Rental Car Roulette

73GMCSprint

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Southern UT, USA
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Was it a turbo 4-cylinder? That would explain the lag and nasty noise.
The V6 should be reasonably peppy. I've not driven the Camaro but I've driven other cars with versions of that engine.
 

loose_unit

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Zastava, MX-5, M140i, Pluriel, Equus
I have a work trip where I need to drive to Frankfurt and possibly (Undecided) to France and back, company booked a car, I ended up with a 2018 540i:




First impressions are that the engine feels much weaker in this than in the 140i ... I have only driven it 5km in traffic home, tomorrow morning I will leave for Frankfurt. I am kind of looking forward to it :)
 

loose_unit

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So I did around 500km with the 540i - I actually really rather liked it ... The B58 engine in here is a really nice package, not like "holy shit this is fast" but more than fast enough (It will hit the 250 limiter not far after the 140i) ... The 520d and 730d I had previously as rentals did not inspire anything, but yeah, really, this package was pretty nice.

Here is a token picture:


Can recommend!
 

93Flareside

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‘18 VW Golf GTI, '87 Mercury Colony Park
2018 Dodge Challenger R/T







Not sure what the exact trim code is but it has auto climate control, sunroof, the bigger Uconnect infotainment with Android Auto/Carplay. No GPS, heated seats, or remote start which is what I usually see on rental Challenger and Chargers.

This one had 25,5xx miles on it with tires that were almost at the wear tabs. This meant road noise higher than usual and traction was down from normal. This was noticeable only when taking off from a dead stop or trying to make turns at speed when the road was wet from melting snow. I'm sure with new tires, this would be more confident in the corners.

Despite being slightly lacking with interior features, this at least had a 5.7L V8. To get around the the US's Gas Guzzler tax, like the Charger R/T, there is cylinder deactivation. This makes the delay from downshifting a few gears worse with the slight bump you feel and exhaust note change that is present. How is it to drive with cylinder deactivation? Stupid to be honest, it's about as good as any hybrid like the Ford Fusion or Kia Niro where the gas engine comes on when you accelerate despite having decent battery level. Any time you think about accelerating, it goes into 8 cylinder mode. Fancy to go from 50-60mph? All 8 cylinders kick in, It never stayed in 4 cylinder mode for more than maybe 1/4 mile. This was on flat surface too between Modesto, California, and San Francisco. There is quite a bit of exhaust drone at highway speeds which is only helped when you're firing on 4 cylinders. If you ever stuck a Flowmaster Super 40/44 onto a pickup truck, it's the same drone.

I had some time to kill from finishing with my last customer site visit and the return trek back to SF for the return flight home the following day. I was close enough that I spent the $30 something toll to drive into Yosemite Nation Park for a moment. The road up to the booth is quite fun. Many twisty bits that made driving fun but also showed how massive this car is when driving through tight canyon type roads. The fun part was shifting in manual mode because after 4,000RPM, you would hear a satisfying bark from the exhaust that echoed off the rock walls. As stated earlier, I would have pushed a little harder if tires were in better shape. The other part was I had never been in this part of the country before and was trying to balance between spirited driving and staying safe. The nice part is how the drivers around here pulled over at any turn out to let me pass. #blessed

It's worrying how quickly you can do 100mph in this. It's effortless, comfortable, and safe feeling. Never once did I feel like I was going too fast where I felt out of control.

The ride is decent though a little rough. There was also this interesting feeling as if the suspension in the front was not fastened down as tight as the back. any bump and the timing between feeling it in the seat compared with feeling it in the steering was separate. I'm not sure what's going on there. Steering is of course quite dead and there is variable ratio steering that is loose at low speeds and tight at high speeds. That's all the steering feel you're getting.

