During a memorably exciting car wash, I realized that the sunroof in my Charger had a leak.
Phonecall 1 from the dealership: Good news, we found the problem with your sunroof. We just need to realign the tracks that it rides along. This will be ready tomorrow.
Day 2: Oops, we broke the darn thing, but don’t worry. We ordered you a brand new set of sunroof tracks.
Day 3: Hi there, me again. We kinda ordered the wrong part. But don’t worry, it’s coming, two days.
Day 5: Hoo boy, we are really taking a long time on this. It turns out that we have to take off your front windshield to get the new tracks in. But don’t worry, we have a guy who does these all the time. No big deal.
Day 6: Okay, we broke your windshield. The new one is on order, probably two more days. Yes, we suck.
For the first few days, I carpooled to work and Diva Girlfriend and I endured each other’s morning radio talk shows. But I realized after a week that my warranty coverage actually included a rental car. It’s a very secretive policy – Wink, wink, nudge, nudge – they only offer one if you bring it up. My dealership service rep always acts like it’s some kind of hassle, like I’m asking to borrow their offices to host a mud wrestling event or something.
Enterprise needs to expand their slogan from “We’ll pick you up!” to “We’ll pick you up! Eventually! And then bring you back to our store to stand in line there!”
When it became my turn at the rental car counter, a male employee wrestled a key out of my (cute) female representative’s hand to scurry it across the room to a little blonde customer wearing a slightly sheer little sundress. My female sales rep and I shared an eyerolling moment while we watched him lurching over Blondie-locks, dripping sweat from his receding hairline and forcing awkward small talk while she tried to leave. I apparently missed out on renting a Chrysler 300.
As my sales rep handed me a different set of keys, she whispered “sorry,” and then I was introduced to the comedic stylings of the Dodge Caliber.
Ranked 41st out of 41 economy class cars, this is Dodge’s replacement to the Neon. It’s pretty bad when the JD Power report recommends that you upgrade to the Ford Focus. My usual ride is the SRT8 Dodge Charger, a 455 hp work of art with an enormous Hemi engine that lusts for speed and throws you back into your seat. It is unthinkable that these two cars are made by the same company.
But I don’t want to be completely negative. The Dodge Caliber has some bright sides too.