Big Island car rental - SUV or Convertible?

Old Aug 20th, 2005, 12:49 PM
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Big Island car rental - SUV or Convertible?

We're debating between renting a Convertible (for fun) or SUV (practical - I heard that there are places in BI where only SUVs can go - has any one else heard of this? I believe these places are somewhere in the Volcano National Park - any idea if they're safe to travel for a pregnant woman?). I'd rather not rent the SUV - but I guess my question is whether there are enough worthwhile places to see where only an SUV can go. We'll be in Kona for 4 days and in the Volcano Village for 2 days. Any advice?

Also, we'll be traveling with our toddler - but I believe the convertible can easily accomodate the car seat (would it be too windy on the backseats of a convertible?).
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Old Aug 20th, 2005, 08:37 PM
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Any advice? Is a SUV necessary to have for the roads in Big Island?
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Old Aug 21st, 2005, 01:08 AM
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By SUV, are you referring to a 4WD vehicle? The two terms are not interchangeable. Most major car rental companies offer SUV's and Jeeps, but few of these vehicles are 4WD.

Some roads on the BI are accessible only with a 4WD. Among them are the access road to Waipio Valley, the trails leading to the Green Sand Beach near South Point, and the summit road of Mauna Kea. Traveling this summit road is possible with a 2WD but is NOT recommended, especially from late fall to early spring because the area is subject to heavy and sudden snowfall.

But a more direct answer to your question is no, you won't need an SUV or 4WD vehicle for either VNP or Kona. A convertible will work just fine.
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Old Aug 21st, 2005, 07:12 AM
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Windy? Yes. Too windy? Maybe not, if the child is accustomed to this already. I strongly favor the 'vert for the views. Either I've grown taller in the last 15 years, or car mfrs have migrated the windshield and dashboard to a position so that I cannot see up and to the right when driving.

Safe for pregnant women? Surely. I'm asssuming this is a woman <26 weeks. Into the third, even things that are safe are uncomfortable.

Also - car rental co's must know that all of their cars have been off road at some point.
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Old Aug 21st, 2005, 07:46 AM
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Gee,what are the gas prices in Hawaii right now?

One thing to keep in mind with the convertible is to keep the sunscreen on. Convertibles are great for getting a sunburn without noticing.

I'd go with the convertible.
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