Coupes and Compact Cars 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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Coupes and Compact Cars
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    2002 Volkswagen Jetta - GLS TDI (M5) Sedan

    Pros: TDI Diesel mileage, 40 + miles/gallon

    Cons: cup holder in front of CD player

    Advice: Buy one quick, BEST value!

    The best car for the money at under $20,000! All the extras with out being expensive options! Got the diesel, gets great gas mileage, went to beach and back (240) on half a tank! Lots of power with only 90 Hp, gets up and goes, and cruises smooooth! Sharp looker especially in Black with gold trim. Looks like a $40,000 vehicle, saves BIG dollars on fuel, how can I loose!

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    2002 Ford Escort - Standard (100A)

    Pros: responsiveness and acceleration smooth with 5 speed

    Cons: nothing

    Advice: great economy with dependability

    Its responsive, handles well and never had a problem with it at 55,000 miles

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    2002 Honda Civic - LX (M5) Sedan

    Pros: The ride - choppy, but responsive. You can't feel the gears shift in automatic.

    Cons: The seats are uncomfortable, rear of car is ugly.

    Advice: The best in its class - best resale too.

    Test drove the Nissan Sentra and Toyota Echo too. The Echo felt really cheap, and the Sentra, even with 10 more horsepower, performed poorly. Mazda's commercials kept me from even test driving the protege. The better-looking Sentra was cheaper with the same features and good reliability, but so-so resale and sluggish performance. The echo was too expensive and came with NO features. The civic was the best hands-down, but if Nissan can sell the same car with the same features for less, so should Honda. Why Honda discontinued the hatchback, I have no idea - it was their best-selling, best looking model. Everything is top quality the car is roomier than its competition.

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    2002 Saturn S-Series - SL (M5) Sedan

    Pros: moon roof.

    Cons: nothing

    Advice: don't delay, pick one up they are great cars.

    This car is amazing, it is very roomy, it has zip to it and it looks incredible.

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    2002 Volkswagen GTI - L (M5)

    Pros: Tiptronic transmission made by Audi

    Cons: 17

    Advice: Test drive this car before laying down 22K for anything else!

    It is hard to explain what it is like to drive this new GTI. The 180 HP engine makes the wheels squeal like never before. Finally, VW has made the stock version of this car a serious contender in the 'speedy' crowd. The GTI stays up with most 6 cylinder challengers and even some 8 cylinders guys. The car is heavy and feels well planted on the road surface. I have the optional 17' wheels and sticky Michelins that help keep the front end on the ground and not in the air. VW also put old optional sport suspension as standard equipment to help keep this pocket rocket stable. For people who like to shift manually once and a while, the Tiptronic automatic transmission (made by Audi) is just right. I think it knows when to shift better than I do since I got a lower 0-60 time in Drive than by my own shifting!! It was just mentioned that VW is bringing out a limited edition (1000) GTIs in May that contain new lower body panels, Recarro GTI seats, and 18' wheels. Get your order in now.

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    2002 Kia Spectra - GSX (M5) Liftback

    Pros: comfortable ride

    Cons: need a few more horse power

    Advice: Make sure if you want remote controlled mirrors you ask for Electrically controlled!

    I bought a 2001 GSX with cruise option. Quieter than I had expected. Performance improved once it was broken in. Heat comes on faster than any other vehicle I have ever owned, even on very cold days. AC Worked great. A little low to the ground when entering and exiting. Comfortable for 4 with no problem. I love the hatchback since it keeps me from storing junk there like I would in a regular trunk.

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    2002 Kia Spectra - Base (M5) Sedan

    Pros: price

    Cons: Quality, Ride

    Advice: Buy ANY other brand.

    My friend, who doesn't read before she buys, bought the p.o.s. Sephia, thinking she was saving money and not giving up quality in the meantime. I told her to buy a civic like anyone else who wants reliability, but she had to be cheap. In 6000 kms, her transmission went TWICE. Sure, the car is covered under warranty, but she's been left roadside twice. I would recommend reading Consumer Reports, the only non-subsidized source of advice out there, and they will tell you the truth about KIA's awful quality and worse ride. I just sold a 1995 Accord with 210,000 kms and had NO problems with it, EVER. I bought a new 2002 civic three months ago. It's already shown its value beyond the KIA, and you can only imagine what resale and quality will be like in 4 years or so!