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MMME30W
04-05-2011, 06:39 PM
....Well, been thinking about this for a while, thought I would start on this trip.

I'm out of town on business (again) and, like a lot of you all, have to rent a car from Mr. Avis or Mr. Hertz or Mr. National as a part of my job.

Now, I'm sure you all have had experiences similar to mine; I've had big cars, small cars, SUVs, sporty cars etc. etc. and all have left an impression or two along the way. At the same time, I find that when I'm away from home (like tonight) I turn to bimmerfest for entertainment.

So: I thought I would start a record of the rental cars I get, including positive and negative impressions of them, to give me something to do on trips (besides work out at the gym or eat at middle-of-the-road restaurants.

So, with that, I will start shortly...Feel free to add your own experiences. :thumbup:

MMME30W
04-05-2011, 06:42 PM
Ok, to start with what I have at the moment: My rental profile specifies a Group C/D mid-size but this time, I guess they ran out. :p

I am driving (piloting would be more like it) a full size Crown Victoria "Signature". I'm not sure who "signed it" but it's quite a trip down memory lane.

The ride is rather like a sail boat, and it has this odd way of leaping off the line that would startle most grandmothers. Navigating it through parking lots is quite entertaining, at least people give me a lot of room.

Nevertheless, it's nice on the highway and doesn't seem to drift too far into the other lanes.

Needless to say, it will be a real pleasure to get back to my E46 Thursday night. :D

Just Bryce
04-05-2011, 06:47 PM
Ok, to start with what I have at the moment: My rental profile specifies a Group C/D mid-size but this time, I guess they ran out. :p

I am driving (piloting would be more like it) a full size Crown Victoria "Signature". I'm not sure who "signed it" but it's quite a trip down memory lane.

The ride is rather like a sail boat, and it has this odd way of leaping off the line that would startle most grandmothers. Navigating it through parking lots is quite entertaining, at least people give me a lot of room.

Nevertheless, it's nice on the highway and doesn't seem to drift too far into the other lanes.

Needless to say, it will be a real pleasure to get back to my E46 Thursday night. :D

No Sir, you've got a stinkin' Lincoln there :D

MMME30W
04-05-2011, 06:48 PM
No Sir, you've got a stinkin' Lincoln there :D

Crap, you are right! I didn't look too closely at the badge. :rofl:

hts
04-05-2011, 06:50 PM
didn't ford stop production on the crown vic, oh, i don't know, about 15 years ago?

:dunno:

chivas
04-05-2011, 06:52 PM
Ok, to start with what I have at the moment: My rental profile specifies a Group C/D mid-size but this time, I guess they ran out. :p

I am driving (piloting would be more like it) a full size Crown Victoria "Signature". I'm not sure who "signed it" but it's quite a trip down memory lane.

The ride is rather like a sail boat, and it has this odd way of leaping off the line that would startle most grandmothers. Navigating it through parking lots is quite entertaining, at least people give me a lot of room.

Nevertheless, it's nice on the highway and doesn't seem to drift too far into the other lanes.

Needless to say, it will be a real pleasure to get back to my E46 Thursday night. :D

and that's a town car my friend. not a bad driving car for the size and comfort. sure it ain't no BMW but it can hold it's own when you mash the pedal.


i've had...

2010 328i which blew up on me
2010 c300 as a replacement to the 328i and it was equal in drive just more standard options
2011 charger AKA: e320 rebadged and reshelled and remotored. wasn't a bad car at all when I had the rallye edition which i would never do but it had just enough power not to be too disappointed and it wasn't a bad drive at all
2011 Santa Fe... which surprisingly wasn't too bad. sure it blew in the power side but it wasn't thirsty on gas which was nice when driving around in LA
2010 HHR.... WORST.... F*CKING..... CAR....... EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AlexK
04-05-2011, 07:07 PM
didn't ford stop production on the crown vic, oh, i don't know, about 15 years ago?

:dunno:

Nope, they were supposed to stop complete production this year... The previous years it was only available through Ford Fleet program, though.

Scott ZHP
04-05-2011, 07:14 PM
Had this thing in Poland for a while courtesy of Avis. Toyota Yaris. 1.4 liters of diesel awesomeness. I'm pretty sure my Honda tractor had more torque in first gear. It literally could not get out of it's own way. Carrying passengers was always a treat, especially uphill. Vespas and the like would routinely pass me and honk. Someone broke a side mirror off when it was parked in Krakow one night. Avis denied my claim even though I sprung for the extra insurance; something about parking in a "non secure" area. Probably could have bought it for what they charged me. "Yaris ... at least it's not a Skoda"

http://photos04.otomoto.pl/photos/300x225/C16/45/78/C16457875_1.jpg

Just Bryce
04-05-2011, 07:27 PM
Just for the record, I have two Towncars running at the Tampa Machinery Auction this weekend. It's open to the public :)

Inline Sixer
04-05-2011, 08:00 PM
Ok, to start with what I have at the moment: My rental profile specifies a Group C/D mid-size but this time, I guess they ran out. :p

I am driving (piloting would be more like it) a full size Crown Victoria "Signature". I'm not sure who "signed it" but it's quite a trip down memory lane.

The ride is rather like a sail boat, and it has this odd way of leaping off the line that would startle most grandmothers. Navigating it through parking lots is quite entertaining, at least people give me a lot of room.

Nevertheless, it's nice on the highway and doesn't seem to drift too far into the other lanes.

Needless to say, it will be a real pleasure to get back to my E46 Thursday night. :D

After a while driving the crown vic, did you notice: a. people unwilling to pass you, b. folks hiding away the cell phones/booze/radar detectors, c. everyone slowing down around you?

:rofl:

Scott_H
04-05-2011, 08:14 PM
What's the difference between a rental car and a Humvee?










A rental car will go anywhere!

:rofl:

1985mb
04-05-2011, 10:29 PM
2011 charger AKA: e320 rebadged and reshelled and remotored. wasn't a bad car at all when I had the rallye edition which i would never do but it had just enough power not to be too disappointed and it wasn't a bad drive at all


Sorry, a Charger isn't anywhere remotely a rebadged, reshelled and remotored MB E320.

