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 Ford Focus - (100A) 2dr Hatchback
Pros: Head and hip room and fun to drive
Cons: Front seats don't flip forward on a spring for rear seat access
Advice: Make shure that you get the Zetec engineBought this car in Aug. 2000 and haven't had any complaints.Lots of head and cargo room.The car handles great but the tires that come stock are terrible in rain and snow.My Gas mileage is 27.5 MPG on average but can drop dramatically with hard driving.This car is a joy to drive.You can toss it around in traffic and it doesn't float around like most domestic cars.Car has had several recalls,but most were minor and all were fixed without any pain.
2002 Ford Explorer - XLT 4x4
Pros: The third seat in the rear
Cons: The placement of the power lock switch in the rear. Its hidden.
Advice: Buy it with the V8 engine. You get more power for towing.Ford really did it right with the independant 4 wheel suspension and the over all comfort of the vehicle. I love driving it.
2002 Ford Escape - XLT Choice (400A) 4x4
Pros: Good looks, and a smooth ride for an SUV.
Cons: The drivers seat is uncomfortabe for my 5'11' frame.
Advice: Order one with the features you want for a few hunderd over invoice.Impressive quickness and low end torque that gets you off the line around town. Although the 'on ramp' acceleration was good, the downshift and corresponding high rpm feels a bit uncomfortable. The suspension is very comfortable compared to our older Jeep Cherokee or the Xterra and was a big selling point for us. The steering is light and a pleasure to park in 'small car only' spaces. The bright red with the side-step bars is sporty and the overall looks are a 10. Fit and finish are good although I wish the doors closed without having to slam them shut. My biggest complaint is that I can't get comfortable in the seat. The bottom cushion feels too short like I'm sitting on a bench. My wife's 5'4' frame must be just right for it though because she doesn't feel my pain.
2002 Ford Mustang - Standard (100A) Coupe
Cons: Interior Room
Advice: Test Drive it.Just bought a 2002 Mustang Coupe. I love the car. It has great finish, plenty of power and torque - even with the V-6, and a great price for what you get.
2002 Ford Ranger - XLT 2.3L Standard (380A) 4x2 2dr Super Cab Stylesi
Pros: Rear wheel drive
Cons: lack of power and uncomfortable seats
Advice: look elsewhere. If you must, definitely buy the largest (4.0L) engine!!!This Ranger is an extended cab with the 3.0L V6. The seats are among the most uncomfortable I have ever used. Fuel economy is dismal at 14 in the city and 16.5 on the road. The 3.0L engine is very sluggish. 0-60 is around 13 seconds. A 1998 Windstar with the 3.0L V6 can easily best this by 2.5 seconds while getting 4 - 6 mpg better fuel economy. Unless you feel compelled to drive a small sluggish uncomfortable pickup, your money would be better spent elsewhere. Passing performance is a joke. This vehicle borders on dangerous with respect to pickup needed to safely merge into freeway traffic. If you look at the engine specs and weight of the vehicle on paper, it looks as if it should have more then acceptable performance, but in reality, it feels like driving a mid 80's Chrysler K car. Obviously Ford did not pay attention to owners of past versions of this vehicle. We have several in our fleet replacing Ford Windstar vans. Not one person driving this vehicle has anything good to say about it.
2002 Ford F-250 - XLT 4x4 SD Super Cab Short Box
Pros: Fuel mileage & comfort
Cons: Bad vibration & numerous rattles in doors & windows
Advice: Test drive a mustMine equipped w/diesel. Has bad vibration on initial take off. FMC says this is normal. If this is normal they should make people aware of this before selling.
2002 Ford Explorer Sport - Value Manual (200A) 4x4
Pros: Exterior look and available Leather package.
Cons: Wind noise at speeds above 55 mph
Advice: I'd suggest test driving at typical driving speed of 65-70 mph to test for wind noise.The Explorer Sport was a wonderful test drive. It was a smooth ride, much smoother than your typical 'pickup truck' feel of an SUV. Handling is good and stopping power with the ABS braking system is excellent. The only fault I can find with this vehicle is the increase of wind noise at vehicle speeds over 55 mph. I love the looks of the vehicle and the available leather seating package is a nice addition. Excellent sound system. The vehicle I test drove had a premium sound system with 6 CD in-dash changer. The sound system was also satellite radio ready. Very fun to drive and hauling cargo is a snap. The 60/40 split folding rear seats are easy to handle as well.