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Mazda Protege, Sedan
#64 of 110 I thought we were comparing RELIABILITY here.
Dec 12, 2002 (4:27 am)
What's the big deal with sales numbers in Canada vs. the U.S.? Or sales numbers at all for that matter? What the heck does that have to do with the title of this discussion? You guys wanna get back on track and stop this incessant, never-ending and never-gonna-end Honda vs. Toyota vs. Mazda war? It ain't never gonna have a winner ...
I've owned three Proteges (actually four, if you count my wife's 2002 Protege5). Here's my history from a reliability point of view:
December 1991: Purchased new 1992 LX.
August 1992: Hydroplaned and totaled car. (Bridgestone Potenza RE92s were bald at 28,000 miles -- treadwear rating was only 160 and I hadn't bothered to check them; I was a college student, and I encountered a heavy summer downpour. I hit the rear of a stopped Volvo 245DL going 45 mph. Safety perspective: Even though the car only had those motorized "passive restraint" belts, I walked out of it.)
September 1992: Took insurance check and purchased another new 1992 LX.
December 1994: Traded car for pickup truck after driving it 83,000 miles in only 27 months! (And to deliver pizzas at that!) Never had one problem with the car.
May 2000: After horrible experience after horrible experience with the Ford-built, re-badged Ranger Mazda pickup, traded pickup for 2000 Protege ES.
Today: After 31 months and 47,600 miles, the only problems I have had were both caused by me: Early on I tried to cram a box that was too large into the trunk opening; it was too tall and I broke the little plastic clip that holds the upper trunk springs together. (Cost of said clip: $2.00.) I also inserted a CD with a homemade label into the CD player (BIG no-no, it even says so in the manual) and jammed the player. But even though I caused both of those things, both were covered under the 3 year, 50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty (which, I might add, beat Honda's and Toyota's, but now Mazda's upped the warranty another step to 4 years/50,000 miles). Otherwise I've had no problems with the car.
We bought my wife's Protege5 last January. She has just over 12,000 miles on it and the only time it's seen the shop was for two oil changes and tire rotation.
In short, in almost a decade of driving four separate Proteges, I've never encountered a problem that I didn't cause. And one saved my life. (I just steer away from Bridgestone tires!)
#65 of 110 Really depends on what you want
Dec 12, 2002 (9:50 am)
1) Protege ES
2) Civic LX
3) Elantra GLS
Yes, I bought the Protege ES and I have 20k on it now. It was back to the dealer 1 time for a warranty repair (power window drivers side). It was a 10 minute repair for them. Thats it. It was also the cheaper than the Toyota and Honda a large margin AND Mazda was giving out low finance rates. If one does not like a firm ride and objects to a noisy engine then you could easily put the Corolla first. OR you are concerned about such things like resale or fuel economy then you could put the Honda or Toyota first. Build quality was the best (in my opnion) on the Protege. It was the worst on the Civic (I looked at 4). If you just want low cost high options then the Hundai is be best bet. Its also pretty nice. My main reasons for selecting the Protege were:
1) The ride. Firm and well controlled or harsh to my mom. I really did not like the ride in the Corolla.
2) Loud but nice engine. Pulls nicely from 3-5k rpm. I dont mind some noise but if you want refined the Civic has the best engine. The Corolla is also nice but more noisy.
3) Looks the best of the bunch to my eye.
4) Cost, finance rates, and nice dealer.
#66 of 110 Ford association misleading
Dec 12, 2002 (11:04 am)
I think the Mazda/Ford association is misleading. While some of the Mazda/Ford products use the same parts/engines, the Protege is not one of them. The Protege is 100% built in Japan to the same standards as Nissan, Toyota, and Honda. Most consumer reports or consumer protection agencies have all these cars more or less rated equally in terms or reliability with Honda and Toyota sometimes having a marginal (very small) advantage.
The clear advantage of buying a Honda or a Toyota is that they traditionally retain their resale value better. If you don't plan on keeping the car for more than 3 or 4 years, it might be better to get a Honda or Toyota from the resale value veiw. If you keep your cars for a longer time, then a Protege will last just as long and will be cheaper to buy and with more standard features.
Dec 12, 2002 (11:21 am)
for the last year, or two, has dropped to a rating of "B" in the Consumer Reports Surveys. Still good, but a step below the Pro and Toy.
#68 of 110 another consideration
Dec 12, 2002 (11:37 am)
Is the insurance on the Protege. For some reason, the pro costs more to insure than my 2k v6 accord. Full coverage 100k/300k 250 ded. pro-329, accord 298 per 6 mos. May have something to do with the category of driver normally buying them or they may be more susceptible to higher repair costs. I don't know. But just one more surprise after the purchase.
#69 of 110 Too much zoom-zoom...
Dec 12, 2002 (11:48 am)
equals crunch/call to insurance agent. Pro owners, from what I've seen, are young (at heart- in my case). I like to experiment with g forces, in the curves.
#70 of 110 Insurance
Dec 12, 2002 (11:50 am)
The Protege is labeled a "premium" economy sedan by the insurance companies, which puts it into the same category as such vehicles as the Jetta and Volvo V40. The category as a whole has a higher repair cost compared to the regular economy sedans. The Protege obviously would cost less to repair than either the VW or the Volvo, but they are there to drag it down (or up depending on your point of view). Why they did this is beyond me.
#71 of 110 Why are there not more Pro's on the road?
Dec 12, 2002 (1:38 pm)
One reason: too many buyers do insufficient research. For research: see Honorable Mention, under Most Wanted Sedans under $15K, in the edmunds "Editors Most Wanted Vehicles for 2003". (Some drivers like a tight/flat handling suspension.) Oh yes, and thousands of owners say they're reliable too.
#72 of 110 Why are there not more Pro's on the road?
Dec 12, 2002 (3:47 pm)
Very simple--Mazda has an almost non-existant marketing program outside of dealer incentives and financing. How many times have you seen a Mazda Protege commercial on TV?
Honda, Toyota and Nissan have a huge marketing arm as well as incentives. VW, Hyundai and Kia also market their protects a lot better than Mazda. The new Mazda 6 is Mazda's main marketing project at this time. The car is being advertised in Car & Driver and other automobile publications.
To answer your question, the buying public knows little about the Mazda Protege. Consumer Reports two years ago did more for the Mazda Protege than Mazda's marketing department when they named it the #1 vehicle in its class. Unfortunately, this is not the case now.
Dec 12, 2002 (3:51 pm)
As we know, the herd mentality might be one reason for it. Hey, I'll admit it, I was part of it too, but took a chance on this car (after extensive reasearch) and I'm a convinced Mazda freak now.