Rental Car Roulette!

Well tomorrow I fly out to one of my least favorite cities on Earth, Las Vegas, for my annual “why do I do this every year?” Defcon trip. This year I opted to rent a car so I could drive off into the mountains one day and maybe never come back. But what will it be!?

[edit: I acknowledge that Vegas is more than “The Strip” and related businesses and I shouldn’t judge the whole city by my experiences there.]

As some none of you may remember, I originally “requested to reserve” a Jeep Wrangler through Sixt’s specific model reservation, but was declined due to “vehicle availability.” Riiiiight.


Weirdly the next cheapest option was to go through Priceline and reserve a “PFAR” class car. The Sixt website lists that as the following three cars, all of which I know nothing about.

Mercedes GLA

The GLA is what they show in the picture on the reservation and the one they highlight as the name of the car, ie “Merdesdes-Benz GLA or similar.” What they tells you is there is a 100% chance this is not the car I will be getting.


That said, on the face of it this looks like an OK option. I’ve heard they’re not great, but I don’t really know much more than that.


Looks like the power is from either a 1.6 or a 2.0 I4, wich sounds pretty pathetic. And looking at the power figures it is pretty pathetic! Low end is 120HP, about the equivalent of a scooter, all the way up to a dizzying 208HP. All this in a 3,500 lbs car... I’m crossing my fingers I get one of the other options.


The GLA starts at $34k and apparently gets a 7.8 from US News. That all seems fine.

Volvo XC60

Given that I own a C30, I feel like this one would make me feel the most at home! Looks like they did a refresh in MY 2017, so unknown if it’d be a 1st gen or a 2nd gen. Of the three, it is certainly the best looking regardless of model year.


Despite being a crossover, I find these to be at least interesting to look at, especially the 2nd generation ones and is probably what I’d pick of the three.


Power is pretty good, between 200 and 300 HP depending on year and engine, butt that is pared with a staggering 4,000 - 5,200 lbs curb weight. Volvo gonna Volvo. In rental car spec I would expect the low end and hope to be surprised.


Looks like prices start at $40k and it gets an 8.3 from US News. That gives the Volvo the highest starting MSRP, which is interesting. Perhaps the only interesting thing I learned today!

Mazda CX-9

Wait what? :double checks:

Yes. Maxda CX-9.


Ok.... I didn’t actually know this was even a thing before... right now. Apparently it is:

mid-size crossover SUV manufactured since April 2006 by Mazda in Japan

Well that clears that up.

That said, looking at the pictures of the 2nd gen it looks pretty OK. It appears to only comes with one engine, a 2.5L T4 that produces a tepid 227 HP to haul around the 4,200 lbs curb weight.


By the look of it, this is 4,200 pounds of car. I imagine you go to the Mazda dealership and ask for “an car” of approximately the same shape and size as everyone else is buying and they’d direct you to this.


Looks like the Mazda starts at $32k and gets a 8.4 from US News. Lovely.

Or similar SUV

There is always that option too. I’m not entirely familiar with the mid-luxury crossover market. In the past when renting from Sixt I’ve received a A3, which was terrible, and a CTS, which was surprisingly good, so I’m not sure what to expect here. Maybe a X3? (Is that a thing?) Or maybe a :googles: XT4?


What does Oppo think?

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