Feb 082013
 

Picture this scenario. It’s 1998. You’re looking to do 0-60 in less than 7 seconds this weekend while racing down the highway to your next destination. Next weekend you’re planning to tow your boat to the marina for a fishing day trip. What’s the catch, you ask? You can only purchase one vehicle. What do you buy? I buy this week’s Car of the Week because it perfectly handles BOTH situations. This week’s Car of the Week is

1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited

Why?

This 5.9 Limited edition marks the beginning of the mainstream bad ass SUV! It hauls groceries, boats and handles the road better than an average sedan from the time period. Sure, some of you may say, “What about the 1992 GMC Typhoon?” Let’s be honest…there was everything bad ass but nothing mainstream about it. Nobody was towing with the Typhoon. The 5.9 Limited on the other hand fit in well as a daily driver, a true utility vehicle and a sporty car. The engine, drivetrain and suspension were sport tuned, and at the same time the Jeep provided for a balanced ride. I can’t say the same for the Typhoon.

About the Car

Of course the 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited is equipped with a 5.9 liter V8. Here’s where it gets impressive. The engine generates 245 hp and 345 lb-ft of torque(!), which vaults the Jeep from 0-60 mph in 6.8 sec. Less impressive is the fuel economy of course, but remember that this car was released at a time when I was putting 94 octane in the tank simply because I could.

Other Resources

Wikipedia article on the 5.9 Limited (to be taken with a grain of salt, of course)

Chuck can be followed on Twitter @ChuckWhatTheF where he tweets about cars and other things “dudebros” are talking about.

Some photos in this article are freely sourced from Google. If you take issue with the usage of any image, please contact us and we will remove it.

Oct 192012
 

When I think retro styling, the 2005 Ford Mustang immediately comes to mind. It kicked off a new generation of coupes and sedans from the Chevrolet Camaro to the Dodge Charger. But if we really look back at the retro movement, another auto maker is responsible for really getting it started. This week’s Car of the Week pays tribute to that auto maker that comes from and is inspired by what’s going on across the pond. I give you this week’s Car of the Week:

2002 Mini Cooper

Why?

Retro Euro styling + BMW backing = Huge Success!! OK, enough with my math geek-ery, let’s talk about the car already. When the Mini Cooper was introduced, it was the hottest car going. And why not? It was retro sexy AND you could get it for under $17,000. Even 10 years later it still starts at under $20,000. Back then it turned so many heads that chiropractor billing was notably up in 2002! (OK, not really) If the price tag wasn’t enough, the base model got gas mileage in the upper 30′s. That may have not been as big a deal in 2002, but I’ll tell you I’m thinking about it these days with gas back at $4.00/gal. A pre-owned Mini Cooper is looking like a fun stylish daily driver for 2012.

About the Car

The 2002 Mini Cooper was available in one body style, the now iconic hatchback. Two engine configurations were available, a naturally aspirated 4-cylinder and a supercharged version that added approximately 50 hp. Three transmission configuration options were available, a 5-speed manual or a CVT automatic on the base model or a 6-speed manual on the supercharged model.

Whether you were looking for awesome fresh retro styling, utility or just some fun out-of-the-box, the Mini Cooper was, and continues to be an attractive (and affordable) option. I’m thinking about adding one to my “collection”. What about you?

Other Resources

Wikipedia: the original Mini (to be taken with a grain of salt, of course)
Wikipedia: Mini under BMW (to be taken with a grain of salt, of course)
Motoring Alliance: the friendly Mini Community 
Road & Track road test of the 2002 Mini Cooper
Motor Trend road test of the 2002 Mini Cooper

Chuck can be followed on Twitter @ChuckWhatTheF where he tweets about cars and other things “dudebros” are talking about.

Some photos in this article are freely sourced from Google. If you take issue with the usage of any image, please contact us and we will remove it.

Sep 282012
 

It has been a while since I wrote a Car of the Week piece and I found myself missing it a little. Chuck has done a great job and his car choices have been excellent. I have to keep my finger in the proverbial pot, though, no?

As is so often the case, my inspiration for this week comes from a car I encountered on the trade-in lot. Most of them are boring, but every once in a while something genuinely interesting (and even rare) shows up. This week’s Car of the Week showed up last month and its mere presence prompted me to want to read more about it.

1981 Porsche 928

Why?

