Renting at Dulles

 
Old Jan 28, 09, 2:07 pm
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Renting at Dulles

Flying into IAD for a week next month. Got a mid-size SUV for a very good rate. Anyone know if this location (or thrifty in general) has anything other than a Jeep Liberty for this class. Also, never having rented a car at Dulles, is the the Thrifty location easy to get to, is there a regular shuttle, etc.
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Old Jan 28, 09, 4:43 pm
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I believe generally speaking you could also get a Hyundai Santa Fe or Toyota RAV4. Those are the only other intermediate SUVs I recall seeing on Thrifty lots. I know Thrifty carries some Ford products (Focus, Taurus) but I don't know if they carry the Escape specifically.
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Old Jan 29, 09, 12:53 am
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At U.S. corporate locations, I've only seen Jeep Liberties and Dodge Nitros (based on the same platform as the Liberty, though I'd take the Liberty over the Nitro).

At U.S. franchised locations, I've seen the above two vehicles in addition to Hyundai Santa Fes and Suzuki Grand Vitaras. Franchises have much more variety in their fleet mix because they can source cars from wherever they want and think they can get the best deal, though many still feature a high percentage of Chrysler Corporation cars because of the volume discounts and buyback programs they can access through DTAG (central corporate HQ), so you might get some other comparable vehicles like the RAV4 or even Escape, though I've personally never seen them in the U.S. (I've seen Kias in Canada.) U.S. corporate stores are virtually 100% Chrysler (with a few specialty vehicles like Ford Mustangs thrown in) because of the DTAG contract with Chrysler.
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Old Jan 29, 09, 10:09 am
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Shuttle

Can't comment on the vehicle types, but there is a regular shuttle (all rental companies are on the same street, I think Thrifty is the last one). Follow the signs to car rental and once outside the aiport cross the taxi lane and you'll see overhead signs to the Car Rental shuttles. Since all shuttles p/up at the same place, you'll spot them easy enough. Good luck.
FWIW, I'm actually renting from them next week as well.
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Old Feb 2, 09, 12:47 pm
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Thanks for all the replies. I actually went back in and modified my reservation to take advantage of an offer for triple skymiles. When I did so, I noticed a regular sized SUV had a weekly rate that was only $18 more, so I switched to that. Probably won't be taking that into DC, but it will be nicer when we drive up the coast to see some friends.
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Old Mar 30, 09, 1:37 pm
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Quick Update

Just to close out this thread, they apparently did not have any SUVs in, so we ended up with a Pacifica, which I would've preferred anyway.
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Old Mar 30, 09, 3:47 pm
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I like the Pacificas very much, especially the nice ones that are all decked out. I find it sad that Chrysler opted to discontinue it (it's not available for model years 2009+). It was a pleasant drive.
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Old Mar 30, 09, 9:05 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
I like the Pacificas very much, especially the nice ones that are all decked out. I find it sad that Chrysler opted to discontinue it (it's not available for model years 2009+). It was a pleasant drive.
Unfortunately it wasn't a big seller, which is why it was cut. I didn't mind it either, and I'm generally not a Chrysler fan. It was a bit big for my taste, but surprisingly snappy, especially the 2008 models which had the 4.0 litre V6 and 6-speed automatic.

That said, I'm glad everything worked out for you kchoya!
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Old Mar 31, 09, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Tuneman1984 View Post
Unfortunately it wasn't a big seller, which is why it was cut. I didn't mind it either, and I'm generally not a Chrysler fan. It was a bit big for my taste, but surprisingly snappy, especially the 2008 models which had the 4.0 litre V6 and 6-speed automatic.

That said, I'm glad everything worked out for you kchoya!
Big? Remember, up here in Alaska, a Jeep Grand Cherokee is normal, a Durango is nice-sized, a Suburban is a large family car, and a GMC Sierra 3500 four-door full cab/extended bed is maybe a little bit of a large car!

I never did understand why the Pacificas weren't good sellers, since all the feedback I ever heard on them was positive. Maybe it was a marketing thing...
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Old Apr 3, 09, 3:37 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Big? Remember, up here in Alaska, a Jeep Grand Cherokee is normal, a Durango is nice-sized, a Suburban is a large family car, and a GMC Sierra 3500 four-door full cab/extended bed is maybe a little bit of a large car!

I never did understand why the Pacificas weren't good sellers, since all the feedback I ever heard on them was positive. Maybe it was a marketing thing...
Heh, yeah it is all perspective. Down here I find a Camry is a bit too big and difficult to park.

I think the main problem with it was that it never quite found its niche. It was priced too high to compete with conventional options such as the Ford Freestyle, and not in the same league to compete with the Infiniti FX and Lexus RX (as Chrysler had intended).

Having driven both the Ford and Chrysler, I always put it this way. Both the Freestyle and Pacifica look good doing a night on the town. You see either one glimmering in front of a waterfront theatre, and both look like they're in their place. However, exchange the city for the country. To me, the Pacifica never quite looked right with a roof box on top of it and mud splattered on each side as it sat parked on a campground, whereas the Freestyle suited the backdrop nicely. So I think people either saw the Pacifica as too posh, and went down the scale, or saw it as inferior to the luxury marques.

That's probably at least part of the reason that the Dodge Journey has really taken off, since it competes better where it counts these days: Backyard America (or Canada).

The Pacifica was remarkably smooth. I drove one from Toronto to Buffalo and back in a day. I used my prepaid tank right up to almost empty, and that was about 350 miles of driving, averaging close to 90 mph at times. The 4.0 litre model was fun, especially if you "accidentally" got a bit heavy on the throttle at a stoplight. No-one ever suspects this huge minivan/wagon thing's front tires to suddenly start squealing up a storm!
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Old Apr 4, 09, 3:25 am
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Originally Posted by Tuneman1984 View Post
No-one ever suspects this huge minivan/wagon thing's front tires to suddenly start squealing up a storm!
Solution to that problem? AWD model!

Good thoughts and analysis. You're right--as nice as it was, it wasn't in the same league as the Lexus or Infiniti.

I rented Pacificas a few times and probably drove them a total of about 500 miles and really fell in love with them. Had I been able to afford one, and had it come with the MyGig entertainment system rather than the Pacifica-only radio (and preferably with the Boston Acoustics sound system used in the Grand Cherokee Limiteds), it would have been the perfect car...
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