Car rent for the tall gent

Old Oct 4th, 2011, 01:06 PM
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Car rent for the tall gent

We will be renting a car in Provence later this month. Three sisters and one's husband. We girls are relatively short. But he is 6'4 and will be doing most of the driving.

This presents us with a dilemma. On the one hand, we need a car big enough for him. On the other, we have to consider the small villages, roads, and parking spaces. Lastly, I'd prefer that the back seat(s) not be those hard bench-like ones. A little more comfy would be appreciated.

In the "intermediate" range, I'm finding:
Volvo S60
Renault Scenic
Audi A4
Opel Zafira
Mercedes C
Ford Montero
Citroen Grand C4 Picasso van

These appear to be larger:
Citroen Grand Picasso van (I think this is a C6)
Renault Espace 2.2

I probably prefer the latter two just to minimize the chance of having to deal with too small a car after we get there. But if the bigger ones are going to make it difficult to get around the small towns, please tell me. We also are not stuck on a van. In fact, i would probably prefer a sedan if it has good leg and head room for the tall guy.

I wish there were some place on the web where we could see these cars lined up next to some standard size object. It would be a lot easier.
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 01:10 PM
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Go to http://www.renaultusa.com/SelectRe.asp where it will give you its estimate of how much luggage will fit in each type of car.
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 01:31 PM
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Alamo is offering a Citroen C5 2.0....I think it's another iteration of the Picasso van. Can't tell how big it is, though.
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 01:47 PM
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Renault - Eurodrive - Car rental in France and Europe, Short term car lease in France and Europe, Long term car Lease, One way car rental, One way leasing, Car rental in ...
renaultusa.com

Usually best prices on biggest vehicles in France

save me a tonne expecially on drop off charges

over there consider the Kangoo at a minimum or better

Grand espace van... Happy Hunting!
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 01:50 PM
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The Audi A4 might do, but at 6'4", an A6 or Citroën C6 would be better for leg room. Both will be able to maneuver through the streets, especially the Audi A6, which has an excellent turning radius and a very large trunk/boot.
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 06:19 PM
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First - yuo don;t have any control over what car you will actually get. You will get what they have in your class. So don;t count on a specific vehicle - unless it is specialty and a huge price.

I would have husband try out sitting in these cars (most are available - or similar in the US) and see if it is comfortable.

Also, be aware that cars are not equipped- or have the same engines - as in the US. We rented a Mercedes C and not only was it a complete slug with 4 of us and luggage in it - but one day my SIL (petite) and I took it for a day trip - and it still had no pickup - even with just two women in it. I can only assume they have some special tiny engine in europe. (I had to pratically stand on the gas pedal to merge onto a highway.)

I wuoldn;t worry about the roads being narrow or the parking spaces small. Europeans put mid or larger cars in them. They just seem narrow/small if you are used to very large spaces. I have found it no more difficult to park in eurpean cities than in NY. (But here I do sometimes laugh at the people in hugely overize SUVs who can't find a place to put them.)
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Old Oct 4th, 2011, 11:57 PM
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We live in the U.K. and drive a Citroen C4 Picasso. It has 3 individual seats in the back, is higher than a normal saloon, and has a good size boot (or trunk). Similar vehicles are the Renault Scenic, Opel Zafira, Volkswagen Touran and Ford C-Max. Some of these come in longer versions with a third row of seats, but these are only good for children or short journeys.

Cars like the Renault Espace, Ford Galaxy and S-Max, Volkswagen Sharan and similar are in the same format but larger and more spacious. They will cost more to hire and to drive, and may be more difficult to park.

Normal style cars like the Volvo, Audi, Mercedes C and Ford Mondeo will probably be less comfortable in the back for three. You will get less good views of the countryside, but will roll less on the corners.

When I use Autoeurope, I often find significantly different rates offered for cars that I think virtually interchangeable. I cannot see any good reason for choosing a Zafira over a Scenic if the Scenic is cheaper.

