Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: The power, and the look
Cons: the price, have to sacrifice a knee cap to own one.
Advice: be prepared for the sticker price to be rock bottom price no negotiation, maybe later on there will be some rebates or incentive programsI was really impressed with the 'giddy-up' on this little vehicle. The first dealership we dealt with was rude and they kept us there 2 hrs trying to tell us we had to come up with $6,500 down to take it home. Needless to say we left. The next dealership 'Knoxville Mazda' treated us great but after already having shopped 2 hrs previously for one we were thru playing games. The tribute has a great look and feel, very sporty, and economical enough to still be the 'family car.' I recommend a test drive at least I think the 0-60 in 8 seconds is a little off though I think I made it in 6 flat ha ha!!!
Pros: Great acceleration and excellent handling, especially in snow
Cons: Leather seats are a little stiff
Advice: Go with the ES V6-4WD. There is a lot of value for not much more $ in the top of the line model.I've had the ES-4WD for about 3 months now after about a 4 month wait. It was worth the wait. The V6 Tribute has great acceleration with car-like handling. Handling in the snow is exceptional. During a recent snowstorm several cars and SUVs were spun-off on the side of the road. The 4WD Tribute had no problem working through the otherwise slippery stuff. The ABS kicked in a few times to help slow the vehicle down effectively. The ES is very luxurious with a lot of nice features in the luxury package. The leather seats are a little stiff though. They shortened the gear shift on the 2002 models so it is less of a problem. The seat/cargo configuration is convenient and flexible. In summary, great vehicle...great value...great choice. No buyer's remorse here.
Cons: LITTLE NOISE FROM THE HARD TIRES
Advice: ITS WELL WORTH THE $TRY IT YOU WILL LIKE IT.GREAT DRIVER EVEN IN 50MPH WINDS.THE BEST
Pros: luxury items, price
Advice: Get one while the deals or hot!The base engine is a little light - but that is the only issue - which I knew when I bought the car. However, what a deal for this car - all the features for a very low price (under 23k). This is a near luxury car at econo box price! What more needs to be said!
Pros: Corners like a champ
Cons: C'mon Mazda...how about a decent stereo? Sound stinks.
Advice: Upgrade the stereoThis is a fun car to drive, no doubt about it. I gave my 99 VW Jetta to my son for college and needed something at least as much fun to drive, but less expensive than 2002 Jettas. That led me to consider Protege5, Civic, Sentra and Elantra GT. The Elantra GT was just as much fun to drive, but...well, it's a Hyundai, no matter how far they supposedly have come since 'the bad days.' The Sentra (I've owned 2, the most recent 10 years ago) continues to disappoint. Nissan doesn't get it anymore...you shouldn't have to spend $19,000 to get a subcompact with a moonroof and ABS. The Honda...well, I think Honda hasn't had decent styling since the '80s. The Protege 5 isn't as good overall as the VW Jetta...but it's darn close, and better in some ways. First, the negative: The stereo truly stinks. I'm already checking out crutchfield.com and Good Guys catalog. There are only 4 speakers (most cars now have 6-7 even in this size). There also is quite a bit of wind noise from the open moonroof, particularly because of the roof rack bar immediately above it, I presume. But I got the 5-speed standard tranmission and that's definitely the way to go. This car corners better than anything I've ever driven and has plenty of pep in the standard tran. The interior is nicely done and the seats are the most comfortable I've seen in a subcompact. The styling both inside and out far surpasses Honda's offerings in the Civic or Accord. This car is a winner...but I still have a fond spot for my Jetta. At least it's in good hands (I hope) and my son is thrilled. It's a great car, too.
Pros: engine, ride, material quality inside and out
Cons: deprecitation, back seat room for tall guys
Advice: relatively unknown which leaves room for barginingclassic styling, great quality leather, great engine but mileage is so so, the base model's engine leaves it feeling like it is towing a boat(but it is smooth}, tight back seats, excellent interior material quality and perfect paint, awesome fit and finish, smooth and well controled ride but does have a tendancy to dive and squat slightly during accel/braking, all around I am very impressed with Mazda's 'unknown' luxury car.
Cons: no rear cupholders
Advice: get the 5 speed manual transmissionAfter trading in my 2000 Honda Civic Si coupe for a 2002 Mazda Protege5, I can honestly say that I am glad about this decision. Build quality is top notch and the 2.0 liter engine zings when stepped on hard. The 5 speed manual is a must. Do not even consider the automatic. The best feature of this new model is its looks. People everywhere will gaze at it and start up conversations. The interior is as cool as the exterior. Silver accents along with carbon fiber adorn the dash and the shifter is topped with a cool ball knob. All controls are logically placed and you do not need to look when activating them. I have only two gripes about the Protege5: no rear cupholders and the location of the driver's power lock button. The lock button is really uncomfortable to reach and activate. Other than these two gripes I can say that there is no other car on the market that offers so much for so little. Here are advantages that it has over the competition: 3 year/50,000 instead of 3 year/36,000 mile warranty. Another is roadside assistance at no extra charge. You have to pay for that with Honda. Also, getting 3.9% APR for 48 months financing was not bad either. You can look cool and still carry four other friends along with luggage. If anyone has questions that you would like to discuss in particular please do not hesitate to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be more than happy to discuss my favorite topic: my Protege5.