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Rental Car Experiences?

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,781
    edited December 2012
    She really is lucky - most of her friends are retired too and her group is always swapping rides with each other. Lots of help with doctor visits too. She got a ride home this morning with an antiquing friend after dropping the car off.

    I'll find out by Friday if she feels ripped off by the mechanic. Heaven forbid the Subie dies on the way home from the shop - she'll write me out of her will. :blush:

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,599
    after I point out to my wife how much stuff she has to leave behind thanks to having downsized from an Odyssey to an RDX, I may be out renting a minivan Christmas eve to take instead when we go family visiting for Christmas.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • berriberri Posts: 4,201
    We downsized from an Ody to a CRV after our kids finished college and were on their own. Figured, might as well save some gas. It's been a great vehicle really. But, we have rented vans and crossovers on multiple occasions because we needed more space. Will probably move back up to one of those next year after the CRV is paid for.
  • jpp5862jpp5862 NCPosts: 352
    Got a 2013 Escape in Seattle today. It must have the 2.0 EcoBoost because it's much peppier than others I've had. It's got just over 13,000 miles on it and is also quieter than others I've had (no rattles, wind noise, etc.) It's a little too "cute" for me but I do like the way it drives.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,776
    I saw a rental one of those in Bellevue this morning, silver. Also a rental Avenger - a model that must only sell to fleets now.
  • jpp5862jpp5862 NCPosts: 352
    edited January 2013
    I've been fortunate enough to avoid getting an Avenger. That and the Malibu are two I steer away from at all costs.

    Heading back to NC today, picking up a rental there but the Charlotte location usually doesn't have the best selection, although sometimes they surprise me. However a couple of times I've shown up to find about 40 Impalas in the Emerald and Executive selection.

    Overall I liked the Escape, however I have noticed fuel economy isn't anything to write home about. In a mix of city and highway driving I averaged just over 20.5. Decent I guess but I expected more with all the hoopla around Ecoboost.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,776
    Without fleets, the Impala wouldn't exist right now. I suppose finding a loaded car on the lot wouldn't be bad. The new one can't come soon enough. I mainly rent for personal use, and usually reserve a higher class to avoid such cars.

    That Ecoboost must have to work hard at times.
  • seank2seank2 Brunswick, GeorgiaPosts: 70
    After sideswiping a deer in my Mercedes R-Class a few weeks ago, the good people at State Farm sent me to Enterprise on their dime for 15 days. Being in a very rural, very small town, I was quite nervous as to what I was going to get. Lucky me, when the Enterprise clerk asked "what kind of car is in the shop?" and I told her, she took me out to the lot and showed me everything they had available. Selection was surprisingly decent: Black with tan top Chrysler 200 convertible; 2013 Buick Lacrosse; White over black Chrysler 300; Kia Sorento; and various Corollas, Chevy Cruzes and other typical Enterprise fare.

    I opted for the 2013 Chrysler 300. 8 speed auto, Pentastar V6, Sirius, UConnect, all the goodies. I travel extensively for business, so I spent lots of time in the car. Chrysler's new emphasis on interiors is spectacular, and made me think this is an American car I might actually consider buying. This is my second 300 rental since the summer, and its a surprisingly decent car from a company that I left for dead in the last few years.
  • jpp5862jpp5862 NCPosts: 352
    Agreed, if you get a loaded Impala it's not like being in a penalty box, it's just boring and lifeless, although the 2012 models do have the 3.6L that's fairly quick, but still.

    The 1.6 Ecoboost really has to work hard, I didn't pop the hood on this one to check but I feel like it had to be the 2.0 as it was much smoother and seemed to handle the hills in Seattle a lot better than the 1.6 I had in Denver.
  • jpp5862jpp5862 NCPosts: 352
    How's the 8 speed tranny? My 2011 Grand Cherokee had the 5-speed and it wasn't nearly up to the task, the 8 speed couldn't have come soon enough.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,776
    And the design is so bland and dated now - it feels very much like a mid 00s product. Maybe a good car to get if hauling a few people or reserving at a cheap rate, but there are many more interesting cars in the fleets right now.

