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Old 3rd June 2013, 21:50   #2716
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
LOL I so agree with you that the Impala feels like a boat. Though its a very spacious car, I hated the way it waggles while changing lanes or taking turns, exactly like sitting in a boat on a choppy sea!

I drove '13 Maxima from San Jose to LA, thru Pacific Coast and CA 17 to Santa Cruz. Totally loved the way it handled and the manual tranny was super helpful on those curves.
Thanks for pointing out. I forgot to mention that this doesn't have any sort of manual tranny. Only D and L.

Also the top gears are too much in Overdrive more. A slight slope or a slight input of throttle and it would kick down.

Edit: What timing! Just saw Motortrend did a shootout of fullsize sedans. I haven't read it but i am sure they would be above $30k in terms of pricing and equipment.

http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/...l_size_sedans/

Last edited by chevelle : 3rd June 2013 at 21:55.
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Old 5th June 2013, 04:40   #2717
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

California residents I need your input -

My wife moved from TX to CA recently. Can she continue using her DL or does she have to go to DMV and take the written test and obtain CA license? My understanding is she has to take the latter route.

Kindly share if your inputs. Thank you!

-- Jose
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Old 5th June 2013, 05:25   #2718
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
California residents I need your input -

My wife moved from TX to CA recently. Can she continue using her DL or does she have to go to DMV and take the written test and obtain CA license? My understanding is she has to take the latter route.

Kindly share if your inputs. Thank you!

-- Jose
If you have officially moved to CA, like changing your address, leased/bought a house then you have 10 days grace period to change your drivers license. But then those are rules and not too many people care unless there's need for proof of address for some other purpose.

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500
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Old 5th June 2013, 08:03   #2719
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When we moved from Kansas to Missourri we had to get our licences exchanged at the DMV. Not a big thing, other then a trip to the DMV. One form, some dollars and we had our new DL within a week. Once you have a US license I dont think you need to redo the test if moving from state tot state as far as Im aware. At least not in our case.

We had 30 days in MO. And I think you should. If any it might be a requirement from your insurance company and it is a state law as well.


Jeroen
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Old 5th June 2013, 10:29   #2720
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
California residents I need your input -

My wife moved from TX to CA recently. Can she continue using her DL or does she have to go to DMV and take the written test and obtain CA license? My understanding is she has to take the latter route.

Kindly share if your inputs. Thank you!

-- Jose
She does need to go to DMV and apply for a new license. She only has to give written test, behind the wheel driving test is waived for people with valid license from other state.
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Old 5th June 2013, 18:04   #2721
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Quote:
Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
California residents I need your input -

My wife moved from TX to CA recently. Can she continue using her DL or does she have to go to DMV and take the written test and obtain CA license? My understanding is she has to take the latter route.

Kindly share if your inputs. Thank you!

-- Jose
She will have to give the written test only. DMV will issue a temp license and the card will come by mail(2-3weeks usually).
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Old 5th June 2013, 20:09   #2722
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by VIPER_SRT View Post
If you have officially moved to CA, like changing your address, leased/bought a house then you have 10 days grace period to change your drivers license. But then those are rules and not too many people care unless there's need for proof of address for some other purpose.

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm#two500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
When we moved from Kansas to Missourri we had to get our licences exchanged at the DMV.

Jeroen
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandhi View Post
She does need to go to DMV and apply for a new license. She only has to give written test, behind the wheel driving test is waived for people with valid license from other state.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
She will have to give the written test only. DMV will issue a temp license and the card will come by mail(2-3weeks usually).
Thank you all. The next thing is to get her TX car registered in CA. Has anyone done that as well?

-- Jose
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Old 5th June 2013, 20:23   #2723
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by josejoseph View Post
Thank you all. The next thing is to get her TX car registered in CA. Has anyone done that as well?