Back on topic, my worst rental cars ever: Chevy Cobalt and Dodge Charger. People complain about Calibers and Sebrings, but they aren't nearly as bad. Also circa ~2008-09 Toyota started dumping stripped-down Corollas on the rental market. Manual locks and windows? :eeps:

Saturn Aura was a decent midsize car, as was the 2009 Hyundai Sonata (I'm guessing the new one is better). Nissan Altima and Sentra also acceptable for their segments. Mazda5 not bad for a 6-person vehicle if you want to avoid full-size minivans and SUVs. Mazda3 good in its segment. Rabbits and Jettas not bad either, but not exactly all that different from the Japanese autos they try so hard to differentiate themselves from ("Das Auto"? Please).

Dave 330i
04-05-2011, 10:34 PM
Regardless of whether I rent for business or pleasure, I rent the cheapest that can get me from point A to point B. Did I made myself clear? OK, I'm renting a minivan in June for two weeks for personal traveling along the Atlantic.

Spike Holmes
04-06-2011, 05:36 AM
I've been driving a Mazda 3 for the past 18 months. Not a bad little car but, I wouldn't be driving it if it weren't a rental. I always look forward to the weekend when I can drive the five.

WileECoyote
04-06-2011, 06:43 AM
Had a Ford Edge for a couple days in February, thanks to a bait and switch at the airport Hertz in MN. I've rented from them in the past, and the last time they gave me a free upgrade, andn they implied I'd get one again, but didn't. Regardless, the Ford Edge was a pretty decent 4WD SUV, BUT, the traction control (if it had any) kinda sucked. The ride felt like it was a cat on ice, but maybe that was the oversized all-season tires it has. Amenities were above par. Prior to that, I had a Jeep Compass, and while it was underpowered, had a better 4WD setup and better ride. It felt more carlike than the Edge.

HW
04-06-2011, 07:25 AM
who buys the rental company's LDW (loss damage waiver). i have to say that i do just because it's simpler to deal with any incidences but it does cost way too much. :tsk:

WileECoyote
04-06-2011, 08:00 AM
who buys the rental company's LDW (loss damage waiver). i have to say that i do just because it's simpler to deal with any incidences but it does cost way too much. :tsk:

You've had incidents? Please hexplain!

If you decline, your normal driver's insurance covers things, no?

hockeynut
04-06-2011, 08:29 AM
Back when I was a frequent flier I always rented from Hertz and requested a Maxima. Loved it so much we bought one for Mrs Hockeynut.

Scott ZHP
04-06-2011, 09:03 AM
If you decline, your normal driver's insurance covers things, no?

Depends.

Read the fine print on the damage waiver; it doesn't cover everything regardless of what the counter person tells you.

And if you accidentally damage a rental, or as in my case, it was damaged by someone else but while in my posession TAKE PHOTOS and get a police report. And plan to spend a couple extra hours with someone from the rental car company who will physically inspect the car, file reports, fill out forms, etc.

In my case, Avis denied the claim, but my corporate policy kicked in and paid it.

Spike Holmes
04-06-2011, 09:08 AM
who buys the rental company's LDW (loss damage waiver). i have to say that i do just because it's simpler to deal with any incidences but it does cost way too much. :tsk:

Never use it. My company gives me an insurance form to carry in the car. It's way over priced IMO and , as stated doesn't cover everything.

cwsqbm
04-06-2011, 09:14 AM
When I used to travel for work, I always had rental cars from Avis (company contract). Avis specialized in GM products, so that's what made me a firm GM hater. I can't think of one good GM rental car I had.

My last European vacation can best be described as "MPV wars", as I rented three different ones: Opel, SEAT, and Ford. <table><tr><td>http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k77/cwsqbm/Europe%202008/Rental%20Cars%20Euro%202008/DSC01077.jpg</td><td>The Opel was a tiny turbo diesel - powerful once the turbo spooled up, but hard to take off smoothly off. I'd start off and the engine would feel like it was about to stall. I'd give it a bit more pedal, and the boost would kick in hard and snap the passengers' head back. It took several days of driving to get smooth. Ride and handling (one trip up to 170kph) was fine with three people and luggage.</td></tr>
<tr><td>The SEAT had a tiny gas motor - definitely under powered with four passengers and luggage, especially when trying to keep with a local friend driving a car with twice the engine up hilly forest roads in Germany. On the autobahn, it was fine up to 140 kph, but was a bit soft at higher speeds. Top speed was 175 kph on level ground, but was redline limited to 200 kph on a couple steep downhills. As small as it was (smallest of the group) we still fit 4 people's worth of luggage in the boot, without blocking the rear window.</td><td>
http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k77/cwsqbm/Europe%202008/Rental%20Cars%20Euro%202008/DSC01301.jpg</td></tr>
<tr><td>http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k77/cwsqbm/Europe%202008/Rental%20Cars%20Euro%202008/DSC01575.jpg</td><td>The Ford C-Max was the best - bigger gas motor didn't struggle, and handled better than either the SEAT or Opel. It did 200kph on level ground, and was smooth even at 215 kph down a hill. </td></tr>
<tr><td>And there was my favorite rental car of the trip.... :)</td>
<td>http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k77/cwsqbm/Europe%202008/Rental%20Cars%20Euro%202008/DSC01580.jpg</td></tr></table>

HW
04-06-2011, 09:46 AM
You've had incidents? Please hexplain!

If you decline, your normal driver's insurance covers things, no?

had a rental car from canada and someone else had rear ended my friend and i at a stop sign while we were traveling in the US. the rental company wanted us to pay for the damages (very minor bumper dimple) first while they look into getting money back from the other party's insurance. so we just told them that's what the LDW is for. :p i guess they had almost forgot that we paid for that option. my sister has had a minor fender bender in a rental once. and again, when they tried to assume that she didn't buy the LDW option until they were reminded that that's what it's for. :dunno:

Scottji
04-06-2011, 12:54 PM
Most of the time your own insurance company will cover you in rentals, but read your policy. (Honestly, read it. I know, nobody ever reads any insurance policy they own, but it's good practice.)

