Toyota Yaris Stinks!

Ahh the Toyota Yaris.  I can fully say that this car is a piece of shit on wheels.  I received this car this morning as my rental from Hertz.  I asked if they had any other cars available but they said no so I had to take this thing from them.  Needless to say I’m not even close to being impressed with this vehicle and why its in their fleet is beyond me.  If the rental car companies are trying to make a bad impression on people they are certainly succeeding.

First issue I have with this car is the center console design.  I know why this was done, it was as a cost savings maneuver so that all they had to do was place the steering column and pedals on either side of the car depending on where the car was sold instead of installing a new dashboard.  This is totally no-intuitive since most people glance down to see how fast they’re going instead of glancing to the side.  I only drove the car for 30 minutes but that is the one part about the design that I hate the most so far.  Secondly, it doesn’t have an AUX jack for my iPhone which I need this week so I can use my GPS effectively.  I have places to travel in the DC metro area and not having my trusty GPS talking to me is going to be an issue.  The car is also really under powered.  I had no problem red lining it no less than five times on my drive to work this morning.  It sounded good and all but the power was just lacking for me.

Since I hate this car so much, I won’t hesitate to push it to the limits of its endurance and even beyond if given half a chance.  If I get another one of these shit boxes next week I’m going to complain and get something else.  I don’t even care if its a Versa, at least that car has a key fob.  Seriously, who makes cars without key fobs in America these days?  Even all the Korean cars come with one!  Sheesh!  Get your shit together Toyota!

Driving my rental tank….. the Ford Flex

Avis finally came through this week and gave me a decent rental car after two strikes.  Pictured in this post is the tank that they’ve given me to drive on the mean streets of Chicago…. the Ford Flex.  This has to be one of the cooler cars that I’ve driven to date.  Avis gave me a Limited Edition and this thing has all the bells and whistles that a person could ask for.  By far two of the coolest aspects is the remote trunk which raises and lowers the read hatch using the remote and the memory seats that move the seat backwards and forwards to make it easier to get in and out of the car.

I call this car a tank because it feels really heavy and solid going down the road.  I’m sure its got a big engine in it but its so heavy it impedes its 0-60 performance.  I feel like I’m driving my wife’s SUV when I’m driving this thing.  I think if I got into an accident I would totally crush whatever I hit.  If I wasn’t traveling so much, I might even buy this car despite it being a Ford.

Some other fun highlights with the car is that it has an aux input for my iPod, seats 7 people, has all wheel drive, and if you’re willing to spring the money in car navigation.  The one thing that my rental doesn’t have is the sun roof.  Not only does the driver have one but so do all the passengers in the back seats.  I’m hoping that Avis will come through for me next week and give me another awesome car.  If I could request this car again I would.  Booyah!

Avis Chicago, why do you hate me?

I’ve been coming to Chicago for 2 weeks now and both times I’ve rented from Avis I’ve gotten a pretty craptacular car.  I don’t get how I’m getting all the cars I just love to hate in a rental, its like the people at the Avis desk in Chicago know what rental to give me to ruin my week when I arrive at their facility.  I’m beginning to think that being Avis First doesn’t really mean anything to the company at all.  It’s just a way to make the members feel special that they achieved this status and that there is a very slight possibility that you’ll be treated better.

I can say that when you call the Avis First number they are very nice for the most part and do their best to help you out.  When you’re at the lot and all they can give you is an HHR or PT Cruiser, its a bit hard to choose considering both cars are on my “don’t rent this car to me list” on my Avis profile.  This week is particularly insulting, I got a high milage Toyota Corolla with no keyless entry system.  I rely on that keyless entry system to find my rental car since I don’t recall what I drive during the week most of the time and listen for the “beep” of the horn when I hit the button.  The last time I got a Corolla I switched rental companies from Hertz to Avis.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any other rental companies that I can use, Hertz and Avis are it for me.  I won’t be going back to Hertz just yet, Avis will get two more chances before I give up on them and switch back to Hertz.  Boo!  The rental car companies need to be more like the airlines for their reward programs, now thats really saying something LOL!