-- Jose
It is usually easy. I have moved cars between states - just need to fill up forms, pay the fees, present documentation for the car - title/insurance/lienholder information etc.
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Old 5th June 2013, 20:50   #2724
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

It is interesting how many states give you the final license after a few days via mail. Is it just NJ where they give you the License the same day?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevelle View Post
A Short Review of 2013 Chevrolet Impala LT

This is where it felt like a boat.

would consider 300, Taurus or Maxima as they have much much better in every regards.
Thanks for the review, are you talking about Pre-owned prices or new? I doubt one will get any variant of 300 for under $30K

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Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Hmmmm.. I am yet to drive a mid to full size SUV on the highways here. But between Ford Focus and Dodge Charger, more people make way for the Charger. Some actually even seem to slow down.

I guess if i get the front plasti dipped and fix a bull bar too, that should take care of the remaining few who dont move
Actually if you Plastidip the whole Car, no one will stay in front of you, no one would want to mess with a Matt/Glossy Black Charger
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Old 5th June 2013, 20:56   #2725
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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It is interesting how many states give you the final license after a few days via mail. Is it just NJ where they give you the License the same day?
Illinois gives you license on the same day. In fact, I have felt that Illinois DMV is much more efficient and friendlier than the 3 other states I have been at - Texas, Rhode Island and Connecticut. All three places have inordinately long lines, CT at least works on Saturday, TX and RI are closed on Saturdays. IL let's you do some of the transactions completely online - which is great. TX and RI send you license in mail in 2-3 weeks. I don't quite remember if CT was immediate.
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Old 5th June 2013, 21:12   #2726
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Thanks for the review, are you talking about Pre-owned prices or new? I doubt one will get any variant of 300 for under $30K
I did meant new as i always thought impala went up against Charger, Maxima, Avalon, 300, Azera, Taurus and likes since it is a full size sedan.

But yes, it would be hard to get a 300 for $30k. Impala easily reaches $30k too if you add 1 or 2 package on base model. Trust me, base model is so bare bones that it can only work in rental fleets. Any one buying a Impala will sure spend couple of grand more just to get the basics right like alloys, better cloth/leather seats, navi, better sound and a few more features.

If i am to compare it against accord/camry/malibu, it will trump them all for the price it is available but i doubt buyers will compare the two different segments when in market.
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Old 5th June 2013, 21:39   #2727
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Yep I have got mine in Chicago. It was a breeze walked in during lunch and got my license card printed. Was amazed 'cuz the crows in CA are crazy with our without appointments you are bound to get the feel of govt offices back home.
Quote:
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It is interesting how many states give you the final license after a few days via mail. Is it just NJ where they give you the License the same day?
Quote:
Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
Illinois gives you license on the same day. In fact, I have felt that Illinois DMV is much more efficient and friendlier than the 3 other states I have been at - Texas, Rhode Island and Connecticut. All three places have inordinately long lines, CT at least works on Saturday, TX and RI are closed on Saturdays. IL let's you do some of the transactions completely online - which is great. TX and RI send you license in mail in 2-3 weeks. I don't quite remember if CT was immediate.
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Old 5th June 2013, 22:02   #2728
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
Was amazed 'cuz the crows in CA are crazy with our without appointments you are bound to get the feel of govt offices back home.
. The crowd is crazy if one goes without appointments. I have been to DMV only twice since last 5 years. Once to give written exam and second to get vanity plates that too with appointment - in & out in like 10 mins that included change of address and exchanging plates. Registration, license renewal is done online so that is a good thing. Bad thing was i didn't kept the original plates and i didn't knew i could keep that. The lady behind counter gladly took it.

Not so good about CA DMV is, it takes a week or more to get license and registration in mail. Painful wait but i do it early so i have it by the time it is due. That reminds me, i have to do smog and renew registration for G35. Good thing this topic came up. What would i do without you guys.
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Old 5th June 2013, 22:09   #2729
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

I have been renting cars every week for more than 2 months now. Signed up for the loyalty programs and have seen a bunch of upgrades. My company always books intermediate class but I have driven cars as big as a GMC Acadia. I thought I would write in brief about some of the cars a while back but I just forgot about it and never really got back to writing the reviews. I have some spare time now and I will write about some of the cars that a lot of people would also be considering. Since it is a lot of cars, I will just probably write some key +ves/-ves and impressions. Most of my trips are 300 miles approximately in total. Some are even 400.

