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Smart cars are looking better all the time.....

Post in 'The Green Room' started by hemlock, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. hemlock

    hemlock Feeling the Heat

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    Those little "Smart Cars" (the ones I kind of laughed at at first) are starting to look better all the time. Driving into work this morning, fuel was $1.278L ($4.83/G for our friends to the south). Funny how I've gone from a 1 ton Chevy C30, to an F150, down to a Sonoma, now to an Impala. Maybe a little Smart car is next.......

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  2. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    I'm hoping our household fleet soon will consist of my Tacoma Pickup and something like the Nissan Leaf. The Leaf we'd use for around-town commuting and the truck for everything else.
  3. joecool85

    joecool85 Minister of Fire

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    Smart cars get 41mpg but are the size of a suit case. I'd consider the new Ford Fiesta. Much more comfy and still gets 40mpg. I think they're cheaper too.
  4. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Certainly the words "Here we go again" come to mind with respect to oil prices. Heck, I'm even complaining and we've got a old Honda Insight getting ~ 60+mpg and my car running E85 where the money savings are equivalent to about 40mpg on gas.

    As for the Smart Cars, I guess I could see them in the city where size is an issue. But for carrying only 2 people and virtually no luggage space, they only get ~50 mpg which is about the same as a Toyota Prius, but the Prius can carry up to 4 people plus some luggage. I think the new Honda Insight is in the same range as the Prius. I've had our old 2-seat Insight up to ~70mpg on long interstate trips, got almost 90mpg under ideal conditions on the back roads and still easily do 50mpg around town - so it would probably get my vote for a small 2-seater car and it has a hatchback for decent storage, though they are starting to become a little more rare.

    Either way, will certainly be interesting days ahead!
  5. joecool85

    joecool85 Minister of Fire

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    They only get 41mpg according to their website: http://www.smartusa.com/models/pure-coupe/overview.aspx

    Like I said, if you're only getting 41mpg, might as well get a slightly larger and much more comfortable car like the Fiesta.

    Smart Pure Coupe
    MSRP: $12,490
    MPG: 41 highway
    70 hp/0-60 in 12.8 seconds
    Carries 2 people

    Ford Fiesta Sedan
    MSRP: $13,320
    MPG: 40 highway
    120hp/0-60 in only 9.5 seconds
    Carries 5 people

    So why would you consider the Smart, really? Plus the Ford will have better parts availability/more dealers etc.
  6. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    +1 I have a Honda Fit I can get 40 mpg part of the time and have much more room than a Smart car.
  7. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    $4k plus gets tacked on by the time they cross the big puddle.( safty crap required here) I remember the first hype about these were supposed to go for about $8k.
  8. joecool85

    joecool85 Minister of Fire

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    Yeah. If they did sell for $8k new, I'd consider something like that (even though they are rediculously small for most folks). But for the same price as a Fiesta or similar...nah. Also, I have a hard time justifying driving something that small (even if it was cheaper) when it gets THE SAME MPG as a larger car that can hold 3 more people and have more power/better acceleration.

    **edit**
    I should note that I was real excited about the Smart Cars before they got here. The 5spd manual transmission version got 50+ mpg highway and at the time that was unattainable in anything else except the (then new and expensive) hybrids. But then when they brought them here they put in a sloppy automatic that sucks up most of the fuel savings.
  9. henkmeuzelaar

    henkmeuzelaar New Member

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    What I am really looking for is a smart car the size of our F150 pickup-bed. So, if my wife and I both need to go shopping in the nearest city (~ 55 miles away) we can put the smart car in the pickup and split up downtown, I can go home fast with my load of lumber, etc. and she can shop for hours with the smart car before finding her way home later.

    If you do the math, the savings are amazing! On the way to the city the smart car does better than 100 mpg !! (just counting the extra fuel used by the F150).

    Does anyone know if such a pickup-bed-sized car already exists?
    Yeah I know that we could simply tow the smart car. However, the road up to our home is quite steep and has too much snow in winter to make that an attractive proposition.

    Henk
  10. kettensäge

    kettensäge Feeling the Heat

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  11. joecool85

    joecool85 Minister of Fire

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    Or you could get her a motorcycle...more storage capacity lol.
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Yes, it is a motorcycle or even a scooter. My dual sport kawasaki KLX250 gets 80 mpg and can run on the freeway or race in the desert.

