During the few times that I need to rent a car for business, my first thought is not fuel economy; it is comfort. My back and legs get pretty tight during long trips. So, having a comfortable seat makes a big difference. Surprisingly, it is not always the big cars that are the most comfortable. I rented an Infiniti QX30 (premium) and a Dodge Dart (basic) during a multi-leg trip, and the Dodge was by far the most comfortable of the two.
This time, my rental car was not very exciting. The Enterprise in Grand Rapids, Michigan had a limited supply and I took what I could get — a 2018 Nissan Altima. It did have some nice options (leather seats, heated seats, satellite radio, blindspot monitors, and a backup camera). But it was a bit small for my size. Probably the best part of the car was the fuel economy.
I would choose comfort over fuel economy all day long. But something happened as I was driving back to Willard. That little screen in between the gauges caught my attention. I can see how people can get caught up in watching their fuel economy during a trip. Even though I had the cruise control set at 70 mph, the car was returning over 40 mpg! That is impressive to me since our personal vehicles get around 20 mpg.
Does this change my mind about what is important when purchasing my next car? Not in the least. Aesthetics and uniqueness still top the list. But it is good to see that fuel economy is improving on cars. Who knows? Maybe someday I will have a likable car that gets good gas mileage.