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Cars at KOA (Kona International Airport, Hawaii)

Cars at KOA (Kona International Airport, Hawaii)

Old Dec 23, 10, 3:23 am
  #1  
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Cars at KOA (Kona International Airport, Hawaii)

Tuesday, Dec 21, 2010

Emerald Executive
Ford Fusion SEL (I was excited about this one...)
Chrysler Sebring Convertible (...but when Mrs. dstan's eyes lit up upon hearing that yes, we really could take the convertible, well, you know what happened )

Emerald Aisle
Didn't get a complete look at it, but I'm pretty sure that just as we walked out the door, I saw someone drive off in a:

Ford Mustang

(There were only 2 other cars on the Aisle, as the location is currently sold out thru the end of the year.)


Other Info
Excellent service at this location. The shuttle pickup area is just across the street from baggage claim, and the ride is only 2 minutes to the lot. The driver asked if we were EC members, and we were met outside the office by an agent with our paperwork ready to go (because there was one of those mysterious nationalcar.com rate changes, I had to go inside, where the excellent agent spent 20 min fixing it for me).

When we took the convertible, the outside agent noted that it might not be full, so she checked it and asked us to stop by the gas pump when we were ready, where we got a prompt fill, and she verified again that the tank was full as we exited.

The nearest gas stations are at the Harbor or the subsequent shopping areas, about 4-5 miles south of the airport on HI-19.


For a related recent thread, see: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/natio...periences.html
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Old Dec 23, 10, 6:56 am
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you lucky dog, holiday time in Hawaii must be nice.
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Old Dec 23, 10, 1:14 pm
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Last time I was there in mid-November, the selections were basically Dodge Chargers in your color preference.

After mulling over the lack of options for awhile, a smaller SUV and a couple Jeeps showed up, but I ended up with the Charger anyway due to gas prices. It was a truly horrible car.
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Old Dec 24, 10, 4:13 am
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Originally Posted by drzoidberg View Post
you lucky dog, holiday time in Hawaii must be nice.
Conference last weekend in HNL.
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Old Jan 2, 11, 2:58 am
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Originally Posted by dstan View Post
Tuesday, Dec 21, 2010

Emerald Executive
Ford Fusion SEL (I was excited about this one...)
Chrysler Sebring Convertible (...but when Mrs. dstan's eyes lit up upon hearing that yes, we really could take the convertible, well, you know what happened )

Emerald Aisle
Didn't get a complete look at it, but I'm pretty sure that just as we walked out the door, I saw someone drive off in a:

Ford Mustang

(There were only 2 other cars on the Aisle, as the location is currently sold out thru the end of the year.)


Other Info
Excellent service at this location. The shuttle pickup area is just across the street from baggage claim, and the ride is only 2 minutes to the lot. The driver asked if we were EC members, and we were met outside the office by an agent with our paperwork ready to go (because there was one of those mysterious nationalcar.com rate changes, I had to go inside, where the excellent agent spent 20 min fixing it for me).

When we took the convertible, the outside agent noted that it might not be full, so she checked it and asked us to stop by the gas pump when we were ready, where we got a prompt fill, and she verified again that the tank was full as we exited.

The nearest gas stations are at the Harbor or the subsequent shopping areas, about 4-5 miles south of the airport on HI-19.


For a related recent thread, see: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/natio...periences.html
Thanks for sharing your experience. We'll be renting in mid-Feb and weren't sure what to expect.
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Old Jan 19, 11, 2:55 pm
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Originally Posted by pilotchrisg View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience. We'll be renting in mid-Feb and weren't sure what to expect.
I will also be renting in mid-Feb (February 13-21) and this is helpful. I'm leaning against renting a 4WD since all indications are that this isn't really needed on the Big Island and the difference is $205 for my 8 day rental but I'd appreciate any suggestions from people.
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Old Jan 19, 11, 3:04 pm
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Originally Posted by noah View Post
I will also be renting in mid-Feb (February 13-21) and this is helpful. I'm leaning against renting a 4WD since all indications are that this isn't really needed on the Big Island and the difference is $205 for my 8 day rental but I'd appreciate any suggestions from people.
We certainly had no need for one, and we literally drove around almost the entire island.
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Old Jan 19, 11, 3:10 pm
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A 4WD is only needed for reaching the summit of Mauna Kea (which you shouldn't be doing unless you're an experienced 4WD driver in steep, extreme conditions and can handle the altitude), driving to the Green Sands beach (which you shouldn't be doing because none of the major rental car companies have 4WD cars appropriate for that drive), or driving into Waipio Valley (which you shouldn't be doing unless you've personally assessed your vehicle's ability to handle extreme steep terrain and crossing water).
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Old Jan 20, 11, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
A 4WD is only needed for reaching the summit of Mauna Kea (which you shouldn't be doing unless you're an experienced 4WD driver in steep, extreme conditions and can handle the altitude), driving to the Green Sands beach (which you shouldn't be doing because none of the major rental car companies have 4WD cars appropriate for that drive), or driving into Waipio Valley (which you shouldn't be doing unless you've personally assessed your vehicle's ability to handle extreme steep terrain and crossing water).
I've heard the road to the green sand beach has gotten a lot worse since I last did it, but it used to be perfectly doable in a wrangler. Waipio Valley isn't really a big deal *if* you know what you're doing and know how to use 4 Lo (unlike one of the guys I ran into at the bottom that was concerned that his brakes no longer really worked). Going back up feels kinda weird, the angle is so great.

