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 Acura TL - Type S

    Pros: Engine power and performance

    Cons: Could use more head room (I am 6' 4')

    Advice: Buy the Type S - For $2000 the performance is increased significantly

    Great balance between engine performance and handling. The car is looks conservative but surprisingly fast and refined. You should buy the Type S, for $2000 the features are well worth it. Even with the Type S we are getting 22 MPG in the City and 30 MPG on the highway - not bad for a 260 HP sedan!

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    2002 Jeep Liberty - Sport 4x4

    Pros: The body style

    Cons: steering wheel blocks line of sight to speedometer

    Advice: Try every vehicle you can then drive this one it will sell itself.

    This is a lower priced vehicle with a luxury feel. The interior feels as if it is a luxury vehicle without the pricetag. The ride was extremely smooth as compared to other SUV's. The V6 engine has more than enough UMPH to get the job done. We found the steering very responsive and easy to control. The infinity sound system is highly recommended. We really didn't want this at first but the controls are so ergonomically correct we are not sure we could buy another vehicle without it. There are some negatives such as the steering wheel falls right over my line of sight to the speedometer but that is just about it except for maybe the gas mileage but heck this is a SUV what do you expect. After our test drive we immediately purchased the vehicle and believe it or not at about 600 below the MSRP. We feel we got a great deal this early on the Limited model with several options we had not intended to get.

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    2002 Buick Rendezvous - CX AWD

    Pros: Styling

    Cons: Reduced towing capacity

    Advice: Compare the value and comfort to other SUVs

    I test drove the Rendezvous CXL hoping to find the 'comfortable family SUV'. I wasn't disappointed. The ride was very smooth much like a luxury mini-van. Pick up was adequate. I was most impressed with the interior features. The 2nd and 3rd row seating was roomier than most SUVs. Quality is evident throughout. This vehicle screams safety, style and comfort. I would think the Rendezvous will be popular with the 'moms'.

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    2002 Buick Rendezvous - CX AWD

    Pros: Interior design is good

    Cons: sluggish on pickup from dead start

    Advice: Let Buick know that this needs to be changed

    I drove this vehicle with the full intention of purchasing one. I have waited for them to come out. The car is gorgeous in and out and seating is comfortable. Everything is great but the car doesn't have any pickup power from a dead start, with a fast start or a slow start with acceleration. There is plenty of power to pass when cruising. but very sluggish with slow driving. I still want this car but will not buy until the pickup is improved. I hope they change this as it was so disappointing for such a lovely car to not have the pickup power one needs to move quickly.

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    2002 Mazda Protege5 - (M5)

    Pros: looks

    Cons: no rear cupholders

    Advice: get the 5 speed manual transmission

    After trading in my 2000 Honda Civic Si coupe for a 2002 Mazda Protege5, I can honestly say that I am glad about this decision. Build quality is top notch and the 2.0 liter engine zings when stepped on hard. The 5 speed manual is a must. Do not even consider the automatic. The best feature of this new model is its looks. People everywhere will gaze at it and start up conversations. The interior is as cool as the exterior. Silver accents along with carbon fiber adorn the dash and the shifter is topped with a cool ball knob. All controls are logically placed and you do not need to look when activating them. I have only two gripes about the Protege5: no rear cupholders and the location of the driver's power lock button. The lock button is really uncomfortable to reach and activate. Other than these two gripes I can say that there is no other car on the market that offers so much for so little. Here are advantages that it has over the competition: 3 year/50,000 instead of 3 year/36,000 mile warranty. Another is roadside assistance at no extra charge. You have to pay for that with Honda. Also, getting 3.9% APR for 48 months financing was not bad either. You can look cool and still carry four other friends along with luggage. If anyone has questions that you would like to discuss in particular please do not hesitate to e-mail me at tuantran1974@hotmail.com. I would be more than happy to discuss my favorite topic: my Protege5.

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    2002 Buick Rendezvous - CX AWD

    Pros: Comfortable interior seating

    Cons: Horsepower of Engine

    Advice: For the price,I think this may be a best buy, provided it performs to its hype.

    The CX Rendezvous interior room is larger than the Lexus, BMW, and Toyota Highlander I test drove. Its handling was better than the Highlander and equal to the others. The power was not quite as peppy as the others but adequate. The seats are built for Americans - larger. They are deeper and wider. My wife and I are examples of the 50's baby boomers and I feel this vehicle has more to offer than the others as to passenger seating comfort. The fit and finish is good plus the styling is modern and sleek. It's very similar to a Pontiac Aztek, yet they seem totally different to me. I feel this vehicle resembles the Lexus very much, however, it has much more to offer for the money than the Lexus. I was able to purchase this vehicle at

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    2002 Jeep Liberty - Sport 4x4

    Pros: Its made like a Jeep, has lot of head room.

    Cons: The small room in the back for my dog.

    Advice: Get the V6 Engn. 3.7L for power/towing

    I think the Liberty Sport is a well built SUV, and it's rugged fetures should last a long time on the road & off the road. It handles very well & is very stable around sharp turns. With the V6,3.7L this has the power to get you moving. I give this Jeep a (9+) rating over all.