Cars at YYZ

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Old Dec 3, 10, 8:52 am
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Cars at YYZ

Welcome to the Cars at YYZ thread, documenting aisle selections at Terminals 1 and 3 at Pearson Interational Airport in Toronto, ON.

UPDATE: Terminal 1 now has an Emerald Aisle that appears to be in use. Details under the "Terminal 1" heading.

After a long time of avoiding National YYZ, I'd have to say they should be nominated for "most improved National location". There are still minor issues and it's far from perfect, but we've come a long way from line-ups out the EC booth as they continually overbook. I actually met the General Manager recently, a very nice fellow and told him personally that he's won me back with improved service and car selection.

Terminal 1
Terminal 1 is still an Emerald Reserve location. When you walk out the doors to the lot though, there is an Executive Selection lot now too. It's where Thrifty used to have their Bluechip stalls. However, don't get excited and go picking from anything, as you may still get turned around. I think what they're trying to do is make vehicle pickup easier for Execs and higher by having an assortment of cars right outside the door. For example, if you booked an Intermediate SUV, you could help yourself to a loaded Escape instead of walking all the way over to the SUV section and picking from there.

Immediately behind this section is the Emerald Aisle. I haven't had any experiences with it yet as it was only just opened on my last visit. Will post more as I come to experience it.

If you turn left and go past the Executive area, you'll hit the centre lot. The left side of the Centre Lot has Premium cars first, then Fullsize stalls. The right side has Luxury cars first, then more Fullsize. It's not uncoomon though for Fullsize cars to overflow into the Premium/Luxury stalls.

The left lot is the Midsize section, which also houses a good number of Standard size cars.

The right lot (directly in line with the new Emerald Aisle) is Minivans and SUVs, with a few Compact stalls near the back. I've spotted a couple of the new Fiestas there recently, but more often than not these stalls are used as overflow for SUVs. If you have a Compact booked, most days you'll probably be directed to take a Midsize from that section (e.g. Focus, Elantra, etc.)

I find the best policy is stick to what you've booked, unless your category is running thin. They are getting pretty good about giving Execs a one-class upgrade or so when things are tight.

Terminal 3
Car selection has arrived at Terminal 3! The entire operation has moved as well. Where National used to be, at the far right end of the garage near Hertz Gold, is now occupied by Enterprise. Instead, head out to the garage from the terminal and turn left, towards Avis. National has a plot of land where Avis stalls used to be. Terminal 3 is still a work in progress, as the return lanes are in the same area as rentals, so returned vehicles can sometimes overflow and block in selections.

The first section is the Emerald Aisle, about 10-12 spaces facing each other. This also serves Exec-level members as they keep some Standard and Fullsize cars there too (and the odd treat). If you go past this section, the stalls along the back wall are Luxury-SUV-Minivan-Fullsize-Midsize, with Midsize ending almost at the top of the return area ramp. The Fullsize and Midsize stalls are rarely used; usually you just pick what you booked off the EA. However, anything parked there and accessible is fair game as to what you booked. I believe the stalls that back onto the EA (there's only about 2 or 3) are Premium stalls.

Again, Canadian airports don't tend to give the farm to Execs and YYZ is no exception. However it's not uncommon now to get an upgrade if they're running short (as I'll detail in the next post). Also if you frequent the location as I do, they'll get to know you and what you like, and usually accommodate you quite nicely.

Last edited by Tuneman1984; Dec 7, 10 at 1:31 am
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Old Dec 3, 10, 9:03 am
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Recent Selections

I really dropped the ball in not keeping this up over the last few months, but here's what I've gotten on my recent YYZ rentals. This should give you an idea of what's out there.

Sep 1
Terminal 1
Booked: Premium
Offered: Chrysler 300 by greeter, said I needed something with cargo space, allowed to take an SUV for the same price
Drove: Ford Escape XLT w/leather

Sep 2
Terminal 1
Booked: Premium
Drove: Lincoln MKZ AWD (Luxury), parked on Exec row

Sep 10
Terminal 1
Booked: Premium
Drove: Lincoln MKZ AWD parked on Exec row (I believe there were other choices that day but I was allowed to take the MKZ for no upcharge)

Oct 12
Terminal 1 (After midnight - aisle closed, counter service)
Booked: Premium
Offered: Chrysler 300, asked for a Ford product as I was going to Oakville Ford plant the next day
Drove: Lincoln MKX with 20" chrome rims (Premium Elite)

Oct 25
Terminal 3
Booked: Fullsize
Drove: Ford Explorer in Fullsize stall

Nov 3
Terminal 3
Booked: Fullsize
Drove: Ford Taurus SEL on Emerald Aisle

Nov 17
Terminal 1
Booked: Fullsize
Drove: Nissan Maxima in Fullsize stall

Nov 30
Terminal 3
Booked: Fullsize
Drove: Nissan Maxima on Emerald Aisle
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Old Dec 3, 10, 9:48 am
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Nice update! Was that a 2011 Lincoln MKX?
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Old Dec 3, 10, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Tuneman1984 View Post

Nov 30
Terminal 3
Booked: Fullsize
Drove: Nissan Maxima on Emerald Aisle
Great update! I love the 2011 Maximas at National YVR. Loaded, leather, etc. No Sat radio though!

