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Martin

Another Holiday Hire Car

A Mustang Convertible.  It's the base model, which is a good thing, as it means it has the 3.7 V6 rather than the 2.3 Turbo 4 pot that the Premium model has.  A V8 would have been even better, but they didn't have any to upgrade to, nor did they have a Camaro in V6 or V8 flavour.  It has the value pack which adds 18" wheels, boot spoiler, LED fog lamps and a power seat with lumbar support.  Standard spec is pretty good for a base model, xenons, keyless entry/start, reversing camera and a pretty comprehensive trip computer (with modern graphics!) including digital gauges and Track Apps.

It has a decent size boot, bigger than the old model, which the roof also doesn't intrude into when down, so we got 1 large and 2 small suitcases in it with ease and plenty of room to spare.

Initial impressions are that its a huge improvement on the old model.   The ride is much better and it makes a reasonable attempt at going around corners without feeling like it will veer off the road.  It's far from great though, the steering is poor (in all 3 modes) and the engine lacks torque which is made worse by the way it's set up, it needs a lot of throttle to get going at a decent pace.   It sounds really good with the roof down (both the engine and exhaust), as long as you're above 3,000rpm.

Some of the interior plastics are hilarious.  The worst bits are the fake carbon fibre trim and the panel in front of the passenger, but the heater/stereo controls are made from cheap thin plastic and the leather on the wheel is really poor.  It has 2 big pieces of plastic in the boot which I assume will clip in place to cover up the big gaps when the roof is down.

However, despite all that, I loved driving it down here this morning.

Terrible iPhone picture....just realised that Lindsay took it when it was putting something in the boot.

PhilD

Re: Another Holiday Hire Car

Martin wrote:


Terrible iPhone picture....just realised that Lindsay took it when it was putting something in the boot.



It has 'Self-Pack' ? Those American cars are something else.
Boxer6

Re: Another Holiday Hire Car

PhilD wrote:
Martin wrote:


Terrible iPhone picture....just realised that Lindsay took it when it was putting something in the boot.



It has 'Self-Pack' ? Those American cars are something else.


And all that in Australia too! Amazing that the photo mirrors upsidedownland so well.  
Martin

Sorry Boxer, you've lost me!

It is self pack as far as Lindsay is concerned, just like the cases.....
simonp

Nice sticky tyres...
Boxer6

Martin wrote:
Sorry Boxer, you've lost me! . . .


The photo's upside down Martin! (Dodgy camera work perhaps?! )
PhilD

Re: Another Holiday Hire Car

Boxer6 wrote:
PhilD wrote:
Martin wrote:


Terrible iPhone picture....just realised that Lindsay took it when it was putting something in the boot.



It has 'Self-Pack' ? Those American cars are something else.


And all that in Australia too! Amazing that the photo mirrors upsidedownland so well.  


Martin's camera must still be on UK settings
Martin

Ahhh, now it makes sense!  It's the right way up on my screen, how strange.  

Not sticky tyres either, they are All Season Goodyears with M&S on the sidewall, not what you expect on a Car registered in Florida (we're in the Keys at the moment, Australia is January)

I've uploaded it into Photobucket, is it the right way up now?
simonp

The tyre thing was a joke because the car was on the ceiling when I saw it last...
Martin

simonp wrote:
The tyre thing was a joke because the car was on the ceiling when I saw it last...


Yes, I did get that....  
Big Blue

It was always the right way up on my screen, and I was as confused as Martin on the Aussie reference
PhilD

Anyway car looks good and a bit nicer than the standard Puniesta type holiday car!
Frank Bullitt

Big Blue wrote:
It was always the right way up on my screen, and I was as confused as Martin on the Aussie reference


+1

Seems a bizarre mix that the 3.7 V6 is cheaper than the Ecoboost but preferential (I assume on the basis of noise) - as the 3.7 seems to lack guts it is probably fine for boulevard cruising but much more and it'll be stretched. I know V6's are smooth but as a power source they can be fairly lacking in torque.
PhilD

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Big Blue wrote:
It was always the right way up on my screen, and I was as confused as Martin on the Aussie reference


+1

Seems a bizarre mix that the 3.7 V6 is cheaper than the Ecoboost but preferential (I assume on the basis of noise) - as the 3.7 seems to lack guts it is probably fine for boulevard cruising but much more and it'll be stretched. I know V6's are smooth but as a power source they can be fairly lacking in torque.


Worst engines ever apparently  
Martin

It could do with more torque lower down, it has 280 lb ft but up at 4,000rpm.  The 2.3T is probably the better every day engine (in the UK), but in a convertible the sound is important as its much more obvious.  0-60 is a couple of tenths has behind but it's still only just over 6 seconds.   The 2.3T is badged ecoboost, that alone is enough to write it off.....

