Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Hedgehog and the Antelope

This week, fate put me in two sedans on opposite ends of the Chevrolet spectrum (pun not intended), as I rented both the Sonic LTZ Turbo and the Impala LT. It was a great opportunity to see how one company serves 20-somethings and 40-somethings alike.

The Hedgehog

The Sonic has one of the best faces in its class. Aggressive blackout headlamp clusters flank the corporate grille giving the car a youthful, sporty appeal. Body lines are better on the slightly-more-expensive Sonic hatchback, in which the design energy is continued through a great relationship between the rear doors and the c-pillar; and a tidy tail with blackout tail lamps. By comparison, the sedan's arse is just... kind of... there.

While well-laid-out and feature-rich, Sonic's interior is a penalty box. Unlike its big brother, the Cruze, coddling isn't in its vocabulary. Don't get me wrong—it was comfortable to drive, though obviously a little tight for back seat adults. It just has no elements of warmth, whatsoever. Hard surfaces abound and the small, motorcycle-style gauge cluster leaves a lot of empty expanses on the dash. This LTZ did have MyLink touchscreen, voice recognition, OnStar, and heated leather—nice touches not expected on a $20,000 entry-level sedan.

Like the fleet-footed video game icon, the Sonic Turbo wants to be quick and fast. Not having a good basis of comparison, I didn't find it to be either. I'm sure a manual transmission would help a great deal. Its 138hp turbo four certainly gets the job done, and steering is quick and precise. But power doesn't come on strong enough, and seems to fade fast. It certainly trounces the baby brother Spark, but if Chevy wants to move more Sonic Turbos, they should make the Sonic Turbo move more. If this were more of a little barn burner, it could easily make shoppers forget it's tiny competitors, like Mazda2, and FIAT 500,

The Antelope

When my Enterprise agent offered me an Impala, he and his co-workers were surprised to see me cringe. The 2013 Impala is a throwback to a platform from the late '90's. Only cops should drive it. Yet Chevy continues to make them in 2014 as the Impala Limited, for rental fleets ONLY.

What I didn't realize was that the agent was offering me the all-new 2014 Impala LT, sister-ship of the Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS. THAT, my friends, is a whole other story.

Fly me to the moon, indeed.

During the walkaround, my three developer friends and I oohed and ahhed over Impala's sexy looks. The Camaro-esque front end looks great, even with the slightly over-sculpted front hood. The body sides are handsome and crisp—I just wish Chevy would ditch their slavery to that arc which flares over the rear wheel well. It's a design vestige from years gone by that should be given the Coco Chanel treatment: Remove one accessory. The tail is a bit of a nap, but looks much better on models with the integrated chrome exhaust ports. This $30,000 LT was not such a model.

Inside, Impala dazzles. Some might find the details a little too much, while others will appreciate its American boldness. I'm of the latter thinking. I love the dual-cowl dash with its contrasting stitching, echoing the upholstery treatment. The seats are supremely comfortable and I loved the fabric inserts, which keep winter cold and summer hot from coming into contact with the lower back. Controls to the bountiful features quite literally fall into your hands. And Chevy has out-cooled Cadillac with a secret Batcave on the dash that slides the MyLink touchscreen open guillotine-style, to reveal a secret cubby with a USB port. Quibbles? Steering wheel looks like it came off a utility van; door lock switches are hard to see/find; giant touchscreen can't be independently dimmed. And it's a shame to have to plunge a key into that dash. A car this nice should always have pushbutton start.

I recently bought a 2013 Buick Regal GS, specifically avoiding the 2014 model and the advanced safety features that come with it, in favor of the previous year's higher horsepower. Speaks to my priorities. This Impala was my first taste of the safety features I missed out on in making that decision. Lane departure warning, blind spot warning, following distance/collision avoidance, and back-up camera with active telemetry - Impala had it all. And I loved it. Especially the backup camera, which connects to the steering to superimpose motion graphics onto live video, helping guide you into parking spaces. It became a game—all of us gazing at the monitor as I backed-in without looking behind or to my sides. Don't try this at home, kids. If you do, don't blame me if it goes wrong. Everything else worked beautifully, save for one glitch in which collision avoidance went off, beeping and projecting a flashing red LED warning onto the windshield when there were no other cars in sight.

