RNOcommctr From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 834 posts, RR: 3 Posted (12 years 7 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5433 times:
To the car nuts on this board:
I am about to buy a small, RELIABLE sedan for my wife. It's basically for a short commute to work and around-town errands. There's no doubt that the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla are great cars, but I am leaning toward a Mazda Protege. The technology of the Protege might not be up to Civic and Corolla standards, but the price is a couple of thousand dollars less.
What about the Toyota Echo?
Any owners of any of the these cars, or anyone with personal knowledge of these cars, please give me your opinions.
DesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7906 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (12 years 7 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5424 times:
All three are fine, reliable, well equipped, if not exciting pieces of transportation.
However with the new Mazda3 coming out in December you might want to wait and check that car out. Or you might be able to get a leftover 03 for a song.
The Toyota will be the most refined with the lowest NVH levels of the three. The Civic in all trim levels and engine/tranny combos will get you the best fuel economy. The only downside to the Protege is that it is the oldest of the three cars out there, but it being replaced by a brand new car on a new platform.
Now I've driven the Protege5, the cool looking station wagon, and it is a really tight ride that handles well. An LX trim model probably isn't as stiff riding or tight, but still pretty good.
As for the Echo, I wouldn't bother. To get into a well equipped model you'd be spending upwards of $14k and change. Better off getting into a Corrolla CE to have a substantially bigger car.
So my suggestion. Drive all 3, see which dealer gives you the best deal.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
BOEING747-700 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (12 years 7 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5387 times:
Corolla by far.........!!!!!!!!!! I think the TOYOTA Corolla is the nicest looking one too. The 1.8 VVTI engine is very nice and ample for that car. I think Toyota's are among the best built cars in the world. Everyone I have talked to that drives a TOYOTA says they will never switch to something else.
VonRichtofen From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 4657 posts, RR: 25
Reply 6, posted (12 years 7 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5386 times:
Civic by far?
Protege has no power? None of these cars have power! In fact the Protege ES or P5 has more horse power than the Vtech Civic.
Corolla would probably be the most reliable, but they're boring as hell. I rented one about a month ago while in YYZ. Nice car, nice ride, fairly roomy and nice little compartments everywhere. But, boring car and probably the most expensive of the three as well.
I like the styling of both the Civic and the Protege. Don't worry about power because they're both cars with 130hp or less (highest power civic 127hp, protege 130hp) so like it matters.
I think the Civic gets better MPG than the Protege, but the civic will probably cost a bit more too.
And because this car is for a female and females consider knick knacks and the cars appearance more important than the actual functuality of the car, the civic has really cool dash lights
BH346 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3265 posts, RR: 13
Reply 7, posted (12 years 7 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 5382 times:
We've looked at the three some time or another. The Civic and Corolla are nice but you can't get many options for $13k. The best I can think of new is a Civic DX Value Package for $13,600 or something like that. Might have to look at a used one if you are on a budget. You can probably get a well-equipped Protege for the price but they refinement is not up to Toyota or Honda standards. Overall, all three would make a good car. Do your research and be willing to deal. Good luck, hope you find something you enjoy.
Northwest Airlines - Some People Just Know How to Fly
Captaingomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (12 years 7 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5370 times:
If it were the previous generation of these cars, I would say the Civic, because it was the most interesting of the trio. But the Civic has become more boring in its present iteration. It has ditched the double wishbone front suspension in favour of more common MacPherson struts. Nothing wrong with that, many high end cars have MacPherson struts, but what it means is that at least one way in which the Civic differentiated itself is no longer the case. From what I understand, it has lost some sharpness in the steering and handling.
However, will you, or your wife really notice that? It takes a real enthusiast to really care about something so apparantly meaningless as the type of front suspension.
If I were to buy one of these brand new, I would go for the Corolla. Yes, it is boring, but probably the best. Like has been said, the Protege is being replaced shortly with a new platform to be shared with the next Focus and Volvo S40. I have high hopes for that car, because platform sharing of this nature yields economies of scale and allows engineering previously only available to more expensive cars to trickle down to less expensive cars. So expect the next Protege to offer the sportiness and flair of current Mazdas, a lot of the safety features of Volvos, and the advanced suspension setup of the Focus. It will be a winner. Hopefully it will help boost the new 6's slow sales, as that car deserves better than how it's performing in the market.
Regarding the Echo, it will be a way to get the new car for less money, but if you decide you want it well equiped, it will border on the prices of the other three, for a car that is less substantial and more tinny feeling. Not my cup of tea to be honest.
