Saturday, May 24, 2008

on the way to Allentown PA

Just as I arrived at the Avis lobby in Newark, NJ at 11:45 p.m. EST last night, a man and his wife brushed past me and got in front of me in line. I'm sure they knew they were behaving badly, but they did it anyway. I travel extensively, so my car is always pre-assigned. I don't sign any paperwork. I just get in my car and drive away. But because the couple jumped in front of me, I had to stand there waiting for them to finish their negotiations. At that late hour, there was no agent (or line) dedicated to the "preferred" customers. Finally, a different agent finished with her customer and motioned for me to come over. I handed her my Avis card, she looked me up in the system and immediately told me my parking space number and I headed out the door to find my car. (Why wouldn't they have a sign posted with this information? A simple check of the driver's license at the gate would prevent folks from driving out with the wrong car.) In my parking space was a Chrysler 300. I've been wanting to buy one of these, although recent gas prices have made me rethink. But still, I was happy to get the chance to drive one for a week.

I headed west on I-78. Although I am traveling on business, I came a few days early to spend the holiday weekend with my father & stepmother in Allentown, PA. The drive out was a breeze in that Chrysler 300. I've recently driven both the Cadillac CTS and the Lincoln MKZ. Both of them were incredibly beautiful cars and were fully loaded. In contrast, this Chrysler 300 had much fewer bells and whistles. Both the Cadillac and Lincoln felt incredibly heavy and were slow to respond to braking. I frequently had the "oh crap, I'm not going to be able to stop in time" feeling in those cars. But not the Chrysler. It stopped on a dime. The handling was easier too. Of course these were/are all rental cars, so what was loaded and how the maintenance was handled is completely unknown. Couple that with my overall lack of knowledge about cars and you have just a gal telling you how she felt in the three cars! (There is nothing scientific about this comparison!)

I still don't think I will buy either of the three. Right now I am looking at gas mileage. I suspect most of us are! I do know that I will jettison my SUV within the next 3-4 months. Now I have my eye on the Mazda3 four door sedan. I figure I can get one for my son with limited add-ons and get one for myself fully loaded and still come out better than if I bought the Caddy, the Lincoln or the Chrysler. There is no comparison with those three, really and I prefer to buy American, but this may have to be the year of the exception!

Tomorrow: A review of White Orchids, a Thai restaurant that Daddy and I are visiting tonight. I can't wait!!!

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