Our "own" car reviews

Not owning a car at the moment meat I had to rent quite a few cars for a couple of days or a week at the time, these are some brief impressions:

Peugeot 208 PureTech 72 - 72hp, 3cyl french eco box - and I liked it. It was not bad even on the Autobahn. I even ended up liking the strange interior layout and tiny steering wheel at the end. All around positive experience.

Renault Clio 1.2 16V - not as much fun to drive as the Peugeot, but still a nice hatchback overall. Hated the navigation unity though and rear visability wasn't to my liking. Nice seats ...

Nissan Micra K14 1.0 - what a nice car ... untill it broke down 2 days into my week of renting with and unfixable fault in the electronics. Before that I liked it - apart from the navigation unit which was prob the worst I have had recently ...

To replace the broken Micra they gave me a Fiat 500. A downgrade, but it was take this or wait a day for another car. So I got a Fiat 500 Diesel. And I loved it. You can say stockholm syndrome all you want - I liked the 500 for what it is. It was my first time even being in one and I can see why these little things sell like bread. For what they are, they are quite perfect. Little funky town runarounds. Stepping into it after the Micra, it was a lot less comfy in the 500 ... but ok. If I was in the market for a city car, this would be hard to ignore.

Vw Touran - so I had 4 people to transport with luggage for a week and needed something bigger. And what I got was a fully loaded Touran with toys like DSC and ACC. I did not check, but I think it was the 1.4 petrol. The ACC is really something I adored and combined with the DSC Gearbox a real joy to drive on the autobahn with. The car did not miss a beat and I really enjoyed driving it despite being (essentially) a smal van.
 

thevictor390

Well-known member
Citro-*cough* sorry "DS Automobiles" DS3 with some diesel engine:




It's honestly hard to tell how much I like this car due to a number of external factors. It's my first time out of the country. I have no idea what I am doing driving in Europe. And the jaw-dropping mountain roads of Verdon would make a Corolla entertaining.

But I've now done more practical driving on highways and in the city, and I feel I have a better opinion. The diesel motor isn't bad. it's satisfying to downshift into second and feel a surge of power, and it has no trouble accelerating onto the highway and making high speed passes. Definitely "enough" power in a car I thought would feel underpowered to my American senses. There are still a few quirks that take some getting used to. It sounds awful. Like it has a serious rod knock or something. Not great for windows-down cruising. The car launches very hard when the clutch bites, using the throttle is usually overkill. And I am amazed that itdoes not have a clutch switch on the ignition. You can imagine how I discovered this....

The transmission, however, is only a 5 speed, and this seems to hold the engine back a bit. With the diesels limited rev range it really feels like the gap between gears is too large. I feel like second gear is deliberately low, which feels good on the downshift and while accelerating from a standstill, but shifting into third it is way to easy to kill your momentum. In general the engine has a pretty narrow power band and rewards you for staying in it, which would be way easier with another gear. The throw is also quite long but I am most likely just used to driving a sports car.

The ride is balanced very well, avoids being too stiff while still feeling pretty good in quick s-bends. Steering is far too light for my tastes at low speeds, but it stiffens up nicely on the highway. I wish it could be reconfigured in some way, maybe it can and I can't find it.

Overall I can't fault the car as a rental, I like the way it looks, it's small and easy to maneuver, not boring to drive and has enough power to keep up without trying too hard. A sportier trimline of this is the exact type of thing I would want to own if I lived in Europe. Luckily, I don't, so I can keep enjoying my 20 mpg sports car :p Speaking of which, fuel economy is on another level. I've driven about 350 km, a lot of which was spirited driving on low speed, curvy roads, and am still over half a tank. Unfortunately there's no readout so I will have to report back on exact numbers after I fill up.
 

narf

Well-known member
Been a while, time to update the holiday rentals :D

March, a certain Mediterranean island: a diesel Cascada




Fairly decent for an Opel, but still feels cheap and Opelish. Was fast enough to keep up with these in the mountains:


...but then they were filming...

Wouldn't buy, but okay for some cheap sunny cruising.



April, US Pacific Ranges and coastline: a Camaro RS




A good step up from the previous model that I drove in 2014, especially for the gearbox. Makes for a nice drivetrain now, though the Sixt app did claim it'd be an SS while I was taking the historic SF streetcar on my way to pick it up :shakefist: but then I wasn't paying for an SS so that's fine. Makes quite a racket beyond 5k :music:


OR/CA border... California didn't bother to plough, and Oregon stopped at the border :shakefist:


Seeking asylum between Canadians :ninja:

Would consider if I lived in a place with bigger roads.


May, a certain Mediterranean island: yet another 595 :driving:


...you know what it looks like, otherwise go back to one of the other 595s I've posted here... wasn't me with the black streaks on the front left wheel arch :p


quite a dirty car after a week :yucky: but then it already is pretty dirty from the factory, aurally :music:


Had some friends on the island overlapping who rented bikes, much fun was had showing them around as it was their first time in the Tramuntana mountains :driving:

Still the same opinion on the 595 - would never daily, but it's buckets of fun for a week of hooning around.
Can definitely recommend the bike rental place if anyone's interested in making the trip and lusting for two wheels.
 
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