The Charger

I brought my 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid yesterday in for its 120K maintenance (only about 10K overdue) and rented a car as I had several meetings I needed to attend.  There were two cars left at Enterprise – a Chevy Caliber and a Dodge Charger.

For a couple of bucks more I rented the Charger; a completely different driving experience than with my Honda.

Things I liked:

  • Acceleration.  My hybrid performs like this: 0 to 60?  Yes.
  • Lack of road noise
  • Comfortable ride
  • Decent stereo system

Things I disliked:

  • Watching the fuel gauge move while I was driving.  I drove less than 50 miles and must have used > 1/4 tank.
  • Limited visibility.  The size and placement of the windows were designed for aesthetics not functionality.
  • Wiper controls – awkwardly placed on the steering wheel

The window/control placement dislike could be related to my height – I’m 5’2″.  I suspect the average Dodge Charger driver is at least 5’8″.

American cars are improving slowly; listening to the News Hour yesterday, I found out that Toyota’s recent recall was its first involuntary recall.  So far this year the Big 3 US automakers have had 32 involuntary recalls.  There’s some room for continued improvement.

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