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      04-24-2024, 01:14 PM   #1
chicagox7
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Rental advice- X3 or Mercedes E Class?

I posted this in the X3 forum- though figured I’d try a broader auditance as well…..

We’re heading to Ireland this summer (family of 4- kids are between 9-6). We will be doing a bit of driving around and don’t mind longer drives (have an X7 here). I used an X3 for a day as a loaner once and it didn’t leave an impression on me (good or bad). Now I’m looking at options for us to rent a car and it seems to be down to an X3 or Mercedes E Class sedan. Two things are important- overall comfort and ability to securely fit 4 carry ons and 4 backpacks (securely- out of sight).

Curious if anyone has experience with both vehicles to get a sense of which direction we may want to go. I don’t think SUV vs Sedan matters much for the trip- again it comes to overall comfort of ride and ability to fit the luggage securely (we’ll be bouncing from hotel to hotel so will be parking with a full load at some attractions; prefer to have a full load when we return from the attraction!).

(Not to complicate this too much- though an Audi A6 also pops up on some rental sites… oddly the companies we’re looking at don’t offer a 5 series (other companies we’re not looking at indicate they may offer those). My working assumption is that the E class would be better than the A6; though happy to hear if that is a materially uninformed assumption).

Any thoughts/feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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      04-24-2024, 02:18 PM   #2
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I might go for something that isn't very wide. Many B roads in Ireland can be narrow. Between those two though I would get the X3. Great seating position and easier to load/unload.
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      04-24-2024, 02:38 PM   #3
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I might go for something that isn't very wide. Many B roads in Ireland can be narrow. Between those two though I would get the X3. Great seating position and easier to load/unload.
Great point about the B roads…. adds to the conundrum given the desire to be able to store the luggage out of site (assumption is a narrower option will have smaller trunk/storage *******.
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      04-24-2024, 03:11 PM   #4
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We were in Ireland last year. Four adults. We reserved a mid sized SUV and ended up with a Kia Sportage. With the luggage and backpack carry-ons it was close quarters as at least one backpack had to go in the back seat. Even going to the airport for the flight there, we were in a 2018 Passat and not everything fit in the VW trunk (which is huge).
Here is a tip. We saved a ton of money on the car rental by buying the rental insurance here from AAA rather than through the rental company. But because we did not buy the insurance through the rental company, they put a $5000 credit hold on our charge card which we got back when we returned the car sans any damage.
Watch out for that right hand driving in the left lane on those skinny roads…
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      04-24-2024, 03:15 PM   #5
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I'd legit look for a wagon rather than a SUV in Ireland.
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      04-24-2024, 04:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredcohiba View Post
We were in Ireland last year. Four adults. We reserved a mid sized SUV and ended up with a Kia Sportage. With the luggage and backpack carry-ons it was close quarters as at least one backpack had to go in the back seat. Even going to the airport for the flight there, we were in a 2018 Passat and not everything fit in the VW trunk (which is huge).
Here is a tip. We saved a ton of money on the car rental by buying the rental insurance here from AAA rather than through the rental company. But because we did not buy the insurance through the rental company, they put a $5000 credit hold on our charge card which we got back when we returned the car sans any damage.
Watch out for that right hand driving in the left lane on those skinny roads…
This is stellar advice about car insurance.
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      04-24-2024, 06:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredcohiba View Post
We were in Ireland last year. Four adults. We reserved a mid sized SUV and ended up with a Kia Sportage. With the luggage and backpack carry-ons it was close quarters as at least one backpack had to go in the back seat. Even going to the airport for the flight there, we were in a 2018 Passat and not everything fit in the VW trunk (which is huge).
Here is a tip. We saved a ton of money on the car rental by buying the rental insurance here from AAA rather than through the rental company. But because we did not buy the insurance through the rental company, they put a $5000 credit hold on our charge card which we got back when we returned the car sans any damage.
Watch out for that right hand driving in the left lane on those skinny roads…
Great advice on the insurance. I’ll have to look at that coverage.