As for my rentals, I prefer the Hyundai Sonata, except for the fact they bill it as a full-size (???). Still, the last Sonata I had had steering wheel controls, satellite radio, decent pick-up, comfortable ride -- really not that bad. I've also had the Elantra which is far more underwhelming. I had a Sentra last time -- I think that car is powered by hamsters running in wheels. I measured its 0-60 time with a sun-dial. I also had a Monte Carlo, which I was dreading, but wasn't actually as bad as I had thought it might be, muted handling aside.

The best thing in the world is getting used to a rental car for a few days, then getting off the plane and back into my e46, feeling the difference and realizing that this is what I was made to drive. I mean seriously -- how can a 7 year-old car now worth somewhere around $8k be that much better than new cars costing 3 or 4 times that?

chivas
04-07-2011, 01:44 PM
Sorry, a Charger isn't anywhere remotely a rebadged, reshelled and remotored MB E320.

the LX lineup is pretty much the E class chassis.
http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/05q3/dodge_charger_r_t-road_test




oh, here's my 2011 Charger as my rental. Pretty freakin' sweet ride; one hell of a change from the 2010 I had late last year. drives better and the 290-odd-some HP makes it drive more happy and in-turn makes me more happy. nice interior change and the touch screen infotainment is great to use. wish the rental came with navi but oh well...

cwinter
04-07-2011, 03:22 PM
Just came back from a trip where we had a 2011 Chevy Malibu. The car was quite roomy, the comfort level was nice, and the seats pretty acceptable. They had good stiffness and some side bolsters. I was surprised. A few observations:

- The car came with the inline 4. Not sure what size it is but I guess 2.5L. The car cannot win any races against anyone but for getting on the highway and tooling around town it is more than enough. I did not log my miles to see what mpgs I got but the transmission seemed to have at least 5 gears, so it should do ok. Overall acceptable performance for someone looking to get from A to B.

- The car was very quiet on the highway -- it seems well insulated.

- The steering was like stirring paint. It was very windy in MO the days we were there and commanding a vehicle at 75mph on the highway in high winds that has no on-center feel was no fun. Incidentally, I now understand why some post threads on here complaining about heavy steering when they first buy a BMW. After driving the Malibu for 3 days, I could tell a huge difference in the BMW. I like that but I can see how some might think their power steering is broken or something.

- The interior is nicely laid out. The steering wheel is of a nice size and thickness but unfortunately the whole thing is made of super hard plastic. Given this is the strip down entry model Malibu -- not sure what a better appointed one will look like. If the wheel was at least leather I may have forgotten about all the plastic. :)

Not a bad car but I would spring for a Ford Fusion any day over it or a Japanese import.

Dave 330i
04-07-2011, 03:48 PM
Funky or cute? I had a bag over my head most of the time. I prefer a compact or economy car because they are easier to drive from point A to point B.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=273532&stc=1&d=1302212865

hts
04-07-2011, 08:37 PM
i used to enjoy s40's and maximas from national, but haven't seen either on the past 1/2-dozen or so trips. rented a camaro in msp a month back--hated the visibility.

was extremely impressed (so much so that i think i started a thread here somewhere) with a rented sonata in atlanta a year or so back.

rented a 350/370z in phoenix a few years back--that was fun (except for the slushbox part). try to rent convertibles when i'm in socal (going to san diego first week of may--chrysler lebaron here i come!).

:thumbsup:

Just Bryce
04-07-2011, 08:40 PM
i used to enjoy s40's and maximas from national, but haven't seen either on the past 1/2-dozen or so trips. rented a camaro in msp a month back--hated the visibility.

was extremely impressed (so much so that i think i started a thread here somewhere) with a rented sonata in atlanta a year or so back.

rented a 350/370z in phoenix a few years back--that was fun (except for the slushbox part). try to rent convertibles when i'm in socal (going to san diego first week of may--chrysler lebaron here i come!).

:thumbsup:

BS, I saw youi sportin' a Maxima a few weeks ago :D

AzNMpower32
04-07-2011, 09:07 PM
The best rental I've had was a BMW 118i back in 2008. Got to drive it in the Alps, Bavaria, and over to Wien (Vienna) for 10 days. The Opel Astra Caravan (wagon version) was nice last year, wish the engine wasn't so coarse. Then again, hard to complain since it was a brand new (yes, 8km on clock). I treat rental cars fairly well, even took care to break-in the Opel as best I reasonably could.

Worst rental years ago was an older Chrysler Sebring. It did nothing well. A Nissan Sentra was similarly bad (the current model). Had a Chevy Impala once and while it certainly wasn't terrible, the engineering seemed like patchwork. Try to turn the steering too fast and you'd beat the power assist pump. 1st gear extended to 55mph. The rear window switches were different from those in the front. And like all American cars, the car dinged and chimed at everything. Half the time I was screaming "SHUT UP!! I know I switched off the DRLs! I know my seat belt is unbuckled, I'm trying to grab my bag!"

hts
04-08-2011, 11:35 AM
BS, I saw youi sportin' a Maxima a few weeks ago :D

you're right of course. forgot about that. maybe it's just some airports (OKC, MSP, DFW) where national has ditched some of the nicer cars i previously preferred renting?

:dunno:

i was actually hoping for a vert in orlando, but alas a maxima was the best they had available.

:mad:

captainaudio
04-08-2011, 02:26 PM
My company has an account with Hertz and I am a member of the Hertz #1 Club.

I usually rent from the Prestige Collection and have had Jaguar XJs (including XJ Sport and Vanden Plas models), Jaguar XK convertibles, Shelby GTH (Coupe and Convertibles) and an Audi A4 Convertible and a Mercedes E Class.

CA

MMME30W
05-03-2011, 07:21 PM
...and this week we are driving a VW Jetta.

Lady at the Avis counter at Montreal Trudeau said at first they were out of mid-sizes, would I like an upgrade. I said, no, I would rather have a small car, so she dug around and came up with a new-ish Jetta.

