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.
Advice: BEWARE!I bought one and 3 days later had it in the shop. I was sitting at a traffic light and the vehicle just stalled on me. The dealer said it was a Pollution Control Valve. We'll see. I haven't gotten it back yet, but beware of buying this vehicle. Many people (20 percent) have reported stalling in reviews accross the web.
Cons: Location of ignition & the column shift lever is in the way of radio controls
Advice: Get all the extra features that you would need--worth the extra moneyBarely pressed on the accelerator & boy did it take off--zoom,zoom,zoom!! Really caught me by surprise for a small SUV with a V6. Especially since I was used to driving an Infiniti I30 and basically had resigned myself to whatever I would test drive in a V6 category would not compare. This vehicle really lived up to the comparison.
Pros: Fit and finish. Our kids love the second row power windows and large moonroof.
Cons: There is nothing so far.
Advice: Don't automatically get lured by the competitions large incentives. Compare options and features with the MPV.This is a fun vehicle to drive. How many mini vans can you say that about? Performance and handling are top notch(extremely smooth transmission) as is the quality that is felt throughout. Besides being the best looking mini van on the road, it is one of the safest. Before you buy, compare with the competition: quality and reliability(do the homework), safety, unique features and great amenities standard/offered, and a great driving experience. Your kids will love you and get fresh air all at once.
Pros: The speedy acceleration
Cons: The placement of the ignition
Advice: Go Test Drive itI was very surprised with the acceleration of this vehicle. Most SUV's I had driven had not shown so much get-up-and-go. I was very impressed, I bought an LX 2WD with the audio package. Aside from the excellent acceleration, the 6 cd changer and speakers sound wonderful. The seats are very comfortable and the view from the drivers seat in open. I think it is also one of the best looking SUV's on the market today. I was also very impressed by the price tag, I got everything I wanted for just about 20K, comparable models (i.e. Rav4, CR-V) had smaller engines and less features for higher price tags. Overall, I am very impressed and would definitely suggest this vehicle to anyone in the SUV market.
Pros: Braking with four wheel disc brakes
Cons: Removing rear privacy shelf when carrying large items
Advice: Don't let them promise you mud guards they're not availableI bought the Mazda Protege5 in June'01 and I love it.I haven't had to do anything to it but change the oil&filter and rotate the tires.After 9,000 miles,the car continues to be flawless.I had test driven the VWPassat and had fallen in love with it,but quite frankly didn't want to spend in the upper 20's for it. This Mazda is a lot of terrific car for the money.The handling and the configuration of the car combined with the price is what sold me. I can't wait to see and drive the '03Mazda6 Hatchback,as I wouldn't mind something a little larger. Everything I've seen and read about the Mazda6 convinces me that it will be a winner. In the meantime,I have and will continue to rave to anyone who lends an ear about the greatness of the Protege5,needless to say,all the many people that have eyed and commented on how sharp the car is.Mine by the way is silver and an automatic transmission,which I think performs extremely well.Check out this car,I think you'll be most pleasantly surprised.
Pros: Looks (Vivid Yellow)
Cons: No Mud Flaps ar made for them yet
Advice: Test DriveWhen I took my wife out for a test drive when we were looking for a car, and we had just test drove a PT Cruiser before it. When we got back to the show room, she said buy it. Since then (now this is my car mind you) she steals when ever she gets a chance and just goes out for drives. I love the way it looks outside and in. It handle like a dream and has plenty of power when you need it. I also looked at the Vibe and Matrix, but this car with the standard features. Beats out both of them hand down. The seats are very comfortable, the dash looks great and every gauge easy to read. All the controls are at you finger tips. My sugestion is test drive one, if this is the size car you are looking at. Because when you test drive it (and put it through its paces), you'll buy it
Cons: Cargo space can be a tad limiting at times.
Advice: Get ready to have fun (and yet be practical at the same time)!I absolutely love this car! I have had it for about six months. I bought it because I was looking for something that would fit my growing family (4 year old and newborn), but I was NOT going to become the minivan/SUV type of parent. I'm very much a kid at heart, and wanted a car to reflect that. The handling and performance are on a par (or better) as more expensive cars that I have test driven. At times, the cargo space is a bit limiting, but that's a rare occasion. And it looks incredibly cute....it continues to turn heads. I'm a loyal Mazda owner (my most recent was a 90 626), so I know the car is going to be a reliable performer for years to come.