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.
Pros: supposed to be solid built
Cons: noise, uncomfortable seating, low mpg at this class
Advice: never trust the rating from internet site. Have a full test drive first.I have about 800 miles on my new accord. It's not as good as claimed by many internet sites. The noise of road and wind is huge. The mpg is ordinary(22 for city and 28 for highway). After 300 miles I noticed the dashboard noise. I have been to the dealer's 3 times and it's still there. Overall average quality compared with Buick or Camry. Never buy it again.
Pros: I love the GPS Navigation and heated seats.
Cons: No multi-disc CD changer.
Advice: Buy itMy Wife and I recently bought a 2002 XLE V6 with all the bells and whistles, it's like being a kid in a candy store! The car is exceptionally quiet and very very comfortable! I recently had a 6'+ passenger in the back seat and he commented on the leg room and comfort. Plenty of power too! If I could only pry the steering wheel from her hands long enough so I could drive it!
Pros: The drivers seat its like setting in a airplane cockpit.
Cons: The Brakes
Advice: Learn the feel of the Brakes outside of that it is the best vehicle I ever ownedDrives and rides very smoothly and is great for making tight turns is narrow places. I have the V-6 and it gets great gas mileage for its size (17 mpg) around town. The side airbags are a great item to have on the Highlander makes me feel safer as I drive down the road. I also have the traction control for driving on slick roads. The Highlander is well equipped and a pleasure to drive. The Radio,CD Player & Tape player are perfect sounding and easy to play. It has quick speed when you step on the accelerator for passing. The seats are very comfortable and you can haul a lot of cargo if need be there is plenty of room in it for 5 passengers + cargo. The Highlander is as solid and built as good as any (SUV)$40,000 & up vehicle you can buy, and its reasonably priced in my book.
Pros: automatic doors-both sliding and rear hatch
Advice: They don't deal as well on the EX, but you get more features for the price.I had a 97 Grand Caravan Sport and traded it for a Suburban. We thought we wanted an SUV. I missed my van. I just bought a new EX in stone white. It is beautiful. Many new features than my 97. I'll never let go of my mini van again. My boys are 3 and 18 mos. and this is the best vehicle for kids!
Pros: THE RIDE AND CONVERTABILITY
Cons: GAS MILEAGE, BACKING
Advice: BE PREPARED TO GET ABOUT 11 TO 12 MPG AROUND TOWN IN THE 4WD MODEL.THE AVALANCHE HANDLES LIKE A DREAM, MUCH BETTER THAN MY 1500 SILVERADO. ALSO HAS A PLUSH INTERIOR. CANNOT SEE VERY WELL WHEN BACKING. IT NEEDS A BACKING SENSOR TO COME STANDARD.
Cons: Interior seat & door material quality
Advice: Get the leather & the Monsoon sound system. I'm sorry I didn't.Mechanically, a great car. No problems after 7 months...but did you ever try to CLEAN those velour SEATS??? It's IMPOSSIBLE!!! I've spent more money on fancy brushes designed to clean this material, but to no avail. And the best part...my dealer recommends DUCT TAPE, as they can't find anything to clean it either!!! Frankly, it makes me so mad, I most definitely would NOT have purchased this car if I knew this. My wife bought me a huge roll of EXTRA WIDE DUCT TAPE for Christmas!!!
Cons: torque steer
Advice: Unless you want the prestige of an Acura or Infiniti or etc.The only 2 less than stellar aspects of this car are (1) fairly boring (and a little odd) styling and (2) torque steering that can be severe. The plus side to issue number one is that the car can be picked out in a crowd... (+ or - ... you make the call...). The plus to item 2 is that the Maxima is one of the fastest sedan/sport sedans on the market. My other car is a Miata. While the Maxima handling is not nearly as responsive as the Miata, it's far superior to both the Camry and Accord, and easily in the same league as the Infiniti I35 and Acura TL-S. The only sport sedan I drove that had discernibly better handling characteristics was the BMW 328i... For MANY thousand more dollars. An added note: The first car I drove at the Nissan dealership was the 2001 Maxima GLE. Frankly, the car was less than inspiring. The 2002 model is a distinct step up in several areas. OK... One more note: I drove the new Altima, maxed out. Power and handling are comparable to, but, IMHO, not quite up to the Maxima standards. While it listed for a couple of grand less than the maxed out Maxima, the salesman couldn't discount it as much because Altimas are selling so well. Just my opinion... If you're offered the same dollar deal between these 2 cars... The top of the line Altima is not nearly as nice (especially the interior!!!) as the top of the line Maxima.