2003 Protege5 New Car Test Drive
In the latest of the popular zoom-zoom commercials, the Protege5 is the fetching yellow car dazzling the fetching little boy. Mazda is trying to create a fetching new feeling, by building more cars like this and letting people know it. But Mazda has been building fetching cars for some time now-RX-7, Millenia and Miata to name three-but can't seem to get recognized for it. Maybe the Protege5 will do it.
Protege5 is a sport wagon built on the solid platform of the tight, handsome, arguably prosaic, arguably under-appreciated Protege compact sedan (see separate Protege review). Protege5 uses the same 130-horsepower, 2.0-liter, dohc inline four-cylinder engine as the Protege sedan.
With a little literary license (or a lot), the Protege5 might be described as a cross between the Miata and the Tribute mini-SUV. Mazda is trying to not call the Protege5 a wagon without defying reality, which takes a bit of marketing and semantic tightrope-walking. So sometimes this exciting car finds itself being called a 'five-door vehicle' by its maker. The car rises above it. The main thing is, it comes in five colors. The Vivid Yellow in the commercial is the call.
Base price is $16,335 plus $480 freight. Separate options are: moonroof ($700); ABS and side airbags ($800); four-speed automatic transmission ($800); polished alloy (chrome-look) wheels ($500); security alarm ($220); cassette player ($150); in-dash six-disc CD changer ($500); floormats ($80); cargo net ($35); wheel locks ($30); and moonroof deflector ($40).