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Old Feb 18, 09, 4:02 am
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jackal
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Originally Posted by jgoodma3 View Post
Many thanks for your input.
There are only 2 of us going, so maybe a Charger would be slightly overkill? And as for the size of the Charger it may be an issue for me to drive because being from the UK where cars are generally very small, it could take quite a big of getting used to :-)
To be honest I think I've heard that the Sebrings also drive like a boat, do you find this to be true?

Money isn't really an issue so we'd gladly go for the luxury class if we got offered it; but I guess it's a case of turning up at seeing what they have first though!
Perhaps you should get the Charger solely on the basis of then being able to experience driving a real oversized American car!

I drove the Sebring convertible around Maui at high speeds on lots of winding roads (up Haleakala and out to Hana) last August and never had a complaint about its handling. I'd say it definitely handles better than the Charger (which could very well be construed to be a testament to how badly the Charger handles rather than how well the Sebring does!)

(Actually, most of my Sebring driving experience is in the non-convertible version, which I think is an exceptionally fine car--I almost considered buying the Limited trim version last year with the powerful 3.5L V6, heated leather seats, and Boston Acoustics sound system. It handles superbly. I might recall thinking that the convertible version did feel a bit larger and heavier, which surprised me, since it's only a two-door with a lot less seating space.)

I do agree with Tuneman1984 about the trunk space, however. You'd be able to store luggage that won't fit in the trunk (boot, I guess I should say!) in the rear seat, but that may not be an optimal solution, depending on where you're going. (Soft tops don't offer a lot of protection against even the most casual thief.) I'm not sure you could fit more than two 22" rollaboards in the Sebring convertible's trunk.

The luxury class at LAX is going to (most likely) be the Chrysler 300, which is based on exactly the same platform (what's internally referred to at Chrysler as the LX platform). (Note that the "premium" Dodge Magnum, if they're still carrying that, is also on the same platform.) The way the cars drive and handle is virtually identical--the only difference is the body styling and the interior fit and finish. I enjoy the Charger, Magnum and 300's supple, smooth ride very much--you can hit potholes or bumps in parking lots at 50 miles an hour and barely feel them. It reminds me of a Mercedes ride, except it lacks whatever Mercedes has done to pair the smooth ride with firm handling, so they tend to experience body lean during cornering. (That may be why people say it handles like a boat--it's not actually hard to turn the steering wheel.)

If price truly is no object, go ahead and at least take a look at the StyleSeries at LAX! It does look as if they've removed the mileage cap, as the rates now all feature unlimited miles (perhaps they found it was restricting sales too much.) For a random week in May, they start at $371 per week (plus tax) for the Mercedes C230 all the way up to the Mercedes S550 for a princely sum of $1291 per week (plus tax)! A gorgeous Chevy Corvette convertible can be yours for only $936 per week (plus tax).

Downside: you won't be able to book these through the Dollar or Thrifty UK prepaid websites, which include LDW and SLI all at about the same price that Americans can rent just the car itself. (I just checked: an economy car for a random week in May at dollar.com--just the car and mandatory taxes--is $197, or 138...dollar.co.uk is 143 for the same car plus LDW and SLI. If you bought those two coverages separately at the LAX rental counter--assuming their prices haven't gone up since I last rented there a couple of years ago, and unless you specifically have an auto insurance policy that covers collision and liability in the U.S., you should, as otherwise the car comes with absolutely no coverage whatsoever--you'd be looking at probably about 236.) But if you want the ultimate California experience, go with the Corvette!
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