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    1. #1
      Member Samson's Avatar
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      The rental car thread

      Since the other one got locked, here's a new one.

      We were around the Lake Tahoe area for a week or so, and the cheapest option through Costco was a standard SUV ($360 for 8 days with a rental child seat). I was hoping for a Hyundai/Kia product, as they tend to hold up better than most rentals I've had, but nope. 2019 Explorer Limited 4WD with the n/a 3.5.

      Pros:
      Lots of room for activities. Huge trunk.
      Very quiet on smooth highway.
      Smooth but slowly shifting transmission.
      Auto-open trunk lets you open it (much faster) by hand without freaking out.

      Meh:
      MPG. Picked it up with a 16mpg average and got it up to 21 or so. Not terrible for an almost 5k lb SUV, but combined with $4.49/gallon gas, it was annoying.
      Ride quality. Good on smooth roads, but the 20" wheels rattled the hell out of it on anything else. It didn't make me want to go "exploring".
      Interior fit and odd material choices that didn't really match.
      Carplay had some bugs.
      A bit underpowered, but it was at 6-7k feet of elevation.

      Cons:
      Instrumentation layout and design. It's ugly, unintuitive, and nothing matches. It mostly looks like an afterthought.
      Blinker and door chime sound. It's enough to keep me out of a Ford. Even my 3-year-old hated it.
      A/C seats didn't do a whole lot. On that note, the A/C was pretty weak around town as well.
      LED headlight performance.


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    3. #2
      Member SCHWAB0's Avatar
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      Had a 2019 A6 as a dealership rental. Car was very soft and refined and it's very comfortable, unfortunately I've only had it for a day around town and didn't get a chance to take it on extended trip. Overal a solid 8/10. It has cooled and heated seats along with privacy shades. Forgot to mention the infotainment screen touch sensitivity was a bit off-putting, not as responsive as one would like.












      I could see myself driving one of these, this was a 2.0T but it felt more than adequate around town.


      Sent from my mobile office.


      Sent from my mobile office.
      Previous: '95 Talon AWD 2.0T | '98 GTI 2.0 | '00 Jetta 2.0 | '02 GLI 2.8 | '07 GTI 2.0T | '09 GLI 2.0T | '00 A4 2.8 | '04 R32 3.2 | '12 R 2.0T | '01 S4 2.7TT | '14 ST 1.6T | '12 R 2.0T | '16 R 2.0T | '17 R 2.0T | '18 RS3 2.5T | '13 TTRS 2.5T | '04 R32 3.2 |
      VW/Audi Installation YT Vids: Schwabo

    4. #3
      Member TangoRed's Avatar
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      Audi made some oddly fussy design details on the new A6. I didn't like it nearly as much in person.
      Quote Originally Posted by Doug Butabi View Post
      And on the tenth day of the two thousand fifteenth year, TCL finds out about rich people.

    5. #4
      Member CostcoPizza's Avatar
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      Man, those screens look cheap!

      Also, the "chrome strip running through taillights" trend can die any day now.

    6. #5
      Member DubNMiatafan's Avatar
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      Had a short rental this weekend. Picked up a Kia Niro Eco Hybrid in Aspen on Friday night, and dropped it off in Denver on Saturday night.

      Looked just like this:



      Pros:
      Averaged an amazing 68 (SIXTY-EIGHT) MPG during our rental according to the dash. We only put about $13 worth of fuel in and drove about 280 miles total so I believe it
      Didn't feel nearly as slow as I thought it would. The electric motor definitely helps it.
      Good amount of cargo room
      Felt just like a normal small car/CUV. If you didn't tell the average person it was a hybrid and didn't show them the charge gauges on the dash they would almost never know

      Cons:
      Worst audio system I've ever heard. Seriously, my bluetooth speaker had better audio quality
      No spare tire, just a fix a flat kit. Kinda hindered our plans a little bit since our planned hike was up a 30 mile dirt road in the middle of nowhere with no cell service. Didn't want to get stuck with no spare so we decided to try a different hike right off the main road
      Minor quibble, but the USB connection in the car was the slowest phone charger ever. We didn't have a power outlet-usb adapter so we just used the usb connection in the car. Battery was still going down in the phone when we were using it even though it was still plugged in


