Dear travelers, normally I rent a SUV when vacationing in the U.S. For my Oregon trip, I rented a mid-size car with my flight and hotel booking from "expedia". Having arrived at Portland, you swiftly find the Alamo counter, and you will be bus-shuttled for about 10 mins to their rental car center near the airport.
I had the choice among 10 mid-sized cars, Toyota, Ford, Chevvy - I took the biggest of the cars available, a silver Chevrolet Cruze. I have been glad for this decision since. It was "guys' car love" at first side. Btw, it's was funny to see that another European male was strolling around all mid-size cars and looking for a car with gear stick, LOL. Told him that he had 'to be satisfied' with automatic transmission, almost 100 pc standard in the U.S.
Equipped with navigation guidance system of Garmin, I started my fun tour to Travelodge Pioneer Villa Motel, Halsey at I-5 and OR-228, a 90 min ride.
Yes, you fall in love with this car. The cruise control will be your friend on all routes. Getting speed by acceleration, no worry, fellas, this car has enough power for swift entering on motorways or overtaking.
Getting and keeping the speed on steep ascents and descents by cruise control is very simple. With this neat gadget you forget the gas pedal, you can simply manage driving by clicking up and down - and the big display shows you the speed you have just set.
Mmmhhh, mileage - got this relatively new car with around 5.000 miles 'on the clock', and the "mileage meter" showed 34.0 mpg. OK, I am quite conservatively thinking and estimated about 30 mpg for the first gassing-up check in Sweet Home @ $3.359 per gallon with service at the pump. Surprise, my calculation showed 34.2 mpg.
The tank volume is quite low, 50 liters equals 13.3 gals - but this means a range of more than 450 miles (720 kilometers), that's really good.
My last experiences with a rented Jeep Cheerokee (@ MIA's RCC) on US highway #1 and the Interstates around Miami to Orlando and back and with a KIA Sorento on upper New York state highways from Rochester to Niagara Falls were a lil bit more expensive, with Hwy mileages of 22 and 29, respectively - Miami, FL @ $3.60 pg, Rochester, NY @ $3.55 pg.
OK, the big SUVs have 80 liter tanks (21.1 gals), getting you more absolute range - Cheerokee = 465 miles, Sorento = 611 miles.
Well, back to the charming Chevrolet Cruze 2012.
The interior is excellent, kind of articficial leather outfit, neat color combination of dark red and black. The trunk compartment is big enough for 2 people with 2 big and 2 smaller pieces of luggage. OK, quite limited, if you compare this with the SUVs, where you can put loads of luggage in it.
The Chevvy is basicly for two people, whereas the SUVs are family vehicles, the main difference I suppose.
For 30 dollars a day, you get this nice mid-size car at Alamo's; with 20 dollars more per day, you can rent a SUV there.
You will have a great deal of fun when taking this American brand, Korean-built ("Daewoo") car. If a mid-sized American car had not been present at the rental car center I would have paid an extra of 12 or 20 dollars a day to just get an American full-size car or SUV.
If I bought a Chevrolet Cruze I would have it in neat bright blue ("ice blue") instead of white or silver.