    I rode in a rental Mazda CX a few weeks ago - it really made noise off the line in city traffic, I have to imagine while sucking down the gas.
  • seank2seank2 Brunswick, GeorgiaPosts: 70
    The 8 speed is spectacular. It shifts a lot in town, but its not really noticeable, or not noticeable any more than the 7Geartronic in my Mercedes. The Pentastar in the 300 is the 292 HP version, so the car can get up and move quickly. Fuel economy over the 600 odd miles, of which 80% were in town was 23, which for such a big car is not bad.

    If only they would put the 8 speed in the 300C or the SRT with the V8, I'd be more likely to be a buyer, but Chrysler insists on keeping the old 5 speed auto with the V8s.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    Hang in there, the 8HP70 is coming! The Pentastar uses the 8HP45 (45 = 450 Newton-meters (332 lb-ft) of torque capacity, 70 = 700 Nm/516 lb-ft). The 8HP70 will first see duty very shortly in the Ram 1500 hooked to the 5.7L Hemi V8, and is expected to be available for all 5.7L-equipped vehicles for the 2014 model year.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons/Vans+Minivans Host
  • Thanks for the input. Haven't committed to any one company yet, but I found this article on customer service online. I'm sure it applies to most companies at some point, not just Hertz, but it's food for thought.

    http://www.sigmazone.com/Aritcle_HertzIsRunningWithScissors.htm
  • berriberri Posts: 4,201
    That's a tough one given the poor airline quality and service these days. Lots of cancellations and delays. The rental car company has to decide the tradeoff of how long to withhold the vehicle because at a certain point it becomes difficult to lease it out for the day. Had that happen once to me with Hertz in Vegas. But they made it up to me by upgrading me from a Camry to a Cadillac CTS. So I thought considering both sides of the issue, that it was fair to both sides.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,677
    Got to drive a Ford Focus SEL hatch, a Ford Edge, A jeep Liberty and a Nissan Altima at my new part time job today. Sure had a blast though some cars were better than others. Will come back later and detail likes/dislikes. looks like I'll be able to drive all sorts of makes and models in the near future and I can't wait. This is my "dream job"! Thank you G-d!!! :)

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,781
    Very cool. Is this the "car porter" job you mentioned a month or so ago (unless I'm confusing you with someone else again. :blush: )?

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  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,677
    Absolutely...it's a part time gig and I'm basically on call as they don't get much notice. They call and if you are available...you work. Since I'm retired and at home most of the time, it was just perfect. And getting to drive so many different makes and models is pretty cool...who could ask for more! And I get paid to do this...I must've died and gone to car heaven! :)

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,776
    Sounds fun. My grandpa had a post-retirement job like that, to get out of my grandma's hair and maybe make something to spend at the track. I think mostly he would drive cars back and forth between SEA and PDX, probably returning one way rentals with out of state plates, before such things were common. He did this until he was 75 or 76, IIRC.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,599
    is this for a new car dealer, doing dealer swaps?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,677
    Rental companies. We did Dollar rental cars that day. They have 'em lined up and we get to go pick what we like...but I found out one needs to move rather quickly as the old timers knew exactly what makes they wanted. traffic on the interstate can get pretty dicey at times and there are cops everywhere...just need to stay focused while driving within an acceptable speed range and not making any stupid moves. An old timer told me "to fly under the radar"! Hopefully I'll be called into to work more often as I get more experience. I have no problem being on call or working weekends as I'm home all the time.

