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Thread: Vehicle advice

  1. #1


    1. we're from the UK and planning a 2/3 month road trip to USA. what type of vehicle would anyone recommend renting, seeing as money is no problem. there will be 3 people going with luggage and food in the vehicle.

    2. plus is it possible for rental cars to come with satellite navigation?

  2. Default Standard 4-door sedan

    The best combination of comfort and economy is in the standard 4 door sedan -- something like a Ford Taurus. They get decent fuel mileage, are reasonably comfortable, and have plenty of luggage space in usually cavernous boots.

    If you want to step up one level to a "premium" car, they wil have more luxurious appointments, but I personally wouldn't spend the money for that. The cost differential often outweighs the added comfort (the 4-door standard car is NOT at all uncomfortable). If the difference is within $5 per day between the two, I might go with the premium car instead, if the difference is more than that, I wouldn't bother.

    You should be able to easily find a satellite nav system with most of the major rental agencies -- they are becoming fairly common.

  3. #3
    Transplanted Midwesterner Guest

    Default Disagree

    If money is no object and you're going to be on the road with 3 people for several months, I'd go with an SUV.

    Its going to be considerably more expensive to rent and for gas, but the extra size is nice for cargo and have more room to strech out in. They can also give you a little more freedom if you really want to get off the beaten path. Not to mention, if you want to experience the "excess" that America has become famous for, what better vehicle that a gas sucking-road hogging-4x4?

    You can certainly go with a sedan, particularly if you're planning on going from hotel to hotel, and plan to eat mostly in restaurants, but I've found they tend to be pretty crampped if you add a cooler, camping and cooking gear into the mix. Again, still very feasable, just not quite as comfortable.

    Of course in the middle is the station wagon, which gives a great balance between economy and cargo, but I'm not sure how common it is to find them available from rental agencies.

  4. #4


    midwesterner - i noticed you mentioned a "cooler". is that like a cool box or more like a fridge? is it possible to use mini-fridges in a car i.e. plug into the car cigarette lighter or would this not be powerful enough/run down the battery?

  5. #5
    Transplanted Midwesterner Guest

    Default Cooler

    I always use just a regular old insulated cooler that you dump ice into once a day or so. I've found they work just fine, but you have to take some extra precausions, like wrapping things in plastic so they don't get soggy, or contaminate other foods (particularly meat).

    I've never used a plug-in cooler myself, but I imagine if you found one that was built specifically for traveling you'd be fine. I wouldn't try "converting" a small fridge into a traveling cooler: a lighter isn't built to put out that much electricity and you'd almost certainly blow some of your car's fuses.

  6. #6
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default A third type of car not thought of much anymore

    Try a station wagon (eg Subaru Outback, or one of those lower profile SUVs). This would provide plenty of space for all the "essential junk" and more than enough room for the three people.
    Just 1 thing people don't think about--- try to forgo leather. Its sticky when you get sweaty, and can cause some uncomfortable itching when you sit on it for along time. Cloth seats would be better.
    If you are going to go with a "big A-- SUV", just go to the top and get a Chevrolet Suburban (what I call a station wagon on steroids), mor than enough room for the people and stuff).

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