3rd Gen Protege/MazdaSpeed/P5/MP3 General/Maintenance Discussion for 1999-2003.5 Models Only (BJ Chassis)

Hey all. New guy here.

Old March-9th-2003, 09:04 PM
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Smile Hey all. New guy here.

I just registered and figured I'd let you know a bit about me. I'm 24, live in SW Ohio, and currently drive a 96 Plymouth Neon Sport Coupe. Now onto why I'm here.

I'm currently in the market for a new car and in all honesty, I could care less about the Protege......until today. You see, I was at the auto expo in Cincy (trying to get a glimpse of the SRT-4) when I stumbled upon Mazda's section. I was browsing the selection, Mazda 6: too expensive, MS Protege: didn't like the looks, and then I happened upon a blue Protege5. It was bright blue with black leather interior. Stickered at $18k. Beautiful. I must say the 5 must be one of the best looking cars on the road. It certainly looked better than most all of the cars on display at the show. So, here I am wanting to learn about your cars.

I have a couple questions for you all.

How do you like your 5?
How's the performance?
I've read a few posts about the interior rattling when brand new, is this true?
I'm going to guess that with only 130hp it's a little slow (no offense to anyone). What's a 5 run in the 1/4?
How much aftermarket support is there?

Thanks. And it's nice meeting you people.
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Old March-9th-2003, 11:08 PM
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I have had mine about a month. I LOVE IT!!
As most will tell you the weak 130 hp, lol, is not weak!! Yes we would all like them to have a 12v 527 hp engine, but don't listen to the reviews. I think that it has good giddy up and go. I drive a lot of highway and a fair amount of city and no problems here. The aftermarket scene is coming around and actully quite a bit can be found for these cars.
Test drive one and see.
Good luck with a choice!
P.S. The protege's tested better in the slalom than all but the porsche and it was like 0.2 mph slower. Take it to a twisty road and you will have fun!!

Last edited by JAL1639; March-9th-2003 at 11:12 PM.
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Old March-10th-2003, 12:10 AM
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What's up, Bankie! Welcome to the club. I'll try to answer your questions one by one:

1)--I love my P5. I was actually waiting for the Toyota Matrix to come out because I wanted something sporty but I needed a wagon. The first time I saw a P5, I forgot about the Matrix, and I haven't looked back.

2)-- Performance-wise, it's not the fastest car in the 1/4 mile, but add a couple of CORNERS to that 1/4 mile, and suddenly it becomes a fast car!

3)--I bought my P5 in Dec. 2001 and my car has never rattled at all(except when I turn up the Basslink).

4)--If you're looking for a fast 1/4 mile car, this isn't it.

5)--Every time I do a search on Ebay, or for that matter Google, for "protege5", there's something new! The P5 is finally getting the aftermarket recognition it deserves. JIC coilovers, K&N intakes, turbo kits, even stuff like Altezza tail lights, football-bleacher-sized wings and neon accents(if that's your trip).

All in all, I'd say BUY THE P5! YOU'LL LOVE IT!
(I know I did)
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Old March-10th-2003, 12:16 AM
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I have a sedan but they are almost the same.
I love mine. Got it about 6 months ago
The performance is normal for this kind of car. Of course everybody wants more HP but the car has plenty of go for daily driving.
My interior has been rattle free.
I haven't run the 1/4 but others have posted that they got in the high 16s stock.
The aftermarket isn't huge but it is there. Its nothing like Honda's though.

The protege that JAL1639 is talking about is the MazdaSpeed Protege. But the protege 5 and the sedans have very good handling stock. That is one of the main reasons I bought the car.
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Old March-10th-2003, 02:07 AM
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Hello Bankie and Welcome to our happy little corner of the net, and to our Club. There are TWO BIG fridge'S in the corner with anything you can think of in them...help yourself...of course only take what you can LEGALLY have.

make yourself at home on one of the big fluffy couches, kick your shoes off, put your feet up on one of the tables, yes we are allowed to do that, mom don't care....and take it easy.

oh...btw....every once in a while a food fight breaks out...so you may not want to wear nice clothes here.


1. as you can imagine we all love our cars...if we didn't we wouldn't be part of this club...

2. the performance....well if all you like to do is run in a straight line....we all drive some pretty slow cars....with the exception of those members that have gone turbo, or spray.....but as mentioned before....put a road with curves in front of us...and we become a wolf in sheeps clothing....I would go on to list a few cars that could only DREAM that they handle as well as our cars...but you probably wouldn't believe me....the list is long and impressive......

3. Rattles? I don't have any.......well the spoiler does just a TAD if I have my system really cranked up...but then you can only hear it vibrate from the outside of the car....and I am on the inside...so who cares...lol

4.....1/4 mile times in stock trim.....in the mid to upper 16's. as I said...if all you want to do is go in a straight line....well this isn't it.