It handles ok, light, and drives straight. The driveline sucks though, I don't know if it's the transmission or the engine becauses there is this annoying lurch everytime you just slightly touch the throttle. It may of course be because it's been hammered but this one does have an issue...I also don't know what engine is in this thing, but it has zero power, zip, zilch, nada.

I guess it is some kind of base model (have not had chance to open the hood) because it downshifts at the slightest rise.

Still, it beats a Kia :rofl:

Picture is in the downtown parking garage where I'm staying here in town this week...

AzNMpower32
05-03-2011, 08:06 PM
...and this week we are driving a VW Jetta.

Lady at the Avis counter at Montreal Trudeau said at first they were out of mid-sizes, would I like an upgrade. I said, no, I would rather have a small car, so she dug around and came up with a new-ish Jetta.

It handles ok, light, and drives straight. The driveline sucks though, I don't know if it's the transmission or the engine becauses there is this annoying lurch everytime you just slightly touch the throttle. It may of course be because it's been hammered but this one does have an issue...I also don't know what engine is in this thing, but it has zero power, zip, zilch, nada.

As many of y'all probably know, VW decided to chase Toyota and go mainstream. That means cheapening up all their volume sellers. The rental you got probably is the base 2.0 version with the (literally) ancient 8-valve, 4 cylinder engine made from pig iron and volcanic rock. Cruise control and A/C are options. That's how far VW went to push the base price under $16k in the US and Canada. :thumbdwn:. I was at the VW HQ a few times and the interior is just awful in the little details that Americans don't notice or care about.

Granted, the buying public will stick with the 2.5 litre which is almost as ancient. But hey, their sales strategy is working. VW has posted record sales of the Jetta since it came out. Americans just want cheap. They don't want a well-engineered car. This just reinforces my rule #1 on selling a car in the US: Water it down as much as possible then slap a low base price.

-End lecture.

Kamdog
05-03-2011, 08:50 PM
I had to rent a car in Florida this winter for a few days.

They only had Chevy Malibus.

It wasn't bad, but the car wouldn't go unless I left the right blinker on the whole time, and lowered the seat so that only my hat protruded over the steering wheel. Oh, and it wouldn't make any left turns, I always had to make rights and go around blocks. Too, it had a nasty habit of stopping dead as soon as I entered any parking lot.

chivas
05-04-2011, 12:28 AM
I had to rent a car in Florida this winter for a few days.

They only had Chevy Malibus.

It wasn't bad, but the car wouldn't go unless I left the right blinker on the whole time, and lowered the seat so that only my hat protruded over the steering wheel. Oh, and it wouldn't make any left turns, I always had to make rights and go around blocks. Too, it had a nasty habit of stopping dead as soon as I entered any parking lot.
you didn't rub enough benghey on... you have to smell like them to drive like them.

Dave 330i
05-04-2011, 07:29 AM
A question to the pro renters. For personal rental, I never get the insurance the rental agencies offered. Good or bad idea? It seems to me that my personal car liability insurance and the premium CC I use would cover the value of the car.

M&K
05-04-2011, 08:10 AM
My company has an account with Hertz and I am a member of the Hertz #1 Club.

I usually rent from the Prestige Collection and have had Jaguar XJs (including XJ Sport and Vanden Plas models), Jaguar XK convertibles, Shelby GTH (Coupe and Convertibles) and an Audi A4 Convertible and a Mercedes E Class.

CA

I can't decide if I'm jealous, or just cheap.

The nicest rental cars I've had in the last 5 years were a 2010 Kia Optima and a 2008 Toyota Avalon. Nothing special, but they did everything fine for a family vacation in FL (Kia) and a business trip to Northeast PA (Toyota). I had a 2010 Malibu for 10 days last year and hated every last second. I seem to get Grand Prixs more than anything else, but at least they have a little power from the v6. That should change now with Pontiac being dead, but I just hope it doesn't mean more Malibus and Impalas :tsk:

Scottji
05-05-2011, 03:45 PM
Mitsubishi Galant -- two of them in the past week. The first one only had about 15k miles, but it was the slowest thing I have ever driven and it smelled like feet. The next one only had about 8k on the odo, and it actually felt better -- still smelled newish. Initial pick-up in those cars is horrible, but I think it might be gearing to get within the EPA mandates. If you really, really abused it, it would finally get-up-and-go. It sounded like a loud blender was on under the dash when you pushed it, and the NVH was similar to a 1975 Suburban, but it would go. I don't even know why they had the "manual shift option" on the auto -- thing took about two full seconds to react when you did try to use it. Seats were hard, interior was bland, no steering wheel-mounted radio controls, steering was overly-light and twitchy at the same time.

After having the Galant, Sentra, Sonata, Impala, Elentra, and a few others in the past few weeks, the Sonata is holding on to the #1 seed so far.

Spike Holmes
05-09-2011, 06:26 PM
A question to the pro renters. For personal rental, I never get the insurance the rental agencies offered. Good or bad idea? It seems to me that my personal car liability insurance and the premium CC I use would cover the value of the car.

My company has a blanket policy that covers everything. If I had to cover it with my own insurance and it is just for a couple of days or less than a week, I'd probably get the coverage and expense it. I've been in NOLA for the past 20 months and have had 2 brand new Mazda 3's and I don't remember what I started out with. It may have been a KIA. If I was renting for personal use, I probably wouldn't get it either. I have pretty high limits on my policy and it also has pretty decent coverage for rentals as well.

Spike Holmes
05-09-2011, 06:29 PM
Funky or cute? I had a bag over my head most of the time. I prefer a compact or economy car because they are easier to drive from point A to point B.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=273532&stc=1&d=1302212865

I have to agree with the Bro's. That thing is Butt Ugly.

cwsqbm
05-09-2011, 09:39 PM
A question to the pro renters. For personal rental, I never get the insurance the rental agencies offered. Good or bad idea? It seems to me that my personal car liability insurance and the premium CC I use would cover the value of the car.

