OT: Hire car in US?

Okay, way OT but since a lot of you guys seem to be in the USA I need some advice.
I'm going to be in LA for a week visiting friends and family and need a
largeish family car. I was thinking Lincoln Towncar? My 4 year old wants a "monster truck", i.e. a Hummer, and wife suggested a "sensible" car?
I'm looking to try something different, I have a 4x4 (Jeep) and an E46 M3 cab, can anyone recommend a fun but comfortable US car? The idea of a Toyota Avalon doesn't really appeal (unless someone convinces my otherwise). The only European car on the Hertz list I haven't tried is the Audi S4 cab but thats too similar to the M3 and way to pricey considering we're only going to cover maybe 400 miles in 7 days.
Any bright ideas?
TA
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The International CXT might be fun, if you can find a rental company that has them ;-)
url:http://4wheeldrive.about.com/od/buysellcartrucksuvonline/a/intcxt.htm
(By the way, we don't 'hire' cars over here; we rent them.)
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Also look at Enterprise Rental (had a Sebring cabrio off them in LA).
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

How about a new Mustang? (Just make sure you get the V8 engine. Gas might look expensive to us, but it will be comparatively cheap for you.)
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You reminded of a sob-story...About a couple of years ago I had arranged with Hertz in NY City to rent (hire) a Mustang. I pitched up and saw the vehicle through a glass door panel...
The b...... refused to let me have it (or any other car) because I did not have the second part of my (UK) driving licence with me. After a long but fruitless argument I marched down the road a few blocks and found Avis and Budget having no such strictures. Unfortunately I wound up with a non-descript Korean 'econobox'.
I rent a lot and have avoided Hertz almost like the plague since then (before that I avoided them with less vigour). Only once in Ireland did I use them because I got a very good deal through an airline website.
(The modern UK driving licence has two parts: a credit-card style main part showing address, photo and vehicles for which one is licensed. This is an EU-wide standard format. The second paper part shows driving convictions.)
Sniff DAS
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Thanks for reminding me! Theres no mention of this on their website and although I had thought about it its something I've now added to my check list.
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

What amazes me is that the SOB knew UK licenses had two parts.
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No problem with modern IT systems. It's a company-wide policy; came across it in Ireland.
In mild mitigation for the local Hertz clerk (he did not make the policy, after all), he did suggest ways to get a copy of this doc or the info in it, such as suggesting I should call home and get my wife to fax it or to try to call the local UK consulate who could have access to DVLC, the body that holds all driver data.
Once (also in Ireland, Dublin airport) Avis asked me for the counterpart. When I said I did not have they said it was fine. When I asked why they asked, they said it was for insurance purposes. By my not having it Avis would self-insure. Never got asked for it again by Avis AFAIR.
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

My own rental sob story also involved a Hertz Mustang. I was headed to Snowbird/Salt Lake City, Utah and thoought it might be kinda' (*KINDA'?* Are you kidding me?) fun to have a 5-liter Mustang on those mountain roads. So I called Hertz and reserved one [Sweet young thing: "Do you want the six or eight cylinder one?" *Are you kidding me?*] When I got to the airport rental desk, the nasty B***H literally sneered at me and said they didn't have any Mustangs of any description there; I could rent a Tempo. THINK AGAIN, Hertz! I didn't *have* to have a car - I told her to stuff it and rode the damned shuttle bus up the mountain. Then, a few days later, I called Hertz to complain about both the reservation and the nasty manner in which I'd been treated. I think they fired her. -- C.R. Krieger (Haven't rented from Hertz in the 15 years since)
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I am not sure that car-hire companies really apreciate the deep disappointments they can cause with these attitudes. For many of us it is an opportunity to try out a specific car, and it is often a rare opportunity, as in my Ford Mustang case, since I can't just walk into any Ford dealership and ask for a test drive.
And in any case, who says I would want to spend the time on a test drive when I can have it for a few days for 'proper' testing?
I know that the companies cannot and do not guarantee particular models on collection, but they do supply when they try. Most recently Avis in Italy (this year and last year). I had asked for a Alfa Romeo. Last year it was ready and waiting (I had phoned the collection station once or twice to remind them...). This year it wasn't but they had one anyway.
(Both times an enjoyable ride, BTW.)
DAS
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Chrysler 300C with Hemi, Dodge Charger with Hemi or Dodge Magnum with Hemi.
I test drove each and enjoyed each very much.
I am definitely inclined to take a pass on almost all imports as a result.

wants
M3
The
that
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Richard Tomkins wrote:

Dang. I'm going to sell all my BMWs and SAABs and get me some Mopars with them "Hemi" engines. It seems I've been wrong all along...
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Follow the Chrysler NG... Get the pleasure without the downsides.
:-) DAS
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Hemi.
Rented a magnum last week in Vancouver.
Bleh.
Terrible sightlines again (read giant blind spots) questionable ergonomics, uncomfortable seats.
Rental companies don't keep cars with Hemis that I've ever seen. But the standard motor was plenty strong. It was the rest of the car I didn't like.
-Russ.
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If you're in LA, you should do a convertible. I rented a Sebring down there and it was fun. The Sebring is a pile of junk, the sightlines are incredibly bad, the cowl shake is mind-bending, but top-down motoring in California made up for it all.
It's got lots of room for family and luggage, btw.
-Russ.
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I do agree with you (well, it depends on the time of year, of course) and I did say "cabrio" In case you did not know, that is Merc/DC-speak for convertible
The Chrysler Sebring was in a different (lower) league to my CLK Cabrio, especially as regards the roof mechanism, but for the money -- its US price is a lot less than the (German, which I paid) price for a broadly similar CLK -- it offers space and fun.
I found the ride a bit bumpy but I wasn't sure whether that was because of the rather poor road surfaces or the construction/suspension. These concrete-block freeway surfaces give rise to a lot of kerplunk-kerplunking...
Oh, and don't forget your Beach Boys tape/CD...
DAS
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