Leaving the infamous Hertz Mustang to one side for a moment, what’s the perfect car to rent while on holiday? And when I say holiday I don’t mean driving holiday, I mean a bumbling-around-doing-not-much-near-a-beach-but-still-needing-a-set-of-wheels-to-knock-about-in kind of holiday.
For reasons I won’t bore you with I’ve rented no less than three different cars in Spain during the last three weeks, all of which have been very much in the “cheap-as-chips-so-long-as-it’s-got-four-doors-and-air-conditioning” category.
The first was a previous generation Ford Fiesta, the second an Opel Corsa, the third a Skoda Fabia HTP. And BY FAR the best car of the three was the Fabia.
The Ford felt so well used that it had developed a personality all of its own, including a smell that only a five-year-old car that’s been burped and trumped into by all manner of Costa del Layabouts could possess. It actually smelt – and drove – as if it was close to the end of its days. And on the motorway it had an immense vibration which, above about 78mph, was genuinely terrifying to experience.
The Corsa, on the other hand, was virtually a brand spanker but, I’m afraid to say, was my least favourite car of the three. Despite its impressively gadget-laden interior and really quite natty black paint job, it was an utterly horrid little thing to drive. Its throttle pedal was so numb and its steering so rubbery, it was difficult to work out what on earth was going on beneath your backside through corners. And in a straight line the lack of performance was such that, on one occasion, I actually managed to fall asleep at the wheel and woke up the next day to discover I’d only moved forwards by a quarter of an inch.