Author Topic: Rental Car Report - Hawaii 2018  (Read 289 times)

Offline SKYMTL

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 1744
  • Carma: +30/-76
  • member
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2014 Mazda 3 GT Sport, Audi A4 Avant
Rental Car Report - Hawaii 2018
« on: April 25, 2018, 03:15:44 pm »
Just got back after three weeks in Hawaii (one week each in Maui, Hawai'i and Oahu) and during that time had the "privilege" of renting three cars, each one for a week.  Actually, there were just two cars but more on that below. 

2017 Mustang Convertible w/ EcoBoost 2.3L - 2 weeks

Let me start off by saying that driving a Mustang copnvertible on Maui immediately brands you as a tourist.  Quite literally one in every 10 cars is a drop-top pony car.  There are FIELDS of Mustangs next to the airport, ready for rental duty. The other majority being Jeeps driven by tourist folks who paid dearly for the off-roading capabilities but are too chicken to actually use said abilities for fear of voiding their rental contracts. 

Small anecdote:  during out time on Big Island (Hawai'i) we encountered two couples who rented soft-top Jeeps and had some of their possessions stolen.  The thieves simply use a knife to cut into the removable soft-top, grab and run.  If you want a Jeep, make sure you get the hard-top version. 

The Good: 

-  Surprising amount of trunk space
-  Pretty good fuel economy (averaged 27MPG) which is SUPER important when you are paying Hawaii gas prices ($65USD for a full tank).  Met a fellow tourist who rented a Mustang GT.  He was crying about how much he'd spent on gas.
-  Actively cooled seats were a Godsend
-  Air conditioning went from furnace-like conditions to glacier cold in less than a minute. 
-  Power was adequate for our needs
-  Very well behaved in corners and wind noise muted with the top up
-  Minimal blind spots which was surprising

The Bad:

-  It FEELS like a huge car and the hood seems to go on FOREVER.  I really didn't like it, especially when parallel parking.   
-  The roof locking mechanism takes a fair bit of pull to properly lock.  My girlfriend (she's smaller) had trouble with it. 
-  I hated the touch screen infotainment.  It is distracting, never bright enough to compensate for daylight when the roof is down, terribly laid out, unintuitive and just plain bad.  The worst part about it was how apparent fingerprints are; after a few left / right swipes it was a bloody mess.  After my experience with this, I'll never buy a car that relies solely on touch controls.  Ever. 
-  Power is adequate but the word "ponderous" comes to mind.  It certainly doesn't feel like a 300HP+ car when accelerating or passing, even when in Sport mode. 
-  Apparent rattles and squeaks on both cars (one in Maui, on on Hawai'i) despite low mileage (7K and 9K)
-  The 9 speed auto seems to constantly search for gears when going uphill.  I constantly became fed up and just used the paddle shifters. 

The Oddities:

-  Same model year for both cars and very similar mileage but the one on Maui had a TON of turbo noise whereas the other was mostly quiet until the gas was stomped
-  At low RPMs between 20-40 MPH, the is a very low basso rumble from something in the exhaust system that's terribly loud. 
-  The SLOWEST automatic seat movement I've ever experienced. 

2017 Chrysler 200 LX - 1 Week

I'm going to keep this one short and simple.  In my travel's I've rented close to 100 cars everywhere from Bulgaria to China to South Africa and Chile to points in between.  The Chrysler 200 will likely live on in my memory as one of the worst cars I've ever driven.  Not the worst, but its up there. 

Let's start with the shifter.  Whoseever idea it was to design and then approve a circular gear selector should be brought behind the wood shed and Old Yellered.  That also goes for the person who then insured the actual "notches" for each gear are almost indistinguishable.  And don't get me started with the blundering idiot who then decided to put the largest HVAC control knob (the fan speed of all things) within spitting distance of the round gear selector. 

The round gear knob is downright dangerous and it can't be manipulated without looking directly at it (current gear isn't shown on the driver's gauge cluster either).  The addition of the close HVAC control is infuriating.  Try parallel parking this pig....I dare ya.

Other than the butt-backwards shifter design, the amount of power on tap was laughable.  When merging, stand on the accelerator, hear the engine the speedometer edge upwards in microscopic increments. 

