Had to make a trip down south for the weekend, so I rent a standard car from Alamo. Had to pick between an Altima (eww), Sonata (eww), Buick Verano (hell no), or Camry (decent enough).
Turns out, I ended up enjoying the car. I guess it really is more fun to drive a slow car fast.
- The car is very, very easy to drive. Goes, stops well. The suspension - I love it. Not super soft and floaty like the 07 Camry I last drove. Its comfortable and absorbs bumps, but you can actually whip this thing around a corner without it leaning on the sidewalls. The steering is pretty quick (but light), giving it a sporty feel; even has those thumb rests on the wheel.
- Paddle shifters are great! The transmission doesn’t want to downshift, but a quick pull of the shifters, which respond quickly, and you’re off.
- The engine is good enough for around town, enabling you to quickly pull away from stop lights. I would need the V6 as I do lots of highway driving, and hate having to struggle to accelerate to 80+. That four cylinder buzz though - horrible. Sounds like the engine wants to explode when you get to 5000 rpm. I was also quite appalled that you could feel the car vibrating when idling at a stoplight.
- The ergonomics and ease of use is A++. I took me 1 minute to find everything I needed and everything worked perfectly. Even looks pretty cool when light up at night.
- The (Entune?) Audio system works seamlessly with my phone. I had the option to plug it in with my USB, or stream over Bluetooth when I was feeling lazy or in a hurry. I liked that I could actually select my music, podcasts, etc without having to use my phone (using the touchscreen or controls on the steering wheel!). Can’t be done in my X5 - stuck with a simple Aux input right now.
Why is this here? Is this 1989? Just put a button and be done with it.
- I also find it funny that you can be going this speed, with the ECO light on.
Would I rent it again, HELL YEAH! It did everything it needed, while keeping me entertained and averaging 33 MPG along the way. Only cost $104 for three-days with unlimited mileage. The $27 fill-ups were an added bonus!
Oh yeah, the dog loves it too!