Don't be gentle, it's a rental...

Discussion in 'Other Cars' started by Leadfoot J. McCoalroller, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I felt like starting a thread for comments about cars randomly encountered as rentals and loaners.

    Today's adventure involved a rented 2019 Ford Fiesta with less than 700 miles on it. So far I've found it to be a very scrambled car- a mix of great and awful, juxtaposed into one automobile.

    The engine is very responsive, plenty of power. But it's got quite a lot of exhaust noise.

    The front doors are short, such that the B-pillar blocks entry if the seat is set back for even a moderately tall driver. The dashboard feels like it is made of tire rubber, yet has the appearance of waxed cardboard. It almost seems borrowed from a 1970s VW.

    Seating is stiff and narrow, and I feel like I fit very badly into this car. My elbows find hard edges, the armrests aren't in the right places. The center console is too large for leg comfort and too small to provide stuff-storage. Our Prius c is in the same category as the Fiesta for size but I find the two to be worlds apart in actual comfort.

    Steering and handling felt great, really no complaints. It's a light, nimble car with plenty of pep. The brake pedal feel inspires no confidence at all, but the actual brake performance is fine. Overall it's a sprightly ride, very enjoyable for the actual driving.

    The infotainment setup was another mix- you have to fight through several strata of pop-ups from the ford sync system before you can get carplay up and running. The actual display is quite nice- it's on the small side, but it is mounted up high in a plastic binnacle atop the dash. There is a very effective sun shade built on top. Easy to see, easy to reach.
     
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  2. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Last month I rented a Kia Niro.

    This was Indianapolis and it was in the 20s and 30s, but I was only about to achieve 40 mpg. Interior felt cheap and storage in the back seemed small.

    Didn’t have to haul anyone in the back, but a full sized adult might feel cramped.

    I’m sure it’s works for some, but not my cup of tea.
     
  3. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Comfort is very subjective. I found the Sonic more comfortable than any of our Toyotas, including the Camry.
     
  4. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I've only tried the back seat, and actually it was a Beat instead of a Sonic. I think it's the same car though. Either way it was comfy, was in it nearly 2 hours.

    I drove the Ford around some more today, and it hit me Berra style... That car drives great! I just wish I didn't have to be in it to drive it.
     
  5. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The only Beat I knew of was a Honda, but a quick search showed that was the concept name for Chevy Spark. It is called Beat in India, and possibly elsewhere.
     
  6. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I guess it was a Spark-alike. I was never clear on the difference between a Spark and a Sonic anyway. Either way, the back seat of the Beat was comfy. And a 2-hour uber ride across Delhi only cost me about $0.85!
     
  7. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    And just for the sake of catch-up...

    The best rental I had so far this year was a Ford Fusion hybrid. I've been in a few Kia Fortes, they're popular at Hertz lately. Two were okay but the most recent one had some pretty savage bump-steer in the rear suspension. I've also had a Nissan Sentra that I didn't much care for, and two Chrysler Pacificas. One had the fancy radar cruise control and the other was a barebones model.
     
  8. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Aaand the Ford Fiesta gets a hand-calculated 32.1MPG. Which doesn't strike me as great. It's very new, not broken in. Most of the driving was on the open highway, and I didn't push it hard. I guess it needs a higher top gear, because it was stuck up at 2800 for much of the cruise.
     
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  9. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    You beat the combined rating. Depending on actual speed, the highway miles could hurt fuel economy.

    Did you happen to check the tire pressure? Either way 700 miles is far from broken in for the tires. EPA rules allow up to 4000 miles equivalent worth of wear on them for the test.
     
  10. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    I did not.

    Riding home from Hertz in the c was so much more comfortable than the Fiesta. I do agree though, comfort is subjective.
     
  11. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Tire pressure has a noticable impact on fuel economy and ride feel.
    When the pressure gets below 40psi on my cars, the ride feels 'squishy' to me.
     
  12. milkman44

    milkman44 Active Member

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    I like the Fiesta, haven't driven one yet, but my wife's sister has a Focus hatchback and it is harder to get into and out of than the smaller Fiesta. I could not live with the Focus so will probably look closer at the Fiesta when the time comes, gotta wear out the Prius first. Just rambling now, coming up on 200,000 miles and I will have to replace the sparkplugs and brakes one of these days, already replaced both low beam bulbs.
     