Incidentally, a van in English English is a vehicle mainly used for carrying goods rather than passengers. I am not sure what the equivalent French word is, but Citroen often talk about a "multispace". In French, the word Scenic is pronounced shay-nick.
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Old Oct 5th, 2011, 07:10 AM
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Thanks for the input, everyone. We went with the Audi A4 category...full size. I talked to 3 different agents, two men. All thought it would be large enough.

If it just won't work, we can call them and see if they have a larger vehicle at that location or in town. The rate for Renault Espace (for example) isn't that much more. So we're going to take the chance.

Thanks. I will post how it goes when I get back. Maybe some future tall guy will benefit.
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Old Oct 5th, 2011, 07:35 AM
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As others have said, you have little control over what car you will actually get. The Audi A4 is a reasonably sized car for 4 people (I have owned two and rented one). It is comparable in size to a Mercedes C-Class or BMW 3-series. There are lots of tall Germans out there and, being married to a car designer, I can tell you that they design cars to accommodate a range of sizes. With the proper seat adjustment I don't think your guy will have a problem. (Also don't shy away from a diesel, if it is offered - you will get great fuel economy and the European diesels may be small but they have a lot of torque.)
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Old Oct 6th, 2011, 02:43 AM
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I stopped by our AUDI dealership yesterday and sat in the A4. I think it will work fine. Will see if a diesel is offered. Thanks.
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Old Oct 6th, 2011, 04:00 AM
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This is a handy site to check out unfamiliar cars... almost all models have pictures including the luggage area:

http://www.parkers.co.uk

Did you check the trunk of the A4? Unlikely you'll be able to carry 4 large suitcases though... packing light and using squashable bags will help. Don't forget that the car you reserve is not necessarily the car you'll get...
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Old Oct 6th, 2011, 07:03 AM
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We've rented the Mercedes C class because it comes with automatic transmission. Plenty of leg and head room - no problem with that at all. Nor was there an issue getting around on smaller streets.

The problem was that it did not accommodate luggage for four adults well. The trunk took two suitcases and the other two had to go in the back seat with my son and DIL.

Now I always try to get a small to mid range SUV or one of the 5-door sedan models. Still small enough to navigate the small streets but plenty of luggage space.
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Old Oct 6th, 2011, 10:29 AM
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To amend my comment about diesels...don't get one unless you/he can drive a manual. Automatic diesels tend to be pretty gutless.

We usually travel carry-on so I wasn't thinking about luggage space. You should keep that in mind if you are going to have large suitcases.
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Old Oct 6th, 2011, 11:51 AM
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>>>Automatic diesels tend to be pretty gutless
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Old Oct 7th, 2011, 11:36 AM
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Yes, let me retract that statement about automatic diesels. I guess I've just had a couple of weak ones, but the automatic was not to blame. Technically there should be no difference between auto and manual, it is the size of the engine that makes the difference in terms of power.
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Old Oct 8th, 2011, 04:59 AM
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hausfrau,

Well said. I didn't mean to come across as pouncing on your first comment but many people are unfamiliar with diesels and I didn't want anyone to misunderstand.... modern diesels are amazing.
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Old Oct 8th, 2011, 07:23 AM
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Yes, we'll be getting a manual. And we're all taking carryon bags, so luggage shouldn't be a problem.

Actually, the trunk was huge on the A4 I saw here. I even remarked it was a shame some of that room couldn't have gone for the back seat. I wonder if the trunk arrangement is different "over there".

I'll look into the deisel option.
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Old Oct 8th, 2011, 10:55 AM
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Thanks ParisAmsterdam, I too was trying to support modern diesels and should not have made that blanket statement. Americans tend to think of them as loud and smelly, which is unfortunate.

JeanneB, the trunk/back seat of the A4 will be the same over there. You're right, the back seat is not huge, but we've traveled in one with 4 adults without difficulty. An awesome car, IMHO. I hope you actually get one. ;-)
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