 As I said above, the appearance of a white 1981 928 on the trade-in line at my family of dealerships created a little itch in the back of my mind. The 928, though it was intended to replace the 911 as Porsche’s flagship, never quite lived up to sales expectations. The formula was a winner on paper — front-mounted V8, rear-wheel-drive, near-perfect balance — but Porsche buyers, it seems, just weren’t ready to accept anything but the 911, in looks or design.

Just because it wasn’t a “real” Porsche doesn’t mean they didn’t sell any, though, and the owner of this example clearly knew how to treat a rare, fast car. Despite its 31 years, the odometer showed only 60,000 miles. The interior and exterior looked like you might expect — well-loved but well-cared-for. It was, in short, a cream puff and it was totally unsurprising when someone showed up with a trailer and happily towed it off the lot. After a brief several weeks of exposure to the elements it has undoubtedly resumed its role as garage queen extraordinaire.

I have to admit, I was VERY tempted to see how much it would cost me.

About the Car

Porsche introduced the 928 in 1978 and it ran in various trim designations and with several engines all the way through 1995. It was one of only a handful of Porsches ever produced with an engine in the front. Although it never replaced the 911, it did set a number of impressive performance benchmarks. Porsche, for instance, claimed that the 928 was the fastest production car available in the U.S. in 1984. With a claimed top speed of 146 mph, that was hard to argue.

By the ’90s, though, even though the styling was still unique and edgy (says me, anyway), the 928 was getting long in the tooth. Rather than redesign it, Porsche decided to cease production. The 928, then, went from the 911′s successor to another single-generation Porsche to garnish and augment the long and glorious run of the one “true” Porsche.

Long live the king.

Other Resources

Porsche 928 Owners Club
Resources for New 928 Owners A one-stop shop for 928 communities
Wikipedia: Porsche 928 (to be taken with a grain of salt, of course)

Some photos in this article were freely sourced from Google. If you take issue with usage of any image, please contact me and I will remove it.

Sep 212012
 

I always keep an eye on the full-size luxury car segment. You know, the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 7-series and so on. Why wouldn’t I? It provides me a glimpse of what’s to come in the (more affordable) lower model cars years down the road! From navigation systems to true keyless vehicle operation, a lot of these firsts came out of the full-size luxury car segment. Now, as with most COTWs that I write, this week’s car sticks out for a couple of firsts that it debuted. So without further ado, this week’s Car of the Week is:

2007 Lexus LS460

Why?

The Lexus LS line has made a statement since it was introduced in 1990. Every time a new generation was introduced we saw new firsts, showing that neither Lexus nor Japan was not going to be just a one hit wonder in the full-size luxury car segment. In fact, the LS is currently the only Japanese large luxury car still being produced (sorry Q45), and continues to push the envelope with a hybrid version that was introduced in 2008.

What draws me to this 2007 model is a couple of features. First, it is the first car to house an 8-speed automatic transmission. Boy did they make a big deal about this with that commercial where it looks like the car is on a runway for take off. But in reality it is a big deal. Only a few cars have matched the technological prowess of Lexus in this department, and it took at least a couple of years for the other car makers to catch up.

Secondly, I’m drawn in by the way Lexus finished those tailpipes, perfectly integrating them into the bumper for what was the most sleek look I had ever seen. To this day other car makers have tried to match the fit and finish of the Lexus LS460 tailpipes (think Mazda 6 or Suzuki Kizashi), but sadly they only come close at best. The new Honda Accord Coupe is supposed to feature something similar based on the concept car they showed during the car show season. We’ll see how close they get to what I still call best overall in the LS460.

About the Car

The U.S. market first saw the LS in 1990 as the LS400, which was the first true Asian alternative to large European rear-wheel-drive luxury sedans. Though it has lived through several iterations since, the LS has always managed to keep its identity, both visually and technologically.

In 2007 the Lexus LS460 was available in two versions, normal or extended wheelbase. Both are powered by a 4.6L V8 making 380 HP and 367 lb-ft of torque (huge improvement over the outgoing ’06 LS430). Both versions offered the 8-speed automatic transmission in a rear wheel drive configuration. An Executive Seating configuration is available, which turns the car into a massive 4-seater with a refrigerated center console.

 

Chuck can be followed on Twitter @ChuckWhatTheF where he tweets about cars and other things “dudebros” are talking about.