You're generally covered, but I'd double check the specifics. I never worry about it because even for personal rentals, I get the corporate benefits of included insurance (its tied to my frequent renter's numbers) - and I've put that to the test on one occasion. The only time I get the insurance is in foreign countries, because our corporate agreements were for USA only, and I've had a few issues when returning cars in various Latin American countries.

///M3lissa
05-23-2011, 08:02 AM
I picked up this gem in Denver in the midst of a torrential downpour Wednesday night.

What a complete POS!

http://gallery.carreview.com/data/car/575/medium/nissan_rogue_31.jpg

Michael Schott
05-23-2011, 01:36 PM
I travel frequently and use Thrifty. The cars are clean and run well and the price is very good. I try to get a Fusion but sometimes end up with a Malibu. The Fusion is a more recent design and the Malibu is in need of a refresh. I like the Ford, it's a good solid car but not much fun to drive with overboosted steering and gobs of understeer.

Dave 330i
05-23-2011, 01:46 PM
You're generally covered, but I'd double check the specifics. I never worry about it because even for personal rentals, I get the corporate benefits of included insurance (its tied to my frequent renter's numbers) - and I've put that to the test on one occasion. The only time I get the insurance is in foreign countries, because our corporate agreements were for USA only, and I've had a few issues when returning cars in various Latin American countries.

I told a lady who will be visiting from Denmark that she does not have to pick up the $12/day insurance if she use her CC. Unlike AMX in USA, AMX in Denmark does not offer rental insurance as part of the benefits. :eek:

Kamdog
05-23-2011, 04:36 PM
I told a lady who will be visiting from Denmark that she does not have to pick up the $12/day insurance if she use her CC. Unlike AMX in USA, AMX in Denmark does not offer rental insurance as part of the benefits. :eek:

OK, and stuff, but, from Denmark? Is she hot?

Pics, before we pass judgement. :D

MMME30W
05-23-2011, 04:40 PM
In Atlanta next three days; Got a Hyundai Sonata, I think it is. Pretty forgettable car. Feels like it's assembled out of bungee cords.

The engine is sprightly enough, and the transmission is quick to downshift.

Which is good because it happens fairly frequently.

Interior is cloth/bland; the dash seems particularly disorganized to me: There are two bright chrome surround rings, then the gas and temperature indicator gaugues are actually LCD displays centered in the middle of the speedo and tach. The center stack uses yet another motif, then the door panels have an interesting (and oddly out of place) black moulded plastic.

It's like the inside of the car was designed by a team in separate countries that never quite got the hang of distance collaborating on the same time zone until the final assembly of the car. :rolleyes:

I would not buy one of these...

MMME30W
05-23-2011, 04:41 PM
OK, and stuff, but, from Denmark? Is she hot?

Pics, before we pass judgement. :D

:stupid:

AzNMpower32
05-23-2011, 05:39 PM
I'm always surprised at the multitude of rental cars in the Raleigh-Durham area- the bar codes in the rear windows make it blatantly obvious. Some of them are pretty nice for rental cars: I've seen a couple Ford Fiesta (sedans) and a number of loaded Chevy Cruzes. I'd rather have those than the Impala/Dodge Charger/Chrysler Sebring crap I usually see.

Just Bryce
05-23-2011, 08:31 PM
In Atlanta next three days; Got a Hyundai Sonata, I think it is. Pretty forgettable car. Feels like it's assembled out of bungee cords.

The engine is sprightly enough, and the transmission is quick to downshift.

Which is good because it happens fairly frequently.

Interior is cloth/bland; the dash seems particularly disorganized to me: There are two bright chrome surround rings, then the gas and temperature indicator gaugues are actually LCD displays centered in the middle of the speedo and tach. The center stack uses yet another motif, then the door panels have an interesting (and oddly out of place) black moulded plastic.

It's like the inside of the car was designed by a team in separate countries that never quite got the hang of distance collaborating on the same time zone until the final assembly of the car. :rolleyes:

I would not buy one of these...

If you were a penny pincher, it has a "to die for" warranty :dunno:

M&K
05-24-2011, 01:20 PM
Just returned a Nissan Sentra yesterday. Good fuel economy, I'll give it that. It was also nice to have a cheap rental that had both an aux port and an actual ipod dock. Maybe I've just been missing them in the past, but this was the first cheap car that I've had where I could control the ipod through the car's radio. Other than that, the only thing worth noting was that my girlfriend found it impossible to do a lane change w/o turning the blinker all the way on. This lead her to drive down the road for several blocks, on more than one occasion, with her turn signal on, until I would tease her about "going around the world to her right".;)

Scottji
05-24-2011, 10:05 PM
In the last week I had a Chevy Cruze and a Mazda SUV whatever it is.

Cruze -- surprisingly good. Certainly gives the civic a run for its money. The interior had a more upscale feel than you'd expect to find in an economy Chevy, and way beyond the oh-so-bland domestic interior you're used to. Car seemed quiet, rode well, and had decent pick-up. Not a lot in the "bells and whistles" category, but for $16k or whatever it is, I think it's a great value. So, impressed.

The Mazda SUV (I think it was a CX-7) was ok. They gave me a loaded version with leather, and it was actually pretty nice. Engine still felt and sounded like a bunch of rodents in wheels, and the steering feel was vague, but the ride was compliant, the engine sort of did what you'd expect and not much more. The only weird part was weird steering wheel and "info display" location. Not my top choice, but not the worst SUV I've driven either.

MMME30W
11-06-2011, 06:06 AM
So this next week or so here in the UK I am driving an Audi A4 Saloon 6MT, 2.0TDI Technik, see picture.

The diesel 2.0l engine is excellent, plenty of grunt two-up on the Motorway to ah, keep up, with traffic at the motorway standard 70+ MPH. :bigpimp:

Fuel mileage is great, I've done about a weeks of driving so far, including a trip from LHR to my destination, and a trip yesterday to the RAF Museum in Hendon and I still have half a tank left. At like 1.50 UKP a litre, this is a good thing.