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    Have you had the "pleasure" of driving a Fiat 500 yet? =)

    I got stuck with one the last time I flew into LAX late at night and it was NOT fun! Driving on the 405 is scary enough in a much larger and more powerful vehicle, but it was almost suicidal in that thing!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,776
    I've heard National at SEA now has the LR2 - that's an odd rental. Roll the dice.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,776
    Read today that National in Hawaii is carrying the Lexus CT. Been a long time since Lexus has been in any NA fleet.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,677
    I've seen these in the Hertz Emerald aisle, I think that's what they call it, even saw a gorgeous GLK suv...impressive in dark blue! So far the nicest I've driven is a new Passat with 2k on the clock. A larger car that I had thought, I do prefer Jetta sized vehicles, but the leather(?) was pretty nice and it had a power throne with memory. Waiting for the day that I can drive a VW across the alley to Tampa so I can see what all the fuss is about German cars and the firmness of their suspensions. After a few hours drive time, I can get a good feel for the car. Driving across I-75 there are usually stretches with little or no traffic so I can play with the speed as long as no cops are hiding out. I use the cruise once the traffic thins out so I can concentrate on the interior creature comforts. And I'm usually very happy with what I find.

    Drove a basic rental grade Chevy Spark on Friday up to Clearwater and it got the job done rather nicely. Had cruise ans SAT radio so I was happy going in. I had tried to snag a new Malibu but being the newbie of the team, I was shown to the lowly Sparks lined up for us. Fine and once situated and fixing the mirrors and seats, I finally noticed the goodies. I prefer to have cruise so the trip can be more relaxing. These Sparks had just come off the truck and had all the plastic coverings still on the hood, roof & mirrors. The plastic was all over the seats and headrests so I just took off what was on the drivers seat so I wouldn't be sliding around. A little loud on hard acceleration but a very willing little econo mobile and perfect for the rental fleets. The dash monitor said I was getting 33.9 mpg's after driving about an hour...very impressive for a car with 6 miles on it when I drove out of the lot to go fill the tank. It had a tilt wheel and the odo moved up and down just like in a motorcycle...it did not telescope unfortunately so I just moved the seat a little closer. I arrived on the other side of Florida a couple of hours later with a smile on my face and my bad back wasn't too upset with me. It took everything O threw at it and came back for more. One drawback is the smallish fuel tank...most of us had to stop for some petrol, the 1st time in the two weeks I've been transporting rentals, certainly not the cars fault. A shame this car is not offered to the general public as it would sell pretty well I think as an entry level vehicle.

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,781
    edited February 2013
    You know that most cars have a little triangle or arrow near the fuel gauge to indicate which side of the car the fuel filler is, right? Might save you some time heading to fill-up, since you are driving so many different cars.

    All the new digital displays probably have that info buried three menus deep. :shades:

    Here's one from a 2012 New Beetle. Snopes says the hose on the gas pump handle icon doesn't necessarily indicate which side the flap is on.

    image

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  • js06gvjs06gv Frisco, TXPosts: 181
    The Spark actually is available to the public as a regular production vehicle. My cousin just bought a new Spark after Hurricane Sandy swallowed her Kia on Staten Island.

    2014 Kia Optima SX Turbo, 2013 Ford F-150 King Ranch, 2011 Ford Mustang GT, 2000 Pontiac Trans Am WS6

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,776
    If you get a German car, filler door should be on the passenger side - has been on all of the modern German cars I have driven. Makes more sense that way too, IMO.

    I think "Emerald Aisle" is a National thing. Speaking of agencies, I hope Sixt contracts with your employer - they have a large highline fleet, and you might get to drive something cool.

    And yeah, Spark is available as a normal car. Old co-worker of mine bought one a few months ago. There's a new loaded one sitting on the local Chevy lot today, spotted it this morning, bizarre roof rails and all.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,599
    My Volvo has the filler on the right side. Once in a while I would forget it was backward from the rest of the fleet.

    actually, everything is reversed from my Hondas. tach and speedo, steering wheel radio/cruise controls, etc.

    and if you drive in Jersey, you really want it on the left, since you have to deal with the gas attendant, and it screws them up to have the filler on the right, so you end up with them at the passenger side window!

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,776
    Oh yeah, Joisey is like Oregon, people can't be trusted to pump their own gas. Still don't get that. I guess for that it makes sense.

    When I rent, I usually remember to check for the filler hole first thing, just to save face at station.
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