Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo, Help Me Choose A Rental Car... Here We Go!


#1

I reserved a “Full-Size” Passenger Car to pick up Friday. I will have it for 10 days. The agency guarantees a 2016 car, but they can’t hold a particular car. When I arrive I will likely choose between four of them, hopefully (choices could be fewer).

Important to me are room for 3 people, luggage, comfort, quiet, and safety, if possible.
Gas economy is not very important because gas is so cheap. 3,000 miles should require maybe 100 gallons, give or take.

I haven’t driven any of the choices and don’t know much except what I’m finding in printed blurbs.
Here’s the line-up:
2016 Ford Fusion
2016 Chevrolet Malibu
2016 Nissan Altima
2016 Toyota Camry

I don’t know engine or transmission specs or which trim level these cars are, but think “fleet rental car” and use your imagination
I have read that the Ford is quiet, but not roomy and has a small trunk opening, and not great visibility.
The Chevrolet is quiet and probably a “Limited” (an older body style more like a 2015) Fleet car and might be cramped in back seat.
The Nissan is roomy, but doesn’t sound like it’s very comfortable (seating and ride).
The Toyota is roomy and seems like a pretty good choice.

Do you know anything about theses cars? Which would be your FIRST and SECOND choice for 3 people to sit in for a long time and be comfortable and safe?
Thanks, CSA


#2

My choice would be based on a different reason.

I’m familiar with the Altima and Camry…but haven’t heard much or seen too many Malibu’s. So I’d pick that one just to see what it’s like.

I think they all will probably fit the bill.


#3

Yeah, I’d be curious about the Malibu, so I’d probably pick it. Oops, just saw it’s the old style. So maybe the Fusion.


#4

“…but haven’t heard much or seen too many Malibu’s. So I’d pick that one just to see what it’s like.”

We need a decent back seat. Chevy has started something, lately. When they came out with the redesigned and more expensive Impala upgrade in 2014 I think they were a little pricey for rental companies. So, they manufacture a “limited” model of the Impala and Malibu. I know with the Impala that the new ones are really the old body style, no doubt to keep the price down.

In 2016 the Malibu was redone with more back seat room. I don’t know, but I’m afraid that the Malibu is a “limited,” but I’m not sure if it’s an older design, also.

I guess I’ll see if I can have a quick look when I go there.
CSA


#5

I you need back seat room, then I’d skip the Fusion, the newer version lost rear seat headroom to make it look like those ‘4-door coupes’.


#6

texases
"If you need back seat room, then I’d skip the Fusion, the newer version lost rear seat headroom to make it look like those ‘4-door coupes’."

Thanks. My 21 year-old (spring break) daughter will be in back most of the time. She’s only about 5’4", I think, but I’ll have to look closely at that.The Fusion got a negative comment about visibility. That I don’t like.
CSA


#7

Would it be possible to check your choices out at the dealerships before you go?


#8

You are overthinking this, just see what the choices are and look at what they have when you get there. they might even offer you something larger on the spot.


#9
You are overthinking this, just see what the choices are and look at what they have when you get there.

That will work at some agencies and some airports…but many don’t. The office where you rent from is miles away from where the cars are. You sign all the paperwork…and then you get shuttled to the rental cars which may or may not be in the airport.


#10

"Would it be possible to check your choices out at the dealerships before you go?"
I’m going to try. They may be a little busy when I get there. In the interest of time I was going to see if I could speed things up.

"You are overthinking this, just see what the choices are and look at what they have when you get there. they might even offer you something larger on the spot."
It’ll take a while to get keys, look at trunks, and try out seats, etcetera. I thought if there were some obvious pros and cons then I could speed the process. Also, I thought if somebody drives or rented one of these and could advise me… great.

“That will work at some agencies and some airports…but many don’t. The office where you rent from is miles away from where the cars are. You sign all the paperwork…and then you get shuttled to the rental cars which may or may not be in the airport.”
We don’t have any big airports nearby. One airport about 50 minutes away has outrageous prices for cars. So, an off-airport agency near my son’s house is where I’m going. It’s about an hour away.
CSA


#11

Camry. :smile:


#12

Go visit your son when the rental shop is open and check out the cars. Since they have your contract already, they should be willing to let you look. You might also call the agency with your questions. Make sure it is the specific office you use. You can call a local number but end up with the national reservations desk, and you don’t want that.


#13

You put more time into this than I do. Y wife and I often take trips where we either fly or go by rail to a region of the country and then have a rental car in a certain size class reserved. This past summer we flew to Salt Lake City and Mrs. Triedaq reserved a SUV. We were furnished a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. We drove it through Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Nevada, and were quite satisfied. On an earlier trip we flew to Bakersfield, CA. We had reserved an SUV and we were given a Chevrolet Traverse. Other times when we have reserved a sedan, we have had a Ford Taurus, a Hyundai Sonata and a,Dodge Avenger. I realy, didn’t really think that much about the make as all of them did the job. My most recent rental was last week. My Sienna was hit in a parking lot. The damage was just cosmetic, but I needed a,van to transport me, and my fellow musicians to two different rehearsals, so the insurance of the party that hit my,Sisna,provided a Dodge Caravaan. It did the job but wasn’t as,exciting as the Duke Ellington, Caravan. (from 'Sophisticated Lady), but maybe I am comparing apples and oranges.


#14

Of all the cars I’ve driven, I like the seats in the Camry best. It’s also very quiet. It would be my choice. Gas mileage is not that important on a holiday trip.


#15

We got a free upgrade to a Chrysler 300, should fit your needs well if they offer it.


#16

I am in the camp that says you are overthinking this. Chances are you would get anything other than the size class you reserved. Ever watch Seinfeld?

I was trying to rent a RAV4 for a test drive before we purchase one, mostly because on a short test drive I felt the car was noisy and wife disagreed. I reserved a midsize SUV online a few times from local rental companies (Enterprise & Hertz) and when making the reservation, it would say RAV4 or similar. I thought even if I get an Escape or something else in the class, it is worth the trial. When I would arrive at the local store, they had anything but the midsize SUV. They would usually offer a Minivan or a full size SUV instead. I cancelled each time and got tired of trying, so now we have a CPO Hyundai Tucson.


#17

You won’t go far wrong w/any of them. Likewise none of them will perfect, each will have one annoyance factor or another. It’s a coin toss. Were I in that situation, since I have familiarity with the Toyota Corolla I’d probably choose the Camry. But I wouldn’t be concerned at all if the Camry wasn’t available and I had to choose one of the other ones. Since I have some experience w/Ford, the Fusion would probably be my second choice, just to see how it handles the job.


#18

I’ll admit to not reading all of the responses but I think you have picked the most boring cars to drive that you could. I’ve rented all but the ford and dull is the word. Why not a mid SUV like a jeep or something? They just about all get decent mileage now.


#19
I'll admit to not reading all of the responses but I think you have picked the most boring cars to drive that you could.

I don’t think he picked them…that’s what available at the rental agency.

Why not a mid SUV like a jeep or something? They just about all get decent mileage now.

That would be my choice…on a long trip. But then again…if taking a long trip I’d bring my own vehicle.


#20

Speaking of SUVs, I had a Jeep Cherokee Limitied recently and liked it a lot. It was comfortable, quiet, and powerful enough to get up the hills in Utah. The speed limit on I-15 was 75 and the Jeep easily cruised at that speed. On other trips there I had a Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, and Buick Enclave. The Buick was #2 based on seat comfort. The young man at the rental agency said I would like the Rogue. It was his favorite on the lot. I wasn’t impressed.