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.
2003 Volkswagen New Beetle - GL T (M5) Hatchback
Pros: the body style
Cons: full of problems
Advice: if you really want a Bug, buy a new one and get a max warrantyI bought a used 98 Bug, black paint black interior, and the first month or so was great. Now, however, the relationship has soured quite a bit. 1) computer problem caused the engine fan to run all the time, which killed the battery...this took 2 weeks to fix 2) driver's side window shattered inside the door panel, took a month to get fixed 3) latch on glove box is broken (not due to any kind of abuse) so now I can't use it 4) headlamps cost roughly 50 bucks to replace 5) some issue with 02 sensor causes the engine light to come on...then off...then on 6) car makes strange noises from both the inside and out
2003 BMW Z4 - 2.5i (M5)
Cons: Power seats and roof not standard and expensive $2900
Advice: Try it you'll really be impressedHandles real well, much improved from Z3 as far as power and trunk space. Thought Z4 much better ride than Honda S2000. While new styling has been criticized, I think the car looks great.
2003 Audi A4 - T (A5) quattro Sedan
Advice: PerformanceFirst impression with this car are great. The dual climate control works great and the heated seats are amazing. The technical features of this car are outstanding and the fit and finish is near the top of the entry luxury class. I have had however multiple mechanical failures over the course of a year with this vehicle. The warranty is great all repairs were covered but consider the reliability and convience of dealership before purchase. Overall I still love this car but it has been a lot of hassel mechanically. Not sure how reliable these are in general but its something to consider.
2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder - GS
Pros: the fact that its a convertible
Cons: you kinda get squished in the back seat
Advice: GET IT!!!this car is the BEST!! the ride is smooth and the sound system is great. it is probably one of the best looking cars out there. i have not had any problems with it so far. I LOVE THIS CAR!!! YOU SHOULD SERIOUSLY CONSIDER GETTING ONE!!! you wont regret it
2003 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class - Base
Pros: Retractable Hardtop
Cons: The doors are very long!
Advice: Buy it! In comparison with the competition it definitely gives the most car for the buck.This is an amazingly fun car to drive. Mercedes knew exactly what they were doing when they designed this car, it has all the right elements of a roadster (especially if you get the V6 or AMG). I have had many other roadsters, and this is by far the best one yet. And with the built-in hardtop you have both a coupe and covertible, all in one car. If you have ever owned a sports car this is something that you always had to decide between. This is a great car, I will be keeping this one for a while!
2003 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage - Convertible
Pros: The Steering handles like a dream
Advice: GET THIS IT RULESAwesome
2003 Toyota Camry Solara - SLE V6 (A4) Coupe
Pros: Smooth engine
Cons: Lack of comfort
Advice: Look elsewhereWarning to potential SE purchaers--be sure to drive this car on the interstate before purchase. The combination of wheelbase-cab forward design-and suspension calibrations will continuously slam you over uneven pavement sections. My 27 year old Vette rides better over these areas. The car is also not as quiet as my previous Cressida nor does it handle as well. Be sure to notice the blind spot created by the rear roof pillars also. The bucket seats are not very suupportive and are too narrow. There is rust under the hood in my car with less than 1000 miles and the dealer blames it on the factory--they've offered to clean it off!! The paint quality also varies from one panel to the next on this black car. Don't be in a hurry to leave the lot without a thorough going over on a sunny day. The drive train seems to rock when you let off the gas and you can feel the wipers pulsate as they change direction when your holding the steering wheel. Did I somehow end up with a mid 70's GM?