First, in Canada, I got a GMC Acadia, a moderately stupid SUV with seating for 7. It was snowing and so I suppose AWD was useful, but the only really good part about it was the heated seats. The gas expense was not so great…
The Acadia was fine as far as it went, but then my next rental was a Lincoln Navigator. I’ve not run across one of these before (though not much different than the Escalade). It wasn’t horrible as a driving experience, though I was happy enough not to have to take it through any urban areas as I would have needed to upgrade the wheels. I mean stock rims… Seriously.
The heated seats worked fine in that one too, but the backup camera that emerged from behind a half-silvered rear-view mirror was pretty cool. Especially as looking back is pretty useless through a forest of headrests.
In both cases I was the only passenger. This added to the value of the experience.
At least in LA at the end of the week, Hertz gave me a lovely C300. I think the exact same one I had rented earlier. A lovely car that seems far less silly.