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  13. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    This week it's a Toyota Avalon xle. And I like it! I haven't sat in one of these in 20 years.

    It's much bigger than I needed, but the place I rented from didn't have many cars. Very comfortable cabin, and still pretty easy to maneuver.

    Is this a sedan cousin of the Venza? The similarity hadn't struck me until driving it yesterday.

    I think the one they gave me is a 2017. It's definitely not the current model.

    The hybrid version of this car must be fantastic!
     
    #13 Leadfoot J. McCoalroller, May 5, 2019
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
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  14. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    So I just put 210 miles on this big boat and it was fantastic! Really a great drive. It floated smooth over a few miles of unpaved road, through twisty New England state highway back roads and then onto the expressways. Once I got there, I tried out the radar cruiser and... I'm impressed. Really impressed. It only gave 34MPG by the dashboard readout but I had exactly the same load that was in the Fiesta @ 32...

    Really an enjoyable car.
     
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  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Underfoot

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    A Venza hybrid would be interesting... I believe it existed, in certain markets, for a while?
     
  16. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Without taking to effort to confirm, I believe the Avalon, Camry, and Venza were all built on the same platform. The Avalon isn't much bigger than the Camry, the new Accord might be bigger. Considering the sales figures are the same as the Taurus and Impala, I am surprised Toyota is keeping the Avalon around.

    I think the only bad about the hybrid is that it has the battery taking up trunk space. When is the next Avalon redesign due?

    I thought it was cancelled before the Avalon hybrid arrived.

    Kia has a Optima sportwagon PHEV available in Europe.
     
  17. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    It just happened for 2018.

    The extra size may not be much on a yardstick but it's really easy to notice in the cabin. It's a very roomy car, and the long wheelbase really distinguishes itself on a rough road.

    I think that's correct.

    I'm impressed by the car- it drives great and doesn't have too many useless features spackled in to jack up the price. The radar cruise is very impressive. I'd only driven one other car with that feature (late model Pacifica) and I vastly prefer Toyota's implementation.
     
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  18. thefranchise713

    thefranchise713 Junior Member

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    I'm going to have to jump in on this thread soon as I'll have a shiny Hertz rental next week. Expectations are low as the first two cars were pretty awful thanks to Hertz's idea of "maintenance" and "clean."

    Second your thought, more importantly, on Toyota's cruise implementation. Although I still prefer ordinary cruise control, Toyota's implementation is MUCH stronger than most other manufacturers. On my last vehicle (Ford) I found the system downright awkward in how it engaged. Toyota's is much more smoothed out on my Prime.
     
  19. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Indianapolis this week; 2018 Toyota Camry. I had not driven this (current, XV70) generation of Camry before. My first impression is that the exterior is not changed much from the previous model. The interior doesn't seem as good as the previous generation.

    The transmission seems extremely quick to upshift making for very laggard acceleration unless I put it in sport mode. The whole car feels very sluggish. I don't recall other 4-cyl Camrys feeling this chuggy. It's probably good for MPG but I haven't figured out how to get a readout to check this before a fill-up.

    I can't say I'm a fan of the new dashboard and control setup. The steering wheel gained buttons, and they seem to have gotten smaller and their legend markings are relatively low contrast. Dash illumination control isn't quite manual and isn't quite automatic.

    If I had to pick between the XV70 or XV50 version, I'd take the older one. I haven't seen any standout advantage to the new model yet.
     
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  20. thefranchise713

    thefranchise713 Junior Member

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    So, in tradition, Hertz gave me another unclean, poorly maintained rental--the open container of liquor in the back was a nice touch. Leaving that negativity behind...

    ...this time time around, got a 2018 Nissan Altima. The car got stellar fuel economy--38 MPG for the trip of 1200 miles--and really demonstrated why CVTs are a fantastic option. But, the throttle mapping was very abrupt on the car and I was happy to give it back. NVH could have been a little better respective to engine isolation. That said, the ride was very complaint and seats surprisingly cushy, and the heated seats/wheel worked quite well.
     
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