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 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?!?
2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer - LS 4x4
Pros: RIDE AND HANDLING
Advice: CHECK IT OUTREAL NICE VEHICLE
2002 Ford Explorer - Eddie Bauer 4x2
Pros: New Styling
Cons: No 3rd seat option for XLS model
Advice: If your looking for low cost SUV, look at Explorer XLS modelLooked at numerous year end SUV offers. 2002 Ford Explorer 4x4 was by far the best choice. Awesome new styling. Quiet ride. Great room compared to other vehcles (Santa FE, Escape, CRV, etc.) in this price range ($24,500). Great Ford financing! 4.9 60 months, 3.9 36 months, 3.9 24 months....
2002 Ford Escape - XLT Choice (400A) 4x4
Pros: Mid-sized truck and power
Cons: Sickening drivetrain quality
Advice: Dodge the Dodge! Don't buy it!Initially, the truck was great. It's a mid-sized truck which means it's a narrow version of a full-sized truck. This is good in city conditions. Power is great, which was also a deciding factor. The rear differential had to be rebuilt (under warranty) at about 8,000 miles. The transferred case had to be rebuilt (not under warranty) at about 36,000 miles. The transmission gave out at 53,000. One might think that the drive train fell apart under abuse, but I've had GM vehicles go 200,000 to 300,000 miles with only expected maintenance. Unfortunately, Dodge has all the modern quality assurance practices of 1935. I will never again buy another Chrysler product!
2002 Jeep Liberty - Sport 4x2
Pros: Power/acceleration, and the raised view.
Cons: Not being able to find the options I want in my area.
Advice: If you want rugged, w/power and comfort, this is it.Although everything on the Internet says that both engines are available in the 5-speed manual, the dealer (just north of Philadelphia) said that they won't be avaliable until the end of the year. Having driven sticks for the last eight years, I was leery of what kind of power and acceleration differences the automatic transmission would have. Now that I've test-driven 3.7L V6, I'm not worried at all. The acceleration from standing-still and the passing power were the same as my current car (3.1L V6 5-speed manual Chevy Cavalier), if not better. And the ride was nice and smooth, especially over all the potholes in my area. The only negatives - the view out of the rear-view mirror is tiny (get used to looking over your shoulder), and, if you're used to anti-lock brakes, you definitely want to get them as an option with the Liberty. Other than that, it's a GREAT vehicle.
2002 Jeep Liberty - Sport 4x2
Pros: I like the good view of the road and the cup holders in the back doors.
Cons: The tire in the center of the back door.
Advice: Test drive other vehicles and you'll appreciate the Liberty design.I really like the way the Liberty looks and feels. It is a sporty vehicle. CUDOS to the Jeep designers.
2002 Jeep Liberty - Limited Edition 4x2
Pros: THE RADIO CONTROLS ON THE BACK OF THE STEERING WHEEL
Cons: THEY DON'T COME WITH STEPS
Advice: IF YOU WANT TO BE NOTICED THIS IS THE TRUCK FOR YOUI LOVE MY NEW LIBERTY THE HANDLING IS GREAT THE RIDE IS COMFY AND THE LOOK IS VERY DIFFERENT . ALTHOUGH I DID NOT GET A GREAT DEAL ON THE LIBERTY IT IS WELL WORTH THE MONEY I'M ONLY DISSAPOINTED THEY DIDN'T OFFER THE SUNROOF THIS EARLY .