My wife and I will be renting a car in Avignon for a few days next month. What car rental company do you recommend and what model and brand of car do you recommend? We'll have two medium-sized suitcases. Thanks
Start here http://www.autoeurope.com/carsplash.cfm?aff=RICKSTEVES, then compare their rates with some of the other big guys. Each website will show you details of the luggage carrying capacity of the cars in each "class", in general cars are smaller over there because of fuel price.
You can check 15 auto rental agencies and find very little difference in them. It is the rate they quote you which should determine the one you use.
I have rented cars for 20 years in 15 countries and have learned to talk on the phone with the auto rental agent about the car before I rent it.
As for the model and brand of car, you should choose the size: compact, economy, or mid-size and take the model with the lowest cost.
Don't be concerned about brand names. The way the car is maintained by the agency is far more important when you get on the road.
Gas is expensive, and parking is limited. I always get the smallest car that will fit us.