Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Test Drive: 2017 Audi A4 Premium

Audi's reputation has been dragged through the mud of late due to the whole "diesel-gate" scandal. Even so, Audi's have always been nicely designed and well-appointed cars and the latest A4 is no exception. With a trip to New York that necessitated renting a car from the city, I opted to take advantage of one of the benefits of my Chase Sapphire Reserve card and booked a car through Silvercar for the weekend. Having only spent a little time with the last iteration of the A4, I was looking forward to having the opportunity to get a little quality time with this latest version.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Test Drive: 2017 Mazda6 Touring

On the second leg of my recent business trip, I arrived late in the day and found myself waiting in line at the rental car counter as several passengers who seem to have never rented a car before inquired about every possible question for every possible scenario known to man. Nearly twenty minutes later, I finally sidle up to the counter and am handed the keys to a surprising selection, the Mazda6. Even though it took my 20 minutes before I was handed the keys, I was in the car and on the road in a matter of minutes. This is why I hate renting in places that do not have Emerald Aisle or its equivalent with other rental companies. Being able to pick my own car and drive away within minutes of exiting the plane is something you don't truly appreciate until you can't do it.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Test Drive: 2017 Hyundai Sonata SE

Let me start by saying that I cannot understand why rental car companies think Nissan products are acceptable as "upgrades" to reservations. I say that because for this trip, when I arrived at the Avis rental car counter, they cheerily told me that I had received a free upgrade to a Nissan Altima, to which I promptly replied, "Do you have anything else?" What I got was a relatively new Hyundai Sonata, which I promptly accepted. Yes, I have a personal aversion to Nissan products after having a number of not great (read downright awful) experiences with them, but more importantly, I find the quality of Nissan's interiors and the mechanical drone of their CVT transmissions among the most mind-numbingly retched experiences ever conceived by a modern automaker. You know it is bad when I am happy to accept the barely beyond entry level option from a different automaker just to avoid having to suffer in a Nissan. But enough about my disdain for them, and on to the Hyundai Sonata that I spent several hundred miles with.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Test Drive: 2017 Ford Fusion Titanium

Among mid-size sedans, Ford's Fusion has always been one of our more favored choices. When renting cars, I tend to steer away from any Nissan, Toyota, and Dodge products while Hyundai and Ford tend to find themselves at the top of my list. So on the second leg of our all-Ford weekend (click here to read part one), I was pleased to be able to snag an almost brand new Ford Fusion Titanium for my time in the DC Metro area. Once again, National's Emerald Club program proves why it is my favorite option when renting from an airport. After grabbing the keys and tossing our luggage in the spacious trunk, we headed out for our weekend in our old stomping grounds.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Long Term Test: 2014 Ford Focus Electric post #5

The Focus has been both great, in that it requires little maintenance, but terrible in that it is the car among the many I have owned, that has required the most unscheduled time in the shop. Some of it was the result of other people's inattentiveness, but some of it was the result of issues with the car or associated accessories. Even so, the Focus EV has been a very reliable car by most standards given that the issues that we have experienced with it have not been with the drive motor or high voltage battery, but rather with other minor systems. Let's take a closer look.