Speaking of economy, the car has the stop-start system. Upon coming to a stop, and engaging neutral, the car will die. Once you depress the clutch, the engine fires immediately and you drive off. It's a little off-putting at first but I've gotten used to it. Saves fuel for sure since in traffic the car is motionless a lot of the time.

The driving and handling is oddly unnatural feeling to me, which I attribute to the FWD layout. It seems like the car is in fact pulled through the turns and understeers more (more weight on wheels?) than what I am used to (I owned an E46 for 8 years, and currently have a 328i). Don't get me wrong, it handles fine, but just seems a little more unsettled to me, especially powering out of roundabouts and bends. Mind you, I am no track expert, this is just my butt-impression.

Interior fit and finish (this is a UK car, remember) is good, the seats are leather-trimmed (or it is very good nauga) and the colors while somber (this car is black on black) are at least non-intrusive.

I don't quite like the electronic hand brake; it seems very odd to push a button to engage. Moreover, since the car does not have a hill holder clutch, using the handbrake whilst on a grade is out of the question. You have to be spot on the clutch release in order to move off without rolling backwards.

The car has the Sattelite Navigation, which seems very effective and efficient. The screen is small, and not course-up, but North up. Perhaps there is a setting for this, but its different than my Garmin Nuvi 245, and a little hard to see. It does seem to have a lot of the destinations on the directory, though and the route guidance is good. I don't know if it avoids traffic, but it may be that since I don't have a user manual for the car it might be available.

It has a pretty cool parking system sonar, which tells you not only the beeps but also gives a sonogram picture of the distance to the obstacles 360 around the car. Works very well, especially here in the UK which the parking spaces are miniscule and the A4 is a large car.

Overall, a nicely equipped small compact sedan. Would I buy one? No, I don't think so.

txdieselchick
11-08-2011, 02:06 PM
Sorry, a Charger isn't anywhere remotely a rebadged, reshelled and remotored MB E320.

Back on topic, my worst rental cars ever: Chevy Cobalt and Dodge Charger. People complain about Calibers and Sebrings, but they aren't nearly as bad. Also circa ~2008-09 Toyota started dumping stripped-down Corollas on the rental market. Manual locks and windows? :eeps:

Saturn Aura was a decent midsize car, as was the 2009 Hyundai Sonata (I'm guessing the new one is better). Nissan Altima and Sentra also acceptable for their segments. Mazda5 not bad for a 6-person vehicle if you want to avoid full-size minivans and SUVs. Mazda3 good in its segment. Rabbits and Jettas not bad either, but not exactly all that different from the Japanese autos they try so hard to differentiate themselves from ("Das Auto"? Please).

A girl rear ended me and put my car in the shop for a month and my rental was a decently equipped 2011 Sonata and I have to say I was quite impressed,it rode well and handled well and the 4 cylinder was fuel efficient and it was comfortable. I expected a stripped down,gutless,rough handling junker but I guess they've improved since the 90's.

AndrewZ
11-08-2011, 02:33 PM
So this next week or so here in the UK I am driving an Audi A4 Saloon 6MT, 2.0TDI Technik, see picture.

The diesel 2.0l engine is excellent, plenty of grunt two-up on the Motorway to ah, keep up, with traffic at the motorway standard 70+ MPH. :bigpimp:

Fuel mileage is great, I've done about a weeks of driving so far, including a trip from LHR to my destination, and a trip yesterday to the RAF Museum in Hendon and I still have half a tank left. At like 1.50 UKP a litre, this is a good thing.

Speaking of economy, the car has the stop-start system. Upon coming to a stop, and engaging neutral, the car will die. Once you depress the clutch, the engine fires immediately and you drive off. It's a little off-putting at first but I've gotten used to it. Saves fuel for sure since in traffic the car is motionless a lot of the time.

The driving and handling is oddly unnatural feeling to me, which I attribute to the FWD layout. It seems like the car is in fact pulled through the turns and understeers more (more weight on wheels?) than what I am used to (I owned an E46 for 8 years, and currently have a 328i). Don't get me wrong, it handles fine, but just seems a little more unsettled to me, especially powering out of roundabouts and bends. Mind you, I am no track expert, this is just my butt-impression.

Interior fit and finish (this is a UK car, remember) is good, the seats are leather-trimmed (or it is very good nauga) and the colors while somber (this car is black on black) are at least non-intrusive.

I don't quite like the electronic hand brake; it seems very odd to push a button to engage. Moreover, since the car does not have a hill holder clutch, using the handbrake whilst on a grade is out of the question. You have to be spot on the clutch release in order to move off without rolling backwards.

The car has the Sattelite Navigation, which seems very effective and efficient. The screen is small, and not course-up, but North up. Perhaps there is a setting for this, but its different than my Garmin Nuvi 245, and a little hard to see. It does seem to have a lot of the destinations on the directory, though and the route guidance is good. I don't know if it avoids traffic, but it may be that since I don't have a user manual for the car it might be available.

It has a pretty cool parking system sonar, which tells you not only the beeps but also gives a sonogram picture of the distance to the obstacles 360 around the car. Works very well, especially here in the UK which the parking spaces are miniscule and the A4 is a large car.

Overall, a nicely equipped small compact sedan. Would I buy one? No, I don't think so.

That has to be the stupidest thing on the car. When I think German car, I think electrical problems. When I see an electronic parking on a German car, I think of the brakes engaging when I'm traveling 65mph down the highway unexpectedly :tsk:

1985mb
11-08-2011, 03:17 PM
I had a Toyota Sienna minivan the other day when some folks came into town and asked us to show them around the Hudson River valley.

The 2nd row seats should fold forward more easily though--I noticed 3rd row occupants eventually preferring to exit through the narrow middle rather than deal the 2nd row captain's chairs.