Some photos in this article are freely sourced from Google. If you take issue with the usage of any image, please contact us and we will remove it.

Aug 312012
 

Every so often a car comes around that totally changes the direction of the future landscape in car styling. We recently saw this with the introduction of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata. It totally changed how we look at the $20k sedan and put the other car makers on alert that edgy styling and family sedans can be synonymous. This week’s Car of the Week is also one of these cars. For this week’s choice, I decided to take a look back at the sport touring coupes available in the 2003 model year. 2003 first sticks out for me because of my 2003 Acura CL Type-S, but if  you look at a slide show of all the coupes available in that model year, you notice that one coupe in particular stands out. This week’s Car of the Week is:

2003 Infiniti G35 Coupe

Why?

Image courtesy of CarandDriver.com

The introduction of the Infiniti G35 Coupe meant the introduction of a sport touring coupe that departed from the “long” coupe styling that we had long been accustomed to (Oops, did I do that?!) You know the styling I’m talking about, long wheelbase, long doors and a long trunk. Then came the G35. Once you took a look at it, you thought you were looking at a straight up sports car (or was that only me?) The move to the shorter body length, which Nissan calls its “Front Midship” platform, changed how the engine and other components would be located within the car. With all of this done it still has usable rear seats and some trunk room. The trunk is compromised a bit when compared with a “long” coupe at 7.8 cu. ft. vs. the Acura CL’s 13.6 cu. ft., but I’ll make that sacrifice any day for the sleek styling of the G35.

About the Car

The 2003 Infiniti G35 Coupe was available with only engine, the legendary, music-to-our-ears Nissan VQ35. There are different versions of the VQ35 offered among the various Nissan/Infiniti models, but the one used in the G35 generates 280 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. The G35 Coupe was available in either automatic or manual transmission and only in a rear wheel drive configuration. The “Front Midship” platform provided for improved handling through better front to back weight distribution.

The 2003 Infiniti G35 Coupe clearly changed how coupes were going to be styled going forward. Cars like the Audi A5 and Honda Accord Coupe have clearly followed suit. It took years for these and other car makers to catch up. Unfortunately, still others got left in the dust (like the Acura CL and Toyota Solara.)

Other Resources

Edmunds.com Features and Specifications page
Wikipedia – Infiniti G-series (to be taken with a grain of salt, of course)
G35club.org owners club
Road & Track road test of the G35 coupe 

Chuck can be followed on Twitter @ChuckWhatTheF where he tweets about cars and other things “dudebros” are talking about.

Some photos in this article are freely sourced from Google. If you take issue with the usage of any image, please contact us and we will remove it.

Aug 172012
 

Some cars are lauded for their ability to produce raw power, while others are lauded for exceptional fuel economy or styling. I am taking a slightly different approach for praising this week’s Car of the Week by taking a look at specific output, which is a calculation of an engine’s power generation efficiency. I, along with others, calculate and compare this by looking at the horsepower to displacement ratio (in terms of HP/L). This week’s Car of the Week is not the absolute best in specific output, but it is best I found in the “under $100,000″ category. With this being said, we give you this week’s Car of the Week:

2000 Honda S2000

Why?

Well I guess I already started this discussion, so let’s jump into some details. The first generation Honda S2000 sported a “small” 2.0-liter engine —  so small you would think it is out of a Honda Civic. However, this engine surprised us with plenty of horsepower and a redline around 9000 rpm. If you have the room to rev, this engine delivers: its power peaked at 240 hp, giving it a specific output of 120 HP/L.

Now, we have to look at some other power packed cars to get a flavor for just how efficient this engine really is. I looked at every manufacturer selling cars in the USA, from A to V. What I found surprised me a bit. Some of the fastest, most powerful cars were also the most inefficient. Take a look at this list. I only found one car that beats the Honda S2000 in terms of specific output. (All specific output calculations given as HP/L)

  • 2010 Dodge Viper SRT-10 — 71
  • 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe — 90
  • 2005 Acura NSX 6-speed — 91
  • 2011 Ferrari 612 Scaglietti — 93
  • 2010 Bentley Continental GT Speed — 100
  • 2011 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 — 103
  • 2012 Mazda Mazdaspeed 3 — 114
  • 2011 Porsche 911 GT3 — 114
  • 2000 Honda S2000 — 120
  • 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS — 172

Let’s talk about this list for a minute. I’ve put some pretty super cars on this list just to show how exceptional the Honda S2000 is, not only in its time but also when compared against today’s models. The S2000 was way ahead of its time in terms of specific output. Only the Porsche 911 GT2 model line (introduced in 2002) does better. Most surprising to me is just how inefficient the Dodge Viper is in generating its power. Now, of course if you’re simply looking for raw power and the ability to burn up some tires, the Viper does the job just fine.

