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Old 12-19-2006, 01:02 AM   #1
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Default SLE vs SE - need advice

Hello Everyone, I am a new member. Details in the Intro Section.

Here'* the bad news. Last Thursday some (moronic) individual in Savannah ran a red light, probably doing about 55 mph, and whacked my 1996 SE hard in the rear quarter panel with sufficient force to put a "twist" in the vehicle. To cut a long story short, the vehicle is now sitting in my yard, undrivable and has been totaled by the insurance co.

I am thinking of replacing it with a later model (2000 -2005) and need advice and/or info on what advantage the SLE models have over the SE'*. In particular, does the SLE have firmer suspension. Also I am looking for Side Airbags.
In short is it worth looking specifically for an SLE over an SE, or are the differences between the two simply cosmetic.
Any help or advice from members would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:31 AM   #2
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my 00 SLE has the side airbags...not sure about the suspension... an SE owner will need to chime in...
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Old 12-19-2006, 07:59 AM   #3
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I'm farily sure the suspension is about the same. Typically in the earlier models (I'm more familiar with them) the SLE got more creature comfort options. For example..the SE may have normal climate control ***** and the SLE has dual electronic climate. Heated vs Non Heated seats..

Oh..and the SLE in that year has the same outter appearance as an SSEi instead of the SE
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:44 PM   #4
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the SLE, has more options than the SE....now that being said you can get a SE optioned up and a Stripped down SLE....and both of the cars would have the same features

as the suspension goes they have the same, but the SLE will have the 17" wheels

some options for the SLE would include

Traction Controll
moonroof
heated seats
leather interior
memory seating
a better DIC than the SE

also as you can see the SLE will have the more aggressive body cladding and a dual exhaust system...also the SLE'* have a spoiler

now you can get a LOADED SE and have all the same Interior features, but they are harder to come by....

Personally i would shoot for the SLE and never look back
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Old 12-19-2006, 01:11 PM   #5
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Im possitive that the suspension is different my 03 se had soft ride or somthing like that and my sle has fe2 so the suspension should be different.
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:00 PM   #6
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Thanks for the feedback folks.

I have located a 2002 SLE for sale about 90 miles from here so I am going to go and check it out later in the week when I can get some time off work.

Regarding options codes, I know that these are printed on a sticker located on the spare wheel cover in trunk.
I gather from reading varoius posts that suspension codes appear to include the letters "FE" . I just took a look at my 96 and see that among the various codes listed I have FE1 & FE9 - I presume this denotes a "standard" set up.

The question is can anyone tell me what option codes to look for when checking out various SE & SLE'*, given that I want a firmer suspension set-up.

I gather from N/A White Bonne'* post that "FE2" is good to have. Is there anything else to look for?

Once again, thanks for your help.
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Old 12-19-2006, 02:05 PM   #7
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Old 12-19-2006, 04:15 PM   #8
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From my post in the Introductions forum:
Quote:
Originally Posted by 95SLE
Welcome to the club. Go with the SLE as it is optioned better than the SE. Side air bags were an option on the 04 SLE. Mine has them as it was a requirement for me when purchasing the 04 SLE. In 04 there was a combination SLE called the Premier Edition option package that had a lot of options for a combined price. Basically the upgraded wheels were included at no extra charge.
The SLE is a fine car. You will be impressed and comfortable at the same time. Once you pick up the car, pics are mandantory.
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:33 PM   #9
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Default Go for a GXP

Go for the GXP. They are hard to find but worth it. I have had mine for a month and what a car! I test drove an 04 SLE and then the GXP. The GXP just can't be beat (except in fuel economy..wooof!) The handling is unbelievable. The N* rocks and the styling is smooth and sleek. Minimal side body moulding.
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Old 12-19-2006, 10:36 PM   #10
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To counter this and add to it, yes the Northstar in the GXP will beat the L36 in the SE and SLE, but if performance is your game, you want an 00-03 SSEi with the L67 hands down. Both for performance and efficiency.
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