3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

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Thread: 3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

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    3.6 Liter SIDI V6 Andrew L's Avatar
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    3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

    So with my new job they have been sending me on business trips left and right since I have started. I had the opportunity to have 3 rentals so far. A 2013 Chevy Impala V6, a 2013 Toyota Camry LE, and a 2013 Hyundai Sonata. I know the Impala is the odd man out but I figured I would give a quick review of each that I had and my overall impressions.

    2013 Chevy Impala V6:
    The Impala left a lot to be desired. This is known since the car hasn’t really been updated minus the powertrain since 2006. The interior was filled with hard surfaces and the steering was numb and heavy. I will have to say though that the combination of the 3.6 and the new 6 speed auto really helped. The new 6 speed shifted VERY smoothly but was guilty of searching for which gear to be in like so many of the new 6 speeds out there. One interesting thing I noticed, on the dash it said P R N D L. I shifted to L and noticed on the steering wheel behind cruise there was 2 buttons that looked like gears for + and – I figured out that was how to change the gears, interesting that it was labeled as L instead of S. Manual mode however had a slight delay when cycling through gears. The V6 had plenty of power and I averaged 23 MPG with it. Rear visibility was pretty good except this model had a spoiler which hurt it. Still it was easier to see out the rear of this car than the 2013 Taurus rental I had when visiting Tampa Bay before I moved.

    Highs: Smooth V6, Smooth Transmission, good visibility, good solid feeling brakes
    Lows: Poor interior, numb and heavy steering, transmission searching for the right gear

    2013 Toyota Camry LE:
    The Camry actually took me by surprise. I actually really liked the creature comforts of this car and the little details. First thing I noticed was when shifting to drive it still had the + and - option next to D but also still had paddle shifters on the steering wheel. I like this a lot since I switched from both when shifting manually however when in D the paddles still work which caught me off guard. This car was also guilty of constantly searching for which gear to be in but it hid it very well, I noticed when cruising an ECO light would turn on in the instrument cluster to let me know when it was saving fuel. Also when I would come to a complete stop and shift to manual it was always in 4th gear which I found odd. The interior I noticed had some nice details like fake stitching on the dash to help make its overall appearance look better. I did notice however there were a ton of different plastics used but all felt good except the small storage bin to the left of the steering wheel, it was extremely flimsy and cheap. The BlueTooth connected to my phone perfectly and gave me no issues at all. One thing I noticed was that the driver’s window was auto up and down but no others. If I recall the previous generation had all windows auto up and down, my parents Altimas from 06 and 09 both have drivers and passengers have auto up and down. My 04 LS has autoed up and down with pinch protection. I was a little disappointed in this. I managed to average 29 MPG with the Camry which was excellent. Steering was surprisingly light and fairly responsive unlike previous generations, my grandmother’s 2000 Camry XLE comes to mind.

    Highs: Solid ride, strong I4, smooth transmission, very good fuel economy, both floor shifter and paddle shifter for manual mode
    Lows: obvious cost cutting in the interior, transmission searching for the right gear though not as noticeable as other models

    2013 Hyundai Sonata
    This car surprised me as well, but not in a good way. First thing I noticed was this car only had 2500 miles on it and it was rattling and creaking and moaning like it was a 10 year old car. I would be just driving to the office in New Orleans and going over speed bumps I could hear this moaning coming from below me like the frame was about to give out… NOT GOOD. But it gets worse because it wasn’t just speed bumps but when I would come to a complete stop and then accelerate at a light or stop sign it would do the same thing as I accelerated… REALLY NOT GOOD. There was also a strange rattle coming from behind the dash which sounded like some small plastic piece broke off. The interior otherwise seemed to have good materials and all felt fit. The BlueTooth worked great and gave me no problems. Steering was heavy and numb and the car had a wide turning radius but not nearly as wide as the Altima. Acceleration was strong for the I4. The car had manual mode too but when shifting to D I constantly kept accidently shifting to manual by accident since the shifter kept sliding over. The car’s transmission felt very solid and I didn’t really experience it where it was constantly shifting. Also when I came to a complete stop it actually was in 1st gear and not 4th like the Camry. The Manual mode was quick to respond but shifting down for some reason took more effort since the shifter was getting some resistance, I had to pull back harder for it to catch that I wanted it to downshift. Overall I averaged 21 MPG which I thought was very low for a midsize sedan.

