Jerry From LA SuperDork
May 1, 2017 4:17 p.m.

Hey You Hivesters,

While searching at possible new (to me) cars, I came across a couple of very nice manual-transmission '02-'03 Mazda Protege wagons for really reasonable prices. These are equipped with the FS-DE 2.0. The relatively small size and spacious carrying ability are appealing. Four multi-day backpacks will fit easily in the rear so this could be a nice trailhead machine. So what's the scoop with these cars? Weak points? Explore further or avoid like the plague?

bmw88rider Dork
May 1, 2017 4:35 p.m.

Great little cars. Like all Proteges, the power lock actuators like to go out. It's pretty common. They are also kind of loud inside. They do tend to rust pretty easily but I don't think that's an issue for you. They are also pretty fun to drive but will smoke the tires coming off hard corners.

I'd buy a nice one without much thought.

Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
May 1, 2017 4:48 p.m.

Ive owned 4. Do it.

Change the timing belt now.

Buy the nicest and lowest mileage you can fine, and never look back.

Theyre called protege5

kazoospec SuperDork
May 1, 2017 5:51 p.m.

Good info here: protege5

Jerry From LA SuperDork
May 1, 2017 6:08 p.m.
kazoospec wrote: Good info here: protege5

Yes indeed there is. Thanks. I wonder why it didn't show up in a search.

captdownshift PowerDork
May 1, 2017 6:45 p.m.

Outside of rust issues in the majority of the country, they're fantastic little cars.

Jerry From LA SuperDork
May 1, 2017 7:11 p.m.

After reading the other thread brought up by kazoospec, I thought I'd look at some early Mazda 3s as well. Found this little beauty here: https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/cto/6111284928.html

Unfortunately, the person selling the car got all weird when I asked him if his or her name is on the title. "yes I have the title," "Is this a serious question,?" and "Why would I be selling someone else's car?" are not satisfactory answers.

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