The S2000, though, is in a class by itself.

About the Car

The 2000 Honda S2000 was offered in only one trim level with the one engine and transmission choice. The car was equipped with a 2.0 L I4 generating 240 hp @ 8300 rpm, which was mated to a 6-speed manual in a rear wheel drive configuration. That’s right, Honda actually made a second production RWD vehicle. All of it put together made for perfect 50/50 weight distribution.

The S2000 was Honda’s successful launch into the two seater roadster market, going against the likes of the BMW Z3 (69 HP/L), Mazda MX-5 Miata (78 HP/L), Porsche Boxster S (78 HP/L) and Mercedes-Benz SLK 280 (80 HP/L) being offered same year. With the S2000 falling right in the middle of the price range, it gave buyers a lot to think about in terms of what they were getting for their money. If only it was marketed using this argument…

I found only one model line that beats the S2000 in the specific output category. It took a turbocharger to achieve that feat. Now I challenge you…can you find another model line that matches up to the efficiency of the S2000?

Other Resources

Wikipedia: Honda S2000 (To be taken with a grain of salt, of course)
S2000 Owners Club of America
S2KI Owners Community
Edmunds.com road test of the 2000 Honda S2000 

Chuck can be followed on Twitter @ChuckWhatTheF where he tweets about cars and other things “dudebros” are talking about.

Some photos in this article are freely sourced from Google. If you take issue with the usage of any image, please contact us and we will remove it.

 

Jun 292012
 

There are cars that are brought to market that eventually doom a brand. The Pontiac Aztek is an example of this unfortunate scenario (R.I.P. Pontiac.) On the flip side there are cars that revive a brand, perhaps so much so that they bring a brand back from near extinction. The 2002 Nissan Altima is an example of this more positive outcome. This week’s Car of the Week celebrates another such example:

1996 Audi A4

Why?

The Audi brand was quickly being forgotten as we entered the 1990s. The Car and Driver “10-Best” winning brand of the 1980s (namely the Audi 5000) became a dated brand in the early 90s. This was compounded with the unintended acceleration issues and lawsuits overshadowing the Audi name. Audi had not come up with anything for years to preserve its place as a prominent German luxury brand. It looked like time was standing still for the German automaker.

This all changed with the arrival of the 1996 Audi A4. Honorable mention goes to the 1995 Audi A6, which is the first Audi model released with the “A” model naming scheme. In reality though, the A4 deserves all the credit for bringing Audi back from the death bed.

The ’96 A4 brought modern euro compact styling and performance that was able to go head to head with BMW’s 3-series sedan. Because of this, Audi experienced a nice bump in sales and returned Audi to relevance in the German luxury car market. The Audis we see today are due all in part to this first generation A4.

About the Car

Audi first introduced the A4 to the world in 1994 as a 1995 model. The 1996 A4, which was its first year in the U.S., was only available as a sedan. Later years saw the introduction of a convertible (2003) and then the introduction of the A5 coupe (2008). In ’96 the A4 was available with only the 2.8 L V6. (The 1.8 L Turbocharged I4 was introduced in ’97.) All models were available with manual or automatic, and either FWD or Audi’s Quattro™ AWD.

The A4 received a significant visual and mechanical update in 2001 and then again in in 2005 and again in 2008. Though the current generation is considered a little long in the tooth, it remains the mainstay of the Audi range and is a popular alternative to BMW’s perennial 3-series.

Other Resources

Wikipedia: Audi A4 (to be taken with a grain of salt, of course)
Audiforums.com (Enthusiast community for all Audis)
Autos on MSN: Audi A4

Chuck can be followed on Twitter @ChuckWhatTheF where he tweets about cars and other things “dudebros” are talking about.

Some photos in this article are freely sourced from Google. If you take issue with usage of any image, please contact us and we will remove it.