The only engine to have in this car if you're buying one is the V8.
PhilD

is it a 2+2?
PG

Martin wrote:
The only engine to have in this car if you're buying one is the V8.


Absolutely.

Hiring a V6 Mustang is almost forum ban territory.  Hiring a 2.3 ecoboost certainly would need some serious apologising for
Martin

PG wrote:
Martin wrote:
The only engine to have in this car if you're buying one is the V8.


Absolutely.

Hiring a V6 Mustang is almost forum ban territory.  Hiring a 2.3 ecoboost certainly would need some serious apologising for


Better than the usual 4 pot hatchback, but I've got one of those booked in August....    

Phil - yes, a 2+2 but more like a 2+1 based on our seating positions.
Martin

It's using D that strangles the engine, put it in S or even better, use the paddles and it's pretty quick.  Makes a surprisingly good noise too.  
Getting the roof down and enjoying the sunshine makes it easy to forget the cheap bits inside and I'm really enjoying it, it's pretty much the perfect car for this part of the world.

Having seen / heard some new V8 Mustangs, Corvette and an amazing sounding Challenger Hellcat (700hp!), Lindsay has told me she wants a muscle car.....

Some more picks from the start of the 7 Mile Bridge.







Roadsterstu

Time to order that  V8 Mustang when  you get home!
PhilD

Why no pictures of the boot or back seats? Anyone would think this is an enthusiast's forum.
Martin

It's locked up in the garage for a few days, but I'll try and remember to take some What Car? pics, just for you.

The boot is rather unfinished....the carpet doesn't fit all that well and there are wires taped together and just hanging from the side.   There are loads of these about down here and I'm surprised at how many have 4 adults crammed into them.  I'm over all the quality issues now, doesn't bother me at all, but I'm not sure it would be the same if I had one at home.
PG

Martin wrote:
I'm over all the quality issues now, doesn't bother me at all, but I'm not sure it would be the same if I had one at home.


I find that with US hire cars too. After a few days you get in the zone and the crappy plastics just don't seem to matter as much. They're still crappy though.

This reminds me I have not done a write up on the hire cars I've had the last two times in the US. A humungous Kia people carrier and an incredibly plasticky Hyundai that even had a plastic steering wheel.  
Martin

Sounds great.... There are a lot of Kia and Hyundai hire cars in pretty basic spec, there's no way I would have one (appreciate it's a company hire).

You should 'do a Colin' and start upgrading to something interesting when you get to the right loyalty status.
Martin

I spent enough time in it to form a reasonable opinion.



Calculated mpg over 2 fill ups was 26.7 UK MPG (30.5 / 21.9), which was only 7.1p per mile (6p / 9p).   The second tank was mostly urban driving, which is why it was a lot worse.  

I've no idea why so many Americans seem to be downgrading to 4 pots with running costs so low.  I'd save over £100 a month running something that only did 20mpg.

I fairly quickly realised that lack or go wasn't due to the engine lacking in torque, it was a combination of the lazy/long throttle and gearbox.  Putting the gearbox in sport mode, or even better using the paddles and using more throttle than you'd expect to need and it felt pretty quick.  The exhaust has been tuned to give a V8 like burble at lower revs and a decent sound (and volume) as you get past 3,000rpm, but you only hear it with the roof down, the coupe will sound pretty flat.  Definitely pleased I had the V6 in the end rather than the 2.3.

I got used to the interior plastics, but as time went on got more irritated by the steering, soft suspension (hope and assume UK cars are different), cheap feel when you open & close the doors and the roof mechanism.  I don't mind that you have to unlatch it manually by lifting then twisting a handle, but you can't lower or raise the roof unless you're stationary, you have to keep the button pressed the whole time and when it goes down all the windows drop and stay down.  That wouldn't be too bad if they had one shot functionality, but you have to hold all 3 buttons down to raise them back up again and it's the same when you raise the roof.   Then you have to clip two plastic panels in place to cover up the mechanism, which I didn't bother doing....

In the Boxster, you can raise or lower the roof below 30mph and if you're moving, one press of the button is all that's required.  

Overall, it doesn't feel like a quality, well engineered car in any way, but I still think it was prefect for the location and would happily hire one again.  The 2016 Camaro looks like a decent improvement over the old model, so that would probably be my choice next time I'm in the US, unless I could get a reasonable deal on a Corvette.  

My next holiday hire car will be a 4 cylinder (probably diesel) hatchback.

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