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Comments pls on power of rental car for South Island Driving

Comments pls on power of rental car for South Island Driving

Old Feb 20th, 2007, 04:37 PM
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Comments pls on power of rental car for South Island Driving

Hi from Auckland (airport!) - on our way to Norfolk for 4 days and then to the South Island for 12 days (spent two weeks in Napier and then Waitomo and Bay of Islands - lovely!)

We had an underpowered car here but fortunately it had mechanical problems so they upgraded us - even so we found the car (van actually - Nissan Sentra) underpowered.

In the South Island we have booked a 1.4L Corolla (or similar) - we plan to drive from Christchurch via Arthurs Pass to Fox Glacier and then hopefully to Te Anau and then back up to Christchurch......is that a powerful enough car for comfort, passing and safety?

Thanks!

Liz
http://lizandrichardsa.typepad.com/2007_adventures/

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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 07:45 PM
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Hi Liz -

I've been following your blog and I'm anxiously awaiting your NZ entries.

Can't really help with your question though - we always rent a Camry or similar (1.8 - 2 L) and have never had power issues.

Enjoy NZ.
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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 07:19 AM
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I am renting in April. The advice that I received from both the rental car agency as well as friends who live in Auckland is to go with a Camry (or similar) for enough power.
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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 04:26 PM
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Greetings:

We returned this year and had a corrola and a campervan during different times of our trip. The carrola was plenty of power. You will have no problem at all. The roads are very windy and lots of hills, but you can't drive very fast anyway. You can avoid a ticket by staying under 110 where 100km/hr is posted. Your drive will be beautiful. Lots of cool places to stop.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2007, 01:52 AM
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Returned from the South island yesterday and will be submitting my report shortly.

We had nissan maxima automatic and there were times it seemed a tad slow BUT there is nowhere that any car cant get up the incline.....

Along the route you mention I saw corollas, fords, massive motor homes as well as bicycles....

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Old Feb 22nd, 2007, 03:23 AM
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May I ask a few questions, Elizabeth?

What sort of car do you drive at home?

Have you ever owned anything with a 1.4L engine?



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Old Feb 23rd, 2007, 06:47 PM
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I think you may only have a problem if you rent an older vehicle that hasn't been properly maintained. I've rented tiny cars (Toyota Echo, small Mitsubishi Colt) and even the automatics are fine. As long as you don't have a lot of luggager.
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 05:23 PM
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Thanks all - the situation was more or less resolved when i discovered it was very hard to change cars anyway - we will stick with what we've got.

Just back from 4 days in Norfolk - very beautiful island - now, off to the South Island!

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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 09:59 PM
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We had a tiny car in North Island and had booked a similar car for South Island...we picked it up in Picton and very soon realised that it would not do .Luckily for us we called into Nelson and were able to upgrade to a larger vehicle with more power- it was a Camry...
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 11:54 PM
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Hi Elizabeth,

You do need a bit of "grunt" for those Kiwi hills!

Reading "theMurrays"' post reminded me of our first trip as a pair of 21yo's on our first NZ trip (several lifetimes ago LOL). We rented a little something-or-other that, being used to the v8's we drove in the bush at home, we thought was very cute. Until the moment (I was driving - husband directing)we'd been trailing a logging truck just a tad too long on that bit of road "Devil's elbow" near Napier.

"For Pete's sake - go around the thing" urged my beloved ... so I had a look, all clear & stepped on the gas ... but instead of the the usual "brrmmm" & zoom response I was used to.... "putt .. putt ... putt" was the thing I noticed right before I took in the largeish logging truck coming at us at a somewhat speedier gait than we were managing. To this day, I don't know how we managed to fit back on our side of the road! Clearly we did, or I wouldn't be telling you the tale, all these years later We laugh about it now, but it sure gave us a fright (and no doubt those two truckies too - poor sods) - and taught us a valuable lesson about having enough horsepower to get you out of strife if you need it.
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Old Mar 4th, 2007, 01:55 PM
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Hi from Te Anau!

Just a postscript - our rental car is a 1.5L Nissan Pulsar and it has been just fine - we've traversed the Lewis and Haast passes with no trouble.

Saw Milford Sound two days ago in beautiful sunshine - and then did a helicopter ride over the mountains to the other side of the tunnel and rejoined our bus - lots of fun!
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 01:27 PM
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hello Elizabeth_S:

I always get a car with the largest engine that I can.

We drove a 2.0 L from Christchurch to Catlins, to Nelson and Picton, then from Wellington to Auckland.

The larger engine will give you the power when you need it and you should be thankful for that.

As far as fuel economy, there is NO difference between a 1.5 and a 2.0 L. The difference comes with vehicle weight.

Petrol produces energy and energy is required to move a mass through a distance. More mass to move means more engergy required. You would have to idle the engine a great deal for the litre size to make any difference.

At home I drive a Camry wagon with a 3.0 L engine and get 10L/100 km. The 2.0 L Nissan Bluebird that I rented gave me 10L/100 km. No difference and the cars are about the same size so they would be close to or the same weight.

If the 1.5 L engine vehicle weighed 25% less, the weight to displacement would be the same so you might then save some on fuel. At $ 155.9/L fuel in New Zealand [we got home yesterday] this might be important to you but ask what the fuel economy is for the vehicle you want to rent. It is expressed in how many litres of fuel are required to travel 100 km.or xL/100km.

Hope this helps.

Woodie.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 04:36 PM
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Liz -

Sunshine in Milford - lucky you!

Enjoy the rest of your trip.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 05:47 PM
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We were so lucky - here are the pictures to prove it

http://lizandrichardsa.typepad.com/2...d_sound_1.html

In Sydney now - more great weather!
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