    The smart cars were never a good idea, the specs have always sucked. Why suffer with such an unsafe, small, and ridiculous looking vehicle and then waste so much fuel moving the thing around only getting 40mpg. Get a nice diesel VW or pretty much any decent sub compact car for better mpg and comfort.

    Anybody that has actually looked at the specs would skip the smart car.
  13. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I put a bunch of miles on a VW Beetle TDI and really liked it.
    I have a MINI now and really like that (42 mpg last tank).
    I can put golf clubs and carts in the back with the seats folded.
    Diesel is wicked expensive here now.
  14. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    With petrol over $9 a gallon here, my next car is likely to be a bicycle...........
  15. yooperdave

    yooperdave Minister of Fire

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    about the only thing those smart cars are good for would be the ease to park (for those that have a tuff time of parking).

    i did a lot of driving to and from work-
    5-speed ford escort best mpg was 44.4 gave car away with 247,000 miles on it. still had the original exhaust. the next owner sold it to a grandpa/grandson for $175 with 265,000-still running strong with no blue.
    last car is toyota corolla w/auto. best mpg was 43.6. out west, 70-75 mph with the ac but the difference was the gas was not mixed with corn!

    the smart car is rated at 41 mpg. disappointing for such a small vehicle. just looking at it makes you wonder about the safety of any type of collision...even with an animal (deer).

    best i ever squeezed out of a 1200 cc harley was 67mpg! just to see how much i could.
  16. henkmeuzelaar

    henkmeuzelaar New Member

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    That is hilarious!! Thanks I needed a good laugh!

    Do I contact The Smithsonian Institutes or American Pickers for a test drive??

    Henk
  17. henkmeuzelaar

    henkmeuzelaar New Member

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    Thanks for the thought! I'm afraid it is too cold here in the Idaho Rocky Mountains. Also there is so much snow and ice in winter that one sees very few motorcycles on the roads then. Some motorcycle enthusiasts seem to switch over to snowmobiles, which can only be driven in the berms.

    Henk
  18. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

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    Soooo.... when oil gets to $200/barrel & beyond, as well staying there for a very long time, your looking at $20/gal +, yep bike for sure or just walking.
  19. henkmeuzelaar

    henkmeuzelaar New Member

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    As also explained to the previous poster, motor cycles (or scooters for that matter) don't mix very well with the winter weather here in the Idaho Rockies.

    However, when you mentioned your Kawasaki motorcycle I suddenly realized that some ATVs or UTVs can actually be equipped with reasonably protective cabins and then made street-legal.

    The two things to worry about with ATVs/UTVs though are the scarily high price and possibly the relatively poor mileage (or am I wrong there?).

    Henk
  20. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    The OP is in Canada & Smarts sell much better in Canada because the diesel version is sold there (or was, I think new emissions standards may have bumped it out in last few years). The diesel is more like in the 70-80mpg range based on Euro testing I think. That would be more like 60-70mpg in EPA equivalent. Also diesel doesn't bring quite as high a premium in CDA as in the U.S. and small cars are just more popular in general in CDA. So Smarts look a lot Smarter over the border.
    Writing them off as unsafe isn't backed up by any testing that I've seen. They are built around an F-1 style crash cage and seem to de pretty well in crashes.
  21. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

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    When I first saw them I look at some reviews and was suppressed that they did not get that good gas mileage for the size, and they need to use PREMIUM grade fuel.
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Passenger room is one thing I like about the Prius. It can seat 5 comfortably without making the rear seat passengers eat their knees. At 45-50mpg, it's still respectable, but doesn't hold a candle to the average mileage that folks in Europe are able to buy. 60-70mpg in a 4-5 passenger, gas car there is not uncommon. Add another 10-20mpg if it's diesel. We are pretty far behind in this area.

    Examples: The Citroen C3 gas version gets about 62mpg. The VW Polo 1.6TDI gets a whopping 85.5!
  23. hemlock

    hemlock Feeling the Heat

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    The ones up here are 3 cylinder diesels that are supposed to avergae about 65 mpg (that explains why the numbers some were posting here were not making much sense to me). I was not aware that they even came with gasoline engines.
  24. joecool85

    joecool85 Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, here in the states it is the only way they come. Do you guys get a manual transmission or the cruddy semi auto that (apparently) miss-shifts a lot?
  25. hemlock

    hemlock Feeling the Heat

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    Don't hold me to this (I'm not 100% sure), but I think you can get either transmission.

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