What's it like as a hire car ? - kentdave1973
Hello all,
Last year when i went to Majorca I wanted to hire a convertible and I was given a 307CC. I think it was the 2 litre HDI 136. It has a 6 speed box and held 2 adults and 2 kids and our luggage (for our trip from the airport). But on the windy road to Torrent de Parreis with 4 of us on board changing gear constantly between 2nd and 3rd became a tiresome chore and this car felt slower than the 1.9dci 120 Renault Scenic we rented the previous year. So i've gone all out this year and reserved myself a Mercedes CLK Cabriolet 320cdi. What does this drive like? Will there be room for our luggage as with the 307cc?


Edited by Pugugly on 12/06/2008 at 22:27

What's it like as a hire car ? - PW
Don't know about the driving, but you could always find a local dealer with one, and have a look at the boot first hand.

Often do this when weighing up options for next car. If dealers busy, don't bother them, but if quiet explain just drawing up a shortlist, but no intention of buying on the day and normally am shown the car. No pressure from them and takes just a couple of minutes at most.

Additionally find the pics on WhatCar.com are quite good most of the time, and reader reviews useful to judge what car is actually like.

Hope this helps.

What's it like as a hire car ? - kentdave1973
Hi Everyone,
I've just come back from Majorca and had the pleasure of driving two convertible hire cars. When I turned up they didn't have the Mercedes CLK i wanted but a new BMW 320i was there.

BMW 320i convertible

On my last visit I rented a Peugeot 307cc. Both the BMW and Peugeot have folding hard tops but that is where the similarity ends. The BMW was a well equipped vehicle. Electric seats, integrated sat nav, reversing sensors with an onboard display and I-drive. The Peugeot didnt even have cruise control. But what it did have was the 2 litre diesel engine with 134 bhp and 236 lb/ft torque. Maybe the BMW was heavier - its quoted as being 1700 kg unladen but its 2 litre petrol engine producing 170 bhp/148 lb/ft torque @ 3500rpm felt totally gutless. And that for me dented the driving experience. I understand these engines give their best above 4000 rpm but I got caught out on the motorway on an incline trying to accelerate from 80 kph (50 mph)from behind a lorry with my foot flat down in 3rd gear. It was a total let down no matter how nicely weighted the steering seemed to be or how nice the 6 speed box was to use. I'm pretty sure my 2 litre 2004 mondeo could outrun it easily. With automatic start-stop technology and despite carrying 4 adults and with the air con on high most of the time fuel consumption seemed to average 36 mpg.

Mercedes CLK 200k Kompressor

Halfway through the holiday this car became available and I was allowed to swap the BMW for it. I believe this model of car dates from 2002 so in some ways it felt a little dated in some areas compared with the BMW. The steering was also a good deal heavier but apparently the car was lighter at 1600 kg due to its fabric top and it was just as quiet as the BMW on the motorway at 130 kph (indicated). But this car has 182 bhp and 173 lb/ft torque from its supercharged 1.8 litre petrol engine and was a stunning car to drive compared with the BMW. The 5 speed autobox only served to further enhance the experience.

Has anyone driven the newest 320i? Was mine a dud? It felt absolutely gutless compared with my mondeo.
What's it like as a hire car ? - oldtoffee
I drove the 320d with 177bhp and although not smitten with many aspects not least the hard ride, I thought the in-gear performance was very impressive. You do have to rev it though and having had various VW PD cars before I too found myself in the wrong gear a few times.

I ended up buying the Legacy diesel and it's the same, you need to keep the revs a bit higher than you might expect to. It's taken me a couple of months and 5,000 miles to get completely au fait with the new characteristics.

What's it like as a hire car ? - Bill Payer
When I turned up they didn't have the Mercedes CLK i wanted..

I hope you got a refund having booked a 320CDi Merc?
Has anyone driven the newest 320i? Was mine a dud? It felt absolutely gutless compared
with my mondeo.

How do the weights compare? Convertible's are a fair bit heavier. Was it gutless even when not laden with all your people and luggage?

The 320i is a 4cyl engine these days - 3 series badged 320 used to be a 6cyl 2.2L

Don't know if it's still done, but at one time hire cars were commonly restricted in various ways - sometime as unsubtle as a block under the accelerator.

Edited by Bill Payer on 25/08/2008 at 20:42

What's it like as a hire car ? - kentdave1973
I thought I saw the 320cdi but maybe it was a 200 kompressor. They only guarantee a BMW or Merc, they dont specify which engine etc. It was only a 'cheap' car hire. I would have been very happy with the the 320d and its torque. One thing about the 3 series is that it does ride a lot more harshly than the Mercedes. Apparently unladen the Merc is around 1600 and the BMW 1700. Even unladen the BMW felt gutless at least compared with my 2004 2.0 petrol Mondeo anyway.
What's it like as a hire car ? - MichaelR
I had a 320i for about 6-7 weeks back in 2006. I echo your sentiments. A nice car ruined by a gutless and thirsty engine. You really need a 6 cylinder powerplant to enjoy a BMW.

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