• I, like a lot of econo-car enthusiasts, always found the Protege interesting. After reading Gianni's review of actually owning one, I'm less enthused. Still, this MazdaSpeed version is still cool, especially if you consider its' significance in terms of documenting a time and place. I'd love to compare the feel of the Garrett OEM turbo with my NA JRSC. I'd also love to hear El Jefe's take on the GT25R but I've been ignored so many times on the subject (Garrett turbos) that I'll just go stare off into the distance with a single tear running down my cheek.


    • I didn't hate my Protege, but we never connected. Mine was a Protege5, so I had a less powerful engine, which isn't a problem, but it didn't really like to rev. It really didn't like to go past 4,500. But, I was coming from a Alfa 164, so maybe my expectation was a bit off. That Busso V-6 was willing to go to the rev limiter and made a great sound doing it. That and all the mags raved about the steering in the Protege5, but I thought it was overboosted and lacked feel. This one might feel different, I think they also upgraded the suspension with Racing Beat parts.

      This car might be owned by a stoner – look at the first two pictures… That's ok, though, it's legal here…

    • Heh. Indoor Garden and…Lighting…

      The reasons you listed would be reason enough for me to think twice about buying one. Like you, I'm a previous 164 owner, though I'm sure I wouldn't accidentally compare the two. But I can understand why that was an issue for you.

    • I'm sure its just for growing tomatoes indoors. We get so little light in the winter here in the PNW, yeah, that's it.

      It was hard not to compare the two, since I owned the 164 for 10 years. Probably wasn't being fair to the little Mazda…

    • So, what do you think would have been a better comparison to the P5 (forgetting about the wagonette aspect and the fact that the steering feel surely can't compare)? An Alfetta? Guilia sedan?

    • I would think maybe a Sud or its decedents since they are FWD and the 115/116 Alfas are RWD. I've never driven any other FWD Alfa besides the 164.

    • @K2_Mystery Car

      I had a GT2560 on my 1997 Miata as part of the Flyin' Miata FMII kit. It was superb, perfect for the 1.8, and would be even better on a 2.0. I had full boost by about 3400rpm, and my engine made 247whp/222tq on 12psi, running a Hydra and a 2.5" exhaust. It was a genuine sleeper–0-60 in less than 5 seconds, yet appeared and drove totally stock with no boy-racer-wannabe crap. Of course, this was with a full tune by Ken Hill, and all of the requisite upgraded parts…but the engine was untouched and totally stock. Very reliable. So I would totally recommend that turbo as an upgrade…but you would need to go to 600# injectors, a better fuel pump, and stand-alone ECU with a correct tune…otherwise it is a ticking time bomb

  • These are fantastic, especially with the limited-slip diff. If you want the same tweaked suspension, body kit and wheels, and a mildly tuned engine without a turbo, Mazda also made the Protege MP3.

  • Cool find! Notably, these Callaway-engineered turbo kits were installed at the ports, not at the factory.

  • How can you state a Mazdaspeed3 is somehow less "useful" then a Mazdaspeed6? You have that backwards… the Mazda3 hatch body has 4 times the cargo volume of the Mazda6…. heck it can swallow multiple mountain bikes, a chit load of Costco crap and has nearly the same interior volume as many small SUV's. I am guessing you meant to say that the vastly inferior and fragile Mazdaspeed6 is only more useful by way of having AWD. Other then that, fuel economy, daily useability and even looks goes to the 3.

    • I can't agree with you on the looks of the 3. I think the 6 has always looked better. The first years were ok, but the reboot was absolutely hideous.

  • On my dog walk there is 03 Protege 4 sale 123k silver nice shape non turbo asking $4500.00 i was thinking to damn much a friend had picked one up with a bad fender and needing minor frame work he paid $350.00 not sure how much he has in repairs and the pick apart fender less then 1K is my guess they do drive pretty good had a loaner when my Mazda B-3000 was in for warranty work now that was a POS.

  • Running your vehicle's air conditioning is no worse for your gas mileage than driving with your windows down. As your vehicle speeds up, air flow creates a drag against the vehicle, making the engine work harder and hurting gas mileage. In fact, air conditioning can be a more efficient option at higher speeds.

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