Thursday, November 24, 2011


Place: Del Taco
Lunch (no, Breakfast): Bacon & Egg Quesadilla (with green sauce), hash brown sticks, watered down Coke

Del Taco is supposed to put green sauce on the bacon & egg quesadilla, but some locations choose not to, so I always specify.  The Coke syrup-to-soda water mix was on the lean side this morning which, for whatever reason, actually made it taste better.

EARLIER AT THE MOTEL...Kid is waiting for elevator.  We get in after a long wait.  "What floor, sir?" he asks.

"Four, please."



He pushes '4'.  He doesn't push any other floors.  "Are you on four too?", I ask.

"No, I'm on two.  But I can wait for you."

"You don't have to do that!"

"It's okay."

I thank him and get off on four.  A family of like a half dozen or so, with luggage, are waiting to get on.  As I walk down the hallway, I hear the kid ask them if they're going to the first floor.

THIS is why I love Utah.

As you are probably aware from my annual Auto Show posts and the fact I have a three-year old car with 160,000 miles on it, I like cars.  I like to drive them, I like to read about them, I like to keep up with information about new models and technologies.  So it takes quite a bit to throw me for a loop when it comes to cars, which is exactly what Hertz did last night when they handed me the keys to a 2012 Chevrolet Captiva.

A what?


(Remember when 'exactly' was Hertz's marketing slogan?  I didn't intend for it to be a pun.)

Anyway, here it is.

You're thinking "That's just a Saturn Vue with a Chevy bowtie".

That's about right.

Still, it's better looking than the Equinox.

The Captiva name has adorned small CUV's outside of North America under the Chevrolet brand and its various international subsidiaries for several years.  When the second generation Saturn Vue (itself a re-branded Opel Antara) hit our shores, Chevy also produced this Captiva-branded version for South American markets, and continued to do so even after the Saturn brand died.  That made this vehicle a simple solution for
 GM's US fleet division dilemma caused by the discontinuation of the HHR, which was a poor seller with consumers but popular with fleets.  It's not available to consumers...only fleets...but GM also claimed it wasn't available to rental companies, and Hertz had a crap ton of them anyway.

It's not exactly a barebones vehicle either.  Mine has leather seats, a sunroof, SiriusXM, a backup camera built into the rear view mirror, OnStar, auto headlights, and a built-in garage door opener.  It also has a Hertz "NeverLost" navigation system, which if you ask me should be re-branded "EverLost".  I once rented a vehicle in Las Vegas that had this, and it couldn't correctly find its way back to the Hertz rental center.  And that was at their old long-time facility, not the new central rental garage.

It also has no practical place to store sunglasses.  The space where that would normally be is where they put the garage door buttons.  There's a small space under the center stack, but mine don't fit there.

Stupid GM.

It also has "Eco" mode.  There's a button poorly placed (no...cleverly hidden) behind the shifter that says "eco".  Press it, and a green "eco" light shows up on the instrument cluster.  It apparently changes the shifting pattern of the automatic transmission to improve fuel economy.  Maybe by a mile a gallon, from what I read on the matter.

Anyway, you can't buy one at your Chevrolet dealer (and I have to wonder they think it will cannibalize sales of the more profitable Equinox?), but you can probably buy a used one at your local Hertz Car Sales in a couple of years.  Actually, Chevy dealerships will probably have used ones too.

I'm SO glad I flew out this year instead of making the long drive.  As beat as I was just at Denver after a simple flight last night, I don't think I would have made it.

Happy Thanksgiving.  Don't eat too much.

(I'm kidding.  Eat WAY too much.)