Trunk space is good though there is slight wheel well intrusion like a pickup truck. Not as extreme but about a inch on each side was removed from the trunk width that was 1/2 inch high. I wouldn't consider that a deal breaker. It's not like the trunk hinges are encroaching on space like small sedans do. Trunk space can fit my Pelican 1610 tool case with a backpack size space available in font. I could also fit my suitcase next to it just fine as well. This still left a decent gap on both sides after the wheel wells for more stuff. I noticed that when opening the trunk, it didn't really pop up to get your hands in to open it up, it has trunk struts but these don't really provide any help until you're halfway open. My hands slipped multiple times trying to get the trunk open which would result it slamming shut again. There's quite a gap between the trunk button and where I'm guessing they want you to lift the trunk at. It is a two hand operation.

Drivers seat is good, I had 2.5hrs drive in and out of San Francisco which I feel is long enough to really show if there's issues with seat design and comfort. Bolstering is limited and don't really hold you in that well. On the plus side, it has adjustable lumbar support which made the drive that much more comfortable. Nothing incredible, it had lumbar and that's enough to satisfy my needs. Comfort wasn't couch like but it wasn't German seat hard.

Interior ok but the shifter interferes with anything in the cup holders exactly like my 2004 Ford Mustang was. I found that if the sun is high enough and angled just right, it will reflect off the plastic painted trim piece on the center console blinding the driver. A great feature is that the sun visors slide out and have a plastic wing so that on the side you can completely block the sun out of your peripheral which is invaluable. When the headlights come on, the interior lights dim which is what every ca does. If it's early evening but just dark enough that the automatic headlights come on, it dims the dash lights like it's evening. I'm surprised FCA haven't implemented separate ambient lighting modules for headlights and dash lights. This is something my Golf GTI has and I haven't noticed it working until watching the infotainment display and center LCD on the gauge cluster while backing out of my garage. On the Challenger, the one notch below "ignore headlights and stay full brightness" is too dim for early evening and so if you're using Waze in CarPlay, it can make reading items a little more difficult as they don't jump out at you as easy.

I had considered one of these before the Golf GTI, is it worth doubling your insuranace rate? It wasn't for me and after spending a week with it, I will be happy to return it tomorrow morning. It's too big for my needs and while I can navigate downtown San Francisco and parallel park it no problem, it always feels like you're driving a barn and threading needles everywhere you go. Since visibility is reduced due to the throwback style coupled with modern safety standards, anything except for the Camaro does better in this regard.
 
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JimCorrigan

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Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
4,052
Location
Pacific Rim
Car(s)
HMCS Velvet Glove; The Last Samurai
2018 Dodge Challenger R/T





Not sure what the exact trim code is but it has auto climate control, sunroof, the bigger Uconnect infotainment with Android Auto/Carplay. No GPS, heated seats, or remote start which is what I usually see on rental Challenger and Chargers.

This one had 25,5xx miles on it with tires that were almost at the wear tabs. This meant road noise higher than usual and traction was down from normal. This was noticeable only when taking off from a dead stop or trying to make turns at speed when the road was wet from melting snow. I'm sure with new tires, this would be more confident in the corners.

Despite being slightly lacking with interior features, this at least had a 5.7L V8. To get around the the US's Gas Guzzler tax, like the Charger R/T, there is cylinder deactivation. This makes the delay from downshifting a few gears worse with the slight bump you feel and exhaust note change that is present. How is it to drive with cylinder deactivation? Stupid to be honest, it's about as good as any hybrid like the Ford Fusion or Kia Niro where the gas engine comes on when you accelerate despite having decent battery level. Any time you think about accelerating, it goes into 8 cylinder mode. Fancy to go from 50-60mph? All 8 cylinders kick in, It never stayed in 4 cylinder mode for more than maybe 1/4 mile. This was on flat surface too between Modesto, California, and San Francisco. There is quite a bit of exhaust drone at highway speeds which is only helped when you're firing on 4 cylinders. If you ever stuck a Flowmaster Super 40/44 onto a pickup truck, it's the same drone.