I never really pushed it (why would you with 6-7 relatives of various ages riding with you?) so it's not too bad for a point A to point B people hauler. However, there was one innocuous turn on Seven Lakes Dr (similar to the pic below) taken at a relatively innocuous pace that would had me understeering into the lake if I hadn't corrected quite quickly. I am not used to such a high center of gravity, so the correction also gave me a brief paranoid vision about toppling over and/or the back end sliding out.

http://www.roberts-1.com/bikehudson/v/w/nyc_bm/photos/aug-sep-02/sl/03-bicyclist_400x270.jpg

A girl rear ended me and put my car in the shop for a month and my rental was a decently equipped 2011 Sonata and I have to say I was quite impressed,it rode well and handled well and the 4 cylinder was fuel efficient and it was comfortable. I expected a stripped down,gutless,rough handling junker but I guess they've improved since the 90's.

I've heard good things about it, so I would look fwd to checking it out if given as a rental. I have a 'full size' booked for Thanksgiving, so either a Sonata or new Chrysler 300 would be interesting (not too keen on Taurus, let alone Impala).

AzNMpower32
11-08-2011, 05:13 PM
I don't see anything wrong with an electronic handbrake. It saves space for the cupholders that Americans so badly complain about it, and makes for a cleaner look on the centre console. Many German cars are going to this system, and another benefit is the Auto Hold function on Automatic-transmission cars.

I had the most bare rental car when I was in South Africa, a Chevy Spark Lite (essentially a previous-gen Daewoo Matiz). Keep in mind that this is South Africa so market demands are slightly different. As the second-cheapest new car on sale in the country, many of the conveniences we take for granted were missing.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v31/AzN1MpOrT2nR/ZA%202011/Foto0262.jpg

It was powered by a 0,8 litre, 3-cylinder engine which was taken out of a coffee grinder. No wait, that's unfair, a coffee grinder makes more pleasant sounds. Normally I love small, punchy engines but this one is really hopeless, even if frugal. Acceleration was acceptable if the terrain flat but any gradient requires a downshift to maintain speed (I was rowing the gearbox a lot.......with my left hand).


No power anything (seats, mirrors, locks)
No tachometer (shift by ear), no clock (use a watch)
No Air Con or rear defroster.
No power steering. Gotta muscle it for those parking spots.
No ABS on the dinky 13" wheels.
No airbags. Don't mess up the corners on Chapman's Peak.
No radio. One was retrofitted by the rental car company, thankfully.
No rear foglight; not required in SA.


Plus points? The suspension was reasonably sorted out, with decent body control around the corners. Unfortunately, the car is blown around quite a lot, which is a problem in windy Cape Town. The clutch is easy to drive, although the shifter vague. The car can accept leaded fuel, in the few countries in Africa that still use them. Most importantly though, it provides private transport from A to B in a manner that is safer than many of the broken-down used cars and death-trap taxicabs. For that task, the Matiz/Spark Lite does its job admirably.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v31/AzN1MpOrT2nR/ZA%202011/Foto0280.jpg

Dave 330i
11-08-2011, 07:15 PM
I reserved this car from Hertz at Frankfurt airport (FRA) for one month for ***8364;523.91 I have checked and the cost is nearly twice as much now.

https://www.google.com/search?q=kia+ceed&hl=en&rlz=1C1RNPN_enUS414US415&prmd=imvnsr&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=VOK5TtbMK6KEsALb4q3fCA&ved=0CE0QsAQ&biw=1366&bih=612&sei=%20iuK5TrGYHunJsQKC9KXYCA

I haven't decided to drive or take the train instead (eurail pass). :eek:

AzNMpower32
11-08-2011, 09:13 PM
The Cee-apostrophe-d isn't too bad (built in Romania), according to the celebrities who've driven it around the Top Gear test track. Better than the prior reasonably priced car for sure.

Dave 330i
11-15-2011, 07:49 AM
Interesting bit of survey. OK, it may not apply to your individual experience, but in general...

Car rental company scores
(Overall satisfaction score based on a 1,000-point scale)

1. ACE Rent a Car

2. Enterprise

3. National

4. Hertz

5. Alamo

6. Budget

7. Dollar

8. Avis

9. Advantage Rent a Car

10. Thrifty

11. Fox Rent a Car

(Source: J.D. Power and Associates 2011 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study)

Scottji
11-15-2011, 10:47 AM
Interesting bit of survey. OK, it may not apply to your individual experience, but in general...

Car rental company scores
(Overall satisfaction score based on a 1,000-point scale)

1. ACE Rent a Car

2. Enterprise

3. National

4. Hertz

5. Alamo

6. Budget

7. Dollar

8. Avis

9. Advantage Rent a Car

10. Thrifty

11. Fox Rent a Car

(Source: J.D. Power and Associates 2011 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study)

I've been really happy with Avis. Never had a problem, cars have been nice and clean, and I love the fact that, as a preferred member, you don't go to a counter, you simply walk to your car, get in, and drive away. I've heard horror stories about other carriers which, although they may be cheaper, will try to nickle and dime you for every water spot that appears on the car.

Dave 330i
11-15-2011, 10:59 AM
I've been really happy with Avis. Never had a problem, cars have been nice and clean, and I love the fact that, as a preferred member, you don't go to a counter, you simply walk to your car, get in, and drive away. I've heard horror stories about other carriers which, although they may be cheaper, will try to nickle and dime you for every water spot that appears on the car.
regardless of which rentals I go to, waterspots are everywhere, and areas inside the car are worst than hotel remote controls :eek:

They're all have been basically the same for me, so I don't favor anyone particular rental. Local Enterprise pick me up and drop me off, a great service.

EdCT
11-15-2011, 11:09 AM
Ok, to start with what I have at the moment: My rental profile specifies a Group C/D mid-size but this time, I guess they ran out. :p

I am driving (piloting would be more like it) a full size Crown Victoria "Signature". I'm not sure who "signed it" but it's quite a trip down memory lane.

The ride is rather like a sail boat, and it has this odd way of leaping off the line that would startle most grandmothers. Navigating it through parking lots is quite entertaining, at least people give me a lot of room.

Nevertheless, it's nice on the highway and doesn't seem to drift too far into the other lanes.

Needless to say, it will be a real pleasure to get back to my E46 Thursday night. :D

That's still the car of choice for livery fleets around here. I've ridden in a ton of Town Cars ... ughhh, terrible ride, but somehow appropriate for NYC metro area roads.