Both of those two I would definitely say shouldn't be attempted unless you know what you're doing in a 4WD (ie, you have experience off-road, not that you own a 4WD that never leaves pavement). And Waipo it needs to be a real 4WD that has 4Lo, I wouldn't attempt it without it.

Mauna Kea summit isn't a big deal, and could be done in a 2WD, but they don't want you to do it without a 4WD because it supposedly tears up the road more without it. I honestly couldn't tell you if that's true or not, but there's nothing real extreme about the road. I probably wouldn't recommend it if you've never done any mountain driving before though.

There's a couple of other places I've been there that I'd rather have the 4WD (or at least something with high clearance), but there's so much to see that you don't need one for that you're not going to lack for things to do without one.
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Old Jan 20, 11, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by piper28 View Post
....Mauna Kea summit isn't a big deal, and could be done in a 2WD, but they don't want you to do it without a 4WD because it supposedly tears up the road more without it. I honestly couldn't tell you if that's true or not, but there's nothing real extreme about the road. I probably wouldn't recommend it if you've never done any mountain driving before though.
The issue with Mauna Kea is the steep descent through very thin air, which reduces braking effectiveness and contributes to brakes overheating and failing.

The road is too steep for even second gear as far as keeping the car moving at a reasonable pace...so 4WD with a lo mode is recommended.

Having said that, I've been to the summit when people have popped up in rental Mustang convertibles and minivans...
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Old Jan 21, 11, 11:39 am
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
The issue with Mauna Kea is the steep descent through very thin air, which reduces braking effectiveness and contributes to brakes overheating and failing.

The road is too steep for even second gear as far as keeping the car moving at a reasonable pace...so 4WD with a lo mode is recommended.

Having said that, I've been to the summit when people have popped up in rental Mustang convertibles and minivans...
Hmm, I honestly didn't remember it being all that bad coming down, certainly don't remember using 4Lo there. I just remember being somewhat surprised that it was as easy as it was compared to what I expected. That said, I'll downshift for things like that without even really thinking about it, I know there's a lot of people out there that don't seem to know what the lower gears are for. I don't remember where I read it, but I do remember them saying that 2wd tears up the road more than 4wd does there.

Did have a lot more trouble on Haleakala, stupid sebring convertible I had there seemed to have 1st and 3rd gears, but no 2nd. And I *really* needed 2nd.
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Old Jan 23, 11, 1:51 pm
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We had a Sebring convertible from National in May. We drove to the 9,000 foot elevation to the visitors station. All i can say, WHAT A DOG THIS CAR WAS! I did not know it at the time but it was a four cylinder. I know how to drive a car and this one couldn't pull the hill in any gear. We tried up shifting, down shifting, using our feet like the Flintstones, etc Just would not go. That said, no problems anywhere else on the island with this car and we hit every highway on the island, obviously inclusive of Saddle Road. We have done Haleakala many times with rentals and never had a problem climbing or descending like we did with this car.

My biggest thing regarding Mauna Kea using a standard rental car is if you break down, it will cost a ton of money for the tow. If four wheel drive is recommended for any reason, then maybe people should use it. Also, nothing says you can't rent a four wheel drive for one day.
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Old Jan 23, 11, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Bishope2 View Post
We had a Sebring convertible from National in May. We drove to the 9,000 foot elevation to the visitors station. All i can say, WHAT A DOG THIS CAR WAS! I did not know it at the time but it was a four cylinder. I know how to drive a car and this one couldn't pull the hill in any gear. We tried up shifting, down shifting, using our feet like the Flintstones, etc Just would not go. ...
Had the very same problem with the very same car - as the air thins and the road steepens, this car just cannot seem to hack it. In our case, we found it revving way up 2/3rds of the way to redline just to keeping going at 25mph
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Old Jan 23, 11, 4:09 pm
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I saw someone else in a Sebring Convertible while we were there - it was the base model instead of the red Touring model that I got - they were in my rear view mirror
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Old Feb 13, 11, 9:52 pm
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Picked up my car off the EA this afternoon. I took the advice to beat the rush off the UA 767 from SFO, and it was a good thing I did. The EA had some Malibus, Ford Fusion, Chargers, HHR, maybe a few other Dodges.. and 1 Maxima with about 2000 miles. As the first person off the shuttle, I quickly snagged that Maixma. A quick glance at the ES line showed more or less the same selection as the EA.. so feel that I lucked out (baring any SUVs which were not on EA or ES).
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