I had some time to kill from finishing with my last customer site visit and the return trek back to SF for the return flight home the following day. I was close enough that I spent the $30 something toll to drive into Yosemite Nation Park for a moment. The road up to the booth is quite fun. Many twisty bits that made driving fun but also showed how massive this car is when driving through tight canyon type roads. The fun part was shifting in manual mode because after 4,000RPM, you would hear a satisfying bark from the exhaust that echoed off the rock walls. As stated earlier, I would have pushed a little harder if tires were in better shape. The other part was I had never been in this part of the country before and was trying to balance between spirited driving and staying safe. The nice part is how the drivers around here pulled over at any turn out to let me pass. #blessed

It's worrying how quickly you can do 100mph in this. It's effortless, comfortable, and safe feeling. Never once did I feel like I was going too fast where I felt out of control.

The ride is decent though a little rough. There was also this interesting feeling as if the suspension in the front was not fastened down as tight as the back. any bump and the timing between feeling it in the seat compared with feeling it in the steering was separate. I'm not sure what's going on there. Steering is of course quite dead and there is variable ratio steering that is loose at low speeds and tight at high speeds. That's all the steering feel you're getting.

Trunk space is good though there is slight wheel well intrusion like a pickup truck. Not as extreme but about a inch on each side was removed from the trunk width that was 1/2 inch high. I wouldn't consider that a deal breaker. It's not like the trunk hinges are encroaching on space like small sedans do. Trunk space can fit my Pelican 1610 tool case with a backpack size space available in font. I could also fit my suitcase next to it just fine as well. This still left a decent gap on both sides after the wheel wells for more stuff. I noticed that when opening the trunk, it didn't really pop up to get your hands in to open it up, it has trunk struts but these don't really provide any help until you're halfway open. My hands slipped multiple times trying to get the trunk open which would result it slamming shut again. There's quite a gap between the trunk button and where I'm guessing they want you to lift the trunk at. It is a two hand operation.

Drivers seat is good, I had 2.5hrs drive in and out of San Francisco which I feel is long enough to really show if there's issues with seat design and comfort. Bolstering is limited and don't really hold you in that well. On the plus side, it has adjustable lumbar support which made the drive that much more comfortable. Nothing incredible, it had lumbar and that's enough to satisfy my needs. Comfort wasn't couch like but it wasn't German seat hard.

Interior ok but the shifter interferes with anything in the cup holders exactly like my 2004 Ford Mustang was. I found that if the sun is high enough and angled just right, it will reflect off the plastic painted trim piece on the center console blinding the driver. A great feature is that the sun visors slide out and have a plastic wing so that on the side you can completely block the sun out of your peripheral which is invaluable. When the headlights come on, the interior lights dim which is what every ca does. If it's early evening but just dark enough that the automatic headlights come on, it dims the dash lights like it's evening. I'm surprised FCA haven't implemented separate ambient lighting modules for headlights and dash lights. This is something my Golf GTI has and I haven't noticed it working until watching the infotainment display and center LCD on the gauge cluster while backing out of my garage. On the Challenger, the one notch below "ignore headlights and stay full brightness" is too dim for early evening and so if you're using Waze in CarPlay, it can make reading items a little more difficult as they don't jump out at you as easy.

I had considered one of these before the Golf GTI, is it worth doubling your insuranace rate? It wasn't for me and after spending a week with it, I will be happy to return it tomorrow morning. It's too big for my needs and while I can navigate downtown San Francisco and parallel park it no problem, it always feels like you're driving a barn and threading needles everywhere you go. Since visibility is reduced due to the throwback style coupled with modern safety standards, anything except for the Camaro does better in this regard.
There’s a toggle below and left of the steering wheel, so that the dash lights won’t dim when the full night time headlights come on.
 

93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
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There’s a toggle below and left of the steering wheel, so that the dash lights won’t dim when the full night time headlights come on.
Yes but my point is, the interior lights aren't auto adjusting to lighting separate from the headlights when they're on. Unless I missed something...

You know how your phone backlight changes based on ambient lighting? VW does this with the interior dash lights and infotainment backlights.
 

LeVeL

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Jun 16, 2007
Messages
12,642
I don't think you can really compare a Challenger to a GTI, two completely different cars and I've driven both.
 

