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Thread: Miscellaneous Stuff

  1. #1681
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  2. #1682
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    Peak BROWN

  3. #1683
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  4. #1684
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  5. #1685
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    Thought we had a generic rental car review thread here.

    Anyway, I remember raving about the Chrysler 300 about 10 years ago, and specifically it's Pentastar/ ZF drivetrain. I rented a Dodge Charger yesterday for a trip and, 10 years later i'm still amazed by the integration, performance, economy, and ... "holistic integrity" of that pairing.
    I'm a pretty miserly driver, I hypermile all the time, but I also got places to be so I haul arse when I need to. Averaging about 80mph, I saw consistent 30mpg. My average going from McKinney to Houston was 33.4mpg. Almost all freeway.
    The shifts are seamless and smooth at the same time being crisp and distinct (don't ask me what voodoo they used to achieve that) while the motor is willing to sip fuel on the slightest hint of a decline. Watching the readout register 80 or more mpg while you're holding a consistent 80mph on a road that you can't really detect is a decline, is pretty cool. (Does anyone know if they use active fuel management/ cylinder deactivation to run on fewer cylinders? Because a Cadillac XTS I drove a few years, you could feel when it was running in three cylinder mode. You had to be actively trying to detect it, but you could when it happened. Also a Buick something ... something ... did the same; barely perceptible variation in the hummings, thrummings, and vibrations when it switched to 3 cylinder mode.)

    I left McKinney in the heat, AC on full, turned that off when I got past Plano, and the hvac continued to blow cold air the rest of the trip. That was a marvel in and off itself. Maybe i'm too used to my ancient 1995 Mercedes E320 which grabs all the heat out of the universe on hot days and lovingly bakes it into every single surface and crevice in my interior and then slowly releases that heat for your pleasure, for seemingly hours.

    The greenhouse is awful (I guess that's my twenty years of driving W124s coming to the fore there, my car has excellent visibility) the windowline is too high in every direction but forward. I couldn't quite get the seat in my preferred position relative to the steering and pedals, but that had more to do with the steering wheel being adjustable up and down, but not fore and aft.

    I definitely liked the steering. The steering wheel is nice and thick, padded just enough to prevent hand discomfort when you're going to grip it for hours on end. Again, I'm used to the heavy recirculating ball system in my Mercedes which is ah mazing on road trips and long freeway hauls, but bereft of delicacy of feel and fidelity in the twisty stuff. The steering was light without being too light. Tracking was excellent with a perfect dead spot in the middle. I really hate when the dead spot on the center of steering is so small that every single gust of wind, touch of the steering, wake from a truck you're passing requires correction at the wheel. No complaints about the wipers or lights although the wipers could use one more setting in the middle; somewhere between intermitent and fast.

    The stereo was loud with big bass hits, but muddy and somewhat muted in the middle ranges. This was a stereo crying out of a few mid range speakers and some built in equalisation for them. But it filled the interior with booming gong hits and bass kicks as I blasted reggea and hip hop. Listening to the Rolling Stones meant having to turn down the volume to get some of the balance back in the sound.

    All in all I was blown away, again, by that drivetrain. I can see why Chrysler puts it in just about everything they sell.

    I've been eyeing getting a Grand Cherokee with the diesel, for the road trip mpgs, (my daily commute is on my bike) but now I might just tale a longer harder look at the V6 pentastar. It's a worthy contender.

  6. #1686
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    Drove back today. Achieved 35mpg averaging 80ish mph. In a Dodge Charger.
    It was 95 outside, didn't even turn on the AC; it blew cold the whole time
    The best part is, when I first got the car i reset the tripmeter and fuel efficiency. I got it with a half tank of gas and filled up at work before I left. The range estimate kept going up and up and up. I guess the person who drove the car before me was a leadfoot.

    Anyway, I filled up just before I hit 500 miles. The low fuel light had been on for a while and the freeway sign promised world famous brisket. Got a sandwich, took off meekly while I ate. Estimated range 514 miles. I had forgotten to take napkins and didn't want to make a mess, so I had to dig around and I found some wet wipes that I placed on my shirt. Crisis averted. I grubbed, and finished pretty quickly. I guess it was 20 miles down the road. Estimated range; same. Cranked up the stereo (I listened to each of the live Bob Marley albums the whole way back.) hit the gas. Range initially dipped, then went back up again until it was hovering around 519/ 520. And it stayed there for 80 miles. 80 godamn miles and the estimated range was still ~517 miles. All while i'm now going 80 mph.
    Eventually it started to dip but I got home 120 miles later with the tank still reading "full."

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