Just back from a short trip to Sacramento to visit our new Grandson, and our rental car was an example of the new and greatly improved Chevy Impala. Here are some notes for the few who are interested. I’m really just “parking” my thoughts here in case I want to use the car in a novel at some point.
Overall it was pretty much a perfect rental car, which is sort of damning with faint praise I suppose. I realized on the plane on the way home that I had no idea what type of engine it had or how many speeds the automatic transmission offered. I would guess it was a V-6 with a 6 speed automatic, but in operation it was so smooth, innocuous, and quiet that thinking about the actual oily bits never came up.
The interior was comfortable (although we never drove very far) and the gas mileage was probably pretty good, although I did not pay attention to that either. It was pretty much an anonymous device, doing its job quietly and without fuss and never demanding or even arousing any interest or curiosity. I suppose those are sales assets to a certain demographic.
I was a bit surprised that it had a power sun roof, which we discovered by accident when Susan looked up and realized the roof lining had a seam in it. Even better, the car remained nicely quiet with the sun roof open, which it was most of the time. I was also pleased with the separate power front seats which could be adjusted several ways which, along with the adjustable steering wheel allowed for a terrific driving posture to be attained by anyone from Tom Thumb to Andre the Giant. I know – both of them are dead. Still…
At the same time, in three days of trying I never discovered a selection of seat settings that would allow me to either get into or out of the car very easily. Worse, the large door tended to open to a certain point and then “take off” to open at 90 degrees, banging into the car next to you or the curb or whatever if you were not careful. We were, but it was close at times.
The color was sort of a bland silver, which in some lights showed as a bland golden bronze. Either way, it was bland to the max of bland.
All and all, an anonymous transportation device. The total cost of rental for 4 days was $138, which seems ridiculously cheap to me.
It was fine as a rental car, but ownership would not be for me. Upon returning it I gazed longinly at the Camaro, the Hurst/Penske Mustang, and the Hemi Challenger, and pondered paying the extra tariff (and it is a lot) for a car I would like to drive. But they all had automatics, which I am sure makes sense for the rental companies but totally takes them off the table for me. As a rental, the Impala was vastly superior to all of them.
Copyright 2013 David Preston