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View Full Version : I am going to Germany next week. What do I rent?


Emission
01-31-2006, 10:54 PM
I just found out I am going to Germany for business next week (England the following week). Long story short, my Saturday and Sunday are "free" days so I am going to rent a car.

Now, from what's available (partial list, but the interesting cars)... what do I get? Any other suggestions?

Mercedes E240
BMW 525i
Peugeot 407
BMW 1-Series
Mercedes A-Class

I want something SAFE and fast (at least 130 mph). Last time I was there (1990?) I had a VW Synchro van that did only 105 mph floored... no matter how much room it had. Very frustrating. :mad:

e60lover
01-31-2006, 11:21 PM
You could try the BMW 1 series because its not avalable in the U.S (for now atleast) I am not too familiar with the 1 series specs so I'm not sure how fast it is. Have Fun and stay safe! :)



-e60lover:thumbup:

daoushy
02-01-2006, 12:39 AM
The 1er is fast.. During my ED is was going over 130MPH and a 1er was pacing me for like 50 miles.. And it was driven by a chick :thumbup:

I would second going for the 1 series

wwb4
02-01-2006, 12:58 AM
Definitely go with the 1er.....read nothing but good things about them....safe trip.

x3Bruin
02-01-2006, 05:59 AM
No question - take the 1-series...

Sheepdg
02-01-2006, 08:02 AM
And it was driven by a chick



:tsk: :tsk:

Emission
02-01-2006, 08:14 AM
The chick comment was pretty funny... ;)

They put different engines in the BMWs over there... I don't want to get a 118i (I'd rather have a 130i), but I don't think it would be in a rental fleet.

I need to see what model 1-series they are renting.

st_o_p
02-01-2006, 10:18 AM
Don't rent A-class. It totally sucks. Once you hit 130 km/h (which is real easy to do on the autobahn :D ), the steering wheel starts dancing in your hands - and the whole car with it :thumbdwn:

bmw325
02-01-2006, 10:29 AM
I'd be curious to try the 1 series; though I'd rather not get a 116 or 118 (which is probaby what you'll get). A 120d might be interesting though. I'm surprised they're rending the W240 and 525i; i would've thought C200 and 520 would be more common.

Emission
02-01-2006, 10:33 AM
I'd be curious to try the 1 series; though I'd rather not get a 116 or 118 (which is probaby what you'll get). A 120d might be interesting though. I'm surprised they're rending the W240 and 525i; i would've thought C200 and 520 would be more common.

You usually can't specify exact cars, just "classes" of cars.

So, I found one class with the 520i, E200, and A6 (2.0?) that sounds pretty good.

Test_Engineer
02-01-2006, 10:49 AM
You usually can't specify exact cars, just "classes" of cars.

So, I found one class with the 520i, E200, and A6 (2.0?) that sounds pretty good.

Too Big!

I would go smaller! If you are planning on doing any kind of city driving/ city sight seeing, get a smaller car, as they are much easier to get around in. the parking structures are pretty tight, and the "old" sections of town have very narrow streets.

I usually get a 3'er when in Germany. This would be the maximum size I would recomend if you are not familiar with driving in Germany. It's a good size. BUT, I love to get a 1'er or similar size if I am driving a lot of city stuff.....so much easier to park. The last few times in Germany I was testing small cars and really like the focus/civic/lancer size cars for European driving. The A-bahn is not that big of a deal... Yeah, its nice to have a 7'er and bomb the left lane faster than anyone else on the road....but you'll still get passed by the occasional Porsche and Ferrari! Most cars will hit the 200kph mark, and that is about all the faster you need to go, because the "normal" left lane speed is about 185-195kph.

smaller is better in the EU. Hope this helps! :dunno:

bmw325
02-01-2006, 01:35 PM
You usually can't specify exact cars, just "classes" of cars.

So, I found one class with the 520i, E200, and A6 (2.0?) that sounds pretty good.