WaxComb
11-15-2011, 12:15 PM
I had a Challenger rental and a 300 rental, and the driving dynamics of both were completely different even though they "evolved" from the old MB E-class platform. The Challenger felt like a big boat, but the ride, handling, and driving feedback were pretty good for a car that size. However, the 300 had horrible handling and a very over boosted steering feel.

MMME30W
02-28-2012, 04:44 PM
...and so today in FL I'm driving a Dodge Charger.

In red.

Ok, well, before you laugh, it's actually quite a nice riding vehicle. It is commendably solid and wind-noise free, even with 25,000 rental miles on it. The engine is torquey (no idea what it has, a small V6 maybe?) It tracks well and pushes mildly. The brakes are adequate.

The interior is poorly executed and cheap, very glitzy; much chrome where there is no need to have chrome, as well as some odd sort of faux plasticky-carbon fibre matte finish on the dash. The rubber/vinyl is cheap and nasty looking, and the board-stiff seats are a deathly beige color. I drove about 50 miles tonight to my destination and could not find a comfortable position.

The HVAC and radio are on a square touch screen in the center stack, it seems to work ok.

It does of course have that special Florida rental car scent of sweaty tourists and pine tree air fresheners. Ick.

EDIT - Amusingly tho I rented it in FL, it is registered to the same county in Atlanta where I live lol.

Bruce128iC
02-28-2012, 05:06 PM
...and so today in FL I'm driving a Dodge Charger.

In red.

Ok, well, before you laugh, it's actually quite a nice riding vehicle. It is commendably solid and wind-noise free, even with 25,000 rental miles on it. The engine is torquey (no idea what it has, a small V6 maybe?) It tracks well and pushes mildly. The brakes are adequate.

The interior is poorly executed and cheap, very glitzy; much chrome where there is no need to have chrome, as well as some odd sort of faux plasticky-carbon fibre matte finish on the dash. The rubber/vinyl is cheap and nasty looking, and the board-stiff seats are a deathly beige color. I drove about 50 miles tonight to my destination and could not find a comfortable position.

The HVAC and radio are on a square touch screen in the center stack, it seems to work ok.

It does of course have that special Florida rental car scent of sweaty tourists and pine tree air fresheners. Ick.

EDIT - Amusingly tho I rented it in FL, it is registered to the same county in Atlanta where I live lol.

We had one in Maui for a week, albeit not the newest body style. It sucked.

wyb
02-28-2012, 07:32 PM
2 weeks ago in Orlando we had a Ford Fusion for a rental - it was a good little car - it was equipped with sync and it only had 3050 miles on it when we got it. I'd recommend it as a rental - but not buy one for our own use ... I would say that for my daughter it would make a nice car though.. it was "peppy" - not quick or fast - but it had some kind of sport mode that worked OK - we prepaid for gas as their price was only $3.61 and that was about what price we saw it was outside the Orlando area.. I put $5 in it the night before the return in St. Augustine and we had the fuel light come on 12 miles out from the rental drop-off.. so I reckon we returned it about as empty as we dared.

Honestly - I was surprised how nice the car was - I wouldn't want to do a cross-country run in one - but it wasn't bad for a low-cost rental - sorry - I never checked out the model details.. it wasn't that important at the time.

TeamM3
02-28-2012, 10:23 PM
so I show up at the rental car place and they say they don't have the car I reserved but they're going to give me a Prius. I spent about 15 minutes trying to figure out how the in the h3ll you start the damn thing before I went back in and told the guy "give me another car, I don't have the patience to spend the next 30 minutes reading the Owner Manual"

jeesh, what a pita :rofl:

dtkw
03-01-2012, 08:48 PM
We always rent from Enterprise. Last time we wanted to rent the cheapest car but they all rent out, so they gave us a Ford Edge for the same price. The Ford is pretty nice and came with bluetooth connection, a back up camera and a touch screen screen.

MMME30W
03-11-2012, 01:02 PM
Moved to new Travel Forum to leverage the experience. :)

MMME30W
03-11-2012, 01:03 PM
so I show up at the rental car place and they say they don't have the car I reserved but they're going to give me a Prius. I spent about 15 minutes trying to figure out how the in the h3ll you start the damn thing before I went back in and told the guy "give me another car, I don't have the patience to spend the next 30 minutes reading the Owner Manual"

jeesh, what a pita :rofl:

Hahaha Excellent. I can so picture this.

bmwvt08
03-11-2012, 01:28 PM
This was the best rental car I've ever had. Did it twice. Rented this M3 from the BMW Welt in Munich!

http://i1219.photobucket.com/albums/dd427/gearheaddeals/Germany%202011/IMG_1226.jpg

Wayne's World
03-11-2012, 01:47 PM
Ive had my share of crappy rental cars over time wih shining turds like the HHR or the Chevy Aveo to name the winners. Im also with Avis' class C at work and i remember once at Phoenix Sky Harbor getting the crown vic. I took delivery of it and came back and told them that it was environmentally irresponsible for 1 person to drive this boat around. They gave me a mustang instead. V6 but it still layed down rubber. The best ive ever had was landing christmas day in London and expecting a Nissan Micra and getting upgraded to a Jag XJS by Hertz.

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Scottji
06-21-2012, 01:57 PM
Add two more to the "worst of the worst rental cars" list. Mitsuibishi Galant and Chriysler 200.

For the Galant, I'm pretty sure Mitsubishi rolled out the plans from the early 90's Daewoos and did their best to recreate them in all their cheap plasticky glory.

For the Chrysler 200, it seems they took a car the size of a Honda Civic and did their best to make it handle like a 1970s Buick. Driving that car was downright terrifying at times. I'd feel safer driving my e46 on four flat tires.

Of course both cars came with underpowered 4-bangers and 4-speed transmissions that were jerky, inconsistent, unpredictable, and noisy.

MMME30W
05-13-2013, 05:46 PM
376323

Hahaha...I received the keys to this today...supposed to be a mid size Chevy Cruze...lady asked if I wanted a two door, I said, sure...:rofl:


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