Black Enterprise Auto Guide

Reviews of 36 new vehicles arriving in 1999

box and assorted storage nooks make it obvious the designers realized the importance of the Corolla as Toyota’s most popular car worldwide. This is a car that meets its owner’s needs happily. ..RJ.- www.toyota.com

SHOP TALK
Auto repair rip-offs are one of the most common complaints filed by consumers. To avoid being taken advantage of the next time your car needs servicing or repair, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Look for a shop that’s equipped or specializes in your type of car or the repairs needed. Check for those that are certified as a state-approved inspection station or display the Automotive Service Excellence symbol (ASE); these mean the shop and its mechanics have met certain standards of knowledge in specific areas. They are also more likely to be reputable stations and comply with state DMV regulations.

Get and keep a signed, written cost estimate for the repairs to be performed. It should detail the nature and extent of the work to be done, what parts need to be repaired or replaced, the estimated length of time needed to complete the job and the rate you will be charged before authorizing any repairs–and get it in writing! Also make sure the repair shop will contact you in advance for approval of any work exceeding their estimates. –M.W.D.

NISSAN SENTRA
Nissan has suffered greatly in recent years, resulting in a number of corporate shake-ups at the top. It’s the marketing more than the products that are at fault, although vehicle orientation sometimes is confusing. Once known as a purveyor of sporty cars, Nissan has dropped all its two-door passenger cars for 1999. Meanwhile, the Sentra is a car that can hold its own. It gets a mild face-lift this fall with a new grille and headlamp treatment, and some new option packages are available.

The basics remain the same with a pleasant squared-off look and well-designed interior. This is a small four-door sedan ranging in price from around $12,000 to $18,000 (although Nissan added a notable $2,000 rebate this past summer)–a wide range that at the top end overlaps into Nissan’s Altima price range.

A thrifty 115-horsepower 1.6-liter engine means the Sentra is among the quicker cars in its class. Move up to the SE trim level and you get a 140-horsepower 2.0-liter engine, making it quite a powerhouse of a small sedan. The SE also includes white-faced instruments, larger tires and a rear spoiler to make sure you know it’s more entertaining than the rest of the Sentra line.

FORD WINDSTAR
With the original Windstar, Ford goofed big time. Here was a brand new three-door van just when the world was turning to four-door vans. It’s taken since 1995 to bring out the new Windstar, and this time Ford seems to be more on target.

In the four-door model you can opt to have a rem
ote-operated power door on both sides, a new feature for 1999 at Ford, Mercury, Nissan and Honda.

Safety is often a concern for van buyers, and Windstar will fulfill those needs. Side air

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