The V-6 provided great thrust whenever I needed it, mercilessly spinning the tires (stability control disabled) from a dead stop, and blasting through holes on Chicago's congested I-90. Through it all, Impala is beautifully quiet and controlled. Impala LT has seats made for broad American backsides, without any sort of bolstering for spirited driving. As a result, throwing it around corners required bracing myself with one knee against the door and the opposing elbow against the console - a move I became accustomed to in my old 2012 Regal Turbo (predecessor to the GS). Still, it handled these maneuvers with aplomb.

Handing the Keys Back

Sonic's tiny footprint would make it a good city car for singles and couples, pre-kids. The hatchback would be even better. For my taste, however, it would need a little more grunt and some soft touches on the inside in order to be truly livable.

Stares and compliments are part of my daily driving experience in my Regal GS. The same was true of the Blue Ray Metallic Impala. Add a sunroof and navigation and I would be perfectly happy with an Impala as a long-range family cruiser.

GM is on to something, and it's not just skin deep. These two Chevy bookends are evidence that styling, performance, and content can come together for buyers on a variety of budgets, in an unapologetic and uniquely American way.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Is this thing on?

I've never driven a hybrid. There. I said it. I did test drive a pre-production Chevy Volt, but that's not really a hybrid. And it wasn't really a test drive, either. Still, I've been a big proponent of the Kia brand since Peter Schreyer took over as design boss. I even came close to buying the top-spec Optima SX when I last went car shopping.

That said, I was delighted when Colleen and Taylor at Enterprise said they had a surprise for me this week: A black 2013 Kia Optima LX Hybrid with 300 miles on the O.D. Good lookin' out, girls.

Deafening Silence. Press the start button and the engine roars to li... Wait. The engine... does... nothing. Is this thing on? Starting a car that doesn't sound like it's starting is disconcerting at first. Ignition is signaled by a little melody and some animation on the dash. Then, dead silence. Put it in gear and it glides away from your parking spot in full golf cart mode. Go easy on the accelerator and you can sustain travel in full EV mode, provided you're not fully effaced and dilated or experiencing any other urgency. The same silence awaits you at every stop light. No idle. Just you and your tortured thoughts, goaded by the tick-tock of the turn signal. I think it's due to the lack of internal combustion drama that I found myself forgetting to turn the car OFF upon arriving at my destinations. Thankfully, the car beeps at you mercilessly until you fix that situation.

Eco Sluts Beware. There are several displays you can call up on Optima's dash to monitor your hybridworthiness, from a growing-flowers animation to more statistical views. To scroll through these options, you push a button on the steering wheel labeled "Trip". Not intuitive, Kia. I gravitated toward the display that shows you what's driving the car (electric or gas). But even if you forgo these digital spectacles, a big analog gauge on the dash constantly reminds you of the impact your right foot has on your eco-virtue.

The car can be switched from miserly Eco mode to—er—non-Eco mode, which still uses the electric motor to aid propulsion. Either way, when you need power, it's there - brought to you courtesy of gasoline. A stomp on the pedal pushes the Optima where it needs to go when passing or in emergency maneuvers with impressive thrust, for a hybrid. Driving the car hard into corners yields good grip and firmness—a real sense of control—which is surprising given the low-rolling-resistance tires. I was challenged to keep the Optima on a straight path on the highway. The stiff steering needed constant input, and it didn't help that my man hands are too big to grip the wheel between the center bottom spokes. Overall, the Optima Hybrid is smooth and connected in everything it does. And the transition from voltage to octane is imperceptible, except from a dead stop, when a precious second is lost as the car interprets your input.

Thirsty much? I took the Optima Hybrid on a round-trip adventure from the Northwest burbs to downtown Chicago. According to the live mileage display, I averaged 41mpg, with heavy inbound stop-and-go, in Eco mode.

Grins & Chagrins. Infotainment was one of the few disappointments. The low-end touchscreen audio system was not capable of providing Bluetooth voice dialing through my iPhone. It doesn't remember speaker volume from one call to the next. And the speakers, whether serving up music or phone convos, sounded tinny and one dimensional.

Some things are universal to Optima, hybrid or not. GREAT looks inside and out. First rate fit and finish. And roominess, especially for passengers in the rear. But the two deal-breakers I encountered in our search for a new car still irked me throughout this rental: the passenger seat and the armrest ergonomics.