Right-- that's why I was confused when you mentioned hte 525 and e240 initially. It would be rare for a mainstream rental compnay to rent someting w/ that big an engine. It happens, but its rare. When I lived there, I used to get 318s and 520s a lot.

BTW, I agree w/ Test Engineer-- the 3 series is probably the biggest you want to go. The E and 5 will feel enormous.

Emission
02-01-2006, 02:50 PM
You know, the 3-Series does make sense.

Looking at a recent copy of TopGear, the slowest 3-Series in Europe is the 318i, and it still does 130 mph. If I can get a 320i, it will do 137. I think I can live with that.

Mini Art
02-01-2006, 03:01 PM
I, too agree with test engineer and robg, go with a smaller vehicle. It will be easier to drive around the cities.
I rented a Mini One from Klees and it was a blast to drive around. It was quick and agile and I'd whipped it around corners with no problems. WOW!:D I took it up to 150kph with ease. Very smooth.:thumbup: Plus, since gas is much more expensive than here, I like the diesel engine for the fuel economy. So the Mini might be a good choice.
I didn't see any rental agencies there with the 1 series, otherwise I would have rented one while I was there. :dunno:

WAM
02-01-2006, 03:56 PM
What part of Germany and England are you going to?

Emission
02-01-2006, 04:06 PM
What part of Germany and England are you going to?

Flight into Frankfurt on Wednesday, then London on Sunday.

doeboy
02-01-2006, 04:10 PM
You know, the 3-Series does make sense.

Looking at a recent copy of TopGear, the slowest 3-Series in Europe is the 318i, and it still does 130 mph. If I can get a 320i, it will do 137. I think I can live with that.

How about a 320d? I hear the diesels aren't too shabby over there. :)

Wingboot
02-01-2006, 04:18 PM
I guess you figured you will not have the option of the 525. If you can get a 525 I would pick that. However, if you are to choose between a 320 or a 520 I would suggest the 3er.

I had a 2004 320 diesel with 6 spd manual for a few months when I was working there in 2004. Very nice with incredible mileage. It was pretty fun going around the Nurburgring in that car.

I would avoid the Puegot. I had a diesel one of those for a weekend last year and while it was a comfortable cruiser it wasn't any fun at all.

Most MBs I rented over there had auto tranns and that really took some of the fun out of it. I had a big coupe with a kompressed 4 and auto that was nice and luxurious and a great autobahn cruiser. I had a C with a 4 and auto for a month in 2004 and it was not nearly has fun to drive as the 3er with manual.

My vote is for a 3er with a manual. Hope you have fun.

Please be familiar with the STVO, or right over left rule, and know what the yellow diamond means (priority road). :)

Emission
02-01-2006, 05:23 PM
The diesels are cool. Tons of torque, and it would be cool to drive a diesel that's not a U-Haul or Pick-up for a change!

Ummm... yellow diamond? :eeps:

Test_Engineer
02-01-2006, 07:38 PM
Flight into Frankfurt on Wednesday, then London on Sunday.
Definatley a small car is better for Frankfurt and the surrounding area. The small towns surrounding that are have very narrow streets... I drive to work on them all the time, and sometimes a 325i can feel big. I drove a Mitsubishi Pajero(Montero) around that area, and it felt like I was driving a TANK. There are not many LONG stretches of unlimited in that area, at most maybe 20km and it's back down to 120kph. :thumbdwn:

Um...yeah, brush up on the road signs...they are all a little strange for newbies.

http://gettingaroundgermany.home.att.net/auto.htm

LA525iT
02-01-2006, 07:48 PM
I'd go for an Alfa. 2 days of that intoxicating engine note without the heartache of having to actually own one.

Test_Engineer
02-01-2006, 07:57 PM
and know what the yellow diamond means (priority road). :)
:thumbup: That one messes up every visitor! Especially in the small towns where they don't bother with stop or yield signs and you have to know where/when to stop by the lines in the road. Priority roads are a little strange, but once you know what to look for, it gets easy. There are way to many rules and signs in Germany. The US is MUCH easier to drive in for foreign people. I always feel like I am constantly scanning road signs and lane paintings/markings when I drive in Germany, at least much more than in any other country I have driven in.

