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.
2002 Ford Escape - XLT Choice (400A) 4x4
Pros: Mid-sized truck and power
Cons: Sickening drivetrain quality
Advice: Dodge the Dodge! Don't buy it!Initially, the truck was great. It's a mid-sized truck which means it's a narrow version of a full-sized truck. This is good in city conditions. Power is great, which was also a deciding factor. The rear differential had to be rebuilt (under warranty) at about 8,000 miles. The transferred case had to be rebuilt (not under warranty) at about 36,000 miles. The transmission gave out at 53,000. One might think that the drive train fell apart under abuse, but I've had GM vehicles go 200,000 to 300,000 miles with only expected maintenance. Unfortunately, Dodge has all the modern quality assurance practices of 1935. I will never again buy another Chrysler product!
2002 Jeep Liberty - Sport 4x2
Pros: Power/acceleration, and the raised view.
Cons: Not being able to find the options I want in my area.
Advice: If you want rugged, w/power and comfort, this is it.Although everything on the Internet says that both engines are available in the 5-speed manual, the dealer (just north of Philadelphia) said that they won't be avaliable until the end of the year. Having driven sticks for the last eight years, I was leery of what kind of power and acceleration differences the automatic transmission would have. Now that I've test-driven 3.7L V6, I'm not worried at all. The acceleration from standing-still and the passing power were the same as my current car (3.1L V6 5-speed manual Chevy Cavalier), if not better. And the ride was nice and smooth, especially over all the potholes in my area. The only negatives - the view out of the rear-view mirror is tiny (get used to looking over your shoulder), and, if you're used to anti-lock brakes, you definitely want to get them as an option with the Liberty. Other than that, it's a GREAT vehicle.
2002 Jeep Liberty - Sport 4x2
Pros: I like the good view of the road and the cup holders in the back doors.
Cons: The tire in the center of the back door.
Advice: Test drive other vehicles and you'll appreciate the Liberty design.I really like the way the Liberty looks and feels. It is a sporty vehicle. CUDOS to the Jeep designers.
2002 Acura RSX - Base (M5)
Pros: 6 Speed. The 6th gear helps at highway speed. Better gas mileage with low RPM operation.
Cons: The two big blind spots. The car has 2 large mirrors to fix this problem.
Advice: Replace the shift knob with the optional metal one. If you get a cargo net have the dealer do it. It's a pain to install. Test drive this car!RSX Type S Smooth and powerful. This car has power at low RPM all the way to the 8000 RPM Redline. Shifting action is the best I have ever felt. The gates are close and the throws short. The clutch is easy to work for smooth yet fast shifts. At highway speeds in 6th gear the car still pulls hard. It's easy to find yourself doing well over 80 MPH without realizing it. The climate control works very well. The seats wrap around you and hold you in place when cornering hard. I didn't know a car could feel or ride like this for under 25,000. Amazing!
2002 Volkswagen Cabrio - GL (M5)
Pros: exterior looks
Cons: performance, safety, drurability, everything!
Advice: Don't buy it!I purchased a 2001 Cabrio, automatic, and all I have had is problems with this car. My air bags don't function properly. My air bag lights keep on coming on indicating that there are problems with the car. The gas mileage is horrible and the a/c is not cold at all. I took it in and they say that it is normal when other cars, by far, have much colder ac. I had a saturn before this and it drove wonderfully! Don't buy this car. It is the cheapest convertible out there but it is not worth it!
2002 Jeep Liberty - Limited Edition 4x2
Pros: THE RADIO CONTROLS ON THE BACK OF THE STEERING WHEEL
Cons: THEY DON'T COME WITH STEPS
Advice: IF YOU WANT TO BE NOTICED THIS IS THE TRUCK FOR YOUI LOVE MY NEW LIBERTY THE HANDLING IS GREAT THE RIDE IS COMFY AND THE LOOK IS VERY DIFFERENT . ALTHOUGH I DID NOT GET A GREAT DEAL ON THE LIBERTY IT IS WELL WORTH THE MONEY I'M ONLY DISSAPOINTED THEY DIDN'T OFFER THE SUNROOF THIS EARLY .
2002 Chevrolet Avalanche 1500 - 4x4
Pros: Panels, compartments, windows, compartments, pickup bed, compartments
Cons: feels heavy
Advice: if you want the creature comforts of a suburban, buy one --Hello from Fairfax Virginia, home to more SUVs per capita than anywhere in the nation (although terrain is relatively flat, and no snow to speak of). I've owned Suburbans, Expeditions, and one Isuzu diesel PU, and the Avalanche is the 'Reanimator' version (remember the movie?) of all three. Although only 3100 GVW, the Avalanche feels exceedingly heavy, in that it is based on the Suburban platform. However, it is very comfortable, and doesn't have that F250 feel that the Expedition has. Cool features, although I am concerned about the seal between the PU bed and the passenger compartment -- a great idea, but I think I'll wait a year before I spring for one - as a yuppie with a big yard, the Suburban/PU combination is intriguing, and, there aren't many on the road.