Optima gives the pilot a comfy, 8-way power seat including lumbar. But even on the highfalutin SX with seat heat for ALL FOUR outboard passengers, the co-pilot gets a 4-way manual job. Don't like your seat height on that five-hour road trip with the family? Pull over and grab a phone book or two from the nearest recycling bin. Then bunch-up your sweater and jam it behind your lower back for some support. Or just tough it out and ask Guest Services at Wally World for the name of a good chiropractor.

The other reason is best shown in a picture.

Only a T-Rex can comfortably drop the rear windows via the driver door switches. It FEELS much worse than it looks. I'm serious - this and the seat thing disqualified Optima from a continuing role in our driveway. And the stalker salesman, too.

Rentalist Interruptus. On a sunny Sunday en route from the gym, an image of the front of the car came on screen with the warning: "Check Active Air Flap System". Then the Stability Control Active light came on, followed by a simultaneous Stability Control Off light, followed by the Brake Warning light, followed by the Check Engine light. Happy Father's Day! Enterprise Roadside Assistance arranged a swap for the next morning.

End Rant. Kia is a value brand. So there's a little tinniness to the back doors, and some of the plastics inside are bargain bin. But NHTSA awarded the Hybrid 5 stars across the board in crash testing, and its quiet comfort and confident stance are impressive. The system failure on a car with less than 800 miles is troubling, but these things happen. Unfortunately, I'll never know why this one malfunctioned.

If you like the idea of a Sharper Image digital doorstop in your driveway, buy a Prius. But if you want a sexy, roomy hybrid sedan with a sophisticated driving experience, dig your tiny raptor arms into your necessarily high pockets and shell out 26 grand to Kia. Then open those back windows and glide slowly and silently into the sunset, avoiding any tar pits you may encounter.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Cruzing around Chicago

Two burnt orange Chevrolet Cruzes await me as I approach Enterprise. The moment I step out of my cab, my agent walks another customer to the better of the two, an upmodel LTZ trim. "Good morning!" leaves my lips as, "GODDAMmmmornINGGGG!"

So what is a Cruze? It came to market in 2008, replacing the Cobalt, which replaced the Cavalier. I know. Me too. But as the Cobalt was lightyears ahead of the Cavalier, so is true of the Cruze to the Cobalt.

With a 1.4 liter turbocharged four-cylinder, this Cruze LT gets around town quite nicely, and rewards you with 38mpg highway. It holds you snugly in a smartly furnished cabin, with interesting fabric treatment on the dash and an easy, familiar layout that belies its economy car status. It's well put together and delivers a dignified ride when buzzing about the 'burbs. I've heard complaints about how easy the steering is, and this is true. But I find the local driving experience in the Cruze practically delightful.

Merging onto I-90 with Dev1 on board, the shine tarnished a bit. That gutsy little four-banger, the better of Cruze's two engine options, couldn't be inspired to get out of its own way when passing. And where did that quiet, dignified ride go? Under hard acceleration, engine shriek and road noise flooded the once serene cabin. Strangely, the whole experience was much more serene on my solo missions. The engine still howled a bit when pressed, but cabin sound and vibration was muted and power was more accessible. Could 150 extra pounds really have that profound an effect on performance?

Dev1 and Dev2 have since temporarily abandoned me. So I don't have meaningful feedback about passenger comfort or the performance penalty paid with 500+ lbs of humans on board. I can say that the back seat is on the tight side, and attempting to pass anything but a Prius on the highway, when laden with post-pubescent passengers, could have less than fruitful results

I now dream of punching robots in the mouth.

This low-level LT model lacked the MyLink touchscreen infotainment system I enjoyed in the Equinox and instead had an non-interactive ice blue LED display. Pairing my iPhone required entering a code, and the system didn't allow for voice dialing of my contacts. Worse, when using phone navigation, every instruction spoken by the nav was punctuated by the car's voice saying, "CALL ENDED": "Turn left onto Higgins Rd. CALL ENDED. In 400 feet, turn right onto 8th St. CALL ENDED. In half a mile, your destination is on the left CALL ENDED." Same story for every notification that hit my phone while paired.I now dream of punching robots in the mouth.