I will write about future rentals if anything new or different comes up. I'm disappointed that I haven't yet had a Chrysler group or a Buick on rental yet! Does Avis not keep a lot of those?


2013 Chevy Cruze LTZ /LT (the 1.8 engine)

+ves
- Very quiet for its class - perhaps an indirect consequence of weight

- loaded - had every option except navigation

-ves

- Advertised fuel economy is a joke - not practical at 75-80 highway speeds



2012 Nissan Sentra SE

+ves
- space?

- probably amongst the better driving cars in the segment, save the Mazda 3

-ves -

- Noisy

- CVT and rubber band effect!


2013 Nissan Altima S

+ves

- Superb FE more efficient on the same roads, speeds and same traffic conditions as two of the previous cars from a segment smaller. I think my trip clocked well over 30 mpg average - the highest I have got in any car I rented so far.

- seats - the NASA designed seats are rather comfy

- ves

- CVT and rubber band effect!



2013 Ford Escape SEL AWD (the 1.6 ecoboost)

+ves

- Technology and Sync - gives a very futuristic appeal to the car and interiors

- Once you are in turbo, the engine response is very good

- Excellent ride and handling for a CUV

-ves

- At highway speeds, fuel efficiency will not meet rated numbers unless you stick to 60 - 65.



2013 Hyundai Sonata GLS

+ves

- loads of space - full size sedan in so called mid size package

- fairly quiet and smooth engine

-ves

- very low slung, poor driving position

- hated the front seats - my knees kept rubbing the center console


2012 Chevy Impala LTZ

+ves
- space and comfort

- smooth ride, relaxed demeanor

-ves

- outdated cabin and tech, pathetic fake wood inserts

- lethargic engine and poor fuel efficiency for such a slow car.

- terrible handling


2013 GMC Acadia SLT AWD

+ves

- Space. ride and comfort

- GMs in cabin tech is good except the haptic buttons

- looks and road presence - the only time left lane hoggers gave me way!

-ves

- fuel efficiency! Of course cannot expect much better with a big heavy CUV that seats 7.

- handling - again it is not designed to be a sports car


2013 Toyota Camry LE

+ves

- comfortable ride

- spacious cabin

- fuel efficiency

-ves

-poor interior quality

-road noise

2013 Mazda 3 Sky Activ HB

I have this one for the week -

+ves

- the skyactiv engine is refined and the engine transmission combination is excellent
- good steering and handling for a FWD compact hatchback

-ves

-some of the competition manages interior space much better - this feels a little cosy and cramped
- cabin is too plasticky, but then in this segment that is expected (but Hyundai Elantra, Dodge Dart etc. are changing that)

Last edited by vineethvazhayil : 5th June 2013 at 22:12.
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Old 5th June 2013, 23:00   #2730
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Default Re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

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Originally Posted by vineethvazhayil View Post
I have been renting cars every week for more than 2 months now. Signed up for the loyalty programs and have seen a bunch of upgrades.

I will write about future rentals if anything new or different comes up. I'm disappointed that I haven't yet had a Chrysler group or a Buick on rental yet! Does Avis not keep a lot of those?
Ya sadly, the rental loyalty program's aren't that great
But it always works when I try to talk to the agent for a better car. And I have also noticed if I pick up cars on Sat I get better ones. But then yea with Business Trips you can't do that.

I have seen Chryslers with Hertz. But again its location specific. I used to get Acadias in Boston while I booked a Full size or Premium. Many of my colleagues who are in Presidents Circle(Hertz) end up with Camaros or Mustangs.
Which location do you rent out off? Sometime local rental offices give nice upgrades if you are a regular.
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