Ron.
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Old Dec 6, 10, 1:40 pm
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I rented from the T1 location last week, and was somewhat surprised by the new "Executive" section. I didn't think about it until I read Tuneman's post, but the signage specifically doesn't say "Executive Selection", just "Executive" so I guess that gives them the right to spin you if they don't like what you selected. A bit chintzy if you ask me.

Upon my arrival, the Executive section had several Caravans, 2 Flexs, and a brand new Santa Fe that I selected. I had booked Full Size, but the designated area was pretty bare. No mention was made at my selection at check-out, so it does seem like the service is improving....
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Old Dec 7, 10, 1:26 am
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Originally Posted by drzoidberg View Post
Nice update! Was that a 2011 Lincoln MKX?
Nope, it was a 2010 with about 22k on it (kms). Still a nice ride though, and Sirius was still working. I have driven the 2011 Edge and honestly, I wasn't a fan. It didn't have Sync or Bluetooth, yet it was a leather-seat SEL. The controls were difficult to navigate and counter-intuitive, for instance you navigate through 2 screens just to change the sat radio station up or down. I'm hoping this new "technology" for technology's sake doesn't trickle down into other Ford products, as I've found the current Sync system is the perfect balance of tech gadgetry and user-friendliness.

Originally Posted by newfbc View Post
Great update! I love the 2011 Maximas at National YVR. Loaded, leather, etc. No Sat radio though!

Ron.
I'm really a fan, probably one of the sportier cars you can get from National these days. XM radio is only part of a pricey option package on the Maxima. Seems the Japanese automakers in general are only just hopping on the Sirius/XM bandwagon so expect it to take a few model years to trickle down (as compared to Ford where even the new Fiesta SEs have it). Still, I've found given the choice these days I'll take a car with USB and Bluetooth over one with sat radio, but it is nice to have both.
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Old Dec 7, 10, 1:41 am
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Saturday and Monday

Walked past the T1 area on my way to pick up a cheap two-day Enterprise weekender. All the stalls were pretty well full. Midsize section had a good number of Fusions (at least one of which was a Sport AWD), and there were 1 or 2 Passats even. Why do they bring out the good stuff when they know I'm not renting? Fullsize was the usual suspects: Impalas, Altimas, and a couple of Chargers. Didn't spot anything special or eye-catching on the ES row or in the SUV area. The Emerald Aisle was still housing overflow returned cars at this point.

When I returned on Monday, I had a Rent Rent Reward day rental. The T1 lot was EMPTY. Nothing in Midsize, Fullsize, SUV, or Executive. The Emerald Aisle had a single Malibu with no front plate, likely a US-plated car. They did have a handful of cars in the return lane, so chances are the recent snowfall was slowing down operations a bit. As there were a few people queueing in the lot I decided to hop the tram and try T3.

T3 had a single Altima on the lot parked on the EA. Again, nothing elsewhere. Not my top choice, but it only has 1,700 km on it and it meant I didn't have to wait around or book with someone else. I jumped in it noticing that there were a few people in the National customer service booth.

I pulled up to the exit gate expecting that I might have jumped a pre-established queue and would be turned around. It wasn't the case, and the agent processed the rental and sent me on my way to drive past several Emerald Club customers who were now waiting for cars and eyeing me in my comfy Altima. I felt a bit like Martin Riggs taunting the displeased South African diplomats from Lethal Weapon 2.
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Old Dec 7, 10, 8:06 am
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Originally Posted by Tuneman1984 View Post
Walked past the T1 area on my way to pick up a cheap two-day Enterprise weekender. All the stalls were pretty well full. Midsize section had a good number of Fusions (at least one of which was a Sport AWD), and there were 1 or 2 Passats even. Why do they bring out the good stuff when they know I'm not renting?
Tuneman's coming, quick, hide the good cars!
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Old Dec 7, 10, 10:46 am
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Originally Posted by drzoidberg View Post
Tuneman's coming, quick, hide the good cars!
That's literally what happens! When I was in my dispute with ERAC over the damage claim last spring I went to Budget at YYZ, whereas National had 5.0 Mustang convertibles or, at the very least, a brand new Fusion with less than 1,000 km on it available. I went to Budget and got a Yaris Sedan for my Compact (Focus or similar) booking.