Jun 222012
 

To know me is to know that I am an Acura enthusiast. How could I not be? I am the happy and extremely proud owner of the 2003 Acura CL Type-S covered in a recent Car of the Week article (in case you missed it, read about it here). That CL is now sporting 257,000 miles and continues to be a strong cruiser and daily driver.

When I look at how I got to acquiring the CL in the first place, I find that I justified it both by staying true to my price range and by trying to satisfy my lasting desire to own one of its predecessors (part of me still wants a late model Legend in a slick 6-speed). With all of this being said, this week’s Car of the Week pays tribute to the car that started it all for the CL, and more importantly for Acura:

1986 Acura Legend

Why?

The 1986 Acura Legend was the flagship model for the newly debuted Acura brand. This Legend gave birth to the Japanese luxury car industry and started pushing the luxury car envelope about four years before Toyota and Nissan introduced their answers with Lexus and Infiniti respectively. Their response was so slow it appeared that they didn’t hit the drawing board until this Legend was released.

The ’86 Legend declared a war against German and American luxury automakers that were producing less inspired, lower quality cars (of course this war continues today). It satisfied emerging consumer requirements for reliability, styling and quality that couldn’t be met by German or American offerings.

The ’86 Legend gave car buyers and enthusiasts a taste of what Honda had been cooking up in the kitchen. We saw many Honda firsts with this car, most notably the introduction of a V6 and four wheel double-wishbone suspension. This made for a ride that was quick (at the time) and handling that was tight and predictable. Coupled with Honda’s well known track record, this was a competent, long lasting daily driver and family hauler for a new breed of buyers.  Many first generation Legends are still driving around to this day.

About the Car

The 1986 Acura Legend was offered with one engine, a 2.5 L V6, good for 151 hp. In ’86 that was more powerful than the BMW 528 and the Audi 5000 non-turbo, and comparable to the Audi 5000 turbo. The ’86 Legend was available with only one option choice: manual or automatic transmission. Limited options was, and continues to be, the way Acura builds and sells their vehicles, which likely helps them keep costs under better control compared to the competition.

The 1986 Acura Legend set a new standard for what we could expect from a luxury car. It is truly Legend-ary.

Other Resources

Wikipedia: Acura Legend (to be taken with a grain of salt, of course)
Acura-Legend forum
Hemmings Blog “Class of ’86″ feature on the Integra and Legend

Chuck can be followed on Twitter @ChuckWhatTheF where he tweets about cars and other things important to the average “dudebro.”

Some photos in this article were freely sourced from Google. If you take issue with usage of any image, please contact us and we will remove it.

Jun 152012
 

Astute readers of this site will probably note that I have had some difficulty keeping Car of the Week a truly weekly piece. Some of that is laziness on my part and some is actual schedule and personal conflicts. Whatever the case, though, in the coming weeks we will be trying something new. Astute observers may also have noticed that Gearheads Anonymous has also gained a few new writers over the last month. So far they have only been contributors of individual opinion pieces, but that is about to change. Next week, for the first time, the Car of the Week will be written by someone other than me.

This does not mean that I am not going to do them at all anymore, but if several people are writing them my hope is that some variety and a sense of freshness is injected in to the process. Want to write one? Use the contact info in the “About Gearheads Anonymous” tab above. I’m always happy to have contributors.

This week, though, I have for you a car that brought Honda back to its roots in the U.S. market:

2007 Honda Fit

Why?

By 2006 the “small” Honda Civic had grown in size by 10 inches and 600 lbs over comparable Civics from the late ’80s and early ’90s. The Civic, in fact, was about the same size in 2006 as the midsize Accord was in 1990. The Civic is not unique in this, though. Most cars in the U.S. market have grown at a similar rate. It is startling to take a moment and consider, though. Sure the Civic still gets good gas mileage, and it is still smaller than the Accord, but it has lost some of that small car feel that made it so enticing in years past.

With the Fit, Honda sought to bring that feel back to American car buyers. Though it had been on sale for several years in Europe and Asia (under the Jazz name), 2007 was its first year in the U.S. and it made a splash. Where Toyota’s Yaris felt and drove as cheaply as it looked, the Fit immediately earned a reputation as a quality small car.

