RNOcommctr
Topic Author
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Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Thu Oct 30, 2003 9:45 am

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.

Thanks for the help.
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desertjets
Posts: 7575
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Thu Oct 30, 2003 9:53 am

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
 
ScarletHarlot
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Thu Oct 30, 2003 10:45 am

What about a Civic hybrid, or Prius?
But that was when I ruled the world
 
RNOcommctr
Topic Author
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:03 am

Thanks, Scarlet-- forgot to mention I'm trying to stay in the range of $10-13K (obviously may not be able to go with a brand new car-- thinking more of a one-year old car). But thanks for the thought.
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Usairwys757
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:13 am

Civic....By Far!

Protege has no power, and corolla is just ugly.
Inactive.....
 
BOEING747-700
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:26 am

Corolla by far.........!!!!!!!!!!  Big grin 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
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:26 am

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  Big grin
 
BH346
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:34 am

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
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Thu Oct 30, 2003 12:48 pm

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.  Smile
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
UAL747
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Thu Oct 30, 2003 12:49 pm

Why not buy a used car and get a little better engine, quality, and perhaps more bang for your buck? There are plenty of 1 or 2 year old cars out there with low miles and some still under warranty.

UAL747
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
LOT767-300ER
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Thu Oct 30, 2003 2:25 pm

"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. "

Bah...not this again
 
RNOcommctr
Topic Author
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Thu Oct 30, 2003 2:36 pm

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.

Thanks again to all.
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VonRichtofen
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Thu Oct 30, 2003 3:08 pm

Is the Chevy Prizm built by Toyota?
 
captaingomes
Posts: 6251
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2001 1:33 am

RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Thu Oct 30, 2003 3:29 pm

The Geo Prizm was a Corolla clone. It was never sold outside the United States, however.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
david b.
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:34 pm

Subaru WRX

Now that would be a wonderful car  Big thumbs up
Teenage-know-it-alls should be shot on sight
 
Alessandro
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Fri Oct 31, 2003 12:06 am

Also check out www.carsurvey.org
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
ScarletHarlot
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Fri Oct 31, 2003 12:08 am

VonRichtofen, did you really say

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

Dude, get with the century! Lots of girls like cars for the cool machines they are. I am one of them.  Nuts
But that was when I ruled the world
 
PilotHighFlyer
Posts: 217
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Fri Oct 31, 2003 12:14 am

Buy a used Honda Accord
Great car
Great Value
Great Engine (V4 or V6)
Great fit and finish

Robert
 
meister808
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Fri Oct 31, 2003 2:28 am

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.

-Meister
Twin Cessna 812 Victor, Minneapolis Center, we observe your operation in the immediate vicinity of extreme precipitation
 
HOMER71
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Fri Oct 31, 2003 6:15 am

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
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Fri Oct 31, 2003 11:06 am

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.
 
Guest

RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Fri Oct 31, 2003 11:55 am

I'm going to write-in the Accord. I drove one from SLC to BOS a few weeks ago. No complaints.

-Normal
 
desertjets
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Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:12 pm

RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Fri Oct 31, 2003 12:00 pm

But you aren't going to find a 1-2 yo Accord for less than $15k period. You can get an Altima, 626, or a Galant however.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
hawaiian717
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Fri Oct 31, 2003 1:52 pm

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.

David / MRY
 
MD-90
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Fri Oct 31, 2003 2:03 pm

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.
 
T prop
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Fri Oct 31, 2003 6:17 pm

"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 V4 automotive engine I know of came in a Saab.

T prop.





 
UPSfueler
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Fri Oct 31, 2003 6:29 pm

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 burn. The Protege is a great car and is very safe.
 
MD-90
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Fri Oct 31, 2003 9:36 pm

Wasn't the Quad 4 a V-4 engine? I was under the impression that it was. Maybe not.
 
captaingomes
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Sat Nov 01, 2003 1:17 am

I believe the Quad 4 was an inline-4, but it was not knows as a very smooth engine, not sure why.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
Illini_152
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Sat Nov 01, 2003 2:44 pm

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 if you were dumb enough to blow one up (I did, and it was my fault, not the car's) For the price of that motor, I could have bought TWO crate 350's

--
Mike
Happy contrails - I support B747Skipper and Jetguy
 
boeingnut
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:45 am

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 was able to get a fully loaded (only option missing is the sunroof) 4 door Protoge, which had a bigger engine than the Civic at that time (1.8l vs. 1.6l).

This car handles marvelously. The frame and suspension are 2nd to none! Its TIGHT!

And a nice bonus, the Protoge has a 4 yr/50,000 mile warranty vs the 3yr/36000 mile warranty of the Civic.

Read every review that Car and Driver has done for small cars. There is a reason why the Protoge has always outgunned both the Civic and the Corolla.

And go with a 5 speed. Any 4 cylinder car is going to be choked to death by an autobox.
Excuse me, but what does God need with a starship?
 
emiratesa345
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Sun Nov 02, 2003 7:00 am

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 a nice little car as well but way overpriced. I hat e all those young teenagers that drive them. They all speed and drive erratically.

They all think they're faster than everyone else, but they're not. I take em all, and if you don't believe me, then I'll see you and your civic on highway 401. Moma's 3.5 L, 214 HP Chrysler Intrepid can smoke any Civic.

EmiratesA345 Smile LOL
You and I were meant to fly, Air Canada!
 
flight152
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Sun Nov 02, 2003 1:25 pm

The W8 engine offered in the VW Passat is a combination of 2 V-4's.
 
RNOcommctr
Topic Author
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RE: Protege Vs. Civic Vs. Corolla

Sun Nov 02, 2003 2:41 pm

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, and an almost new Toyota Echo. None of them were bad cars, but for us, the 2003 Protege jumped out of the pack. We were very impressed with the build quality, interior materials, and drive train. It's surprising to me that so few 2003 Proteges are available here in the Reno-Carson City area. Just two used ones and maybe four new ones. Next... figuring out all the incentives and financing. Probably we'll close a deal tomorrow.

Thanks again for all the information-- you folks have been really helpful.
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