And since I’m posting, it means I finally have internet! Now...for the “review” of the rentals.
So it’s been a while for me. I’ve been off and on during work but now that I finally have internet at my house, I can do that write-up about the rentals I promised to the four or five opponauts that are online during my daytime (it’s 10:00pm for me).
Up first was the car we had rented in Madrid for the drive to Sevilla. This was the car that we had for only 24 hours and was supposed to haul two adults, two kids in car seats, two dogs (50 and 70 pounds respectively), one large cat and about seven bags worth of clothes, electronics, my military gear and other basics needs for survival when moving from one country to another. That car is aasleep2ot Expert Tepee.
Now, what does Tepee mean? I don’t know. Why is it named Expert? I can only imagne it was designed to carry a family who brought way too much stuff to a country in which most cars are the size of a Focus or smaller, and it does that...wait for it...Expertly!
OK, all bad puns aside, it was truly a fantastic vehicle to drive. We got the diesel version with a manual and on the seven hour drive (normally five and a half but I decided not to listen to the little Brittish lady on the screen) we barely used two thirds of the tank. That was amazing, you know, until we filled it up and I found out how expensive diesel is in Europe. Fuck me. Anyways, back to the van. It was great. It was so smooth that the kids slept. The wife slept. The animals slept. Hell, I almost fell asleep. The only downside, courtesy of the wife, was that there was no A/C in the rear. All A/C was coming from the front in a massive vehicle. But it was easy to shift, easy to figure out the transmission, easy to get going. All in all I’d give it a solid 8/10. Would I ever buy one as a daily? Hell no. Would I rent one if I needed something to move my family for a road trip? Hell no. I have a 2010 Explorer on the way for that. But if I didn’t? I don’t see why not.
So after 22 of the 24 hours were up, we drove it to Sevilla airport and picked up rental car number two: Peugeot 208.
Now, at first glance, I thought that this car would be too small. I wasn’t wrong either. The 208 makes the Aveo look massive. But it was cheap, we didn’t have to haul the animals in it, and we could go get some groceries for our hotel room.
After driving it for an hour or so, it really didn’t feel so bad. It was quick, nimble, and held the kids in the back fairly well. At 6’2” I was slightly cramped in the front but it was fine. Now this one was a gas engine. In the three days we had it we went through almost the entire tank of gas. It wasn’t nearly as expensive though. One thing I absolutely could not wrap my head around (and couldn’t shut up about either apparently) was the steering wheel.
Seriously though, look at that thing. The center sticks out so that it’s completely awkward. I hate it. If I was planning on buying a 208, the wheel is a deal breadon’t.
Even though it was a manual, I just didn’t seem to enjoy this car as much as I should have. Or at least I believed I should have been able to. Overall, I’ll give it a 6/10 based solely on the fact that it did exactly what I needed it to. Even though that tumor of a steering wheel was there.
After the three day with the pretty fun minus the steering wheel 208, it was time to return it. We had been able to reserve another rental through my bank (USAA) for a pretty kickass price. Our reservation was for a Ford Focus but when we got there, they didn’t have it. I was pretty heated because I knew they were going to try and throw us into something bigger for a lot more money. Well I was pleasantly surprised because they gave us easily my favorite of the three. Seat Leon TDi.
Ho. Ly. Shit. I love this car. Room for both my wife and me plus the kids had plenty of room in the back (wife’s favorite). Torque for days (my favorite). And a trunk big enough to store more than one bag of groceries. This car is fun. It’s sexy, quick, available with a diesel, and (most importantly) a friend of Manuél Transmissíon. My daughter (4 years old) kept telling me to “vroom real fast!”. So of course, with my wife objecting, I obliged for a second or two. She loved it. I loved it. If I had the 20K in Euro’s available to me, I’d go buy one right now. The sound that that diesel engine made was ungodly beautiful. Now, I had never driven a diesel up until I arrived in Spain. I can truly say I have been missing out. Now all I want to know is how to get a 2015 Leon into the states. The interior was beautifully set up. The infotainment system was pretty awesome. You could go to a little spot and see how the car was doing (tire pressure, oil temp, engine temp, etc.). There were others, but honestly I spent so much time looking at the car stats that I forget what the others were other than the radio.
Now, with the Leon, I may be biased. I loved that car. Personally I would rate it 10/10 without any hesitation. I only had it for three days though so I didn’t get to really do to much with it. But the steering wheel was perfect, so it has that going for it. Which is nice.
(All pictures were shamelessly ripped off of Google Images as I didn’t take any pictures of the cars themselves. Deal with it.)