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JFK to New Haven--car or train?

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Sorry, we're switching gears so new question:

Overall, is it better to A) rent a car at JFK and drive to New Haven (we'll be going to Hartford the next day), or, B) take a shuttle from JFK to Manhattan then take a train to New Haven?

We are two adults and one well-traveled 11 year old. We'll have a daypack and one rolling suitcase each. We've done the plane, train, bus, taxi thing a lot.

We'd planned to rent a car in New Haven anyway (only $100 for 3 days inc tax with Enterprise) to get to Hartford, but now I'm wondering why we don't just brave Manhattan with a rental car from JFK instead.

we are from LA but have never driven in Manhattan (though we've managed Paris and other chaotic traffic cities).

Thanks!

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