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1999 Mazda Protege Sedan

4dr Sdn LX Manual

Starting at | Starting at 29 MPG City - 34 MPG Highway

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  • $13,230 original MSRP
Printable Version

1999 Mazda Protege Sedan

Printable Version

1999 Mazda Protege Sedan

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11-30-1998: 1999 Mazda Protege

Source: The Car Connection

 

Injecting a little class into the econobox.

by Bob Plunkett

Leave it to Mazda - the Japanese automaker with a flair for developing sporty performers like the Miata roadster - to figure out a way to inject excitement into the basically boring automotive proposition known as an economical compact sedan.

Mazda's solution: borrow an existing compact platform, carve out generous space for passengers, add precise mechanical components, then decorate the package in a sophisticated manner with touches of creative automotive elegance.

Mazda calls the resulting product the 1999 Protege. Frankly, it emerges as an impressive new design which looks classy and feels fun to drive. The compact four-door in familiar sedan notchback form breaks the mold of the typical inexpensive but dull econobox due to its zippy engine, tight suspension and rigid chassis. All the ingredients combine to induce a highly sporty demeanor.

With this new treatment for Protege, Mazda's designers managed to create maximum interior space for people, pile on comfort features usually carried by more expensive models, then offer perky acceleration but also bring home the fuel economy figures of a miserly commuter car.

And in the process of matching or exceeding best-in-class figures in a number of different categories to measure interior space and safety assets, Mazda's team also produced a classy piece of work.

The formal look of Protege seems vaguely like a reduced image of the staple Mazda sedan, the mid-size 626. Protege's narrow grille flashes bold chrome accents, set between prismatic wrap-around headlamps and underscored by the body-colored bumper. A slanted hood line and sharp rake to the windshield initiate a fluid aerodynamic profile for Protege, which shows flat side panels interrupted only by sculptured lips as inscribed in arches over wheel wells.

Then at the tail there's a fairly flat trunk deck capped by crisp metal which cascades to body-colored bumper, with taillamps at back corners. As sophisticated and classy as this exterior styling may be, don't judge Protege by the slant of its prow or the curt cut of its tail. Instead, climb inside to find the heart of this car.

Big-time cabin space has been crafted from the car's compact chassis. Inch for inch, Protege contains more usable room for legs and elbows and heads and hands than many pricey mid-size imports. There's so much space — 92.6 cubic feet in all — that this car moves up in class when measured by interior volume. You'll feel the extra roominess in the cockpit where the driver's bucket wraps around your backside. You'll also notice the comforting swirling curve of the armrest on the driver's door, placed perfectly to catch your left elbow. Stretch your right arm across the rider's seat and you must lean to reach the door latch — it's that far away.

Then check out the available head room. With my long torso and six-foot frame, I still found enough room atop head to wedge left palm on top of right fist. By this method, that's well over four inches of spare head room. The official front head room figure amounts to 39.3 inches, if you're counting. Now move to the rear seat, where the true test of a compact sedan may be assessed. In Protege, I could still stand a fist on my head to demonstrate how much space remained (total rear head room reaches to 37.4 inches).

But where this car's interior dimensions most amazed me occurred when I crossed my legs in that back seat. Usually, I can only cross limbs in the rear compartment of full-size models with a stretched wheelbase. Protege, with rear leg room officially measuring 35.4 inches, could be the only compact in which I would not object to riding in the rear for a hundred miles or more.

And if you travel in a Protege, you'll find another spacious surprise when you pop the rear decklid: about 13 cubic feet of cargo room in the boxy trunk.

How did Mazda manage to extract such a spacious passenger compartment from a compact frame? By bringing together stylists, engineers and product planners, Mazda's design team went beyond the popular cab-forward concept to address a range of aspects about the car's overall design and function. They tackled the problem by packaging the interior compartment in a spacious manner, developing a congruous niche to house the engine, making the cabin more functional for driver and riders, then beefing up the overall structure and installing critical safety elements.

Mazda calls this process an "OptiSpace" design. Its roots come from experience in developing bigger and more expensive Mazda sedans like Millenia and 626.

Computerized anti-lock action for brakes is available, but as an optional item. Mazda produces three levels of trimmings for Protege — the entry model DX, plush LX and a forceful ES. The DX and LX models use a dual-cam 1.6-liter inline four engine rated at 105 hp, yet Protege ES gets an aggressive 1.8-liter twin-cam engine, bumping power to 122 hp.

For California and other states with laws controlling engine emissions, special versions of these engines trim output by 2 hp to qualify as a Low-Emission Vehicle (LEV). A manual five-speed transmission or an optional four-speed electronic automatic will mate to each engine.

In a Protege test drive, you too may detect traces of the luxurious. These nuances arise in subtle ways, like the firm and supportive fit of driver's seat, a functional cockpit design with easy-to-view placement of instruments in the eyebrow curve of a dash panel, or even the quiet isolation of the cabin.

The driver's seat adapts well to body due to height adjustments as well as fore and too-far aft tracking, and there's foot room for a rear rider beneath the front seat because seat tracks are mounted to the side of the center tunnel, leaving space in between for rear feet.

Dual airbags are aboard, along with concealed safety assets such as strong steel bracing in side doors to shield against a side impact.

There's obvious value in the 1999 Protege, with a raft of standard features even on the DX version, which lists for only $14,995.



© 1998 The Car Connection

 

Printable Version

1999 Mazda Protege Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Intermittent Wipers Std
Printable Version

1999 Mazda Protege Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/50,000 Miles

Mazda Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

Each Mazda Certified Pre-Owned vehicle comes with a 12-Month / 12,000 Mile Vehicle Limited Warranty with no deductible on covered components, which begins when the factory warranty ends. If it's out of warranty, the 12-month/12,000 miles warranty begins on the certified retail date.

Coverage begins on the limited powertrain warranty from the original retail sales date and covers 7-Years /100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 2008-2014 model years and less than 80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 150-Point Detailed Inspection

Autocheck® Vehicle History Report with 3-year buyback protection from Experian, subject to all Experian & Experian Automotive buyback terms and conditions.

Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance 24hr Roadside Assistance for the life of the Powertrain Limited Warranty offers confidence on the road around the clock.
Special Financing Yes, see your Mazda dealer for details.
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $0

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

1999 Mazda Protege Sedan

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