American cars suck.
There. I said it. I don’t like saying it, but, in my personal recent experience with two rental cars of different American make, it’s true.
Recently, I had to get my ride (an ’05 Nissan XTerra — which I like okay for a big honkin’ SUV that gets 14 MPG) fixed after a fender-bender (not my fault; I was rear-ended). For a rental car, I got a Chevrolet Malibu. I did not enjoy driving it. Other than having a peppy-ish engine, I liked nothing about that car. The worst part, though, was the cheap fit and finish in the interior. Terrible ergonomics, cheap materials in ugly, industrial (and not in a good way) colors. Just overtly BLAH. The one thing I will point out specifically is the “key bumper.” Just below the keyhole (is that what you call it?) is a weird rubber pad about 2 inches long by a half inch high. I puzzled over this for a couple of days. Finally, I realized that it’s there so the keys on your keyring that aren’t inserted in the ignition will bounce against that and not against the dash. I guess it’s supposed to be quieter or it protects your keys or the dash. I don’t know. I DO know, however, that it’s stupid. Why not design the placement of the ignition hole (again, what is that called?) so that the keys just hang there and don’t bang against anything at all? Crappy design.