lambasted them for sucking fuel, taking up space, etc. Well, after 10 months of owning the 4Runner I'm back to another P5! I am VERY excited. Just picked it up tonight. The Runner was/is a great SUV, but I never used it for anything but commuting. I just got sick of the payment and filling up a 25 gallon tank every week. The suv thing is outta my system now. I was happy to find that the Mazda dealer I had purchased my first P5 from had ONE LEFT... Exactly like I wanted it! It musta been fate My 02 P5 was a base base 5speed (ie: no options). This one has everything but the ABS (Sport Auto... which I LOVE by the way!, Sunroof/6disc (which I greatly missed on the first one), Leather, and the Compass/Auto Dim mirror). The leather is awesome and the mirror is way cool. I test drove a 3, but with the 5000$ discount on the 5 I just couldn't reconcile getting a base 3 for 4 grand more with less options. Plus, I love the low slung look and feel of the 5. Oh, It's white btw (same as the first one). I have gotten 2 friends into Proteges (one an ES and one a P5) since I had mine and whenever I rode in theirs I always felt a tug inside that made me miss mine. Well, i have him back now
I was a lil upside down on the Runner, but getting the 5k off sticker washed all that away... plus I didn't have to pay any sales tax and the plates were 1/2 the price of what the Runner plates were going to be to renew next month. Got a great rate of 3.84% at my credit union.
I'm a very happy camper & am glad to own the last P5's. They are great cars and will be rare (as they were only made for 2 years).
Glad to be back!
#7037 of 7874 Again congrats to the P5 new owners
Mar 01, 2004 (11:37 pm)
My 02P5 has good to great outward visibility I think, and so does wife. When we were car shopping in 02 test drove the Toyota Celica with the wing as wife thought the style was good looking. However, she refused to test drive it at all when she sat inside and started to back it up, she could not get any kind of rear visibility. So there's a case for human factors engineering and the ability to see all around for defensive driving purposes. Sometimes the side/ rear mirrors do not tell you what you need to know.
Again the P5 is an excellent car formula.
Mar 03, 2004 (7:58 am)
Does anyone know why the protege5 is off the market. I had a 323 wagon for 9 years & loved it.
I was researching the 5 until I heard the 3 is taking its place
Mar 03, 2004 (8:18 am)
Because they brought out the 3. The P5 was actually on the market elsewhere for many years, and Mazda only brought it to America for the 2002 year.
The 3 is a new model replacing the Protege. So it just happens the P5 run in the US was short lived.
#7040 of 7874 2004 protege5
Mar 04, 2004 (6:47 am)
divewreck, there are still a few of the P5s out there, most of which were going at great discounts ($5000 +/-). I think the last round of incentives expired around 3/1/4 and I don't know if Mazda is going have anymore. As your research probably indicated, the P5 is a great car!! Hopefully, you can still get a great deal if have interest in one.
#7041 of 7874 P5 New Ownership Update
Mar 04, 2004 (8:37 am)
I've had my new 2003 P5 for about almost one week now. I have to say this is the first vehicle I've ever purchased where I have no regrets at all. It really is that good, especially considering the bargain basement price right now. BTW, MazdaUSA still shows the P5 as having the $2,500 rebate. But get one now, because they are really going fast as I found out while searching (all over the country).
In less than a week, I have put over 500 miles on the odometer. Normal driving for me would be about a third of that, but I can't keep myself from just looking for an excuse to drive. I work near an area that has really twisty, hilly, two-lane backroads and find myself taking joyrides during lunch hour, just to have fun.....that's something I've never done before.
I've heard in some P5 threads that gas mileage is not that good for such a small car. However, I'm quite pleased with it. Now I've been doing some spirited driving, probably a mix of 30% city, 20% back road twisties, 50% highway. No redlining for me, but I do get the revs up and vary things a lot. I have the 5-speed, and my first tank averaged 29 mpg. My second tank is currently at 1/2 full with 250+ miles on the O.D., so it looks like that will be pretty good as well.
Favorite things about the car:
1. The way it grips the road and handles curves with what seems like very little effort.
2. Seats are very supportive and "push" you into having good posture while driving (the bottom cushion is a bit on the firm side though).
3. The 5sp/clutch combo is a blast to drive and gives the car very respectable performance (not talking "tire screaching" though!)
4. Great gas mileage.
5. Killer looks (red) - get's noticed a lot. It also has good visibility outward.
6. Relative exclusivity. I rarely see others around here.
7. Seems like a more expensive car that it is. I'm amazed at the build quality.
8. Auto-dim/compass mirror is great, as is having a sunroof (I like open air driving over A/C).
Least favorite things about the car
1. Console/armrest is too low/too far back.
2. Audio system has a kind of "muffled" sound - it's not very crisp. Not sure if it's because of the unit itself or if it's the speakers. Any comments on this one anyone?
3. I'm still trying to get used to Mazda's HVAC controls. Things like running the A/C compressor in the "heat" setting seems strange to me.
4. Not a lot of sizeable storage areas/pockets (my last car had quite a few of these so I was probably just spoiled by that).
