Smart Car?

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    Apr 19, 2013 3:00 AM GMT
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    Apr 19, 2013 3:15 AM GMT
    The only thing "smart" about a Smart Car is the sales team that sells it.
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    Apr 19, 2013 3:33 AM GMT
    Smart cars rate much higher on crash tests than most North American cars. This car faired quite well, the interior cabin space is virtually untouched. I've seen many trucks dessimated by hitting a deer, growing up on farms.

    I know they are hated by mainstream america because they don't fit the current defintion of "cool' like the SUV that needs $120-150 to fill.

    Someday, I hope the masses realize one doesn't need to rape the environment to be trendy.

    Twenty years ago there were larger subcompacts under $10000 that got 66 miles/gallon on the highway. I own one and still drive it.
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    Apr 19, 2013 1:45 PM GMT
    26mileman saidSmart cars rate much higher on crash tests than most North American cars. This car faired quite well, the interior cabin space is virtually untouched. I've seen many trucks dessimated by hitting a deer, growing up on farms.

    I know they are hated by mainstream america because they don't fit the current defintion of "cool' like the SUV that needs $120-150 to fill.

    Someday, I hope the masses realize one doesn't need to rape the environment to be trendy.

    Twnety years ago there were larger subcompacts under $10000 that got 66 miles/gallon on the highway. I own one and still drive it.



    I can drive my jetta vw diesel for almost 800km on one tank for $50. (about 490miles). Its a 2005 and have taken great care of it. And yet people still hate on the diesels, even though gasoline is a biproduct. Its a standard, making it great for city driving, though I mostly drive out in the country side. Smartcars are...yeah...
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    Apr 19, 2013 1:56 PM GMT
    I laugh every time I see someone driving one of those hideous looking things..icon_razz.gif
  • dcmacguy

    Posts: 102

    Apr 19, 2013 3:08 PM GMT
    I owned one of the first ones in the US for 3 years before I bought my Mercedes (they are made by Mercedes for the unaware).

    I'm now thinking about ordering another one as a summer toy - it was tied with my current car for the best car I have owned to date and I wish I had kept my '08.

    There's a lot of ignorance surrounding them, and that ignorance appears to be dwindling as their sales numbers increase - cars like these are what are going to allow manufacturers to be legally able to sell their performance models in the US (CAFE standards).

    The one in the pic hit a wall at 70, and both doors still opened. A larger subcompact in the same test folded up to its rear seat - it's from a test that can be seen on youtube.
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    Apr 19, 2013 3:14 PM GMT
    I don't mind them but larger more practical compacts are just as efficient.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Apr 19, 2013 3:21 PM GMT
    My BF has one, and it's quite comfortable...
    Granted, we're both 5-8ish...
    But it's a great little car and fun to drive.
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    Apr 19, 2013 3:28 PM GMT
    ATC84 saidI don't mind them but larger more practical compacts are just as efficient.

    That's the position Consumer Reports takes on them. They make more sense for narrow European city streets, where you park half on the sidewalk. But in the US their tiny size has fewer advantages, but they don't get much better mileage than larger cars that offer more room for 4, and have better acceleration.
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    Apr 19, 2013 3:43 PM GMT
    ART_DECO said
    That's the position Consumer Reports takes on them. They make more sense for narrow European city streets, where you park half on the sidewalk. But in the US their tiny size has fewer advantages, but they don't get much better mileage than larger cars that offer more room for 4, and have better acceleration.


    To be fair the USA Smart has a fairly mediocre gasoline engine with a premium fuel requirement mated to an equally terrible automated manual gearbox. Better engines including diesel might make them more fuel efficient but then the cost of the car might rise which would defeat the purpose.

    I agree a Smart would make a great city car. However I never really see them in cities, at least Boston or NYC. Smart cars seem to all reside in affluent suburbs outside of DC.
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    Apr 19, 2013 3:50 PM GMT
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    Bob has one and he loves it. I have driven it and I like it. I'm 6'2 and have no problem being comfortable in this car. There is more room in the front two seats than I would have thought, including head room. The car has only 3 cylinders but that seems impossible - - -since there is so much power (and that is coming from a Benz & a Rolls owner - I'm a guy who grew up loving powerful cars). I don't know how they pull so much power out of such a tiny engine. The best thing we like though is this: Everywhere we go in the City (S.F.) we are able to park where most everybody else couldn't fit. We almost always take the Smart into the City or anywhere parking is a problem. For a car that you would think is just a "third car" for us - we end up using it more than I ever thought we would. As for safety, as stated above - these cars are safer than you might think. There is a strong "cage" around the passengers - and the car does as well as possible in crashes. Face it - if you hit something going 70, you're not coming away in good shape - - - even in a Rolls!
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    Apr 19, 2013 4:25 PM GMT

    I love & prefer the Fiat 500

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  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Apr 19, 2013 4:45 PM GMT
    They are glorified go karts. Literally. The entire engine assembly is a single unit around the rear axle.