      Overall, a nice car. People that don't care about cars and just need a small commuter really need to switch over to hybrids. There's almost no downside and you get almost double the regular MPG and have slightly more acceleration at the low end.
      ♪ Let's just drive, I wanna see what the wind does to your hair ♪

    7. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by SCHWAB0 View Post
      Had a 2019 A6 as a dealership rental. Car was very soft and refined and it's very comfortable, unfortunately I've only had it for a day around town and didn't get a chance to take it on extended trip. Overal a solid 8/10. It has cooled and heated seats along with privacy shades. Forgot to mention the infotainment screen touch sensitivity was a bit off-putting, not as responsive as one would like.

      Why is the front plate sideways tho?

    8. #7
      Member Aw614's Avatar
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      No pictures, but I recently had a Kia Soul as a rental for a business trip. My impressions:

      Pros:
      -Manual/Sport mode worked pretty well for merging
      -Took a while to get adjusted, but I liked the android auto implementation
      -Performance and gas mileage was pretty good, got around 30 mpg, but it doesn't take much to be ok with slow cars considering my daily is a d16y8 civic automatic.
      -No complains with the AC

      Cons:
      -Automatic start-stop was annoying and was not seemless, I thought the transmission was broken, b/c the start-stop jerked a lot when it shut off and then it turned on. I turned it off or drove the car in sport mode
      -No Aux cable
      -Did not like the high seating position and on onramps, I was worried about taking them too fast with the body roll
      -Android auto was kind of annoying at times, it needed to be plugged in via usb to get maps to view on screen and not bluetooth (normal? first time user)

      I still would have preferred a car like a sentra/corolla type over a soul, but I can't complain

    9. #8
      Member SCHWAB0's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by ghost03 View Post
      Why is the front plate sideways tho?
      Wrong car


      Sent from my mobile office.
      Previous: '95 Talon AWD 2.0T | '98 GTI 2.0 | '00 Jetta 2.0 | '02 GLI 2.8 | '07 GTI 2.0T | '09 GLI 2.0T | '00 A4 2.8 | '04 R32 3.2 | '12 R 2.0T | '01 S4 2.7TT | '14 ST 1.6T | '12 R 2.0T | '16 R 2.0T | '17 R 2.0T | '18 RS3 2.5T | '13 TTRS 2.5T | '04 R32 3.2 |
      VW/Audi Installation YT Vids: Schwabo

    10. #9
      Member SCHWAB0's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Aw614 View Post
      No pictures, but I recently had a Kia Soul as a rental for a business trip. My impressions:


      -Android auto was kind of annoying at times, it needed to be plugged in via usb to get maps to view on screen and not bluetooth (normal? first time user)
      Yes that's how its used right now aside from BMW who has wireless Carplay for $300/yr


      Sent from my mobile office.
      Previous: '95 Talon AWD 2.0T | '98 GTI 2.0 | '00 Jetta 2.0 | '02 GLI 2.8 | '07 GTI 2.0T | '09 GLI 2.0T | '00 A4 2.8 | '04 R32 3.2 | '12 R 2.0T | '01 S4 2.7TT | '14 ST 1.6T | '12 R 2.0T | '16 R 2.0T | '17 R 2.0T | '18 RS3 2.5T | '13 TTRS 2.5T | '04 R32 3.2 |
      VW/Audi Installation YT Vids: Schwabo

    11. #10
      Member robr2's Avatar
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      I was recently in Denver and rented through Hot Wire "manager special" rate. For $60 for the day with taxes, I got this through Advantage Auto Rental:



      Yup - that's a 2014 JSW with 47K miles. I swear they keep that one crappy car out back for those of us using the manager special option.

    12. #11
      Member Stevo12's Avatar
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      Got a new-gen RAV4 XLE as a 1-way to JFK yesterday. 8K on the odo, and judging by the lack of apparent AWD badging and TX plates I’m guessing it was a FWD model.

