Thursday, 24 January 2008

The Corolla is not a mid-sized car.

In my travels for work, I rent cars from Avis on an almost weekly basis. They have locations almost everywhere. By definition, then, a place without Avis is basically nowhere.

I traveled to Nowhere this week, also known as Walla Walla. They don't have an Avis location, only Hertz and Budget. According to the popluar saying, the town is so nice they named it twice. If the ancestors of the Hertz agent are responsible for naming it, perhaps the double name is because they forgot they named it the first time.

I don't really have anything against the town, it's actually pleasant to visit in the spring and fall. However, when I landed there on Tuesday at 9:00 PM, it was 11 degrees. I hustled across the snowy tarmac and into the terminal, and over the Hertz counter, where the agent confirmed that my car was mid-sized, as that was all he had. When I was handed the Toyota key, without a remote fob, I was confused. Don't all modern cars have keyless entry?

Not the Corolla I was rented. Now my first comment was that the Corolla isn't mid-sized. Well, according to the agent (and the Hertz fleet guide) it is. When I got out to stall 5 in the ice-covered parking lot, I found that my Corolla was completely iced over, and frost even covered the INSIDE of the rear window.

I started the car, let it warm while I de-iced. The Suzuki and the Kia parked on either side of my car were equally icy, and no more desirable. Finally de-iced, I set about pulling away.

Immediately the lack of traction from the econobox tires was apparent. A touch of the brakes confirmed that, yes, in 2008 new cars are still available without ABS.

I've decided that the CE moniker on the back of the Corolla means Crappy Econobox. What joy I experienced stomping on the gas pedal and letting the tires spin, spin, spin on the ice.

I don't have anything good to say about the car. When I did reach dry pavement, the accelleration was uninspiring, the brakes were merely adequate, and the cockpit wasn't big enough for me. The motor was noisy. I 4-wheel drifted each corner as quickly as iI could on Wednesday afternoon to return the POS to Hertz. Yuck. I don't want to drive one of those again.

Friday, 4 January 2008


Erik sent this one to me from his cell phone; he's driving from Madison to Cocoa Beach, and he happened to be behind this appropriately-licensed Camry. From the looks of it he's just leaving Madison. Hopefully this Camry isn't an omen of Camrys to come on his trip.
I wonder whether RAM YA 1-6 were already taken? Perhaps the driver has already gone through those plates on his previous Toyotas that he rammed into things?