This last weekend we went to Lake Tahoe and so I rented this…
I begged and pleaded for an Expedition or a new Armada, but the woman working the National in Sacramento assured me they were all reserved. I tried telling her I needed at least 6 seats so she smiled and said “I can get you a minivan”. Great, my favorite. It ended up working out great for our needs!
Looks (2 Gold Stars)
I actually do like the look of this Van. I think it looks classier than the outgoing model.
Power/Fuel Economy (3 Thumbs Up)
The 3.6L worked was nice. I averaged about 23MPG over 8 hours of driving total. The van did great on flats and downhills. Uphill, I would have liked a little more. The transmission kept shifting at odd points when cruising at 72 if there was any sort of hill. I think this says more about the Cruise Control than the engine/transmission. Eventually, every time a hill came up I just took it off CC and handled it myself. It struggled a bit climbing the hills between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe but we made it eventually. I think CC could be tweaked a little bit. It worked great in town, but was frustrating on the highway.
Off-Road Ability (3/10)
Don’t go Off-Road with this thing. Approach angle is 14 and departure is at 18.8. With a staggering 5.1 inches of ground clearance you can clear some Coke cans, that’s about it.
Storage/Tech (5 Gold Doubloons)
Storage was plentiful as you would expect in a van. We had 6 peoples worth of clothes, food, and beach stuff with us. We still had plenty of room in the van. I was impressed by all the storage in the front seats as well. I felt that it was laid out extremely well.
Leather seats, Tri-Zone Auto air. It also did have Bluetooth, NAV, SAT Radio. The infotainment system that was really easy to use. I had some problems with the buttons on the screen not responding after plugging in my iPhone. I had to push the “Climate” button and then switch back to “Media” to be able to change songs or browse.
Overall, I found it an enjoyable rental car and it was perfect for our needs. Vans are great at loading stuff and people up and getting you to where you need to be. It wasn’t the sexiest thing I’ve rented, but it sure beats a Nissan Altima.
If you are in the market for a van, cross-shop this thing. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.