17th July 2016
Car Rental Company: Alamo
Location - LAX
Alamo and National Car rental are located in the same location, the location is further out than the other rental places I have used (Sixt, Thrifty & Budget). However way more efficient, at least time I was there. Alamo used many self-service machines, I was a bit wary of this since I have a foreign driving license but it meant at empty line to see an actual Human, since all American driving liciense holders were using these machines. This made my check-in under 10 minutes, so far better than Thrifty (1 hour) and Sixt (20 minutes).
Staff at desk was pleasant enough and just literally did the paper work, he did no upsell or anything and literally within a few minutes just said go to Line 4 and choose your SUV. Nice and quick service. Prefer less of the upselling as its hard to understand some of the things they cover say damage waiver etc when you bought this online from a non-US website.
At the SUV selection there seemed to be the choice between Jeep or Chrysler. I already hired a Chrysler before so wanted to try a jeep. They had various kinds (about 3-4). The Renegade looked interesting and very new so went with that.
The Jeep Renegade
An SUV was hired on the basis because I was driving up to Mt. Brady so wanted a 4x4.
The car had fairly easy to use automatic seat functions to get comfortable, though in general its not as comfortable as the Chrysler, not sure why as the Renegade offers lower and upper lumper support, even at a slight recline it still felt too upright. You can raise your seat as well, perhaps I raised it too much. I don’t think I would choose this car if I was driving for long distances
The controls were all quite straight forward and user friendly, actually much better than most cars- the central computer screen is very easy to navigate. Without GPS it offers audio functions, telephone, media and displays things like outside temperature, direction of travel. The actual screen behind the steering wheel also offered options of time, speed or direction of travel- though there are traditional speed and rev circular counters.
Lights set to auto were fine, except be wary of the fog light- it seems like a button easily hit I didn’t realise I had it on until an hour into my drive.
The best part though of the controls was the audio function, I haven’t function so detailed that the touch screen can pin point where you want to audio to come to, for instance you can select just the rear right seat or in between the back seat. It really works well but I found the best is the middle of the four seat car. There is also an Audio in & USB in central area, plus another USB under central arm rest. The USB immediately recognised my I Phone so there was no time spent finding it, controls while driving for thing like EQ are very easy on the touch screen. AC are personal each side and worked fine – dial counters that were easy to use to select desired temperature.
Space and Storage
There is a sufficient size of boot for a large case seating is adequate at the back for comfortable space. The issue though remained that there is no cover for the boot. This made me worry since going to a shopping mall etc, meant all your belongings are clearly seen through the back window – making it desirable for break-in. I certainly wouldn’t leave it for any length of time. I had also two laptops in small basg in the front and there is no under seat space. Jeep renegade simply doesn’t offer any cover for your bags inside the vehicle, be wary of that- especially where your parking.
The Jeep renegade is a smooth ride, its benefits is driving up mountains, it coped well though reved up quite high. One thing is weak is interstate or motorway driving, its just boring. It really has a slow intake of acceleration. Comparing to say the Evoke in which obviously is a bad comparison, it just doesn’t have that much power behind it. Even putting your foot down takes a while for the car react and then hits the rev counter very high. I would say overall great car for mountain or offroad driving but boring for general car driving.
This was the stand out feature of the Jeep renegade, the sound system is pretty good, it was definitely better than the Mustang and Camaro. This is likely because of the box design of the car but bass lovers will love this car. I listened to a variety of music, drum n bass, Hip hop and techno and the bass really rumbles the car like your in a night club. Its maybe better for bassy music as classical was not that great. However it was really a powerful sound system they had in the standard model, it felt like I had a big sub-woofer inside.
I drove in total around 6-7 hours in total and the fuel gauge half a tank, which cost $27 to fill up- its efficient for a SUV.
For the price paid £27 /US $40/ €35 for 24 hours, it was good value for money and was good for my drive into the mountains beyond Los Angeles. However, it’s a boring drive on normal roads but if you’re a music lover, the sound system will keep you well entertained. It looks pretty cool with nice alloys and felt like a safe/strong car in case of a crash. The controls also very user friendly.
Dropping off at Alamo was also straight forward with frequent bus services back and forth to airport made no long wait. The bus is conveniently right next to where you drop the car off.