Proud of New Opinions
Before I started this blog, I had rented a few cars here and there and driven many other cars belonging to friends. My first solo rental was a Mitsubishi Galant in (gulp!) 1994 with a friend in Las Vegas while we were job hunting. My only memory was that the A/C could not keep up with the blaring July sun of the desert southwest and we were sweating at every single stop before and after we got in the car. It didn’t take long after moving there to figure out why a vast majority of cars have tinted windows!
Besides the people that just view all cars as something to go from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’, everyone has their automotive favorites and . . . not-so-favorites. I consider myself an ‘import guy’ and have had many reasons to make fun of the Big Three in my lifetime, but the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Chevy Impala, and Chrysler Pacifica are making waves to change my mind.
MOST EXPENSIVE: Volvo S90 T-5
Lincoln Continental was a close 2nd
LEAST EXPENSIVE: Hyundai Accent
MOST FUEL EFFICIENT: Ford Fusion Hybrid
LEAST FUEL EFFICIENT: Dodge Challenger
FASTEST: Dodge Challenger
SLOWEST: Hyundai i10
BEST 5000 MILE ROAD TRIP CHOICE: Chevy Impala
Should have been the Lincoln Continental except for the unsettling electronic door handles.
BEST SEATS: Lincoln Continental
BEST ERGONOMICS: Mazda CX-5
BEST LOOKING: Volvo S90
BEST COLOR: Audi A4 – couldn’t get enough of that Scuba Blue
Subara Legacy – close 2nd in Twilight Blue Metallic
BEST INTERIOR: Chevy Impala
MOST LIKELY TO BUY: Nissan Maxima
MOST COMFORTABLE: So many choices, but the Chrysler Pacifica can make 7 comfy.
LEAST COMFORTABLE: Chevy Camaro – The driver’s comfort was only ok, but both passengers were miserable throughout
BEST AND WORST on the scale from 1-100:
Buy it new – 60 – (tie) Ford Fusion Hybrid and Volvo S90
I was very impressed with both, but I think the maintenance costs for the Fusion will be a lot less on the way to 200,000 miles even with an untimely hybrid battery replacement.
Buy it later at half the sticker price – 85 – (tie) Kia Optima and Nissan Maxima
The Maxima was my favorite car overall for the year, but the Optima would be an incredible value at half price.
F.E.D. (Fun, Efficiency & Desirability) – 85 (tie) Dodge Challenger and Audi A4
I’d rent either the Challenger (if no one had to get in the backseat) or the A4 again in a heartbeat, but no way I’d buy either one. The Challenger drank gas like a semi and the A4 will undoubtedly be expensive to maintain and repair.
Oooh and ahhh factor – 75 – Volvo S90
No one can convince me this car isn’t beautiful. It looks great from any angle and is distinguishable from the rest of the Volvo line-up (take note Acura) PLUS it has no comparable twin in the world.
Recommended – 90 – (tie) Dodge Challenger and Nissan Maxima
These were the 2 runaway winners in this category and I’d love to rent them again anytime. The Mazda CX-5, Chrysler Pacifica, and 2018 Camry were close behind with a score of 85. A 300hp V6 Camry XSE would have probably joined and possibly surpassed the Challenger and Maxima in the 90 club.
I’m also looking to revamp the blog for 2019. Any ideas or suggestions are great appreciated and welcomed! What do YOU look for in a rental car?