5. I don't consider this next point a negative for me, but might be for others: You do feel bumps in the road and will hear some tire roar on the highway, but really it's not that much and doesn't bother me at all. It fits the car's personality. But if your coming from a Lexus you'll certainly notice it!
Bottom Line: Great Car - good performance all around, classic looks, economical, great build quality & price. Buy one if you haven't already!
Mar 05, 2004 (8:36 pm)
RE: Least favorite things
I agree with #1. There isn't much storage in it either.
#2 do a search on speaker topics in this discussion group. Mazda offers an upgrade on the front speakers, and many months ago, someone wrote step by step instructions if you want to replace them yourself.
#5 If the road is rough, so is your ride.
I was tempted to look into the auto-dim mirror, as mine did not come with it, but the part alone is $200, plus install. Do you feel it blocks your vision at all?
Mar 06, 2004 (2:26 am)
In response to your 1 week report, here is my 2 year/50K update:
1. My last car (93 Civic) didn't even have a console, so it is fine with me.
2. I bought a new head unit for around $150, and the sound improved greatly. Plus I now have MP3 and a storage place for my cell phone (for recharging, not talking!) Speaker are on my shopping list, but the sound improved so much that I am not in a big hurry. This was a half hour upgrade.
3. Nothing to do with heat, but for around $75 you can get the wiper stalk from the minivan and have variable intermittent wipers. If it rains much where you are, this is worth every penny.
4. No comment!
5. With the rough ride and bad rodes here (in Memphis) some interior trim shook loose quickly, and I had several pretty bad rattles. I was able to find and fix most of them. Also, although it had more rattles at 20K miles than I would expect, it now has 50K miles and they haven't increased, so they don't seem that bad. Besides, my wife's new $30K Passat has more rattles! But that is another story.
My first set of tires seemed to ride smoother the more wear they got, which seemed strange because I would think the opposite would be true. It also seems to be much better with a passenger or load, which is why people ususally say the ride doesn't seem too bad.
My gas mileage has been right around 29, with the low being 26 and the high 33. I tend to be a lead foot, so this isn't too bad. In my case, though, I get better mileage in the city than on the highway, where it seems to need a 6th gear.
I too have a red one, and it is almost shocking how great it looks when it is clean. The paint has held up nicely and still looks great, and I only wax it twice a year.
Overall, I thought mine was a bargain two years ago for $16K. Now for $13K they are a steal. Get them while you can!
Mar 11, 2004 (10:25 pm)
Well, a while back I was wondering about available turbo kits for the protege5, and came across flyingmiata's (flyingprotege) website..
It seems that kit was made by Bell Engineering, an outfit not far from my house. I am new to this whole 'car enthusiast' thing, so just wanted to ask questions regarding the kit and such.
Mr. Corky Bell gave me the tour. Seems to be a genuine nice guy. They had no mazda's in the building, but were spec'ing out a Honda S2000. They also had a MEAN shelby cobra, (yellow)Small little turbocharged V8 they've been playing with. Said it was spinning tires in 4th gear, 6-700hp? I never think of 'musclecars' having turbos....ie carburetor + turbos...not fuel injection etc etc
Anyhow, I learned that I'd rather buy an aftermarket exhaust than a cold air intake (as the intake would be replaced should I ever actually get a turbo...pipe dreams so far).
I also bought his book "maximum boost"...definitly learning alot. (he signed the book for free!! )
I recommend it highly. It's thorough, and doesn't just talk over your head. (he also wrote one on superchargers)
He said he owns a protege himself, (hasn't taken the time to boost it yet.) and was surprised the deal I got on my Pro5.
Of course a turbo voids factory drivetrain warrantee, but his book offered an alternate view to my 'wait til it runs out, then add a turbo if i can afford it' mentality, namely:
Many drivetrain warranties exclude 'turbo induced' failures. (even cars that come with them). In essence, if it breaks, I'll have to pay for it. Same with aftermarket turbos.
"which means that waiting out the factory warranty before installing a turbo accomplishes nothing except insuring that the mechanism is one-third used up pre-turbo"
also figuring that modern cars rarely have drivetrain problems within there warrantee periods and those that occur are usually minor.
Ultimately, he suggests checking with your local dealer/tech and asking them the kinds of drivetrain/warrantee issues they see regarding the vehicle your driving.
Good thing our mazda's seem pretty reliable.
Anyone on this board happen to have a Flying-miata turbo kit installed?
Finally, just as a rough guide, he said to try this: Get in 3rd gear, around 4000rpms and get used to driving there for a bit. Then, mash down the gas. That's an approximation of the 'pull' you'd feel in 5th gear turbo'd.
Sorry for the long post, just recounting the experience.
"to have an experience, and not to transmit it, is to betray it"
PS. Going to Ireland on Monday for a week of traveling....spent half a turbo on it. ::grumble better be fun:: hope my rental is a VWgolf to try it out.
#7045 of 7874 After market Sunroof
Mar 13, 2004 (8:54 am)
I located a 03 P5 with all options sans the roof(which is a blessing since it comes with the stock CD player I can upgrade with after market).
Has anyone added an after market roof for P5?
The stock one is tiny anyways.