The transmission was as rough as a bat to the head too.  Up-shifts sometimes felt like getting rear-ended.  Downshifts sometimes never happened.  Brutal. 

More gripes:  the digital area of the gauge cluster never shows the info you want it to.  When returning the car we spent 5 minutes trying to get the odometer to show up.  Never happened so we needed to start and stop the car multiple times since the mileage is shown for about a second after shutting off the car.  The trunk barely held more than the Mustang's.  It may LOOK bigger but the usable interior space is limited.  The seats are like sitting on a slab of concrete.  I could go on and on. 

So there you have it.  Three weeks with two cars.  I'd never buy or even consider either. 

Offline stodge

  • Car Crazy
  • *****
  • Posts: 4981
  • Carma: +79/-101
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2017 Nissan Maxima SL, 2010 Nissan Versa
Re: Rental Car Report - Hawaii 2018
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 03:28:25 pm »
"I could go on and on."

Please do!!  :rofl2:

Offline Great_Big_Abyss

  • Car Crazy
  • *****
  • Posts: 3931
  • Carma: +110/-162
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan
Re: Rental Car Report - Hawaii 2018
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2018, 03:33:16 pm »
So, I gather that if you found the 200 to be underpowered, it was the 4-cylinder rather than the V6.

Offline SearhardBurger

  • Auto Obsessed
  • ***
  • Posts: 972
  • Carma: +25/-26
  • Gender: Male
  • member
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2009 VW Golf City, 2013 Buick Regal GS (RIP)
Re: Rental Car Report - Hawaii 2018
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2018, 11:49:44 am »
The seats are like sitting on a slab of concrete.  I could go on and on. 

Haven't sat in it, but if they are anything like the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger seats, I wholeheartedly agree.  Possibly the worst seats I've sat on in the last 10 years or so.

Offline No-san

  • Car Crazy
  • *****
  • Posts: 13313
  • Carma: +762/-2092
  • This forum is making me almost as bitter as SirO
    • View Profile
  • Cars: '11 Fozzie XT; '10 Mazda 3
Re: Rental Car Report - Hawaii 2018
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2018, 12:19:58 pm »
2017 Mustang Convertible w/ EcoBoost 2.3L - 2 weeks

Let me start off by saying that driving a Mustang copnvertible on Maui immediately brands you as a tourist. 
:iagree:  I felt more awkward with it than actually enjoying it, but really, really enjoyed the convertible on Hawaii and Kauai.  The 10-speed automatic in our 2018 was also quite...bad.  That said, I "off-roaded" in the Mustang a ton and never bottomed out.  That includes heading to La Perouse Bay, the back-road to Hana (and the usual road to Hana - though none of that is "off-roading"), and some gushing creek fording when spillways blocked us in.  I saw guys in Fusions bottoming out all the time, so I suspect a lot of it has to do with driver capability.

Any way, the sun was too strong to keep the top down all the time, or it was raining...but I can't really imagine what would have been a better rental - as you say, the soft-top Jeeps are unfortunate targets for theft, there's no off-roading that requires a Jeep, and then their on-road manners sucked.

FWIW, when we booked the Mustang was the same price (literally) as all others, including "Nissan Versa Note or Similar".  I'd probably still do the Mustang again, if only for the few rides where we truly enjoyed the unobstructed views.

Also, amazing that you got 27MPG - we couldn't get better than 21MPG in the 2018 with the 10-speed auto.  What an epic failure.  If you did indeed have a 2017, then it was a 6-speed automatic.  Also, pretty surprised you got a 2017 with only 7,000mi on the odo...I wonder if you actually had the 2018, but then I cannot fathom how you did so well with fuel economy...maybe you stayed purely in the flats?  Whatever the case, Costco gas was $3.16/gal when we were there - not too expensive.  The single gas station in Hana, on the other hand, was $5.39/gal...ouch.

I agree with your lists of pros/cons, especially that horrendous hood...made off-roading a challenge :P

Offline Allen

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 2666
  • Carma: +50/-115
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2017 A4 Sline, 2016 Sorento
Re: Rental Car Report - Hawaii 2018
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2018, 12:23:54 pm »
I just got back from 2 weeks in Hawaii and agree about your comment on the Mustang convertibles ... I have never seen so many of them in one place