93Flareside

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‘18 VW Golf GTI, '87 Mercury Colony Park
Last year I was comparing Ford Fusion Sport, Charger, Challenger, and GTI. I had driven the first 3 and liked them and the GTI seemed to be what I was looking for hence the decision.
 

LeVeL

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Messages
12,642
Not exactly a rental but it's a loaner from a local garage while they have my Acura.
  • It's a 2001 Ford Focus.
  • It has 110hp and a 4-speed auto.
  • It has manual locks, mirrors, and windows.
  • Radio - broken
  • AC - broken
  • Heater - only works on full blast.
  • Trunk release - broken. With my luck I'll get pulled over and they'll find a body or drugs back there.
  • Interior - filthy.
  • Outside mirrors - held on with screws.
  • Lumbar support - don't make me laugh (or cry).
  • Windshield wipers - you'd be better off sticking your head out the window like a dog
  • Massage seats - yes! Oh wait that's just the broken engine mounts.
  • Gas tank - empty when I got it.
On the upside it's making me really appreciate my TL. Also, it weighs 2600lbs so it's surprisingly nimble.


3555192


3555193


3555194
 

JimCorrigan

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Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
4,052
Location
Pacific Rim
Car(s)
HMCS Velvet Glove; The Last Samurai
I had one of those (in wagon form, no less) as a rental back in 2000 or 2001.

I had the urge to give up living.
 

93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
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‘18 VW Golf GTI, '87 Mercury Colony Park
Had a Toyota Tacoma from Sixt this past week.

It was alright. Other than Nissan, they’re the only other brand that doesn’t have CarPlay available and the infotainment feels really dated like Nissan. It was 4 doors with a covered bed. It had radar cruise control only on the last day did I find the menu to adjust how the system reacts to traffic. Usually as soon as a car changes lanes in front of you, it would brake heavily until the set distance was met. Once at the lowest sensitivity, it will coast a little before braking. Helps when the guy is just swapping lanes for sport.

It doesn’t do burn outs and the transmission seemed a little weird in that either my driving style is weird (probably) or the engine/transmission combo makes it so that you have to drop gears to get usuable torque when in traffic. There was more tire noise coming from behind the cab than the front. Other than that, it was ok.

Yesterday and today I got a 2019 Nissan Frontier.







interior compared to the 'Yota



This Frontier only had 1,300 miles on it and it felt like a car from 2005 much like the Tacoma. Most notably what I found different was the seating position. Your legs drop down instead go out in front of you. Power felt similar though the Frontier felt a little more torque-y. While the Tacoma had the newer features like lane departure, collision warning, and radar cruise control this Frontier did not and as far as I can tell cannot be spec'd online.

Turning radius felt tighter than the Toyota, ride was just as bouncy. Rear seat space is a little better in the Nissan. Road noise cannot be compared because in the midwest, the road material is different where out west it seems they use larger stones that create more road noise. Visibility feels much the same and braking is also similar in feel. My verdict, if you want a truck, get the nissan, if you care about some creature comforts and don't care that your legs are out in front, get the toyota.

One last note for the Frontier, when the engine is warm, you hear something like water moving through a pipe with air in it to which I can only attribute to coolant flowing through the engine. Never have heard that in other cars before. This is heard in the front below the dash so basically where the engine is.
 
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93Flareside

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‘18 VW Golf GTI, '87 Mercury Colony Park
Monday-Wednesday of this week I had a Toyota Rav4!







This absolute unit had 24,000mi on the odometer at time of rental which I didn't put more than 100mi on it for the 3 days I had it while in Portland, OR.

