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Car Ratings

Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.

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    2002 Jeep Liberty - Sport 4x4

    Pros: Easy to read control panel/remote control for the back window

    Cons: Reaching over the tire to get into the back.

    Advice: Drive one, it's worth it.

    My husband and I wanted a new vehicle. What we wanted was a 4x4, with towing ability and a comfortable ride. That was a challenge. My husband and I searched out everything from A to Z, test drove them as well. somethings were too mushy, others were too truck like. While on our search and distroy mission my husband looked at a Liberty, then he asked if I liked the way it looked. I was taken by the look. We went on a test drive and we were sold. It has a smooth ride, not too mushy and not too truck like. It responds well to stepping on it in traffic conditions. We towed a trailer with it and it was just great, the ride didn't change at all, still smooth. Can't wait for a good snow, then we can play with the 4 wheel drive!

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    2002 Infiniti I35 - Base

    Pros: TIMING CHAIN, INSTEAD OF RUBBER BELT

    Cons: REQUIRES HI TEST GAS

    Advice: COMES LOADED WITH STANDARD EQUIPMENT, AND HAS STYLE

    PLENTY OF POWER. SMOOTH RUNNING. GOOD BRAKES.

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    2002 Toyota Avalon - XLS w/Bucket

    Pros: CONTROLS ARE CLOSE TO YOUR HANDS, AND CAR RUNS ON REGULAR 87 OCT. GAS

    Cons: LOOKS AND RUBBER TIMING BELT

    Advice: IF STYLE IS'NT IMPORTANT THIS IS A GREAT CAR

    VERY SMOOTH WITH AMPLE POWER. BRAKES FELT GOOD, AND STEREO SOUNDS PLEASING.

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    2002 Mazda Protege5 - (M5)

    Pros: Corners like a champ

    Cons: C'mon Mazda...how about a decent stereo? Sound stinks.

    Advice: Upgrade the stereo

    This is a fun car to drive, no doubt about it. I gave my 99 VW Jetta to my son for college and needed something at least as much fun to drive, but less expensive than 2002 Jettas. That led me to consider Protege5, Civic, Sentra and Elantra GT. The Elantra GT was just as much fun to drive, but...well, it's a Hyundai, no matter how far they supposedly have come since 'the bad days.' The Sentra (I've owned 2, the most recent 10 years ago) continues to disappoint. Nissan doesn't get it anymore...you shouldn't have to spend $19,000 to get a subcompact with a moonroof and ABS. The Honda...well, I think Honda hasn't had decent styling since the '80s. The Protege 5 isn't as good overall as the VW Jetta...but it's darn close, and better in some ways. First, the negative: The stereo truly stinks. I'm already checking out crutchfield.com and Good Guys catalog. There are only 4 speakers (most cars now have 6-7 even in this size). There also is quite a bit of wind noise from the open moonroof, particularly because of the roof rack bar immediately above it, I presume. But I got the 5-speed standard tranmission and that's definitely the way to go. This car corners better than anything I've ever driven and has plenty of pep in the standard tran. The interior is nicely done and the seats are the most comfortable I've seen in a subcompact. The styling both inside and out far surpasses Honda's offerings in the Civic or Accord. This car is a winner...but I still have a fond spot for my Jetta. At least it's in good hands (I hope) and my son is thrilled. It's a great car, too.

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    2002 Mitsubishi Montero Sport - LTD 4x4

    Pros: I like the heated seats and the sun roof

    Cons: The shape of the side views and the lights do not turn themselves off after I open the door - I think automatic lights should be standard now

    Advice: Don't buy it retail, the dealership will come down like $1500 off MSRP at least - get the 3.5L engine if you need the torque

    I am really enjoying my new Mitsu Montero Sport Limited. It's a sharp looking import SUV with out the price tag, although it's a bit pricey, the value of the equipment and every option, the Mitsubishi name and of course the syling make it worth the price. I've always owned japanese vehicles and this is my first mitsu, I have nothing to complain about other than some silly engineering quirks. My opinions though.. The engine is powerful enough to tow 5000lbs and the on-the-fly 4-wheel drive is great and I can't wait for it to snow. I'll be back with an updated review later.

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    2002 Buick Rendezvous - FWD

    Pros: The ride and handling is one of the best features ...

    Cons: I guess the worst feature would be the Firstone tires ... all the other packages have the upgrade.

    Advice: Get the versatility package. ... this is a cross between a Suv and the utility of a Van.

    I just purchased a Buick Rendezvous ... compared to other vehicles ... It does most things better ... it's roomier ... has a better ride ... it's all galvanized ... stainless exhaust and it also gets much better gas milage ... 26mpg ... is very good for a vehicle that weighs over 4,000lbs ... and 4,000lbs means safety ... there is no substitute for safety. I'm over 6ft tall and I fit ... my knees do not hit the dashboard and my hair doesn't hit the ceiling like most small SUV's that cost more than the Rendezvous. It handles very good and rides a lot more quiet than a mini van ... the 3.4V6 has 185HP which is more than most ... It should be just as reliable as my Montana which I've had for 3 years ... which means it is as reliable as any vehicle on the road ...

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    2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer - LTZ 4x4

    Pros: Heated leather seats

    Cons: Gas mileage

    Advice: None - it's a fabulous vehicle

    The Trailblazer is absolutely AMAZING! Not only is it a sharp looking SUV, but it's powerful yet comfortable. It handles like a car...smooth, quiet, and refined. It also has a great turning radius. The interior is spacious with lots of leg room. With a 270-hp engine, getting around the mountains and towing a boat has been a breeze. Highly recommend this vehicle!!