Test_Engineer
02-01-2006, 07:59 PM
I'd go for an Alfa. 2 days of that intoxicating engine note without the heartache of having to actually own one.
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: So true! And hopefully a week in that car won't bruise your kidneys too bad either!

andy_thomas
02-02-2006, 02:10 AM
How about a 320d? I hear the diesels aren't too shabby over there. :)
Then you can go all the way to 140 :)

andy_thomas
02-02-2006, 02:13 AM
Right-- that's why I was confused when you mentioned hte 525 and e240 initially. It would be rare for a mainstream rental compnay to rent someting w/ that big an engine. It happens, but its rare. When I lived there, I used to get 318s and 520s a lot.

You might get a 525d, but it will cost a fortune. This might be an interesting car to try out, although you would want to stay away from tight parking lots. You're more likely to find a 318d/320d diesel, which is almost as big as the old E39 anyway.

Patrick
02-02-2006, 04:12 AM
120d or a 320d. :thumbup:


.

Wingboot
02-02-2006, 08:12 AM
Ummm... yellow diamond? :eeps:

Don't have time to find a easier to read guide but if you follow the link below to section 19 of the study guide for the drivers test it may help. Basically if there are no signs, yield for one party and yellow diamond for the other party, then the vehicle on the right has the right of way.

http://rmv.hqusareur.army.mil/drivrman/190-34.htm#P19

There are many four way intersections, in industrial zones or neighborhoods, that have no signs. This means if you are approaching the intersection and are turning right you have the right of way and just keep on trucking. After living there for a few years it has made living in the states with all the four way stops and people that take to long tough to deal with. If you know who has the right of way then there should be no reason to stop especially if there is no traffic around.

Chris90
02-02-2006, 12:17 PM
I'd go for an Alfa. 2 days of that intoxicating engine note without the heartache of having to actually own one.

i drove a 156 1.9JTD in Germany, it was a total POS - totally ruined my desire for Alfas. But yeah, even the diesel engine sounds sweet on an Alfa. :thumbup:

I had an A3 1.6L in Germany that was great - a little free revving four that sounds a little like it came from a Honda S2000. Got it up to 198 kph on the Autobahn.

I 2nd the recommendations for a small car in Europe, roads are too narrow - even an E46 feels big there.

Toast
02-02-2006, 12:42 PM
Rent something you won't be able to drive in the US, such as the 1 series. :)

woody underwood
02-02-2006, 02:03 PM
I agree, get something unusual...1 Series, Audi A3, Smart Car...but you're probably going to have to fight to get anything other than an Opel or VW. Don't expect AC, even if it's a Bimmer.

gmlav8r
02-07-2006, 09:55 AM
I rented a car through avis two weeks ago in FRA. I reserved a 1 series and got a Ford Focus Wagon. They did reduce the rate a little. :(

I was pleased with the handling of the car at approx. 218KPH top end with 79.25 HP motor. I believe a 1.3L motor. Much better overall for the autobahn than I expeced for a FORD. Although it aint got no power

I would have rather had the 1er though:)

Check for dents before you go or you will pay for even small stuff.:eek:

Chris90
02-07-2006, 10:19 AM
I rented a car through avis two weeks ago in FRA. I reserved a 1 series and got a Ford Focus Wagon. They did reduce the rate a little. :(


yeah, with Avis you shouldn't even bother to specify what car you want, cause you're getting a Focus.

"Oh, Mr. American, you reserved a Lotus Elise, yes? Here's your Focus."

LA525iT
02-07-2006, 11:53 AM
yeah, with Avis you shouldn't even bother to specify what car you want, cause you're getting a Focus.

"Oh, Mr. American, you reserved a Lotus Elise, yes? Here's your Focus."

When I went to MXP (Milan), I reserved a Smart Car and ended up with an Opel Vectra from Avis. Nothing to get to excited about but still much better than what I had rented. Of course, made parking a bit worse.