New SUVs 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.
2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer - LS 4x4
Cons: no room
Advice: Look before you leap!After test-driving this SUV I came back to the problems that I had when I owned a Blazer. If the back seat is folded down and I sit in the drivers seat, I am unable to move the driver’s seat back so I can sit with proper line of site of the road. I wish they would give six more inches between the rear seat folded down and the front. Also I noticed again that their is some type of equipment 'box' located above the passengers feet, should this SUV for the great outdoors not allow people with boats on to sit in the front without hitting the 'box'. I also found that the rear latch handle seems to be weak. We have decided to move on to a different SUV. Sorry, I thought the new design would catch these problem areas.
2002 Isuzu Axiom - Base 4x4
Pros: Tie: Looks-Styling & Intelligent Susp Control
Cons: Getting use to sports-car like seating
Advice: Skip Gap insurance & $18/mo for 10K/120K, tried to get extra 6 mo of pmtI was looking for mid-$20K med-size SUV,-V6 only. 2 stood out from the pack-Jeep Liberty & Isuzu Axiom(although the Axiom as $29010), but there are not many that meet this description. Grand Cherokee was an expensive option but wasn't work the extra $ compared to the other 2. A last minute(before buying the Liberty) sale at Isuzu dropped the price by $2500 to the same price as the Liberty($27.4K). With Isuzu 3.9% financing the Axiom was $50/mo less-I bought it. It didn't have leather like the Jeep I wanted but the styling, drive(Intelligent Suspension Control=ISC), electronic display screen, digital temp control, hauling capacity, horse power & warranty(10y/120K Pwr Train) won me over. Also the 6-CD cartrige is in the center counsel rather than in the back. 1 week of city driving and 1050 interstate miles(1 trip) later: 18.6m/gal hwy, ISC is great: Sport Mode=other SUVs; Comfort Mode=sedan ride, cruise control stopped working, the display screen is great: audio, temp, fan, travel computer, time/date, outside temp. Definitely drive/price it before buying anything between $25K-$32K.
2002 Ford Explorer - XLT 4x4
Pros: 7 PASSENGERM SEATING CAPABILITY
Cons: REAR HATCH DOES NOT LATCH PROPERLY ALL OF THE TIME- NEEDS TWO TO THREE TRIES AT TIMES!
Advice: MAKE SURE YOU GET ALL OF THE REBATES AND INCENTIVES THAT FORD IS OFFERINGAS SOON AS I DROVE THE TRUCK FOR THE FIRST TIME, I KNEW I HAD TO HAVE IT! THE ONLY DRAWBACK IS THAT THE TRUCK IS DRIVEN BY WIFE EVERY DAY- I ONLY GET TO DRIVE IT ON WEEKENDS! I LOVE THE SMOOTH AND QUICK ACCELERATION AND 'CADDY LIKE RIDE' OF THE NEW SUSPENSION!
2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer - LT 4x2
Pros: The look of the vehicle
Cons: So far nothing
Advice: If you haven't driven a TrailBlazer I highly recomend it for SUV loversThe Chevy TrailBlazer is out of this WORLD. I've been driving vans,trucks and suv's all my life and never have I driven a vehicle like the TrailBlazer. This vehicle is in league of it's own. OK where can I start first. The performance of the engine is superb. The engine is so quiet when the car is running, sometimes I have to check to make sure it's running. Next the smooth ride, it provides as well as great steering and handling features. Also the comfort and leg room of the TrailBlazer. I could go on and on about this vehicle. Let's just say you have to test drive it to understand what I'm trying to say.
2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer - LTZ 4x4
Pros: Driver memory features via DIC (Driver Information Center)
Cons: Inability to remotely open rear gate
Advice: Get options from factory; dealers can't get/find a lot of options. Also, longer wheelbase version coming!!!Very quiet at any speed. Excellent power at any engine speed. Well placed controls and lighting. Rear AC and stereo controls. Transfer case neutral for towing.
2002 Buick Rendezvous - CX AWD
Pros: On-dash display
Cons: Quality of plastic on center console (no inlaid wood)
Advice: Compare it to a Lexus or Mercedes, not a Ford ExplorerThe test drive was somewhat exciting for a Buick. The interior was quiet, the ride smooth and the features (inside and out) worthwhile. In comparison to a Lexus RX300 or Mercedes ML320, the Rendezvous provides as meany luxuries at a bigger value to me
2002 Subaru Impreza - WRX (M5) Sedan
Pros: Mix of power and handling
Cons: sound of the trunk
Advice: keep an eye on your speedometer!My first experience of the WRX was on a drive from Santa Fe to Taos, NM. Traffic was crawling up the twisty Rio Grande Gorge at around 50mph with little chance to overtake. Finally as a clear straight came up I chopped down a couple of gears and the turbo kicked in like a swift kick in the pants. Before I knew it the car accelerated to 90 and I was back in my lane safe and sound. I was sold!!! The chassis is great, providing sure-footed handling. The seats are very comfortable and the Momo steering wheel is sweet. Sure, there are a couple of quibbles - the doors and trunk are pretty tinny and the body is an acquired taste (which did grow on me) but overall I cannot think of any car that offers as much fun for the buck as the WRX on the American market. How about a Mitsi Evolution, Nissan Godzilla or Lotus Elise for the U.S. market to see what the rest of the world gets?!?