That being said, lately there's always been at least one Sonata or Fusion kicking around, so I've never left disappointed really. Just would've liked to try out the Sport model or one of the Passats, which always seem to show up as I'm RETURNING...
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Old Dec 11, 10, 1:02 am
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Friday night

Decent selection at both terminals. I arrived at T3 but tram'd to T1 to see their selection as well

T3 - Emerald Aisle
Couple Altimas
Couple Maximas
Few Impalas
Buick Lucerne
Suzuki Grand Vitara

Other T3 Selections
Dodge Caliber in Luxury (gave me a chuckle)
Ford Flex in Fullsize
Some Sonatas and Altimas along back row (some parked in Premium)
GMC Yukon XL in Midsize (figured there's no way that was legit, even though the keys were in it - probably pretty safe parked there since very few Midsize renters would even WANT it as an upgrade)

I was thinking about the Vitara, but decided to have a look at T1

Midsize
Mitsu Lancer
Ford Fusion SE

Fullsize
Altimas
Impalas
Chargers (both base model and 3.5L)
Few Lucernes
Few Chrysler 300 Tourings
One or two Sonatas

SUV
Suzuki Grand Vitara
Jeep Liberty and Patriot
Ford Expedition
Several Ford Explorers

Minivan
Grand Caravans and a single GMC Yukon that was claimed by someone as I saw it

Executive Row
Chrysler 300 Tourings
Buick Lucernes
Few other vehicles I can't recall
Volvo S40 (my choice)

Emerald Aisle
Altima
Charger
Couple other generic Standard/Fullsize cars


I was going to go back to T3 and try to snag that Vitara, since I'd never driven one before, but I noticed the lot guys gathering up keys. Apparantly the aisle closes around 11 PM-ish and they switch to counter service until closing at 1:30 AM. With that, I grabbed the Volvo since it seemed interesting and I hadn't driven one in a while. It's a 2010 with about 36k on it, but still drives fine, and has Bluetooth and USB plug-in.
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Old Dec 11, 10, 8:09 am
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Originally Posted by Tuneman1984 View Post
Decent selection at both terminals. I arrived at T3 but tram'd to T1 to see their selection as well
Now that's dedication!
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Old Dec 13, 10, 7:35 pm
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I had alot of fun renting from National @ YYZ this summer. All rentals were out of T1. On my first one, I asked the lot attendant what I could get with my Emerald Aisle (Exec) card. She pointed to a Mustang and I was thinking it would be an older V6 type. As I got closer I saw the "5.0" on the side and knew I was in for a treat. Had 4 more rentals of the 5.0 over the summer.

Flew into T3 today and the attendant told me to take whatever I wanted, except for a Yukon. Got an Edge SEL that is quite nice, but the radio controls are driving me nuts.
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Old Dec 13, 10, 9:50 pm
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Returned my Volvo last night to T1, and a lot agent pulled up beside me to close the contract in a BMW 323i!! Had a,ook and it had National stickers and everything. Classed as a GXAR (Fullsize Elite), and there was another one on the Aisle parked in a Luxury spot. The 323i is the value-leader 3-series so it's not loaded to the gills, but still something I'd like to drive and worth paying the Luxury rate IMO.

The Aisles at T1 were well-stocked with the usual, nothing really stood out other than the Bimmers. I did notice some Nissan Versas in Midsize, but I chalked that up to the few Compact stalls being overun by SUVs. The Emerald Aisle was in full function and had some Standard/Fullsize cars.

When I past the Executive Aisle, there was a Chrysler 300 being reserved for an Executive VIP. There was a sign hanging from the rearview mirror that read "National welcomes Mr. ________, Executive V.I.P."

One other thing I noticed last Friday, at T3 there is a single spot in the EA area marked Executive, so perhaps if there's a hotshot upgraded car there Execs are welcome to take it.

Last edited by Tuneman1984; Dec 13, 10 at 11:24 pm
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Old Mar 29, 11, 9:21 pm
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I got one of the 323i's this week. Nice car. Sunroof, which I always appreciate. I booked the standard Emerald default car choice from the website and it was available on the regular EA, not the Executive side.

The agent on the way out said they just got "a bunch" of these in stock. Mine has about 10k kilometers on it IIRC.
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Old Mar 31, 11, 10:32 pm
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Originally Posted by BobbySteel View Post
I got one of the 323i's this week. Nice car. Sunroof, which I always appreciate. I booked the standard Emerald default car choice from the website and it was available on the regular EA, not the Executive side.

The agent on the way out said they just got "a bunch" of these in stock. Mine has about 10k kilometers on it IIRC.
Were they still on strike? I just visited the UFCW Local 175 page and nothing there has indicated it's ended; most recent update was March 17 indicating the strike was ongoing.
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