Now, I must throw this in. Personally, I would buy a VW Golf for myself, basic GL model with AC and 5 speed would serve me well.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
RNOcommctr From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 834 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (12 years 7 months 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5350 times:
Thanks to all of you who have posted so far for your thoughtful, informative responses. I have also been checking out the Chevy Prizm, which I believe is identical to the Corolla. I realize it wasn't made after the 2002 model year, but for being basically a Corolla, it appears used prices are about $1,000 less than the Corolla.
I was disappointed to learn that ABS is not available in the Civics, even as an option, until you get to the highest trim level.
Meister808 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 974 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (12 years 7 months 1 day ago) and read 5309 times:
Well, if you want a good little car that is pretty unbreakable, go with the Toyota. If you want a car that is really well made/put together, go with the Honda, and if you want a good car with gadgets, go with the Mazda.
My friend just got a Protoge, and it is a pretty nice little car. I personally drive a Corolla about half the time, though, and can't say enough goo things about it.
Twin Cessna 812 Victor, Minneapolis Center, we observe your operation in the immediate vicinity of extreme precipitation
Homer71 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2269 posts, RR: 13
Reply 19, posted (12 years 7 months 21 hours ago) and read 5296 times:
I bought my Protege ES last year with every option imaginable installed and it has been great! Just looking at it from the front and side, I just think it looks cooler than the Civic and Corolla. But, from the looks of the new Mazda3, I might be tempted to trade it in...
I have also owned a 1996 Protege ES and had absolutely no problem with it (which is why I went with a new Protege after totalling my old one).
"On spaceship earth there are no passengers...only crew."
MD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8530 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (12 years 7 months 16 hours ago) and read 5267 times:
Pilothighflyer, only GM was ever dumb enough to offer a V4 engine. The Accord has an inline 4.
Protege's are nice. I'd go for the wagon, myself. And of course, have to have a 5-speed. Consumer Reports did a new test a while back on headlight strength, and the Protege5 turned in the best low beam numbers of the lot (which included cars like HID equipped Mercedes), 600 feet. I thought that was interesting. Decent pull from the 2.0 engine, too.
Hawaiian717 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3241 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (12 years 7 months 13 hours ago) and read 5240 times:
I drive a 2002 Protege LS and love it. I had previously test driven in the 2000 model year the Protege, Corolla, Sentra, and Civic. Protege was my preference then. I found the heavier feel of the steering wheel to be more Mercedes-like than the others. I have also driven all three as rental cars, the newer Civic is improved a bit, and the Corolla and Sentra are both good, and all are better than a Neon. But I still prefer my Protege.
Fuel economy is good. The 2.0L engine gives plenty of power. I've had five adults in it. Consumer Reports reliability is better than the Corolla's.
I just wish it was silver with the grey interior, rather than white with the brown interior, but this was the only one on the lot with ABS and side airbags, so I went with the safety features over color. I was also interested in the Protege5, but at the time 0% financing was only available on the sedan, and it cost a bit more.
People have their own preferences, though. Since the car is for your wife, let her test drive them and get whichever she likes.
MD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8530 posts, RR: 11
Reply 24, posted (12 years 7 months 13 hours ago) and read 5235 times:
Corollas are horribly, horribly bland, though. And I'm not crazy about the new Civics, although if you have kids or plan to it might be good, since it probably has a roomier backseat than the Protege. But I'd go for the zoom zoom, even if it was my wife's car. Of course, she really ought to have the prime say in this, of course.
25 T prop
: "Pilothighflyer, only GM was ever dumb enough to offer a V4 engine." Exactly what model and what year of GM? Sorry, off topic but this is BS. The only
: Dude, I was in 2 major wrecks in my 1998 Protege, the last one did her in. What I am saying is that I came out un injured in both other than an airbag
: Wasn't the Quad 4 a V-4 engine? I was under the impression that it was. Maybe not.
: I believe the Quad 4 was an inline-4, but it was not knows as a very smooth engine, not sure why.
: The Quad-4 was a DOHC 16 valve inline 4. Smooth little 4 banger that got decent torque, was well built and reliable. And expensive as hell to replace
: Go with the Protoge. Ive got a 2000 Protoge ES, and the car has never failed me. For less than the price of (at that time) Honda Civic EX 2 door, I wa
: I would also go for the Toyota Corolla. Its a very reliable car and its built just a few km away from me! In Cambridge, Ontario. As for the civic, Its
: The W8 engine offered in the VW Passat is a combination of 2 V-4's.
: UPDATE: My wife and I went to two dealerships today and drove a 2001 Chevy Prizm, a 2003 Protege with 7,000 miles, a 2002 Protege with 28,000 miles, a