Sunday, November 4, 2012

Vacation Car Rental

I am currently down in the sunny south on vacation, without much time to go car browsing unfortunately.  We have the Chrysler Town and Country for our rental vehicle... but lets back up a bit.

Originally we had two mid sized cars books at a reasonable rate of $140 a week but due to our flight being cancelled due to fog we had to push everything ahead 2 days.  All they had left for a reasonable price were two "premium" cars, they turned out to be Ford Crown Victoria's and the rates were about $185 a week.  Personally I wouldn't mind driving one but I didn't think my better half would enjoy driving a 50 foot long gas guzzling beast beast around all week.  The car rental people said we could "upgrade" to a minivan for $22 a day, after some thinking I figured we could get by with one minivan and rent a second car for a couple of days somewhere for dirt cheap if we needed it.  My wife hates minivans but I figured driving the Crown Vic around the streets of Florida wouldn't be a treat for her either.

We could just pick whatever minivan we wanted from the lot, they had about a dozen or so there.  Mainly Dodge Grand Caravans, a couple Kia Sedonas and two Town and Countries.  I figured if we went with the most expensive that would be our best bet.  It had automatic doors, cruise, AC, etc...

Right off the bat the thing rides like a lazy boy sofa with wheels, very squishy and doesn't take turns  very well, maybe I am just spoiled with my beautiful Optima..... I miss it.  As it shifts to second and third it is very rough, almost clunky.  There is a noticeable shake in the steering at 60 MPH but it goes away as you get over 65.  Since the interstate speed limit is 65 the shake doesn't give you a great deal of confidence in the vehicle.  The in service date was only Oct 2010 so it is probably a 2011 model but has 50,000 miles already so lots of rental car abuse has been inflicted upon this vehicle   Due to the lazy boy feel it is a nice highway cruiser as long as you are going straight and not over 60!  The automatic sliding and rear doors are kind of fun but other than that there is not much to write home about.

Anyway we are once again reminded why we hate minivans.  However, it is doing a good job of getting the six of us from home to theme parks and back again, with a bunch of cargo, something no car would be able to accomplish.  We are into our 5th day of vacation and have not required the second car yet.

I visited a place called Old Town yesterday where they have antique car cruises every Saturday night, I'll post a few pics from that over the next couple of days.

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