I don't really get crossovers and this one is weird. The seating position had you either too low or too high and I never felt like I could get the steering wheel set in the right spot for my driving style. There was blind spots that meant I almost merged into a few people, ride was ok, acceleration left a lot to be desired but wasn't dog slow. So far, I have yet to find a car slower than a Jeep Patriot with the CVT so this is an improvement. Things I liked was the trunk space. Opening was large, the height was good. This is the only car as of late that the intermittant wipers did not have adjustment. You had "Intermittant" "Low" and "High." You were stuck with slightly too fast intermittant wipers in drizzle and not enough when raining but in traffic. There was no adjustable wheel or dial to adjust timing. Literally every other vehicle down to a Nissan Note has intermittent wiper speed adjustment.

Other things? I'm not sure why these sell as well as they do. I would think you could do better from the likes of Ford or heck, even the outdated Dodge Journey. I think the journey is a little bigger though. Mazda CX.... 5? I mean really. I think Toyota knows they have a following and don't care that it lacks features many other brands have. To put into perspective, a Corolla has blind spot monitoring and radar cruise control just like the Tacoma. Why can't the Rav4 have these?
 
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93Flareside

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‘18 VW Golf GTI, '87 Mercury Colony Park
Last week, Tuesday-Thursday I had a brand new 4 Cylinder Mustang. Lately, SFO Hertz has had their American Muscle class cheaper than Midsize soooo fuck it.



This particular one had 95 miles on it and per the Hertz receipt, I drove 276 miles.





2019 Ford Mustang Ecoboost w/ 10-speed auto.

This has a 2.3L turbo'd up to 310HP and 350 lbs. ft. mated to Ford/GM's joint ventured automatic with 10 gears.

Take off from a dead stop is good if a bit too much in some cases like in traffic. If you're creeping in traffic, the transmission is not a fan. If you're in say 15-25mph traffic where you're braking, coasting, then on throttle, the transmission gets unhappy and clunks hard as if something is worn out or on the verge of breaking. So long as you're above 30mph, all is well. Acceleration is good you can hear a turbo woosh which seems cool. The one thing I was missing from that experience was the blow off sound. There was none, just the turbo woosh fading away while the turbo slowed down. Also, I noticed that pretty much all throttle required the turbo to spin up which I was hoping there would be some time where thats not needed. As far as I can tell, turbo kicks in around 1100-1200RPM range which makes me wonder about turbo and engine longevity. Trunk space is typical of a convertible as shown in the photo above. Overall driveability was fine other than when you wanted to change lanes and you start to accelerate, you feel the transmission dropping down gear by gear instead of skipping a whole bunch which only worked when you floored it. Visibility is good and less bunker-ish to Camaro and Challenger but the front windshield is typical narrow view like those designer glasses. Its not horrible but not bay window like with things like a Golf for example. :D

I thought was interesting where they placed the trunk release. Most companies put it by the backup camera near right next to the lift point.



Nope!



Which I guess makes sense but not intuitive.

A nice change was Ford changed how you unlatch the top from two levers that required you to put back into locked place after pulling the top back a little. Now it's a one handed operation of pull down and twist, then you can press the button and lower the roof. Works fine though it was a bit cold and too dark for pictures.

I found the steering in normal to be incredibly twitchy and I didn't even bother to try sport because if normal is too much, whats sport like? I drove this with comfort steering and got the ratio I was looking for.

Last gripe, I promise!

This is down to gauge dash lighting for night time driving, here is my typical brightness that I set because it was best for my needs.



Next are fully dim and full brightness





Can you spot the problem? What I noticed was the gauge backlighting brightness is different from the center display between the gauges and further still different from the infotainment display. This is the first time I've noticed it this badly. You could adjust the infotainment down but if you touched the dash brightness button again the display and go back to default brightness adjustment. It wouldn't save as far as I could tell. Many other brands have this figured out and its something I noticed on a Ford Fusion I had a few weeks back as well. I can't remember if I did a fusion review as I've had three recently.

The good!

You can have a phone call while at speed in this. Top up of course.

This model had keyless entry, remote start, Carplay, heated and cooled seats with lumbar support. Nice.

