How to get around town in style?
November 4, 2006 11:24 AM   Subscribe

What sort of classy vehicle would you recommend to tour around town with 9 passengers?

I need to book a vehicle and driver to show nine people around the island of Montreal over a period of two days. One of the passengers will be the president of a big pharmaceutical company, so we can't all just get in the back of a '64 Belvedere.

Would a limo be appropriate for this? Is it too low? Can you actually see out the window in one? What about a mini-bus? It needs to be nice. Has anyone been in one of those stretch Ford Explorers? Do they make ones that aren't 100 feet long?

Any pics or links of suggestions also appreciated.
posted by furtive to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total)
Can you split it up into two or three vehicles? A couple of black Suburbans would fit everyone nicely, and be rather less conspicuous.
posted by raf at 11:52 AM on November 4, 2006

A Lincoln Navigator is what you're looking for. The Ford website says that it has seating for 8+.

A big, black, tinted, Chevy Suburban is also kind of classy/pimpin' and it'll carry quite a few people.

Both are pretty nice cars without being as *bling* as a limo or without being as vanilla as a minibus.

I'd love to be able to suggest a more environmentally/pedestrian/gas-crisis friendly vehicle but your criteria pretty much rule them out. I hope that's not a problem for you.
posted by Jon-o at 11:53 AM on November 4, 2006

I think the Ford Excursion is the biggest SUV available and some models/years have optional seating for nine (plus a driver).

I think that any event-rentals place that handles limos and drivers will probably also have something that fits your needs.
posted by Jon-o at 11:59 AM on November 4, 2006

Stretch Hummer - picture - conspicuous? nawww.
posted by Sassyfras at 11:59 AM on November 4, 2006

I'm not sure an Expedition even seats 9. Seating 9 in anything other than a big van is tough, and if doable, it's really tight.

They do make "SUV limos" that aren't that long. You'll be high-up and in a limo. I'd call local places and see what they offer.
posted by fogster at 12:18 PM on November 4, 2006

stretch hummers are for prom girls.

call a limo service, get mercedes s-class. they usually go for a little more than towncars. put three passengers into each car and let the car service know about the number of passengers in advance.
posted by krautland at 12:20 PM on November 4, 2006

I never got to go to prom.
posted by Sassyfras at 1:23 PM on November 4, 2006

Keep in mind that "seating 8+" usually means three people per row. This works great for kids, but not so well for adults.
posted by smackfu at 1:39 PM on November 4, 2006

Yeah, you'll want multiple vehicles if at all possible.

The other option is an 'executive coach'. I'm not at work right now, but could probably email you some Montreal providers on Monday. Email in profile.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:11 PM on November 4, 2006

I also second a Lincoln Navigator or Chevy Suburban.
posted by LoriFLA at 4:28 PM on November 4, 2006

Passenger van seats 12.
posted by JackFlash at 5:53 PM on November 4, 2006

You may have already thought of this but if you're showing people around you most likely want to stay away from piling everyone into one of the larger SUVs (Navigator, Suburban, etc...). Presumably you will want people to be able to look out the windows comfortably, and if anyone is stuck in the middle they'll have to lean over their co-worker/boss/whatever to do so, which may be uncomfortable for them on any number of levels.

Also, if there is anyone in the group who you've never met how do you know they will fit comfortably in one of the large SUVs, these may be large, unsightly Americans for all you know. Or some number may get carsick rolling around on those cobble-stone streets.

If it were I, I'd go with multiple classy vehicles (a la krautland's suggestion), or a small luxury bus.
posted by Charlie Brown at 6:01 PM on November 4, 2006

On Preview: -- I find vans are equally difficult to see out of from the middle seats.
posted by Charlie Brown at 6:02 PM on November 4, 2006

If seeing the town is part of the point, see if you can charter some sort of small sightseeing tour bus, the kind with the huge windows. That way everyone can ride together, they have plenty of room, and they can see everything.
posted by Good Brain at 7:17 PM on November 4, 2006

I never got to go to prom.
me neither.

and I still say get a few mercedes. everyone will be happy with that and it's not at all cost prohibitive if you're in the market for a car service anyway.
posted by krautland at 8:03 PM on November 4, 2006

Best answer: If it has to be a single vehicle, your best bet would be a passenger van; with 4 rows of bench seats and one person riding shotgun, everyone will have a window seat and be nice and high up for sight-seeing. A 10-passenger limo would be cramped and much more difficult to maneuver around town (if you're doing a tour-type ride vs an A to B trip), ditto for any stretch SUV.

If you can do 2 vehicles I would go with 2 SUV's; they're more classy than a van and will afford the same comfort and visibility. More than 2 vehicles and you'll run into snags with parking, having room to load/unload and keeping everyone together while in transit; if you're trying to impress someone it's those little details that often make the difference.

This is assuming there won't be any luggage involved, just passengers. You should be sure to mention you're looking for a tour when making the reservation to ensure you get a knowledgeable and experienced driver, or you might end up with a newbie who only knows the hotels and restaurants.

(full disclosure: I'm a chauffeur)
posted by bizwank at 11:20 PM on November 4, 2006

If you go with a stretch Hummer, at least go for a stretch H1. H2s are tacky, no matter how long they are.

It's a shame VW haven't got their arse into gear with a new Microbus. Their retro-styled hybrid has a certain style. But it looks like the previously announced new Microbus has been delayed.
posted by krisjohn at 3:08 AM on November 5, 2006

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