13 things about the car I rented on the long weekend

It was a Dodge Cal­iber, and it looked pret­ty much exact­ly like this:

My ride

  1. It was orange.
  2. Its speak­ers were woe­ful­ly inad­e­quate. I like my music on the loud side, and I enjoy the bass. This would let me do nei­ther, trag­i­cal­ly, with­out sound­ing like all four speak­ers in the car were blown. Every­thing from Bare­naked Ladies to Corb Lund to KMFDM caused dis­tor­tion. It didn’t make me hap­py.
  3. Its rear-win­dow wiper was a god­send on the dirt roads around my grandpa’s farm.
  4. Its cruise con­trol, when told to RESUME, would actu­al­ly take me up to 5km/h faster than I had set it to, and then slow­ly ease back off on the ham­mer. I had a car that used to do that, once. It was a 1988 Tem­pest. I think cruise con­trol tech­nol­o­gy should by now have evolved to the point where RESUME means what I think it does — take me back to the speed I was going before, not faster, not slow­er.
  5. It had four wheels, four doors and a hatch­back, and as far as I can tell, four cylin­ders.
  6. It had cup hold­ers that lit up when the head­lights were on, for no rea­son I can think of. (Well, that’s not true. I can see the engi­neers say­ing to each oth­er, “Hey, you know what would be cool…” Too bad they missed #10.)
  7. It had a “rac­ing style” gearshift to make you think you were dri­ving a high-per­for­mance car, and…
  8. its cruise con­trol con­trol was set up like a rac­ing-car pad­dle shifter on the steer­ing wheel, to fur­ther devel­op the high-per­for­mance illu­sion.
  9. It had decent accel­er­a­tion.
  10. It had the worst vis­i­bil­i­ty out the rear win­dows — I dread­ed chang­ing lanes, because all I could see when I shoul­der-checked was car inte­ri­or. Not a clue what might be lurk­ing in my blind spot. As far as I can tell, this was due to the sub-port­hole-sized rear­most win­dows, and the fact that the driver’s seat head­rest and the back door pil­lars got in the way.
  11. It did not con­form to my stan­dards of an attrac­tive car.
  12. Since it was the long week­end, it was half-price.
  13. And it was what they had left down at the rental place.

So no, I won’t be buy­ing a Dodge Cal­iber any time soon.

7 thoughts on “13 things about the car I rented on the long weekend

  1. Oh, that is a TRULY sh!tty look­ing car. My con­do­lences.

    I know what you mean about #4. I’ve had cars like that, too, and I real­ly don’t under­stand it.

  2. These things are good to know!

    I think maybe a cup hold­er light might be good, so that you can find it in the dark. I’ve been known to set my cell phone in a cup of melt­ed ice cream.

  3. Well you know, in order to keep their job, those engi­neers have to come up with SOMETHING new. Too bad they don’t seem to actu­al­ly test their ideas for actu­al use­ful­ness. We rent­ed a new car a few months ago in San Diego. I don’t remem­ber the make (my hus­band would) but it was an expen­sive car. Any­way, the wind­shield was so tiny we couldn’t see traf­fic sig­nals or lights or even oth­er cars unless they were direct­ly 5 feet in front of us. Whaaaaa?

  4. I’m with the pre­vi­ous poster, I think a light around the cuphold­er would be help­ful at night. Actu­al­ly, just a cuphold­er would be help­ful. My car doesn’t even have that.

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