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Car Rental can be part of your holiday? - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

One of the joys of my trips to Florida is the ability to try out different vehicles and experience motoring that can be too expensive to enjoy in the UK. In the summer months, when I get to spend more time in Florida than during the rest of the year, I like to use the opportunity to enjoy different vehicles.

On my last trip I sat down with the family and we looked through the vehicle types on offer. On this occasion we decided to use Dollar available through this website and our three chosen vehicles were the newly launched Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, a Chrysler Sebring convertible and a Chrysler Town and Country (known in the UK as a Chrysler Voyager). Normally it would be impossible for us to rent a convertible because we need luggage space to and from the airport. However with a three week stay we had the perfect opportunity to try this vehicle in the middle of the holiday.

I recently acquired a satellite navigation system which I was also keen to test. These too are available for rental from this website.

Upon arrival at Orlando and after dealing with the paperwork we were handed the key to the vehicle and given details where to collect it. After arriving in the parking lot there it was – a gleaming white, and what appeared to be brand new Jeep. Could it really be new? Well almost! It had just 2000 miles on the clock.

This new model is Chrysler’s latest edition to their range and immediately upon entering the vehicle is a much more luxurious and solid feel to it when compared to the previous edition. With Chrysler Daimlers ownership of Mercedes, I felt that attributes from the Mercedes ML series have probably been passed to the new car.

US versions of cars that we are used to in Europe tend to be slightly different in specification and whilst the steering probably did not have the same feel as we may expect in the UK, the overall ride, handling and performance was delivered with level of ‘Mercedes type luxury’. With its 3.7 litre V6 power unit coupled with 4 speed auto gear box the engine was smooth, powerful and very quiet. The family of four in the vehicle the Jeep Laredo still felt effortless to drive and never struggled. The rear cabin took our 5 very large suitcases and all of our hand luggage with exceptional ease. Our two daughters thought the in-car stereo system on this vehicle was exceptional and it even included a plug to connect an iPod to – something I’ve not seen on any other vehicle I have rented so far. The driving position was infinitely variable, accommodated by myself and my wife without any problem. Visibility in this vehicle was superb. One because of the increased height over a standard saloon and two, because all four corners of the vehicle can be seen by the driver (great for parking). Overall I highly rate this new model and would recommend you give it a try.

We, especially my wife, were particularly looking forward to the next vehicle on our list as the nearest we’d ever come to driving a convertible in the past was when we hired a mini-moke in Barbados. Fun but hardly luxury!!

We swopped our Jeep with some reluctance, which was soon dispelled when we were handed the keys to another shiny white Chrysler Sebring, with a beige soft top roof. Although we suddenly felt very low down to the road compared to the previous weeks motoring, the Sebring soon made us smile when we unclipped the internal roof clips, pressed the open button in the central console and within around 20 seconds we were completely open to the sunshine. This one touch button collapses the roof and opens all four windows in one movement. (The windows can be raised afterwards if necessary). It really is quite amazing how within a matter of seconds the vehicle takes on a whole new look and feel. Like other premium vehicles the Sebring Convertible still comes complete with all the usual toys, including that of air-conditioning if needed. We found that we used the Convertible feature as much as possible even when travelling home from parks, late at night. To have the warm Florida air blowing across your face was extremely invigorating. Probably the only times where this was an issue was if you happened to be behind a big Disney bus where there was little escape from the fumes but this was very rare. The Sebring comes complete with a very nice and smooth 2.7 litre V6 engine which again has plenty of power and didn’t require us to fill up during the 7 days we had it. Very enjoyable and fun experience which if you have a spare middle week to your holiday, where you don’t need to carry a lot of luggage it is worth giving a go. A week of pure fun for our family – but you can suffer ‘a bad hair day’!!

Moving towards the end of our last trip required a reality check and we therefore chose a Chrysler Town and Country Stow n Go model with a 3.3 V6 engine. This time we actually got a change of colour and were given a light metallic blue finished example. The Town and Country is probably one of the most popular rental vehicles in Central Florida, particularly as it is capable of carrying 7 people. (Great for nan and grandad.) The new models are extremely versatile as the ‘Stow ‘n Go’ seat storage facility enables unused seats to be folded flat into the floor. We found this very useful when we needed to purchase some particularly bulky items needed for our house. Each of the seats have the benefit of being individual and, according to the kids, are quiet comfortable.

Now the difficult question you may want to ask is which my favourite was? The only answer I can really give you is all of them as they all had attributes. If Chrysler ever produces a high rise 7 seated 4x4 convertible then maybe that will take top position!!!

Your car rental is very much part of your holiday so why not take the opportunity to rent something different from that which you drive in the UK?

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