      I remember when XLE meant the top model, but I guess I haven’t recalibrated my Toyota-speak in quite a while because this felt more like the base-midlevel trim (a competitor to Subaru’s “Premium” trim level) with auto AC, cloth seats, and black trim. Toyota did a nice job with the styling inside and out, it was a comfortable ride (if not a bit noisy) and the car got stellar mileage. I liked this upsized RAV since it was released so I was eager to drive it to see if it would be a contender for our next family vehicle.

      I liked the size and layout of the whole vehicle, definitely enough space, although it is a much bigger vehicle. The mileage was impressive - the readout said 35+ MPG, which was corroborated by the ~130 mile drive and the fact that the fuel gauge barely moved off Full. The ride was nice and composed - expected from the larger size vehicle. The 4-cylinder actually had some decent pep too, made sense when I looked up the specs to see it had 200 hp.

      However there were some things that gave me pause for ownership consideration. First was the road noise. We came off a Mazda3 as our family car and so I’m a bit sensitive to road noise since it because a major pet peeve of that car. As something that’s a family car by design, I’m a little disappointed that it’s as loud as it is. The steering was a little numb on center, but that was pretty minor. But something that was a little disconcerting was the amount of engine racket when the car was warming up - it sounded like it was knocking, although I’m sure it wasn’t. It was just kinda off-putting to hear those kinds of sounds in a new car. Driving around, the engine sounds very agricultural and low rent - yes that’s rich coming from a Subaru owner. But honestly, a 2019 RAV should do better in the NVH department than a 2008 Subaru, and it just doesn’t. Especially not at the $28k starting MSRP for the base 2WD XLE. At that price, Mazda gives you more amenities in the CX-5 Touring, albeit it’s attached to a smaller car. The value for money has always been what’s nagged me about popular Toyota models - I feel like the touch points always feel less refined or durable (even though reality is not the case) for the money. I feel like my ideal RAV would sticker in the $30k range and would be playing in the same sandbox as the $28k CX-5 Touring or Tiguan SE 4Mo.



      Side note: I know this will rustle some jimmies but given the CVT vs “8-speed all the things” debates that have been going on here, I’m still failing to see an drivability argument in favor of an 8-speed in a 4-cylinder appliance such as this. I don’t think it improves the experience over a CVT. The constant shifting between gears or converter locking was very noticeable, nothing at all like the smooth operation I’d gotten from my last rental CUV, a Nissan Rogue.

      I feel Toyota made the most of it, but there were still gaps in power when waiting for the transmission to shift, the converter locked super early, sometimes necessitating an immediate unlock or downshift. But to their credit, the readout did say that it got 35.x MPG driving at 75-80 most of the way - I didn’t fill up before returning it because that’s just how I roll

    13. #12
      Member BluMagic's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Samson View Post
      Since the other one got locked, here's a new one.

      We were around the Lake Tahoe area for a week or so, and the cheapest option through Costco was a standard SUV ($360 for 8 days with a rental child seat). I was hoping for a Hyundai/Kia product, as they tend to hold up better than most rentals I've had, but nope. 2019 Explorer Limited 4WD with the n/a 3.5.

      Pros:
      Lots of room for activities. Huge trunk.
      Very quiet on smooth highway.
      Smooth but slowly shifting transmission.
      Auto-open trunk lets you open it (much faster) by hand without freaking out.

      Meh:
      MPG. Picked it up with a 16mpg average and got it up to 21 or so. Not terrible for an almost 5k lb SUV, but combined with $4.49/gallon gas, it was annoying.
      Ride quality. Good on smooth roads, but the 20" wheels rattled the hell out of it on anything else. It didn't make me want to go "exploring".
      Interior fit and odd material choices that didn't really match.
      Carplay had some bugs.
      A bit underpowered, but it was at 6-7k feet of elevation.



      That motor is gutless at sea level in the explorer

    14. #13
      Just Milking my Carrot in the Honda break room. Metallitubby's Avatar
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      Chevrolet SS





      * My contributions are not representative of American Honda

    15. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by Samson View Post
      Since the other one got locked, here's a new one.