The new-ish Ford Focus is the Cruze's direct competition. Having recently rented a Focus, I agree with every review I've read hailing the Focus as the performer between these two rivals, especially since Cruze has two sleepy powerplants (but a diesel on the way!) whereas Focus is available with a 247 horsepower option. But for me, when you're driving a focus, you know you're at the low end of that brand's food chain. Designers altogether forgot to design the face of the Focus, and the interior has all the plushness of a recycling bin. Cruze, on the other hand, feels much like the General's larger, more expensive offerings, just smaller. The cockpit coddles. Controls feel silky and expensive. And Cruze looks sharp, with a strong Chevy family grille and arcing roofline.

If you've seen my car search blog, you know that I almost leased the Cruze's sister-ship, the Buick Verano. Chevrolet is on a roll here, creating affordable cars that feel much more expensive than they are. The Cruze is absolutely a member of that tradition. Further down the line, in terms of amenities, even the tiny Chevy Spark left an impression on me.

My quibbles with the Cruze are few. As long as you don't have boyracer intentions, Cruze makes for a truly pleasant daily driver. The new diesel engine will add a lot more low-end torque and significantly more miles to a tank of gas, making it the practical, better-designed choice, if you're shopping against Focus. CALL ENDED.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Cheap Jeep

In 1995, I went shopping for a Jeep Wrangler. Came home with an Infiniti. I'm not a great outdoorsman. I get itchy if I walk too close to a planter at the mall. 

The Wrangler is a true American icon. And while the Grand Cherokee is the father of the modern SUV movement, the rest of the lineup has not enjoyed any measure of celebrity. This is especially true for Jeep's twin small offerings, the Compass and Patriot.

Built during the recession on a platform hewn from the old Dodge Caliber, the only practical difference between these two Jeeps are their distinct body styles, which were intended to have gender-specific appeal—"traditional Jeep" Patriot for dudes, curvy Compass for chicks.

Yes, Enterprise. I'd be happy to be your Compass chick for a week.

When FIAT's Sergio Marchionne took the helm at Chrysler, Compass got one of the best mid-cycle facelifts I've ever seen (too late for you, Joan). It went from dowdy, plastic frumpmobile to Grand Cherokee, Jr. And when outfitted in top Limited trim, the saddle leather interior is a thing of beauty.

But Enterprise didn't rent me a Limited. They rent the NoTech™ Black Plastic Edition, in which the apex of technology is an AUX jack on the 2-knob LED radio. The manual driver's seat moves fore/aft and reclines. No lumbar or height adjustment. The latter is bad news, considering the high beltline and giant blind spots on the Compass. The dash and doors are awash in a half dozen textures of hard black plastic, punctuated with occasional bright chrome. The plastic hand grab on the hatch is scandalously cheap, like a dollar-store recycling bin. Yet everything is tight. Nary a rattle or squeak from all that petroleum product.

The ride impressed. Chrysler got something right when it comes to smooth, compliant cruising, as the ride in the Compass reminded me immediately of the Chrysler 200. Unexpectedly refined for a CUV. The 2.4 liter fourbanger isn't in a rush to do anything, but power wasn't significantly compromised when 4WD was locked. And 30mpg highway ain't bad.

Dev1 and Dev2 got pretty comfortable in the Compass. It's certainly not as commodious as the Chevy Equinox. Adults might bump elbows in the front seat, but back seat passengers (at least up to 6'1") don't have to assume a fetal position.

Nimble, solid, and smooth, Compass makes a darn good basic 4WD daily driver for about $20k. Especially for those, like me, who exist in the snow belt. Start clicking the options and a decked-out Limited can rise above $30k. At that price point, it's best to shop and compare.

Kudos to Colleen at Enterprise, by the way. She had keys to the Compass and an Impala. She already knew which ones to hand me.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Changing Seasons in the Equinox

I only got a taste of the brutal Chicago winter this year. It's a pure-evil cold that acts like it hates you, on a personal level. The snow is gone, but when it was snowy here, why did the fates have me behind the wheel of the Impala and Grand Caravan? Why did my Equinox arrive so late? I'll dispense with my existential quandary and move on.