Power is great, excellent for city driving to dip in and out of too small of gaps in traffic. Brakes are super touchy which if you like it, great, I'm indifferent. Rear seats are an even more joke than on older models, there's no way I can sit behind myself like I could do in my 04 mustang. I didn't have time for any performance testing do to the jobs I had. I imagine this would benefit from the manual transmission as the auto isn't something I could recommend. It's too clunky in low speed uses and the shift paddles are also a joke because of how long the delay is between pressing a button and having a reaction for a gear change.

Do I want another Mustang? Nah, I did my time. This was a nice time and that was enough.
 
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TC

aka TomCat
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Dec 11, 2005
Messages
11,463
The newer 300 styling just doesn't pull off the mafia gangster look as much as the original.
 

CrzRsn

Mr. Fedewhatever
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13 Ford Mustang GT, 17 Ford Fiesta ST
I just wish it was gray. I can see a lot of hood from my driving position, and if it were gray, I could pretend I'm piloting a battleship.
 

CraigB

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SWMO
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Infiniti M30 - Nissan Frontier Pro-4X & Altima
First time I saw that color (destroyer grey on the Charger/Challenger) I called it battleship grey. It truly looks like primer that has a clear coat. 🤣
 

93Flareside

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‘18 VW Golf GTI, '87 Mercury Colony Park
A few weeks ago, I had a 2018 Nissan Pathfinder. Both @rickhamilton620 and @LP had a ride in it as well. :)

Ride was ok, seats had lumbar support but the headrest is non adjustable and tilts forward just enough to brush the back of your head. CVT is absolutely awful for a car this size and it shouldn't be in here. It removes any sense of power. It's fine for around town driving but it just feels so hopeless. Suspension is mushy and the infotainment is ridiculous. What I found so irritating is when I plugged my phone in for a drive and of course the radio starts playing the first song in your library, you cannot pause from the phone. If you tried, it forced the song to play. you have to do it from the radio and its not available right away, you have to jump to the media section that will bring up the play/pause buttons. Wouldn't recommend.














This week, I had 2019 Dodge Charger R/T. They fixed the car play integration where they placed carplay in the middle of the screen with a boarder around it... Programming for the 8-speed auto has changed which meant I had a few times where full throttle did not upshift into a higher gear. I was going through a tunnel and wanted to do the thing but was meant with a low rumble despite flooring it. Backup camera quality is quite poor and resembles my sisters 2015 Kia Soul's backup camera...

Something I thought was weird that I haven't noticed on older chargers and challengers, the front drivers seat is too narrow. The bolstering you see is about 1/4 inward on my thighs. I've never had this in any car be it a nissan versa to a chevy suburban. Now of course, I'm not a thin but this is like 100lbs short female width seats. An airplane economy seat has more room...

Have some pictures.













If you're wondering why this Charger looks so nice, it's because it had about 300 miles on the odometer. :D
 
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LeVeL

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Joined
Jun 16, 2007
Messages
12,642
Were you in Mass?


This week, I had 2019 Dodge Charger R/T. ... Programming for the 8-speed auto has changed which meant I had a few times where full throttle did not upshift into a higher gear. I was going through a tunnel and wanted to do the thing but was meant with a low rumble despite flooring it.
I think you mean downshift into a lower gear. Idk what you did but the ZF definitely drops several gears when floored - maybe you had it on eco mode.
 

narf

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Had another cheap bundle of loud fun for the week :driving:



Yes, again an Abarth 595C... talked the RCA into handing me a brand-new 70th anniversary turismo for 165hp though, instead of the two-year-old regular 595 she had lined up :shakefist:



The interior is a big step up from the regular 595, especially the seats are a million times better. Also brown :wub:



New rubber ✔
New brakes ✔



Loud exhaust ✔
Farts galore ✔



Twins! 🍌



Lots of fun was had by all, except the cyclists.
The previous ones I had were slightly understeery, this one fixed that - might be the Koni chassis :dunno: the results are quite fun when all four start wiggling about :driving:



Only two complaints:
Needs a bigger fuel tank, had it for a week, did six fill-ups.
For some reason it forgets sport mode every time you turn it off... the old ones remembered.
 
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