Rental car review

I don't really have anything particular to write about today. My back is still unknotting itself from my road trip. I rented a car because I don't trust my own car on an 800 mile road trip unless MacGyver is with me.

The car I rented was a Toyota Yaris. I've rented one before when I was visiting family in the DC area. On the outside, the Yaris looks like any other compact sedan. Nothing special. But oh my goodness are they roomy on the inside! The dashboard seems to go on forever, partially because the gauges are actually in the center of the dash, leaving your eye to gaze on an open dash as you look out through the windshield. The backseat is so roomy that even my 6'4" brother-in-law could be comfortable sitting back there! There's plenty of room up front on the passenger side as well. The driver's area is a little snug but that was probably because I am short and, therefore, had the seat pulled all the way up.

Given the fact that it was a 4-cylinder automatic, I didn't expect great things on the performance side and I wasn't surprised. However, it does handle speed quite smoothly, as evinced by the fact that I hit the highway going about 105 mph when I really didn't think I was going much faster than 75mph (the speed limit). I'm used to my well-used 6-cylinder stick shift - you KNOW when you're going that fast. You feel it in every bone in your body - she's not really a smooth ride. But the Yaris is! And the gas mileage...oh, the gas mileage! I was averaging close to 36mpg, which is impressive since my average mph was probably well above what is ideal for best mpg.

My only complaint about the Yaris (besides the fact that the one I had was a 4-cylinder automatic) has more to do with ME and less to do with the car: it didn't 'fit' me very well. I couldn't get the upper part
of the seat close enough to the steering wheel to be able to steer with my arm muscles which meant I had to use more shoulder/trapezius muscle which left me tight and grumpy by the end of my drive. Had I positioned the upper part of the seat close enough to where I could bend my elbows and steer more with my arm muscles, I'd be sitting at less than a 90° angle which is silly. Thankfully, I have a good chiropractor.

So it looks like this post today winds up being a review of the Toyota Yaris. Not a bad car. Not sure I'd buy one but for people taller than me with longer arms, it would be a good buy. Oh, and I love Enterprise Car Rental - they are fantastic. I don't think - in 20 years of renting cars - I've ever had a negative experience with them.


- hfs


Mary said...

Rented a car that turned out to be a Yaris "hatchback" recently (the now 21 year old baby was in the shop) - I just ask for the "smallest available" vehicle...

No issues with the seat, but as a fellow driver of a stick-shift, the automatic took a bit getting used to.

It had satellite radio - pretty cool! Had difficulty with opening the hatchback so I gave up :(

Leslie said...

Glad to hear that Enterprise is a good co - I will be renting a pickup for two weeks while my truck is in the shop, due to an accident (a young man driving to fast impaled his mazda on my hitch, totaling his car and bending my hitch all the way up under the truck...).

Pogue said...

When I got back from deployment we shopped for a small car, and the Yaris scored high on the list. I ended up with the Nissan Versa based on more trunk space, but it was close.

Homefront Six said...

I just think the car was designed for someone with longer arms. Or my traps are weak. Who knows?

I like Enterprise. They tend to be the least expensive (unless another company is running a special but it's hard to beat $10/day on the weekends) and they rent to people under 25 which I think is HUGE. The staff at our local Enterprise are fantastic and bend over backward anytime I rent with them. They come and pick you up too!

Elena Kirillova said...

Thank you for this review of Toyota Yaris! How tall are you? I am thinking of buying it to be my first car, and I am 149cm (5'4'').

Homefront Six said...

I am 5'3" on a good day!


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