The Chevrolet Equinox is a mid-size CUV and sister-ship to the GMC Terrain. It's a tidy execution of Chevy's current design language, which means it's attractive inside and out. This Black Granite Metallic LT AWD example was well equipped with Chevys MyLink system, back-up camera, power everything, alloy rims, sunroof, heated seats, and more. Wide doors make for easy entry and exit. Pleasant, masculine cloth covers the firm seats and is adorned with contrasting red stitching. It's easy to get familiar with controls, although I found the wiper control stalk to be particularly confounding. Who puts a rocker switch on the tip of a stalk? MyLink is essentially similar to my Buick's IntelliLink, so pairing my phone was a no-brainer.

Equinox was the best rental yet for my purposes here in Chicago.

Chevrolet is located on the first rung of the GM brand ladder. And the divisional difference in terms of cabin comfort and refinement is immediately apparent when comparing Chevy to the next level up (Buick). The Chevy's cabin surfaces are all hard plastic. Seats are stiff yet comfortable. And while features are plentiful, some are lacking simple and inexpensive touches that leave me scratching my head. Perhaps these nuances help to differentiate the escalating eleganza when graduating to the next GM class. But why have auto-down windows that don't also have auto-up? Why not have trajectory markings on the back-up camera image?

For our interior discussion, I've decided to give my developers the Seussian monikers: Dev1 and Dev2. Dev1 had nothing but good things to say about the comfort of the Equinox. Svelte and 5'8", he fits into just about anything and loved our time in the FIAT 500. Dev2, however, is 6'1" and a self-proclaimed "Big Guy". He found the adjustable back seat of the Equinox supremely accommodating. Leg room was outstanding. His only gripes came from the front seat, where he felt as though his shoulder was jammed against the B pillar. I found the driving position just right, thanks to power seat adjustability and the tilt/telescope steering wheel. Blind spots, while huge, are mitigated by convex mirror segments on both sides.

On the road, the Equinox is well planted in corners for a tall vehicle. The taut and communicative ride is even smooth over the low, raised center islands that Chicagoans can legally thump over. Turning radius is pretty wide—A u-turn became a k-turn inside 3-1/2 lane widths. The sound insulation deficit (when compared to Buick products) is most evident during hard acceleration. The 4-cylinder engine wails as the transmission downshifts, returning modest propulsion compared to the din. Equinox is no cruise missile with this engine. The 182 HP 4-cylinder returns about 20/29 mpg. Upgrade to the 301 HP V-6 and get the thrust you want, but pay at the pump with a 16/23mpg return.

After a week behind the wheel, I have to say that Equinox was the best rental yet for my purposes here in Chicago. While the Grand Caravan certainly gave us more room that we could ever need, it was a lot of barge to haul around. And the fuel economy of some of the micro-car offerings was great, but we suffered a bit with comfort and entry/exit ease. The Chevy Equinox LT AWD came packed with the right amount of equipment, carried us and our stuff in great comfort, wasn't too thirsty at the pump, and was just the right size for gliding through traffic and easy parking.

As for its handling in the snow, I'm hoping not to find that out until after the NEXT equinox.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ain't Life Grand?

You may not know that I have Terminator Vision. It's like a heads-up display in my brain that activates whenever I'm in the presence of cars. Makes, models, and manufacturing trivia flood my head as I absorb data from all of the cars within my field of vision. It often spills out of my mouth in a torrent of factoids which I find fascinating, but bore most of those around me to tears.

Did you know the Chevy Captiva is a rebadged Saturn Vue, only sold to rental fleets so that GM can sell more Equinoxes and Terrains to real people? No? Well did y... HEY! WAKE UP!

As the taxi from ORD mounts the rise in front of my regular Enterprise franchise (recognize that poetry and move on; not intentional) it takes all of three seconds to scan and digest the contents of their tiny lot and figure out what I'll be driving, using my magic power.

On a recent visit, it was apparent that I wouldn't be driving the economy class I had reserved. Data collected from my optical sweep returned the following results: Grand Caravan. Grand Caravan. Sienna. Grand Caravan. Sienna.

What's worse than Stow & Go stigmata? A minivan that's also a Toyota. So I took the Caravan, in the butchest color available: Maximum Steel Clearcoat Metallic. Hellzyeah.

So what's it like hauling two other full grown men around town and country in a vehicle meant for suburban kiddie conveyance? It was hell. Having a remote slide both side doors open and raise the liftgate as we approached with heavy computer bags and purchases was positively annoying. And all that SPACE! Dealing with all that AIR in the car; the free movement and ease of access and egress. It was just tedious. And how typical of such a vehicle to have countless thoughtful bins and cubbies to store everything from cell phone gear to SmartWater bottles. YUCK!

