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This is not the Impala I was looking for

As those of you who have met me can attest, I have the weight of an NFL center but the unfortunately most of that weight hangs off my front end. Thus, when I rent a vehicle, I want something roomy like a full-size car or an SUV, and am always on the lookout for good deals. That's how I wound up dealing with Budget this past weekend, who are apparently under the impression that the Hyundai Sonata is a full-sized four-door sedan.

Actually I can't complain too loudly about the Sonata. Since it was a low-slung sedan, it was a little awkward to get in and out of after years of sliding into the Sportages I've been driving, but once inside it was very roomy. I did move the driver's seat all the way back, of course, but I didn't have to move the steering wheel, and the seat was wide enough that I didn't feel like I was sitting in a baseball glove and trying to plug the seat belt into my right pocket. Best of all, Hyundai engineers have successfully reverse-engineered the Buttwarmer 2000TM, previously seen only in very expensive Daimler-Chrysler vehicles of the Mercedes-Benz variety. This feature was very much appreciated, since the ambient temperatures in Washington were around 25-35 for most of the weekend. Also appreciated was the excellent heating system, whose controls were very simple yet extremely flexible in their functionality. The stereo was likewise simple yet effective, and made me wish I'd brought some CDs with me since the player was set up to read MP3 files burned onto disc.

Performance? Excellent. The Sonata easily hit 80 mph and handled quite nicely for a full-sized car; the acceleration was also not too bad for a six-cylinder slushbox. Fuel economy was adequate, about 20-25 mpg in mixed freeway/city driving.

Somebody at Hyundai put a lot of thought into the Sonata, and it shows. I still would have preferred an Impala, but considering how tight the parking spaces were at the hotel I suppose I should be grateful that I had the Sonata instead.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 27th, 2006 06:56 am (UTC)
Not wanting to brag...
...but Saab's have had 'bunwarmers' (thermostatically adjustable, no less) for quite some time. My 91 Saab does, at least! I'd have thought you'd have known that - having been a Saab owner back in your deep, dark past. Although, in retrospect, perhaps you've successfully repressed most of those memories! ;-)

BTW - I can only *really* claim 'insignia' pride, but not recent experience - as apparently there's a fusible link blown on mine, perhaps from having warmed the tuchis of the previous owner for well nigh 15yrs. So for now, I'm having to rely on just the superb heater until I can get the seat-warmers fixed. Hopefully before next winter. ;-)

Feb. 27th, 2006 01:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Not wanting to brag...
Unfortunately the three-cylinder Saab didn't have that feature - or if it did, I didn't find it before the poor thing died.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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