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.
Pros: Corners like a champ
Cons: C'mon Mazda...how about a decent stereo? Sound stinks.
Advice: Upgrade the stereoThis 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.
Pros: COMFORT +STYLING+RIDE
Cons: AT NIGHT U CANT SEE THE CONTROLS ON THE STEERING WHEEL
Advice: RESAERCH SEVERAL DEALER TO GET THE BEST PRICE!!HAD A 2000 NEON THUOGHT IT WAS A GOOD CAR.....BOY WAS I WRONG ! I BOUGHT THIS CAR CAUSE MAINLY BECAUSE OF THE LOOK, BUT I SOON FOUND OUT THE COMFORT AND HANDELING IS UNBELIEVABLE ,AND THE CAR HAS BALLS FOR A 4 CYLINDER!THE BOSE STEREO WILL BLOW YOUR EARS OUT .NICE CAR A LITTLE EXPENSIVE..... BUT ISN'T EVERYTHING THATS WORTH HAVING
Pros: Performance, styling, features - GLS is a near-luxo car for low-luxo price
Cons: More lateral support on driver-seat would be an easy, low-cost fix for GM - (unless Olds is simply counting on all their buyers being under 175 pounds); engine noise when cold can be distracting.
Advice: If you want an extremely attractive, well-built, refined car (albeit with a not-as-refined engine), that's fun to drive and has Lexus-looks and a lot-less-than-Toyota price tag (and on top of that, a luxo-car 5-year/60K warranty), consider the Alero GLS.The Alero has great acceleration and the 4-speed auto trans is smooth and responsive, but the 3.4 V6 engine isn't as quiet and refined as the competition. Alero has an extrememly well-appointed interior, and - when equipped with the GLS model's leather - places in the near-luxury car market. Guages and controls are all well placed, and the interior styling is extremely attractive. GLS sound-system is first rate. Other nice touches include standard traction control, ample storage, and warning lights for low-oil level, oil change need, and low tire air-pressure. Driver seat could use more lateral boasting for us 190#, 6-footers who ocassionally take 2-hour drives (though one can correct this by carefully inserting thick-guage foam rubber square into the back of the seat bottom). Cupholders are somewhat useless as cupholders - though that's a small gripe. Exterior styling is a head-turner and compliment-attractor. Ride is good and handling above-average. However, road and engine noise rate only as acceptable. Overall, Alero is a gorgeously-styled car on the higher-par of larger compacts, creaping up toward the near-luxury segment - and one cause for that egg drying up on the face of GM: for ordering the execution of Oldsmobile - arguably their critical best line of cars.
Cons: Cargo space, pass trough needs to be bigger, or split rear seats would be appreciated
Advice: Make sure you get the wagon if you need cargo space. Other than that, the car is greatThis car is great, accelaration is excellent. Handling is great too, although I wouldn't mind it a little bit stiffer. Fuel ecomony is about what I expected, between 20 and 30 mpg mostly near 20 around town, but I drive a little heavy footed. Build quality is good, the only rattle I noticed in 10000miles was the spare tire squeaking on the metal bed in the trunk on my bumpy gravel driveway. I got some 17in wheels, OZ Prodrive P1's for those in the know that really add character and a few extra mph in corners. The stock tires are nothing special but I'm going to use them in winter...
Pros: Good Sound, but too pricey CD player.
Cons: No Seat covers like the Echo
Advice: Remember, ~$1500-2000 less is invoice price.Good all-round, cute Spoiler. If you're in a hot area, remember interior color is important. Black=HOT! :) Pickup acceptable for vehicle (4 cyl) good gas, and control good. No ABS though :(
Pros: All Wheel Drive
Cons: no power seat
Advice: Buy this car you will love it. you don't want to park the car It's so fun to drive.I recently bought a 2002 Impreza wrx sedan. I love this car. I previously owned a chevy blazer. I love how the awd keeps the car planted firmly on the ground. The seats are great, i jsut wish they had power seats but oh well no biggie. It's also fast and takes corners like it's on rails. You won't go wrong with this car. Oh and for all of you over 6 foot who are thinking of getting this car, go for it. You will have pleanty of room in it.
Pros: Sunroof & Keyless entry
Cons: Needs more horsepower
Advice: The upgrade to EX is definitely worth it.I purchased my Civic EX a week ago. I absolutely love it. For those in the market to buy a new car, the Civic is a perfect blend of style, safety, and price. You get a great deal for the money. If I could change anything with the Civic, it would be more Horsepower. The “get up and go” is just enough to make it acceptable… but I would like more. Overall I am obviously very happy with my choice. Kathy – Sacramento California