I have returned in one piece from Arkansas & MissourA ( as its
pronounced down thar ).
This was supposed to be a rental car report on an 04 Impala LS. As the
man at Hertz said " We can't guarantee the car will be here when you
pick it up".
My second choice was the 04 Grand Prix, the 3rd choice in the size class
was the Ford Taurus.
It ended up when I went to Hertz 24 hours to pick the car up, my 1st ,
2nd and 3rd choice cars were not there. The 16th and 19th choice cars
were there -- a 2004 Mazda 3 or a Toyota Camry LE. I took the Camry, I
think its bigger.
Let me just say after driving up from Branson, Mo to Chicago today, OH
My Aching Back!
Thanks in part to the narrow, hard, power / lumbar seat that had no
comfortable adjustment whatsoever. The buttons to tilt the cushion
seemed to raise the entire seat base. The seats were covered with Fly
Paper Cloth that any fabric clothing your wearing will stick to and keep
your body locked in place.
Had plenty of headroom.
The driver seat had enough rearward travel for long legs and there was a
rubber footrest embedded in the carpet for the left foot.. With the
power lumbar adjusted all the way off it still felt like the ol'
football sticking in the back. The headrests angled forward so it was
almost touching your head.
Kudos to Toyota for the Road Atlas size pockets on the back of both
front bucket seats, unlike some GM cars that only offer the atlas pocket
on the back of the passenger seat.
Kudos for the ceiling assist strap for the Driver !
The Steering Column's locking release lever was very stiff to move to
tilt the wheel. The entire column moves the up & down, but not very far.
I left it all the way up or the wheel would be resting on my legs. Upon
exiting the vehicle my knee would wedge under the wheel, then I'd have
to straighten the leg to get out. You also had to get in straight legged
All the controls were easy to reach, easy to read & comprehend. The
console storage box was topped by a padded armrest that also had a
separate storage area for tapes, phone, whatever. The lower storage
compartment was deep & big. I had almost 23 CD's in there and there was
still room for more stuff.
The console armrest should of been 2 inches higher for more comfort and
the piano hinge for the cover should of given about another inch or more
The AM/FM - CD - Cassette worked & sounded great. Easy to figure out
controls. The radios, black digital readouts were east to see druing the
day or night. At night the radio face lit up a lime green color. The
clock & outside temperature were in a panel above the radio that also
had a passenger seat airbag indicator light. The light would light when
a body sat in the passenger seat.
The Manual AC / Heater system worked good. The blower, temperature
range, and mode controls were round style twist dials. The mode dial had
the stickman picture with the arrows pointing at him.
Twist the headlight knob on the end of the turn signal stalk to operate
the lights or to switch to the DRL OFF position. Hooray, I got to drive
lightless !!!! Is somebody at GM reading this?! The car was not equipped
with automatic headlights.
The 2.4 litre, 16 valve, 4 cylinder engine ran smooth and so damn quiet
at idle you didn't know it was running. Hit the key twice thinking it
was off, part of the reason was, the half inch tall numbers for the
tach. The needle touches the top of the 0 so you think the engine is
The gauge cluster also had a Temp Gauge.
The car got between 31 and 36 MPG on the highway with the air
conditioner on 95 % of the trip.
Big trunk capacity.Drak grey trunk trim. The inside of the deck lid was
also covered in grey trim. There was a built in bottle holder in the
left side of the trunk. At least that's what it looked like. The car had
a split fold rear seat. Plenty of legroom in back. The back seat was
fitted with adjustable headrests.
Overhead reading light & storage bin featured a sunglasses storage bin.
( and mine actually fit in it ). The reading lights were very bright. A
dome light was in the center of the roof.
Map pockets in the doors were long & deep. There was also a another
storage bin in front of the shift lever. On the left side of the dash
was a pull out tray for coins. The front inside edge was curved so coins
could be scooped out.
Dual cup holders built into the console behind the shift lever didn't
hold cans or McDonalds cups to good, so I brought my silver wire mesh
pencil cup holder I got at Office Depot & use in the Bonneville. It fit
in the Camry's consoles cup holder.
The car rode very quite on the highway. I drove through some bad wind
and about 12 hours of rain during the trip. Handling was alright.
A few missed turns resulted in some fast U - Turns or cutting through
some hotel driveways that then resulted in tires squealing to get back
on track. pretty peepy car for 157 HP, 162 Torque. I cranked it up to
102 mph once to try it. this was from a point of doing 80 then flooring
it. It seemed to take it quite well, the speedometer goes up to 140.
The dash was appealing and all edges were tightly fit with its mating
part. The door panels featured that " Elbow Off" window sill edge, where
your elbow keeps falling off the sill ledge. The armrest on the door
panels didn't go all the way to the back edge of the door panel. If you
moved your arm to far back there was a plastic trim piece running
vertical up the door panel that would shoot your arm off the armrest,
which was cloth covered, Holding the steering wheel was somewhat
cumbersome as you really couldn't rest your arm too comfortably.
Driving through North Little Rock, Arkansas, The " Maintenance Required
" light came on and stayed on.. The owners manual indicated the oil
needed changing. The car had 5100 miles on it at that point.
Due to the angle of the windshield, the rain didn't really blow off to
well. The rear window visibility on a wet rear window was terrible. The
water clung to the back glass, and didn't roll off. Turning around to
look out the back window, you could not see the trunk lid. The car has a
high back shelf.
Outside mirrors were big and had good rear ward vision.
Cruise control operated by one square shaped button on the right side of
Wiper functions on the stalk were blocked by the steering wheel hub..
Steering wheel center hub to large and to close to the rim of the wheel.
Horn would blare if you wheel the corner using one of the four short
spokes. The hub would hit the back of your hand, Beeeeeeep!
Power windows went up & down very fast. The windows on the rear doors
went down " all the way down " in the rear doors. Is somebody at GM
reading this? The window lock out button also kept the driver from
opening the windows too. LOL
Well that's about all I've got to say about this car. I won't be running
out to the Toyota dealer to buy a Canry. Perhaps with the leather seat
upgrade & bigger V6 it would be a better car. It certainly was big &
1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE
3800 V6 ( C ), Black/Slate Grey
~~~The Former Fleet ~~~
89 Cavalier Z 24 convertible
78 Holiday 88 coupe
68 LeSabre convertible
73 Impala sedan