On the weekend before Thanksgiving, Bryan Jennings and myself, Max Katsarelas rented a couple of cars and took road trips. Bryan drove to Virginia Beach in a Mazda3 sedan and I went to East Lansing, Michigan in a Chevrolet Cruz. For Bryan, it would be a round trip of about 800 miles. For me, it would be a round trip of about 1700 miles. Total driving time for the two of us combined was over 40 hours.
That was a lot of time to get to know our respective cars. We broke down our reviews into five categories: gas mileage, ride comfort, review of Hertz rental agency, tech gadgetry and the overall experience. Make the jump to see the Mazda3 square off against the Chevy Cruz in the first edition of Battling Rental Cars. [keep reading]
Last weekend, I made a trip back to college after spending all summer in NYC. I needed to swing back to rural Pennsylvania to pick up a few boxes I had left there in storage for the summer. Having no car, I decided to rent one for the weekend. I went for a Volkswagen Jetta TDI SE Automatic (MSRP $22,990) and, after driving over 500 miles, I can now give my short-term impressions on this car. I have two main takeaways: firstly, the Jetta is all the car most people would ever need, and, secondly, diesel-powered cars rock. I am no experienced car reviewer, I haven’t driven hundreds of cars from Smart ForTwos to the latest Aventador. What I can offer, however, is an honest to god opinion on how this VW Jetta stacks up in real world use for the average Joe. You know, people like you and me who actually buy these cars. Read on for the rest of my thoughts.