      Cons:
      Instrumentation layout and design. It's ugly, unintuitive, and nothing matches. It mostly looks like an afterthought.
      Blinker and door chime sound. It's enough to keep me out of a Ford. Even my 3-year-old hated it.
      A/C seats didn't do a whole lot. On that note, the A/C was pretty weak around town as well.
      LED headlight performance.

      Instrument clusters in formerly MFT equipped vehicles have aged horribly and those digital clusters are so damn tiny ,horrible

    16. #15
      Member GolfTango's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Metallitubby View Post

      LOL

      I would love to rock a couple of FJ Audi frames on the Pissat.
      2013 Passat SEL Premium Dieselgate
      Instagram!

    17. #16
      Rented a Jeep Wrangler JKU on the big island of Hawaii.

      Pros:

      Had it in 4low for like 1/2 a mile at a little rutty part of pine trees, probably could have pulled it off in 2WD though.
      Kids could get into the backseat easy, back is great for wet stuff.
      Slowed me down and mellowed out my driving, put me back on island time.

      Cons:

      Stock, the rental place needs to lift and put bigger tires on the thing.
      Handles like my 1997 ZJ, the ZJ may be a little better even with it's OME springs and Billsteins.
      Every tourist rents a JKU, so not really a blend in with locals vehicle.
      Kind of a long vehicle, I definitely like the looks and dynamics of the two door.

    18. #17
      Senior Member 6cylVWguy's Avatar
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      I've fallen behind on this. Here's some of what i've had over the last few months:


      Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

    19. #18
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      I got a 2017(?) Camry the last time I travelled via plane.

      Good:
      Comfortable
      Easy on gas
      Nice Visibility
      Could cruise at Desert-appropriate speeds
      Tighter and more dynamically capable than you'd think. Compared to Mom's Forester, it was a friggin E30 M3.
      Build quality was good enough that the horde of gnats I wandered into couldn't follow me into the car.

      Bad:
      Smelled like old people slept in it
      The Slushbox was Willing but the 4-pot was Weak.


      I can't lie; Toyota makes a hell of a transportation device. I even enjoyed caning the hell out of it. It was like a really good pop album: not my thing and not threatening Pet Sounds, but a pleasant thing if you have to have it on.
      I said, Rock, what's a matter with you rock?

    20. #19
      Planters (fasciitis) peanuts. Dang dogg Sold Over Sticker's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by 6cylVWguy View Post
      I've fallen behind on this. Here's some of what i've had over the last few months:
      Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
      Drove this. Can confirm. Pretty darn rentally.
      Driving While Awesome Podcast. Give it a listen. Assetto Corsa Discord Link. Join us for some sim racing fun.
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      SoS - please shoot a message when Brendan & His Retarded Sycophants has another gig. I’ll be there, front row.

    21. #20
      Member IridiumB6's Avatar
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      For the past 8 years I've really only rented with Sixt. I do really like their mid-spec cars, and they always tend to be nearly new, if not brand new.




      Probably the most fun in a rental car I've had, a cab 430i driving down Highway 1 in California, truly a memorable trip. I slammed the front off of an intersection because of the idiotic designs (I really don't get it) throughout California. Pros, BMW driving dynamics, cabriolet, comfy car, Cons: Really could've gone with the I6 but probably can't rent, it was a little bare spec but still nicely equipped, kind of difficult to find anything wrong with it.



      Truly a German Camry made with the finesse and quality of a GM product. Decent enough car, but felt very, VERY corporate. Handled the Autobahn well, other than the complete snooze fest it was, can't fault it too much either.




      Probably still my least favourite rental to this day. It's evident why Audi wouldn't sell a tarted up Polo in N America, it drove just like a VW, it had no redeeming qualities whatsoever, truly a badge whore car. The Sat-nav was COMPLETE garbage, the screen was laughably low res (kind of like the first gen Q3 here), it needed an alignment, it was loud, unrefined, nothing like any Audi I've ever driven. But it did bode well with small French roads, so there's that.