Ok. It didn't suck. Like... not at all. In fact it was ideal for our purposes. Considering I had squeezed the three of us into the likes of the Mazda 2, the Fiat 500, and the Chevy Spark, the fellas in particular enjoyed our time in the Grand Caravan very much. Interior accommodations were very good, which one would expect from a car the size of a SoHo micro loft. Interior design was tasteful with two-tone bone and ebony dash treatments and occasional flashes of chrome. And bits of mood lighting were an unexpected touch. We all got quite... comfortable.

I played with the Stow & Go seating. I'm sure with practice it becomes second nature, but it was much more difficult than it looks in the commercials. Particularly the second row. But it is really cool how all that seat can just disappear into the floor. And my palms didn't bleed once.

The Grand Caravan, well, GRAND, so fuel economy from the V6 is only about 17/25. But once you get used to all that size, navigation is pretty easy. It isn't what I'd call nimble. But it never came across as top-heavy and the suspension was buttoned down and not floaty.

I'm a little more than mad that I liked it.

Fast forward a couple of months and I'm at the Enterprise counter being presented with the keys to a gleaming blue Chevy Cruze. I show the agent a free one-class upgrade from Enterprise, given in honor of my birthday. The Cruze keys go back on the hook.

I cross the parking lot, pointing the remote at my giant birthday present. The side doors slide in welcome as the liftgate rises and salutes me...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The "LT" Stands for Lieutenant

For a long time, the dread of most renters was being handed the keys to a PT Cruiser. And believe it or not, there are still a few PTs in some rental fleets. I feel almost the same about the Chevrolet Impala.

Why? For one, being in my 40s with close-cropped salt-and-pepper already makes me look enough like a detective. Driving the Impala (or the other car some agencies call "premium": the Ford Crown Victoria) makes it a little too tempting to buy a tin badge and roll up on crime scenes, passing myself off as Det. Alquilero from the 23rd precinct (which, of course, I will refer to as "da two-tree").

I live my life AVOIDING cops. I don't want to look like one.

But the bigger reason is fuel economy. At 18/30 you could do worse. But you can do much better. Many full-size offerings get you closer to 40 highway, and at nearly $4/gallon, I know my priorities are crystal clear.

The 2013 black Impala LT I'm pushing around Chicago these days feels like a throwback. When I close my eyes, I'm whisked back to a '97 Grand Prix I owned. And for good reason, as they're not far removed from each other at the DNA level. The trouble is, the old Grand Prix felt SO much better. The Impala feels oafish around town. The steering is stiff. And low-end throttle response (as in parking lot moves) is especially sluggish. Combined, they make the car feel as though it weighs 10 tons. On the highway, things improve. Passing power is sufficient and the ride is relatively quiet and compliant. Too bad it doesn't have my old Pontiac's pushrod 3800 engine note. This new 3.6 liter mill just can't carry a tune.

Remote start is nice to have on a rental. Especially in Chicago. But the 40's strike again when trying to read the remote start instructions on the back of the keyfob remote. I'd love to meet the wunderkind who decided on 3 point type in a bronze color on a black remote. Asshat. It's also disappointing that there is some sort of malfunction, on a car with just 4,000 miles, that has the washer fluid warning aglow even after a top-off.

For A-to-B transportation, it does the job (like every other rental I've blogged about). And you could do worse—like the Chevy Aveo 4-door with roll-up windows. But it's just such a joyless experience. Dated exterior. Dour interior. Torpid movement. And thirst. My recommendation is that you drop a rental class if handed the keys to one. I'd take an Elantra over an Impala any day, for its agility, good equipment level, better fuel economy, and equally spacious interior.

An all-new and sultry Impala arrives for 2014, based on the same platform as the Cadillac XTS. It's a stunner that I'm sure will provide a driving experience light years ahead of the outgoing model. But old habits die hard—there's still enough rental fleet demand for the old model that it will continue to be produced in 2014 (maybe even beyond) as the Impala Limited. The Limited will only be sold to rental fleets, so I'm sure at some point in my travels I'll have to rent one again.

Just in case, I'm ditching my trench coat.