5. our P5's have only been available in the states/canada for two years now...even though the car has been available overseas for quite a few more.....our aftermarket is growing well.....as for the performance side of it...anything that works for the Sedan works for the P5

Go down to your local dealer....wait till you have a decent day with dry roads...I know in your area you are bound to have a few roads with the twisties in them.....take out a p5 and throw it into the cruves....you will be amazed and delighted.
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Old March-10th-2003, 03:58 AM
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i'm gonna skip all ur questions and just say this:
the p5 is [email protected]!!!

more fun than any other car in it's class/price range. and how many ppl will do a quarter more than popping wicked turns? the 5 is just plain awesome...

yes, i like my 5.
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Old March-10th-2003, 09:21 AM
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I'm not a 1/4 freak but I do enjoy the occasional stop-light shuffle.
I also like a good handling car. The 1st Gen Neons owned auto-x for years. I'm just wanting a car with similar or better performance that looks really good. The P5 fits the "looks good" part well. I built one on Mazda's site and it came to a little over $19k. I'm definitely going to take one for a test drive. But probably won't worry about it until the SRT-4 is available in my area. Then I can do some comparison shopping.

Cars on my test drive list: Sentra SpecV, Protege5, SRT-4, WRX (a little pricey tho).

I really wish Mazda had a MS P5. If the could sell if for <$20k it would be the car I would get hands-down.

Thanks for the info.
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Old March-10th-2003, 09:43 AM
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well you being a current Mopar owner, i can almost ga-run-tee you you'll get sucked into a SRT-4 once you test drive it

the SRT-4 being the biggest bang for the buck on your car shopping list doesn't hurt either

yes the lowly Neon ownz autox, it's so good it's ranked in a higher stock class (GS) than the Protege/Protege5 (HS).

you Mopar guys are loyal!!!!

good luck in your search!
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Old March-10th-2003, 10:26 AM
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another downside to the wrx (besides $$$) is the turbo. sure it's fun, but it'll cost ya at the pump.

but i love driving my brother's wrx...
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Old March-10th-2003, 01:41 PM
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Arrow Reliability

One thing I always beat my drum about and feel is critically important in a car is reliability. Coming from a Dodge product, especially the Neon which unfortunately has never, ever presented respectible reliability overall, I expect you'd be pleasantly surprised by that offered from Mazda.

The Protege has always presented a consistent, admirable record of reliability from the first to this current third generation (which spans 13 consecutive years), and this is something I believe speaks well to any investment made in this car.

For my needs, speed is much less important to me than reliability, safety, and appearance, and although Protege is decidedly not as fast as the Neon, I don't believe the Neon matches the Protege in any other area, certainly not reliability. That measure isn't even close.

Best of luck in your vehicle search regardless of choice!
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Old March-10th-2003, 06:03 PM
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Thanks guys for all of the info. I really wanted an SRT-4 for the power, but, the P5 looks so sweet that I find myself thinking, "maybe I don't need something that fast". I'm going to try and take a P5 for a test drive this week. I've got 3 months until the SRT-4 arrives in my area. Maybe there'll be a MazdaSpeed P5 by that time (I can dream can't I?).

I don't want you guys to think that I'm just another Neon troll *cough* Buster *cough* so I'm going to bite my tongue about the reliability, ProtegeMaster.

I like you guys. You're honest, well-informed, and cool. Mind if I stick around? Neons.org is getting full of ricers, lamers, and all-around ******. Maybe I'll get a P5 so I can belong.
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Old March-10th-2003, 07:00 PM
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Stick around!

We definitely need more Protege tuners in the Cincinnati area! I couldn't make it down to the Convention Center last weekend for the auto expo, I was stuck at work : / You more on the west or east side? Also, do you know of any good shops in the Cincinnati/tristate area? By shops I mean performance, tuning, import, etc. etc. Stay around and get the Pro. Don't go domestic :P
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Old March-10th-2003, 07:51 PM
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When checking prices, keep in mind that the P5 can be had for AT LEAST $1500 under sticker whereas the SRT-4 is going to cost you AT LEAST a couple thousand over sticker.
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Old March-10th-2003, 08:13 PM
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I've got connections at my local Dodge dealer. I'm first on the list to know when they get the SRT and have been guaranteed an MSRP of $19,995. I also have connections at the Mazda dealer. But, I haven't talked to him about any Mazdas yet, so........

The P5 I spec'd on MazdaUSA came to like $19k. If I could get it for like $16k or so it'd be way easier to choose. Is Mazda running any promotions?
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Old March-10th-2003, 11:47 PM
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wow prices went up, my PR5 came to 21 020 CDN...very nice, love my car, its worth almost 30k now with my mods...must...stop...naaaaaa

BTW when you go for a test drive, make sure you go through some twisties, cuz its hella fun! May not be as quick as the SRT-4 going down the strip, but I bet it could beat it on a circuit if there are enough turns
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