      One of my favourite rentals, I think Citroen has true potential in North America with cars like these. It was large inside, comfy, quirky, built together nicely, and had some real personality to it. Digital everything unfortunately, missing some physical buttons, but it drove super nicely for a budget car and did everything we needed it for. Really, really satisfied and impressed with this little Citroen. I think it had like a 1.5 diesel in it, barely over 100 hp if that, but it never underperformed.
      "THIS, is a two-thousand and twenty Doug DeMuro"

    22. #21
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      2019 Ford Escape
      15,000 miles at start of trip.

      We ended up putting 3,751 miles on this thing. 68 hours of seat time.

      Pros:
      Good power even at 11,000 foot elevation through the Beartooth Scenic Byway
      Apple Carplay worked pretty well. Screen size was adequate for navigation.
      Drivers side power adjustable seat with power lumbar. Reasonably comfortable. No aches or pains after a 10 hour driving day.
      Big enough for all our bags for a 2 week trip.
      Strong sheet metal (?) We ended up driving through a tornado with associated hail storm and there were 2 small dents and nothing else.
      Headlights had great light throw. Important when driving at night through the mountains.

      Cons:
      Gas mileage was only so-so. Averaged 30 mpg for the whole trip. Keeping in mind a good chunk of the miles were at 55-60mph through Yellowstone with no AC. Gas mileage dropped to ~25 when speed bumped up to 70-75 on the interstate.
      Odd transmission issues. It seemed to clunk around when in stop and go. Once it shifted REALLY hard into reverse. I thought it was broken.
      Engine sounds absolutely terrible. Loud and buzzy. Annoying when accelerating.
      NVH was a little surprising for such a new car. Vibration when running was evident.

      Picture heading up the Beartooth:

      2012 VW GTI( (Stage II APR)
      2001 Toyota 4Runner (winter)

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    23. #22
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      I'm due for a good rental car as I've been driving crap lately.

      I would not recommend the following after my recent experiences:

      Jeep Cherokee w/ the NA 4-banger
      Mitsubishi Outlander
      GMC Terrain SLT 1.5T
      Nissan Pathfinder

    24. #23
      Member Samson's Avatar
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      2019 Corolla LE

      I reserved a standard car, but this was all they had. In exchange, they gave me a 15% discount and a free half tank of gas. Fair enough. Not a particularly interesting or noteworthy car, but it returned an honest 43mpg over 900 miles of 65-75mph relatively quiet highway driving, and the CVT felt a lot like a stepped automatic. Better than expected on all fronts.

      There was one mildly interesting issue: I used furniture edge guard (baby proofing foam) to keep the poorly-designed, overly wide center console from irritating my man-spread knee. This actually worked out very well.


    25. #24
      Member adrew's Avatar
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      ^ I like ours - I mean, it's not sporty, but overall pretty competent/refined and hard to beat for $17k. I feel like most new cars have a huge center stack like that. My tiny Yaris has more room to splay out than the Corolla since it has a big scoop in the dash in front of the shifter, kind of a like a 6th-generation Civic.

      Improving the signal-to-noise ratio

    26. #25
      Member Samson's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by adrew View Post
      ^ I like ours - I mean, it's not sporty, but overall pretty competent/refined and hard to beat for $17k. I feel like most new cars have a huge center stack like that. My tiny Yaris has more room to splay out than the Corolla since it has a big scoop in the dash in front of the shifter, kind of a like a 6th-generation Civic.
      Yeah, it's not a bad vehicle for the money. The Elantra SE that I had a little while ago was nicer/more comfortable/less rattly, but not quite as efficient. I would have liked to try the 2020 Corolla, as it's supposed to be a pretty big improvement.

      Does yours have a roughly 10mph operating range when you engage cruise? I forgot about that annoyance, especially in the mountains. This issue may be unique to the CVT though... on downgrades, it would try to maintain speed by raising the revs to 4,500+, but it didn't really work. The thing had basically zero engine braking, though that is probably part of the reason it got such good MPG.

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