2002 Nissan Sentra - GXE (M5)
Pros: Accelleration and Gas Milage
Advice: My sales person was excellent but watchout for con artists...BE PREPARED!I am have been a loyal Nissan consumer for almost a decade. My first car was a '86 200sx. My parents bought it for my my 16th b-day. At 156,000+ miles, it is a workhorse. I just bought a '02 Sentra GXE two weeks ago. I am very pleased. For an entry level car it has out performs most of the cars in its class. I would advise anyone who is just starting out like me to strongly consider the Sentra.
2003 Pontiac Vibe - Base FWD
Pros: The driver controls and instrumentation
Cons: I honestly haven't found a feature I dislike...sorry!
Advice: DriveIt is fun to drive my new 2003 Vibe. Once you're behind the wheel, the experience begins to unfold as you close the door(quality sound) and gaze at the interior design and spaciousness. The Vibe's fit and finish is very good. The driving experience is comfortable, quiet, responsive and secure. For $19,000 this is a well equipped vehicle that is very versatile in it's ability to carry passengers and parcels. A road test is a must to experience this new design, the new age 'station-wagon' of efficiency.
2002 Acura RSX - Type S (M6)
Pros: Six speed manual
Cons: Constant road noise
Advice: Drive the German competition before you buyDrove the Type-S. The transmission may be the best I've ever experienced; very short throw with a satisfying click every time its engaged. Clutch pedal feel is excellent. Braking power is good. The car handles amazingly well for a vehicle with such tall skinny tires and a MacPherson strut set up in front. Took it around intersection corners at 40-45 mph with no tire break free or oversteer. The engine is amazinly willing to spool to ungodly rpm ranges, however, it produces a suprisingly small amount of torque even at its peak. It was an impressively vibration free package though, even at 7,000 rpm. Fit and finish were excellent. In my opinion the GTI 1.8t was a more pleasing driving experience at a similar price. Not to mention the 205 hp VR6 GTI with the new 6 spd gearbox, 17in rims etc which is a much better car. All in all though, its a good car for the teenage boy, its apparent intended audience.
2002 Toyota Prius - Base
Pros: Economy, Performance, Information center, Quietness
Cons: Rear wiper would have been nice in Minnesota; Low availability
Advice: The factory warranty is good but this car is intricate. Extend the warranty.This cars manages to achieve everything I hoped for in an economy car. It costs more up front than an average economy car but there is tremendous satisfaction owning and driving this car. SULEV, 50 MPG, fun gadgets and good performance go along way toward justifying the higher sticker. There are no feelings of compromise. Mine came overloaded with 6-Disc CD, front and side airbags, GPS Navigation system, alarm, keyless entry, cruise control, power windows, locks and mirrors. It was the only one I could get without having to special order. I heard lately that the Prius will soon be available on the lot. Seating is basic but I am 6'3' and have plenty of room. If you are taller with large legs you may have difficulty sqeezing your left leg between the door and the steering wheel. Rear seating and trunk space is adequate. I love driving my Durango R/T but I also love driving the Prius. Now I drive the Durango only when necessary. Road trips are cheaper than a movie. The Honda Insight is also very good if space for more than two people is not required. My brother is a big 6'5' and finds it comfortable and fun to drive. Ford is also coming out with a Hybrid Escape SUV.
2002 Nissan Altima - 2.5 SL (M5)
Advice: Negotiate vigorously when considering options/features!The 2002 Nissan Altima took my breath away! I tested the 2.5SL model and was amazed that a 4-cylinder could drive so powerfully. The acceleration is fantastic but be careful, it can really get away from you. This year's model is completely redesigned and is more attractive than its higher-priced big brother, the Maxima. The interior cabin is spacious and gorgeous, with soft comfortable leather. Large trunk, fold-down back seats. The new design is as stylish as some of the higher-end foreign cars such as the Audi A4 or VW Passat. I'm impressed to say the least.
2002 Pontiac Grand Am - GT Coupe
Pros: The sound system
Advice: It drives as well as it looks.The performance of this car was great. It had a lot of power along with control and comfort. The way this car looks really contributed to pursuading me to purchase the Grand Am GT.
2002 Honda Accord - 2.3 LX (M5) Sedan
Pros: smooth, good looking, comfortable
Advice: do some research before purchaseI love my 2002 Honda Accord. We got a good retail price. The car looks beautiful and runs great. So far at 2000 milage the MPG is about 22/30. The ride is smooth and comfortable.