Rental Car Roulette

73GMCSprint

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Joined
Jun 20, 2007
Messages
900
Location
Southern UT, USA
Car(s)
1973 GMC Sprint, Buick 455, TH400; 1994 Jeep XJ
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

Well-Known Member
DONOR
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
1,645
Location
Germany, 57.7km from The Ring
Car(s)
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

Well-Known Member
DONOR
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
1,645
Location
Germany, 57.7km from The Ring
Car(s)
Zastava, MX-5, M140i, Pluriel, Equus
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

Döner Kebab enthusiast
DONOR
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
16,189
Location
42 miles outside of Chicago
Car(s)
‘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.
 
Last edited:

JimCorrigan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
3,885
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
DONOR
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
16,189
Location
42 miles outside of Chicago
Car(s)
‘18 VW Golf GTI, '87 Mercury Colony Park
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

Forum Addict
Joined
Jun 16, 2007
Messages
12,324
I don't think you can really compare a Challenger to a GTI, two completely different cars and I've driven both.
 

93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
DONOR
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
16,189
Location
42 miles outside of Chicago
Car(s)
‘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

Forum Addict
Joined
Jun 16, 2007
Messages
12,324
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

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2011
Messages
3,885
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.
 
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