    While the safety tests show very little living space affected by collisions, the human body simply cannot take the forces involved. With no crumple zones, and no size to increase deceleration time, the forces in the body would be massive, regardless of living space impact.

    They're made for European roads. Roads here are larger. Cars around them are bigger. Wildlife is more of a hazard. Drivers are less aware. Overall, it is a terrible car for North America. The design is simply not compatible with our way of life here.
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    Apr 19, 2013 5:53 PM GMT
    StephenOABC said17820_239974552807108_1509636888_n.jpg


    Doesn't look so smart now does iticon_question.gif
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4863

    Apr 19, 2013 6:02 PM GMT
    If you want a car for two, why not get a Mazda Miata? What advantage would the "Smart Car" have over the Mazda Miata?
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Apr 19, 2013 6:12 PM GMT
    FRE0 saidIf you want a car for two, why not get a Mazda Miata? What advantage would the "Smart Car" have over the Mazda Miata?


    Price? Size? Fuel economy? Death wishes?
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    Apr 19, 2013 6:31 PM GMT
    Now that's SMART... the General Flea


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  • tnlifter

    Posts: 76

    Apr 19, 2013 6:44 PM GMT
    I'd rather live next door to someone that owned a car.

  • FredMG

    Posts: 988

    Apr 19, 2013 10:45 PM GMT
    I think it's important to ask what one really needs out of a car. I wince at filling up my truck, but I also see people with larger vehicles driving faster, and outfitting them with gas-sucking tires.

    I really just have better things to spend my money on.

    Though what I do hate is that if one opts to drive a smaller vehicle, like a smart car or motorcycle, you have to accept that there are people who don't give a shit about killing you because you're not as important as their current phone call or text message.
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    Apr 20, 2013 6:07 AM GMT
    From the leading consumer reporting magazine.

    This tiny two-seater was one of our lowest-rated cars. It's good on gas, a snap to park, and easily sparks conversations. Access to the cabin is very easy and the seats are comfortable. Power comes from a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine that does a decent job keeping up with traffic, but the Smart is very slow accelerating from a stop. It has a harsh ride, clumsy handling, and an automated manual transmission that has the worst shift quality we've experienced. It changes gear slowly, causing the car to pause and heave, rocking occupants fore and aft. We've measured 39 mpg overall, but the Smart requires premium fuel.


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    Apr 20, 2013 6:49 AM GMT
    ATC84 said
    ART_DECO said
    That's the position Consumer Reports takes on them. They make more sense for narrow European city streets, where you park half on the sidewalk. But in the US their tiny size has fewer advantages, but they don't get much better mileage than larger cars that offer more room for 4, and have better acceleration.


    To be fair the USA Smart has a fairly mediocre gasoline engine with a premium fuel requirement mated to an equally terrible automated manual gearbox. Better engines including diesel might make them more fuel efficient but then the cost of the car might rise which would defeat the purpose.

    I agree a Smart would make a great city car. However I never really see them in cities, at least Boston or NYC. Smart cars seem to all reside in affluent suburbs outside of DC.


    What happens when they hit a pot hole? One tire in the hole and three in the air?
  • musclpa

    Posts: 97

    Apr 20, 2013 7:41 AM GMT
    Cars in the city should have to be this size. I have to drive a pickup where I live
  • galant506

    Posts: 36

    Apr 20, 2013 9:06 AM GMT
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    I hate to burst your bubble Stephen, but this car did not hit a deer. It was run into a solid concrete barrier at 70mph as tested by UK TV program 'Fifth Gear'.
    They praised the Smart for it's crash safety. One can search for the article it on youtube and easily see where your photo is from.
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    Apr 24, 2013 7:10 PM GMT
    Thanks, galant506 for mentioning this. I remember when this was done. The cars tested had no human drivers. One of the things that they also mentioned in the test was that at 70mph, no one in any car would survive the secondary impact even with belts and airbags since the secondary impact at 70 mph with additional safety features will still kill the occupants.

    I've had mine 5 years so far and it's worked fairly well for me. Good mileage.

    Additionally it has the highest percentage of materials made from recycled sources and because there are no Li-ion batteries, it has the smallest carbon footprint of anycar (combustion or electric combined).

    If you need a car to make up for personal or physical deficits in 'other' areas, this probably isn't the car for you anyway.
  • Beeftastic

    Posts: 1747

    Apr 24, 2013 7:34 PM GMT
    I live in a city and have a big lunking sedan. I wish I had a Smart car for city driving and especially parking. But they are too expensive for what their value would be for me. I've often thought though, that in a few years, a used one might be affordable.

    *Edit* Just looked on Craigslist and used ones range from $7,500 to $10,000. When they get to 6,000 I might just get one.