    Highs: easy to use BlueTooth, smooth transmission, strong acceleration
    Lows: Death creak in frame when accelerating and going over speed bumps, strange rattle behind the dash, floor shifter had too much resistance when trying to down shift, poor fuel economy

    Overall my favorite was the 2013 Camry which was a surprise. I know personally I don’t really care for Toyotas in general because of their boring styling and ride but this car really came out with all the small details and just overall great performance and fuel economy. 2nd place was the Chevy Impala, while it was cheap on the inside it had a very smooth ride and transmission and I didn’t hate driving it. Last place was the Sonata, the car just really let me down and the death creak on a car that only has 2500 miles is just not good.

    My next trip is at the end of the month, I will be renting a SUV to help move a server from one office to another, I am curious as to what I will get.
    Last edited by Andrew L; 11-16-2012 at 09:12 AM.
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    Re: 3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

    Kewl. Thanks for the reviews.

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    Re: 3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

    I used to be an auditor and traveled quite a bit. That was one of the aspects I liked - being able to drive many different types of cars, though back then (in the 1990's) rentals were almost all American makes..

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    Re: 3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

    Thank you for the feedback, Andrew! I'll be sure to document your Impala feedback, and if you have any further questions or further feedback please don't hesitate to contact me via private message on the forum.

    Best,

    Katie
    GM Customer Service
    Follow us @GMCustomerSvc on Twitter.

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    Re: 3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackGTP View Post
    I used to be an auditor and traveled quite a bit. That was one of the aspects I liked - being able to drive many different types of cars, though back then (in the 1990's) rentals were almost all American makes..
    Yea I know of a few more trips I am doing so its pretty cool trying out all these other cars and comparing them.

    Quote Originally Posted by GM Customer Service View Post
    Thank you for the feedback, Andrew! I'll be sure to document your Impala feedback, and if you have any further questions or further feedback please don't hesitate to contact me via private message on the forum.

    Best,

    Katie
    GM Customer Service
    Thanks Katie. I am eager to try out the New 14 Impala to see the improvements made there. I saw its debut at the NY Auto Show. I am sure the interior will be miles better than the current model.
    Current Car: 2004 Lincoln LS V6 Luxury Cashmere Tri-Coat
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    Re: 3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

    Thanks for the reviews and look forward to the next one. Good reminder for the impressions a rental can make about a car and the company too.

    Even though most of us on the forum wouldn't ever buy one, those I know who have rented Camrys have usually liked them for the reasons you did - they still ride and drive competently.
    "Here's to Mr. Iacocca and his failed experiment, the DeLorean!" - The Office

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    Re: 3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

    Quote Originally Posted by GM Customer Service View Post
    Thank you for the feedback, Andrew! I'll be sure to document your Impala feedback, and if you have any further questions or further feedback please don't hesitate to contact me via private message on the forum.

    Best,

    Katie
    GM Customer Service
    Wow, this is quite impressive!

    Very cool of you to respond to Andrew and solicit additional feedback, Katie.

    Little surprises like this remind me of what I really love about GM.

    By the way, I recently drove a 2012 Malibu LT as a rental myself and was very surprised by the car. I would have never expected that I would like a Malibu however after about the first few minutes, I loved the car. The driving dynamics were very good and the car felt much more nimble than I expected it to. I also loved the interior and exterior design of the car. I liked the car so much that I almost hated to give it up once my car had been repaired.

    It think it is awesome that GM is proactively soliciting feedback to try to address customer concerns and improve its products. Keep up the great work!
    Previous Rides:

    2005 Pontiac Sunfire 1SV 2.2L Ecotec- 5M and 27 avg mpg in combined driving!
    1995 Chevrolet S10 Extended Cab 4.3L V6- 5M
    1988 Ford Mustang SSP (X-FHP) 5.0L V8- 5M
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    Re: 3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

    Interesting, and its too bad the Camry's interior has fallen so far. The 92-96 was the peak in my opinion.

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    7.0 Liter LS7 V8 Jesda's Avatar
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    Re: 3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

    Quote Originally Posted by brian5o View Post
    By the way, I recently drove a 2012 Malibu LT as a rental myself and was very surprised by the car. I would have never expected that I would like a Malibu however after about the first few minutes, I loved the car. The driving dynamics were very good and the car felt much more nimble than I expected it to. I also loved the interior and exterior design of the car. I liked the car so much that I almost hated to give it up once my car had been repaired.
    Same here. I -loved- the '12 Malibu I rented. Lots of power when you need it, always in the right gear, nice audio, surprisingly good handling, excellent build quality, a smooth ride, and a gorgeous exterior.

    I wanted to take it home.

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    Re: 3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

    Quote Originally Posted by GM Customer Service View Post
    Thank you for the feedback, Andrew! I'll be sure to document your Impala feedback, and if you have any further questions or further feedback please don't hesitate to contact me via private message on the forum.