It did all of the things those early Civics did — got great gas mileage, handled well and looked good without looking outrageous — and managed to stay small without being spartan. Only one engine option (a 109 horespower, 1.5-liter four cylinder) was available, paired to either an automatic of five-speed manual. The car itself (which was only available as a 5-door) could had in either base or “Sport” trims. Both were priced well below $20,000.

The Fit, then, checked all the right boxes at just the right time for many American consumers. It will probably never outsell the Civic, but to me the Fit is the more interesting car. It does more with less, which is an equation that has always appealed to me.

About the Car

The Fit was introduced to the rest of the world as the Honda Jazz in 2001 and 2002 but, as I said above, did not hit American shores until late 2006 as a 2007 model. Different regions of the world get different engine options, but here there was only one: the 1.5-liter gasoline engine.

The Fit ran in that form until it received a substantial update for the 2009 model year. The body was redesigned, but retained its 5-door wagon layout. The sole engine option remained a 1.5-liter four-cylinder in the U.S. Other regions got a hybrid option, but Honda decided that a Fit hybrid would compete with its new Insight and existing Civic Hybrid models, so it was not offered to American buyers.

A limited-production electric Fit (or Fit EV) is currently scheduled for the 2013 model year, but no additional major changes are expected to the model line in the next couple of years.

Other Resources

Fit Owners Club
Fitfreak.net Unofficial Honda Fit and Honda Jazz forum
Wikipedia: Honda Jazz and Fit (to be taken with a grain of salt, of course)
Car & Driver long-term road test of the 2007 Fit

Some photos in this article were freely sourced from Google. If you take issue with usage of any image, please contact me and I will remove it.

May 112012
 

Hmm. It would seem I missed this segment last week. My apologies for that, but sometimes life just gets in the way. In any case, Car of the Week is back. I spent a considerable amount of time going to college graduations this past week, so I decided that this edition should feature a car that I was a fan of during my own college days. One of my favorites from those early days of the new millennium was…

2002 Mazda Protege ES

Why?

As I said in my review of the Mazda2, I drove the ES model Protege in 2002 in order to find out if Mazda was really serious about their “Zoom-zoom” marketing strategy. The answer, I found, was a resounding yes. It handled great, had decent pep, and gave you all sorts of stuff standard that the Civic only offered as options — alloy wheels, fog lamps, trunk spoiler, etc. It was a lot of car for the money and, fair or not, it became the benchmark by which I continue to judge every Mazda I drive.

The ES of this model year featured a 2.0-liter inline-4 that produced 130 horsepower. It could be had in auto or stick, but the one I drove was equipped with a 5-speed manual, naturally. The ES also got bigger wheels, stickier tire, stiffer suspension and a plethora of audio goodies.

With a decade between now and then I still look back fondly on that test drive. By today’s standards the Protege is a little under powered for a vehicle at the top of its model range, but by any other yardstick it is still a competent car — economy, handling, cost, etc. Though not quite as legendary as the Civic or Corolla, the Protege has exhibited decent longevity as well and high-mileage examples can still be found running strong.

Over the course of that decade, Mazda has built upon the standard it set with cars like this, giving us a number of offspring like the 3, 6 and aforementioned 2, all of which represent great value to go with the high level of entertainment. I don’t know that this Protege was the actual starting point, but for me at least, it represents the point where Mazda started to perfect the balance between value and fun.

About the Car

Mazda’s 323 was a mainstay of the ’80s and its evolutionary sibling, the Protege, became a similar force in the ’90s. The first car to wear the Protege badge hit U.S. shores for the 1990 model year and the name ran until 2003, when it was replaced by the 3. In that time it went through three body styles (1990-1993, 1994-1998 and 1999-2003).

As I said above, the Protege was always known for providing an excellent balance of fun, value and economy. By the end of its life, though, Mazda had imbued some seriously sporting aspirations, culminating in the turbocharged Mazdaspeed edition. The addition of a turbo bumped the power to 170 and the suspension was further tweaked to match. Though it was short-lived (just a year), it was a remarkable indicator of just how far the Protege had come since its inception.

Other Resources

Club Protege (enthusiast community for the Protege)
Mazda3Club.com (enthusiast community for the Mazda3 and Protege lines)
Wikipedia: The Mazda Familia line (including the Protege) (to be taken with a grain of salt, of course)
Road & Track review of the ’01 Protege ES

Some photos in this article were freely sourced from Google. If you take issue with usage of any image, please contact me and I will remove it.