car review

Chevy Uplander

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 

Rental car review: Chevy Uplander

Chevy Uplander.jpg
The Chevy Uplander is a cross between a mini van and an SUV, but is really just a minivan with an extended nose and a half decent engine. The performance is surprisingly good for a van with hard acceleration and no problem hitting highway passing speeds. The suspension is sort of amusing: the van seems to rock constantly in a kind of reassuring put the baby to sleep kind of way at the smallest bump.
The van has a ton of room and a good stereo. It is fairly comfortable to drive and not particularly fatiguing, but not exactly sporty or fun.
  • Quiet – Not too bad but some noise from the huge cabin.
  • Comfortable – fairly comfortable.
  • Engine – a moderate engine, fairly responsive for the size of the vehicle.
  • Suspension – ugh. Wobbles side to side.
  • Basic amenities – everything that could be reasonably powered is.
  • Stereo – acceptable but nothing great.
  • Security – not very – everything inside is visible.
Posted at 13:00:25 GMT-0700

Category: photorental carsreviews

Ford Mustang

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 

Rental car review: Ford Mustang

ford mustang.jpg
I got this car with plastic on the steering wheel, the back seat belts buckled, and 5 miles on the odometer.  I very much enjoy mustangs: they’re fast and throaty and fun to drive and equipped with loud and amusing stereos.

They are small in the trunk and the back seats are pretty useless – definitely not where you want to stuff an large, elderly coworker.  But the car is fun.  Fast and fun.

The engine has more show than go – the sound of the engine is one of big power and extreme performance.  While the car handles much better than most rental cars, it does not live up to the sound of the exhaust.  A nice Audi or Volvo, for example, will accelerate faster, harder, and longer and take turns better, but never call attention to themselves while doing it.

On the other hand, actually going really fast is not always relevant: having fun is more to the point and the mustang is fun.  It feels spry and agile and powerful and serves well to take years off the driver’s age.  It’s the prefect car to cruise suburban malls, especially if one dye’s one’s hair or wears a toupee.  If chicks aren’t the goal, then it certainly makes getting to work an exercise in regression therapy.

Aside from the throaty roar and sporty performance, road noise is poorly isolated but well compensated for by a loud, bass-heavy stereo typically equipped with a CD-MP3 changer that can hold 6 CDs (or maybe 60 albums) which means on older cars one can often find heavy metal compilations forgotten in the changer.  Not so much classical.

  • Quiet – Not very quiet.
  • Comfortable – fairly comfortable.
  • Engine – a great engine for a rental car, a lot of fun.
  • Suspension – very good for a rental car.
  • Basic amenities – everything that could be reasonably powered is.
  • Stereo – killer stereo: loud and plays MP3s off a 6 CD changer.
  • Security – small but secure trunk.
Posted at 15:00:26 GMT-0700

Category: photorental carsreviews

Ford Taurus X Rental

Wednesday, May 21, 2008 

Rental car review

ford taurus x.jpg
This week i got a new Ford Taurus X, an interesting rental car. It’s an SUV type vehicle, oversized and overaccesorized, but a surprisingly pleasant vehicle that’s fairly easy to drive and comfortable.
Now the theory is that such a car would be good for off-road use or something since it has four wheel drive, but that’s really not happening. Better to think of it as a minivan with a nose and some extra weight in the drive train. Desipite the foolishness of SUVs in general, and especially given gas prices, the car had some neat features.
  • I used the backup sensor in a parking lot – a good thing as the car is long and has poor visibility out the back.
  • It has an outside temperature indicator which I like.
  • The seat moves all the way back when you take the key out, and then back to where it was for us old people.
  • The tailgate opens and closes itself, which is kind of absurd and overkill but fun in a gadgety way.
  • The engine is fairly powerful (Canadian rentals seem to be more powerful than US rentals – my .ca Grand Am would spin it’s wheels embarrassingly easily, whereas my Grand Am in LA was kind of anemic).
  • It’s quiet and comfortable.
  • The rear seats fold into the floor of the car – just like a mini-van.
  • The stereo had an analog input and a 6 CD MP3 changer
  • It has Microsoft Sync – more on that below.

Read more…

Posted at 23:00:30 GMT-0700

Category: photorental carsreviews

Rental Review Impala LT

Wednesday, May 7, 2008 

Rental car review. Impala 21:13:39 flex fuel with 37km on the odometer.

The Chevy Impala is a fairly typical American car – actually a little more comfortable than the buick.
  1. Quiet – Not too bad. The interior is pretty soft so it’s fairly quiet, though very noisy on rough roads.
  2. Comfortable – Not bad, not as ass fondling as the Volvo
  3. Basic amenities – Power everything, but no outside temperature reading. I like knowing the outside temp.
  4. Stereo – basic and acceptable. This one had a little plug in port for a MP3 player.
  5. Security – the trunk is big and secure.
Posted at 22:00:31 GMT-0700

Category: photorental carsreviews

Rental Review Buick Allure CX

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 

Rental car review

A typical American boat – the Buick is big and heavy and squishy and not exactly my type of car. I don’t really like the over-plush seats or squishy suspension. The faux wood interior styling isn’t really my thing either.
  1. Quiet – It is pretty quiet
  2. Comfortable – Not terribly comfortable. I don’t like squishy seats, but I suppose for some people it is..
  3. Basic amenities – Power everything, but no outside temperature reading. I like knowing the outside temp.
  4. Stereo – surprisingly mediocre for a fancy-ish car. The sound isn’t great and the radio has trouble getting marginal stations. Plus the radio display doesn’t tell you what station you’re listening too, which is helpful in a rental car.
  5. Security – the trunk is big and secure.
Posted at 22:00:31 GMT-0700

Category: photorental cars