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 Volkswagen Jetta - GLS L (M5) Sedan
Pros: Turbo and Monsoon sound system
Cons: Cup Holders, seat reclining crank wheel, and lack of rear seat space. also Velour seats gather a LOT of lint. Lint Magnets!!
Advice: Pay no more than $300 over invoice. Start bidding wars by contacting different dealerships online. Definitely get your quotes from online car buying services.I had no idea the power behind these little guys. When I first took the test drive and the salesman told me to accelrate fast, I had NO idea it was going to take off that fast. I've never driven a Honda or Toyota that felt like this.
2002 Nissan Altima - 3.5 SE (M5)
Pros: Performance..this car is incredibly quick for its size
Cons: Sunroof operation and associated wind noise
Advice: Take a test drive and be amazed!!At 6'1' I was amazed that the salesman at 6'3' was able to sit behind me, even with the seat all the way back. The spaciousness of the vehicle is tremendous from the interior all the way to the trunk. The vehicle has tremendous power and can get you into the traffice flow quickly and without any effort. The Altima has been redesigned and will definitely be a class leader.
2002 Oldsmobile Alero - GLS Sedan
Pros: All the AUTO Stuff - door locks - lights
Cons: No arm rest
Advice: After approx 1 month of driving - I luv it.For me this works ... small, comfortable and easy to drive. Handles nice.
2002 Nissan Maxima - GLE (A4)
Pros: Overall quality
Cons: Front wheel drive and dull appearance
Advice: Bargain aggressively, they are not selling as fast as they would likeIt's always a compromise when you purchase a car, be it price, performance or any of your favorite features. I think 2002 Maxima is a good compromise. The 2004 version is going to be even better with rear wheel drive and added power, but you have to wait for 2 more years. I managed to negotiate for the GLE for $1000 below invoice before the $1000 factory rebate because dealership feared that Maxima will sit in the lot with new design of Altima.
2002 Hyundai Elantra - (M5) Sedan
Pros: 140 hp
Cons: stereo is less than i wanted. I'll upgrade
Advice: List the things you want from a car before you buyI have 1200 miles on my Elantre and it definatley has some get up and go when needed. Rap the accelerator and it takes off, in town or at expressway speeds. Just right for the daily comute. I chose it over the competetion for this and the little bit of extra leg room it has. The transmission seems to get confused when the car is cold at low speeds, and the am/fm cassette sound system is marginal. The trunk is one the mafia would be proud of. Lots of room. A good choice for the price. And what a warranty.
2002 Honda Accord - 2.3 LX (M5) Sedan
Pros: supposed to be solid built
Cons: noise, uncomfortable seating, low mpg at this class
Advice: never trust the rating from internet site. Have a full test drive first.I have about 800 miles on my new accord. It's not as good as claimed by many internet sites. The noise of road and wind is huge. The mpg is ordinary(22 for city and 28 for highway). After 300 miles I noticed the dashboard noise. I have been to the dealer's 3 times and it's still there. Overall average quality compared with Buick or Camry. Never buy it again.
2002 Toyota Camry - XLE V6 (A4)
Pros: I love the GPS Navigation and heated seats.
Cons: No multi-disc CD changer.
Advice: Buy itMy Wife and I recently bought a 2002 XLE V6 with all the bells and whistles, it's like being a kid in a candy store! The car is exceptionally quiet and very very comfortable! I recently had a 6'+ passenger in the back seat and he commented on the leg room and comfort. Plenty of power too! If I could only pry the steering wheel from her hands long enough so I could drive it!