From the Buick Encore to the Mazda Protegé: 5 Biggest Differences

From the Buick Encore to the Mazda Protegé: 5 Biggest DifferencesI just returned the Buick Encore I've been driving the past two weeks. As I started driving my freezing cold '99 Mazda Protegé, these were the biggest differences.

No More Silence
The Buick Encore was much, much quieter. In my old Protegé, I hear everything... it's loud in there. The Encore offers a comfy, quiet ride.

Back to Being Low
The Encore is what they call a "Luxury Crossover", essentially, a small SUV. Although I've test driven several cars higher off the ground than the Encore, it still takes a while to get used to how comparably low you are in the compact Protegé. It feels like I'm sitting on the road.

No More SiriusXM
The Encore GM lent me had SiriusXM radio, which meant I got to hear the best of Howard Stern in 2013. That kept me thoroughly entertained as I heard Stern interview Jerry Seinfeld, Mike Tyson, Kid Rock, Jason Bateman and more. I also got to hear the episode when they discussed Robin's cancer. It was both heavy and inspiring. I miss it already.

No More Rear Backup Camera
Of all the features found on modern automobiles, the one I always miss most is the rear backup camera. I put my Protegé in reverse and my eyes immediately shot to the dashboard to see what was behind me. I was very disappointed.

Nothing Beats New
My car will turn 15 this spring. It looks old, it smells old and it drives old. It's tough to go back to old when you've been enjoying that new car smell, that new car cleanliness and that EcoTec3 1.4L I-4 138hp engine intercooled turbo, 6-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS), side seat mounted airbags, curtain 1st and 2nd row overhead airbags, rear side-impact airbag, driver and passenger knee airbag, airbag occupancy sensor, air conditioning, 18" aluminum wheels, cruise control, ABS and driveline traction control, and a StabiliTrak electronic stability.

Picking up my ride for the next 10 days. Glad it's Santa red! #buick #encore #gm

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Comments (11 - click here to join in!)

Rick C in Oakville

You will eventually cave and buy a new one soon Mike. Too much temptation test driving these new vehicles. Financing is low and your family is about to grow, 2 kids and a baby seat in the rear of a Protege, won't make for fun family outings.

January 5, 2014 @ 7:40 AM


CQ's head just exploded. It's only January 5th!

January 5, 2014 @ 10:57 AM


I eagerly anticipate his reaction.

January 5, 2014 @ 5:48 PM

Ben Vidal

His reaction will be nothing short of hilarious. It's understanding what he's trying to say that will require a great deal of work.

January 6, 2014 @ 9:20 AM


So I'm guessing "Former friend" was Irvine, since the comment is gone...

January 6, 2014 @ 10:58 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Good guess.

The thing is, I've never complained I can't afford a new car. I actually can afford a new car, I just don't want/need a new car.

And I wish my new home was as inexpensive as the price quoted! That would have been awesome...

January 6, 2014 @ 10:59 AM



Was this vehicle from the GM Canada Press fleet? If so were you incentivized to write about it? Incentives include free use, free insurance, and free fuel.

If so it would be helpful to include a disclaimer on each post, The Truth About Cars does a great job of that ( in their reviews, for example:
"GM provides the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review. We also got free shrimp."

January 6, 2014 @ 9:49 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Now I'm just ticked off I didn't get any free shrimp.

January 6, 2014 @ 10:02 PM


When I see an old school Protégé drive by, I reminisce about my 2003 model. Then I turn on my heated seats and enjoy my Bluetooth connection streaming from my phone and the thought passes.
I dont miss the harsh ride over bumps, or the lack of tech.
Take the plunge and lease a newer car. You wont regret it.
Or just join zipcar.

January 7, 2014 @ 8:28 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@ bramptonMike

Soon my friend... soon.

January 7, 2014 @ 8:37 AM


Had a 2001 Protege for 9 years. Yes you could feel every bump and it got sluggish in middle age, but I liked the car.

April 12, 2019 @ 6:55 AM

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