New 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 Ford Focus - SE (400A) Wagon

    Pros: safety record

    Cons: size of the rear seat

    Advice: It claims to get 32 freeway miles per gallon. It's realy about 25.

    The focus wagon handles well however it is very light and has trouble in the wind. Also it only seats five if the ones in the back seat are very, very, small.

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    2002 Mazda Protege - ES (M5)

    Pros: Interior design and comfort.

    Cons: Inadequate number of 12V outlets and limited storage.

    Advice: Get the 2.0L engine.

    Style, power, handling, comfort, and features describe the '02 Protege ES. From the sweeping front clear halogen headlamps and fog lights to 16' alloy wheels with low-profile tires to the rear spoiler, it's pleasing to the eye. I like the interior color scheme and the carbon fiber look trim and enjoy the power moon roof. Power from the 2.0L is good paired to the 4sp w/OD and yeilds acceptable gas mileage (25/30). Handling is precise with a solid feel in corners and quick manuevers. Ride is comfortable without excessive road or engine noise. Dash and insurment layout is smart and clean. Comfortable room for 4 is good as long as 'six-footers' are in the front seats. ES model has most all features of other higher-priced and higher-model cars. We test drove Corolla, Sentra, Malibu, CR-V, Neon, and looked at many others (not all in the same line as Protege), but solidly decided on the 2002 Protege ES.

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    2002 Mazda Protege5 - (M5)

    Pros: Handling.

    Cons: Lack of power.

    Advice: Bother GReddy or JacksonRacing to build a blower for this car

    Cons: Light on power. Could use a supercharger or turbo system. Pros: Easy to drive. Handles very well. Options are as good as any of the competition and price makes this a bargan.

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

    Pros: The comfort of the car.

    Cons: The back end is too round.

    Advice: Make sure you like stick. It's a fun car.

    I test drove the Spec-V, Honda Civic EX, Saturn LS-2. I did a lot of research on a dozen cars and my final decision was the Spec-V. You go with the better of the two Sentra's for 2002 and you get a better buy. The stereo system is very nice and the handling of the car says it all. The acceleration is much better than the Civic EX, which is a popular car... I still get more people looking my way because it is not a car seen a lot on the streets.

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    2002 Pontiac Grand Am - SE1 Sedan

    Pros: It rides comfortably when it is not on a tow truck.

    Cons: It is mechanically unreliable with seemingly poor quality parts.

    Advice: Don't purchase this car. It is much more trouble than it is worth.

    This vehicle rides quite well, when it runs. We have two Grand Ams in the family and both have left us stranded on multiple occassions. It seems to be plagued with battery and electrical problems and in general uses poor quality parts (we have had to replace a gasket within the engine, a belt, the alternator, front brakes, the body control chip module, the cassette deck and the coolant cap. I have already had multiple repairs totalling several thousand dollars worth of work on my 2 1/2 year old Grand Am and had to have it towed back to the dealership again today. It was there only 28 days ago for the same problem. If you want reliability, this car is definately not the one to buy. I am a proud American and I support my country as I can, but I am also a hard working consumer who expects some quality and dependability in exchage for my hard earned dollars. Pontiac failed drastically. You and your family deserve better. Don't get stranded. Don't buy a pontiac.

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    2002 Nissan Altima - 2.5 S (M5)

    Pros: styling and performance

    Cons: dash center

    Advice: excellent car for family and daily commutes

    Mahhhvelous.The 175hp four cyl. engine is surprisingly powerful.Performance and handling are super.More interrior room than Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.Head turning good looks,comfort and horsepower/torque make the car a serious contender.All this for less money than the Camry and Accord.Anyone looking for a midsize four door sedan do yourself a favor and try the Altima.You will be pleasantly surprised.

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    2002 Volkswagen New Beetle - GLS (M5)

    Pros: the bud vase

    Cons: cup holders

    Advice: test drive one and you will fall in love

    An amazing experience that I enjoyed....It was very fun to learn bout all the features....A great drive so I bought one!!