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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
    • Overall
    • Comfort
    • Performance
    • Quality
    • Appearance

    12/22/2001 7:17:48 PM

    2002 Nissan Altima - 2.5 SL (M5)

    Pros: The powerful Bose stereo system.

    Cons: The fact that the controls on the steering wheel are not at all visible at night.

    Advice: Don't step on the gas too hard when at a standstill as the tires are not grippy and you tend to burn some rubber before finally taking off.

    Prior to owning this car I owned a 2001 Lexus LS430 (I sold due to possibility of layoff). The Altima I chose was a 2.5SL black on black. Although the Altima and the Lexus are in two totally different classes, I must say that I was pleasantly surprise with the ride and quality of a car in this price range ($22k). Also, to be quite honest, I thought the Bose stereo system outperformed the Mark Levison stereo system in the Lexus. Furthermore, this car is a great everyday car which definately proves its worth in terms of fuel efficiency and appearance. One disappointment was that the add-ons (leather, floormats, alloy wheels, etc.) were way too expensive compared to the quality of materials used. However, the quick pickup (180+ torque) more than made up for that. Unfortunately, the engine was a bit noisy (spoiled from the Lexus I think) when revved above the 3000rpm mark. Some sound damping in the cabin interior wouldn't hurt and would only help this car edge out the best selling Accord and Camry. Finally, though I have every intention to purchasing a Lexus once again, I would no doubt purchase another Altima to use as a secondary car in the years to come.

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    12/18/2001 8:11:48 PM

    2002 Nissan Sentra - SE-R Spec V (M6)

    Pros: the engine

    Cons: The fact that it was four door not two door

    Advice: check out the red it looks that best

    The drive was cumforatble but yet starteling when i think of sporty imports i think of two door. but

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    12/18/2001 10:09:28 AM

    2002 Subaru Impreza - WRX (M5) Sedan

    Pros: Overall handling and performance

    Cons: No scan feature on the radio

    Advice: Test drive it

    This car offers it all! If you like performance, fuel economy, and handling, this is the vehicle. I read all of the reviews, and for the most part they were accurate about the pluses and minuses of the design. Looks aren't the greatest, but the more you drive it, the better it looks.

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    12/13/2001 12:27:53 PM

    2002 Volkswagen Jetta - GLS 2.8L (EOP Week 40) (M5) Sedan

    Pros: the V6 engine

    Cons: the gas milage

    Advice: Beware of the gas milage claims

    This is a truely comfortable car to drive. I've owned the 4 cylinder also and the V6 is much smoother and quieter and plenty powerful. The fit and finish are excellent, although I have had some problems that are a little concerning to me such as the passenger window falling into the door, and the springs under both seats falling out. Minor, but irritating. The biggest surprise has been that the car does no better than 278 miles on a tank of gas, far short of what was claimed. I drive 148 miles each way to work, and have not gotten 300 miles from a tank yet.

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    12/12/2001 11:49:20 PM

    2002 Audi A4 - T (M5) quattro Sedan

    Pros: Quattro

    Cons: The time delay between volume and chanel preset. You have to wait for the volume function to clear before you can switch the chanels.

    Advice: Buckle up

    This car is truly a work of art. It drives great, and it's a head turner.

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    12/7/2001 4:52:38 PM

    2002 Subaru Impreza - WRX (M5) Wagon

    Pros: Performance

    Cons: Some corners cut on interior, finish, etc.

    Advice: Test drive it-You'll know right away if this car is your cup of tea!

    The WRX Sport wagon is in my opinion one of the best values on the maket. All-wheel drive combined with a turbocharged boxer engine produces some serious fun. The car accelerates with great speed, especially upwards of 3000 rpm, and corners with total precision. The car reacts beautifully to the driver-as an added plus, the wagon offers a fair amount of cargo space, and all models have full power and a decent sound system. I actually look forward to driving, even in traffic!

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    12/6/2001 10:56:42 PM

    2002 Mazda Protege5 - (M5)

    Pros: Corners like a champ

    Cons: C'mon Mazda...how about a decent stereo? Sound stinks.

    Advice: Upgrade the stereo

    This is a fun car to drive, no doubt about it. I gave my 99 VW Jetta to my son for college and needed something at least as much fun to drive, but less expensive than 2002 Jettas. That led me to consider Protege5, Civic, Sentra and Elantra GT. The Elantra GT was just as much fun to drive, but...well, it's a Hyundai, no matter how far they supposedly have come since 'the bad days.' The Sentra (I've owned 2, the most recent 10 years ago) continues to disappoint. Nissan doesn't get it anymore...you shouldn't have to spend $19,000 to get a subcompact with a moonroof and ABS. The Honda...well, I think Honda hasn't had decent styling since the '80s. The Protege 5 isn't as good overall as the VW Jetta...but it's darn close, and better in some ways. First, the negative: The stereo truly stinks. I'm already checking out crutchfield.com and Good Guys catalog. There are only 4 speakers (most cars now have 6-7 even in this size). There also is quite a bit of wind noise from the open moonroof, particularly because of the roof rack bar immediately above it, I presume. But I got the 5-speed standard tranmission and that's definitely the way to go. This car corners better than anything I've ever driven and has plenty of pep in the standard tran. The interior is nicely done and the seats are the most comfortable I've seen in a subcompact. The styling both inside and out far surpasses Honda's offerings in the Civic or Accord. This car is a winner...but I still have a fond spot for my Jetta. At least it's in good hands (I hope) and my son is thrilled. It's a great car, too.