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.