    Best,

    Katie
    GM Customer Service
    I just wanted to make a quick recommendation. GM should really try to bring back the Auto Show in Motion that used to travel the country with GM vehicles and their competition. During the event, consumers were able to drive and compare GM vehicles and their competition.

    The advandage of events like this is that it gives consumers who may have had false expectations about GM vehicles (such as myself with the Malibu) the opportunity to experience the vehicle for themselves and likely change their mind. This creates a great opportunity for conquest sales as I am sure that there are many consumers like myself that are just unaware of just how great GM's vehicles are today. When you create a fun, low pressure environment for consumers to experience your product (especially when it is good as it is today), you will win new customers.

    I just thought I'd share this suggestion.
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    2005 Pontiac Sunfire 1SV 2.2L Ecotec- 5M and 27 avg mpg in combined driving!
    1995 Chevrolet S10 Extended Cab 4.3L V6- 5M
    1988 Ford Mustang SSP (X-FHP) 5.0L V8- 5M
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    Re: 3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew L View Post
    The interior I noticed had some nice details like fake stitching on the dash to help make its overall appearance look better.
    I've got to wholeheartedly disagree with you there, Andrew. I was mortified when I saw fake stitching in the new Camry interior. Fake stitching was horrendous when GM did it in the 70s, 80s and 90s and it's at LEAST as bad today. I find the current Camry interior to be a major disappointment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesda View Post
    Interesting, and its too bad the Camry's interior has fallen so far. The 92-96 was the peak in my opinion.
    I absolutely agree that the 92-96 was the peak for the Camry.

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    Re: 3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew L View Post
    Thanks Katie. I am eager to try out the New 14 Impala to see the improvements made there. I saw its debut at the NY Auto Show. I am sure the interior will be miles better than the current model.
    Excellent! I'll look forward to your future reviews, then!

    Quote Originally Posted by brian5o View Post
    Wow, this is quite impressive!
    Very cool of you to respond to Andrew and solicit additional feedback, Katie.
    Little surprises like this remind me of what I really love about GM.

    By the way, I recently drove a 2012 Malibu LT as a rental myself and was very surprised by the car. I would have never expected that I would like a Malibu however after about the first few minutes, I loved the car. The driving dynamics were very good and the car felt much more nimble than I expected it to. I also loved the interior and exterior design of the car. I liked the car so much that I almost hated to give it up once my car had been repaired.

    It think it is awesome that GM is proactively soliciting feedback to try to address customer concerns and improve its products. Keep up the great work!

    ...
    The advandage of events like this is that it gives consumers who may have had false expectations about GM vehicles (such as myself with the Malibu) the opportunity to experience the vehicle for themselves and likely change their mind. This creates a great opportunity for conquest sales as I am sure that there are many consumers like myself that are just unaware of just how great GM's vehicles are today. When you create a fun, low pressure environment for consumers to experience your product (especially when it is good as it is today), you will win new customers.
    Thanks for the kind words, Brian! I'm a Customer Service representative from GM's Social Media team, and I'm happy to assist any forum members with vehicle questions/concerns as well as gather and document feedback. I'll definitely note your Malibu feedback for the appropriate and thank you very much for your suggestion!

    Katie
    GM Customer Service
    Follow us @GMCustomerSvc on Twitter.

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    Re: 3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

    I didnt mind the stitching in the new Camry and thought that it was overall a big step up from the last generation which had weird electro-blue 1998-boombox-inspired radio controls, but it doesnt live up to Toyota's own standards or the new standards set by Toyota's competitors.

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    Re: 3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

    Quote Originally Posted by Jesda View Post
    I -loved- the '12 Malibu I rented. Lots of power when you need it, always in the right gear, nice audio, surprisingly good handling, excellent build quality, a smooth ride, and a gorgeous exterior.
    I similarly appreciate the 2008-2012 Malibu (it's my most frequent rental car selection, incidentally) for many of the reasons you mentioned, plus E85 flex-fuel capability with 4 cylinder models.

    IMO, the seventh generation Malibu is the best yet. The 2013 model regressed a bit overall.

    BTW, thank you Andrew L for your rental car reviews. Keep them comin'!
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    Re: 3 Rental Car reviews, Impala, Camry, and Sonata

    I personally like the stitching even if it is fake because it breaks up the design, personally I was disappointing with the auto windows, it seems like something that all cars should have now.

    The Sonata was really a huge let down for me, I keep hearing about all these great reviews and such and the car was squeaking and moaning the whole time. I did a Google search after writing this up and it looks like its a COMMON problem with Sonatas. That really is a shame.
    Current Car: 2004 Lincoln LS V6 Luxury Cashmere Tri-Coat
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