It’s been a while since I drove in Ireland and it was a compact at best. How often dis you end up on the narrow roads? While are bouncing from larger ‘city’ to ‘city’- recall some smaller roads even when trying to see the major attractions. Assume I may end up on smaller roads more often than I’d initially think (slowly recalling the amount of time spent driving on grass shoulders so as to fit 2 cars on roads…). Will be spending time in Kilkenny, Kilarney, Cork, Linerick and Galway.
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      04-24-2024, 06:44 PM   #8
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You guys need a proper credit card with perks. For $200 a yr your car insurance is covered with top tier coverage and then there's a million other perks.

Quick Ireland story. I get off a plane from London after 2 nights there sinking piss 24/7 after a 24 hr flight from Australia, the first time myself and 3 mates had ever left the wide brown land. So we rent a car, and set off for Galway from Dublin, with a plan to go to Cork and Kilkenny on our route back. So we get in, one bloke had an International license so he drove, rest of us sinking piss in the back. We are trundling along for a few hours, stopping there and there and I decide it may be time to pick up a map.

I look once, i squint, look again ...... that can't be fucking right surely? I check my watch ......... "Hey fellas, ummmmm, I think we are almost at Galway already".
"Fuckin' what Fisti, you're fuckign drunk" .....
"nah, fellas, seriously ...... we just drove across the bloody country in like 3 hours with stops!" ...........
"that's fucking impossible you drunk idiot, how could we do that in a few hrs?" ....
"fellas I think we need to get our heads around the scale of where we landed, we are not in Kansas anymore".
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      04-24-2024, 08:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagox7 View Post
Great advice on the insurance. I’ll have to look at that coverage.

It’s been a while since I drove in Ireland and it was a compact at best. How often dis you end up on the narrow roads? While are bouncing from larger ‘city’ to ‘city’- recall some smaller roads even when trying to see the major attractions. Assume I may end up on smaller roads more often than I’d initially think (slowly recalling the amount of time spent driving on grass shoulders so as to fit 2 cars on roads…). Will be spending time in Kilkenny, Kilarney, Cork, Linerick and Galway.
Have a great time.
We took a train to Cork where we picked up the rental car. We drove from there to Macroom, Midleton and the surrounding area. I was very cautious but quite nervous on some of the very narrow rural roads. Happy that I didn’t have a wider car. Parking was quite tight too compared to here. But by the end of the trip I was feeling much more confident.
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      04-24-2024, 08:29 PM   #10
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Traveling with luggage - SUV or wagon without question. Speaking from extensive experience.

I would seek out an E-Class or 5er wagon. If none available or you don't like the price, then X3.
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      04-24-2024, 08:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisti View Post
You guys need a proper credit card with perks. For $200 a yr your car insurance is covered with top tier coverage and then there's a million other perks.

Quick Ireland story. I get off a plane from London after 2 nights there sinking piss 24/7 after a 24 hr flight from Australia, the first time myself and 3 mates had ever left the wide brown land. So we rent a car, and set off for Galway from Dublin, with a plan to go to Cork and Kilkenny on our route back. So we get in, one bloke had an International license so he drove, rest of us sinking piss in the back. We are trundling along for a few hours, stopping there and there and I decide it may be time to pick up a map.

I look once, i squint, look again ...... that can't be fucking right surely? I check my watch ......... "Hey fellas, ummmmm, I think we are almost at Galway already".
"Fuckin' what Fisti, you're fuckign drunk" .....
"nah, fellas, seriously ...... we just drove across the bloody country in like 3 hours with stops!" ...........
"that's fucking impossible you drunk idiot, how could we do that in a few hrs?" ....
"fellas I think we need to get our heads around the scale of where we landed, we are not in Kansas anymore".
Great story!

We have a few high end travel related credit cards. Will finally research the rental insurance coverage on each. Never cared much in the US and understand Ireland has some unique requirements.
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      04-25-2024, 12:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagox7 View Post
Great story!

We have a few high end travel related credit cards. Will finally research the rental insurance coverage on each. Never cared much in the US and understand Ireland has some unique requirements.
Yes, pay close attention to the coverage area. Ireland is a different beast when it comes to insurance. Non of my cards would suffice for Ireland. UK - yes. Continental Europe, Scotland - yes. Ireland - no.
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