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.
2002 Kia Spectra - Base (M5) Sedan
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!
2002 Honda Accord - 2.3 EX (M5) Sedan
Advice: Don't Buy one! Buy a Passat!We Owned a 1999 Honda Accord EX.It was the worst Car we've ever owned in our ENTIRE lives! The only good thing about it is Reliability........otherwise it was JUNK as the old Honda's used to be.It had Nothing going for it Accelaration,comfort,ride,handleing,fit and finish and more! Everybody says they are great don't beilieve them they are Terrible.
2002 Honda Accord - 3.0 EX w/Leather (A4) Coupe
Cons: Tires---The Michelins are not good in rain, and cost 131.00 ea
Advice: You cant lose with this car. They never breakMy fouth Accord, this is the best one I have owned. The build quality of this car is only matched by the Toyotas. I just traded a Subaru for this, and it is not in the same league. The AWD offered better traction, but thats it. My V6 cost $6k less, and offers better mileage, its more comfortable, and reliability is better. I drive a lot, so mileage piles up, and the Honda never has problems. A lot of parts wore out on the 99 Outback, the quality was not at all like the Honda. I added a few items on my Accord for performance, and spent time with people who live cars. They all marvel at the level of quality, how well built the Accord and Civics are, how everything fits, nothing is cheap. This car is fast, handles well, and is excellent in bad weather for only front wheel drive(std traction control). The bottom line is you cant lose with this car, I paid 23k for the V6 EX Coupe. At 100k, this car will be in excellent condition, that why they hold their resale value like Mercedes. The Accord is the best car for its cost, read the reviews. My only complaint is the stock tires,the Michelins are just OK, a Continental Contact, which cost 40 dollars less per tire, would be better
2002 Nissan Sentra - GXE (M5)
Pros: Excellent frame rigidity.
Cons: No ABS.
Advice: Recommended for short or long time ownersWhat i like is the feedback that the car is giving us, it is very informative, and you are very aware of what is going on with the car you're driving, giving you also a nice feeling of total control. Every pieces of equipment is working perfectly and efficiently in this car, from the A-C and electrics, up to the wippers! The layout is good, and it give an impression of great overall quality. I rent the GXE 2001 version, and i see it as an excellent car for grown-ups, and people who buy theirs first brand new car.
2002 Nissan Sentra - SE-R (M5)
Pros: ENGINE TECHNOLOGY
Cons: CUP HOLDERS
Advice: SPEC-V REQUIRES PREMIUM GAS SE-R DOES NOTI BOUGHT THE SENTRA SE-R, MANUAL TRANSMISSION HAS MORE POWER THEN ANYTHING ELSE IN THE PRICE RANGE. QUALITY AT THE PRICE PAID CANNOT BE BEAT. NISSAN IS THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRIES BEST KEPT SECRET IN THE COMPACT CAR CLASS.
2002 Nissan Sentra - SE-R Spec V (M6)
Cons: Race-ready = stiff suspension = rough ride on bad roads
Advice: I'd start it in 2ndBought my Spec-V about 3 weeks ago - this is the most car for your money you are going to find anywhere. It's very comfortable, roomy, affordable, attractive, and sporty. Don't buy a Focus, Neon, Civic, or any small car until you've tested this one. If you can't appreciate the ergonomics and economics of this car, you WILL appreciate its' ability to cover ground in a hurry. The feature list is huge - Power everything, AC, fog lights, six speed, Z-rated 17' tires/wheels, sunroof, 6-disc, 9 speakers, 300watt amp, 8' subwoofer, 175hp, limited-slip differential, front strut brace, folddown rearseat, etc etc. The six-speed is absolutely fluid. Want to own a car that will turn heads with looks and sound, get great gas mileage, be fun to drive, costs 3-5 grand less than similarly equipped models, have every little feature and still beat a mustang in a drag race?? It ain't nowhere but Sentra.
2002 Saturn S-Series - SL2 (M5) Sedan
Pros: Unstoppable control on ice & water (but buy good tires).
Cons: Cheezy interior fabric - like those 1970s velour shirts...
Advice: Upgrade the interior to a sturdier cloth interior or use seat covers. The original interior damages too easily.We actually didn't even test drive it until after we decided to buy it! We didn't have as great an experience at the dealership as some have written about (it was OK) but that was the last reason we chose to buy the car. We bought this vehicle after it was returned by the original owner within the first 30 days of ownership (military restationed out of the country & couldn't take the vehicle with them). The tape deck malfunctioned after about 9 months and they replaced it for free while doing our normal warranty work - they didn't even ask! We've driven this thing through more than 3' of snow, 2' of standing water & slush, mud, rain, you name it, we've been through it. We commute 60+ miles each way 5 days/week and have more than 110,000 miles on the car now. We live in Southcentral Alaska and in the 6 years we've had our SL2, we managed to get it stuck ONCE when we high-centered it at the mailbox. We use good tires w/ studs in the winter, but no other vehicle we've owned compares (including the Honda Accord). The only major complaints we have are the cheesy interior, lack of comfort on long drives (we both have long legs & even the front is uncomfy after about 4 hours or so), the wimpy door seals whose glue couldn't stand up to our cold temperatures, and the expense involved in replacing body panels. We had 1 accident 2 weeks after we bought it and the flex panels were so cold (-10F) that they shattered upon impact at less than 20MPH. The other guy's pocketbook was pretty sore - $1800 worth of damage because he hit 3 panels & shattered chunks out of all of them. Ouch. We love our Saturn dealership as they are always willing to go the extra mile. Our alternator quit 5,000 miles after the extended warranty expired (by miles not by time) and because it was so close, they split the replacement cost with us. Overall, the best thing about this car is the amazing control for turning, stopping, and general maneuvering on ice. It has great power and a very low center of gravity. We've never found ourselves ditch-diving with it. DEFINITELY buy the Lifetime Oil Change wherein you get free oil changes (except cost of filter) every 90 days or 3000 miles for $189 up front. Of course, don't buy this if you plan to sell the vehicle or move before this service pays for itself, it's only good for one owner of the car at one dealership. We have our oil changed about once a month because we drive so much and they do our warranty service at the same time. I would like this car more if they offered a better quality & more ergonomic interior.