During my recent business trip, I drove five rental cars in five days. I have mixed emotions about that experience. On one hand, I enjoy driving different vehicles as it gives me the opportunity to test drive new cars. On the other hand, not all those cars were comfortable. Even after several visits to the chiropractor, my lower back is still complaining. But that is to be expected … I suppose.
During the trip, I drove a KIA Sportage, a new Infiniti QX30, a Ford Fusion, a new Chrysler Pacifica, and a Dodge Dart. I had limited time in the Ford and Chrysler but they were both comfortable and luxurious. I don’t remember much about the KIA. But the other two were memorable in different ways.
When I got to Baltimore’s airport, the lines were long, I was tired, and nobody was cooperating. Even being a preferred member of Enterprise didn’t help me to walk in and get a car. However, I finally made a reservation through Enterprise’s website and found that all the cars were the same price … $270 for a one way trip to Syracuse. Yikes!
Instead of paying that much for an economy car, I chose luxury. Why not? I ended up getting the 2017 Infiniti QX30. It is a small SUV with a 2.0 turbo four and AWD. I received several compliments on the vehicle. It was stylish and interesting. But for my body size, it was too small to be comfortable. I think the combination of driving this and sleeping in a cheap hotel caused my back trouble.
However… there were some interesting things about this snazzy ride. The first thing I noticed was the interior’s use of Mercedes-Benz components. The power seat controls were on the door. The steering wheel controls were the same. And the cruise control was exactly like MB. No complaints about that as they were familiar and worked well. It was just strange to see them in an Infiniti.
The last car I rented was a 2015 Dodge Dart with 30k miles on the odometer. Even though it was a small car, the cloth/mesh seats were very comfortable. The Bluetooth system was also easy to use and allowed me to play audio from my phone. Nice. The performance, however, was lacking. The little engine could rev up to almost 6000 rpm but it made more noise than speed. Of course, this was after driving the turbo charged Infiniti so it probably is not a fair comparison.
Overall, I enjoyed driving the different vehicles. The Pacifica’s touch screen was the best looking HD quality unit I have ever seen. The Ford was very comfortable and luxurious. But with my back issues, I will be especially careful with the next car I choose … especially at $270 per day.