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Smart car, who is planning to get one? - Page 3

post #31 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCashflow View Post
Sounds like something mt. spiffy would say.



From the video, it would appear the engine is pushed into the main compartment in a crash which could pin your legs in.
That would be really impressive seeing as how the smart car has a rear mounted engine. Also, that's a video

This is why I believe that 90% of the opinions in here are of the uneducated kind.
post #32 of 77
It might just be my computer but I'm unable to edit my above post.

Just forget I even typed "Also, that's a video"
post #33 of 77
Actually, as rye mentioned, this car is perfect for Tokyo in every way imaginable. So much that the thought of it kinda makes me chuckle.
post #34 of 77
yeah- smart car is rear engine, rear drive, "manumatic" (clutchless manual).

I still maintain that for its size there is NO reason that it shouldn't be getting in the 50MPG range other than it is terribly underpowered even for what it is.

There's this perception that small+low power= good economy. However, small+moderate power will nearly always return better economy. You don't have to get into the throttle as much when you have more power, and one of the keys to good economy is keeping throttle opening to under 1/2 throttle.

An example I like to bring up is the previous truck I owned. It had a 300 CID (4.9 liter) 6 cylinder putting out about 120Hp and 265ft*lbs of torque all below 3500 rpm. On the interstate it would get 20mpg, but around town I was thrilled out of my mind if it would bring back 10. It was typically in the 8-9mpg range. It's because it was comparitively underpowered and I really had to get into the throttle just to keep up with traffic.

Well, I built a 390 CID 8 cylinder for it that made 325Hp and 430 ft*lbs of torque all below 4500 RPM. Around town it would get a solid 14mpg since I didn't have to get into the throttle to keep up with traffic, and on the highway I only took a 4mpg hit (which is actually directly proportional to the increase in displacement). Since I spend more time driving in town, the larger and more powerful motor actually returned almost 50% better combined economy than the 6 cylinder.

How 'bout them apples?
post #35 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serg View Post

plz.

I recently saw a real vintage Fiat 500 on the streets, and it's surprisingly scaled in size to "regular-size cars" unlike a Smart, which I've also seen puttering about, which seem rather cartoonish.
post #36 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCashflow View Post
Sounds like something mt. spiffy would say.
Nobody could pull of the style - for want of a better word - mr. spiffy enjoys. But some people look good in a Smart though. They'd look better in something like the new mini, but then the mini isn't a particularly good car for the money.
post #37 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by lost in va View Post
This is why I believe that 90% of the opinions in here are of the uneducated kind.

Yeah, they`re not so SMART
post #38 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fade to Black View Post
Actually, as rye mentioned, this car is perfect for Tokyo in every way imaginable. So much that the thought of it kinda makes me chuckle.

Actually no... see my previos comment:
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtmt View Post
In Japan it is pretty useless as well, since Japanese "kei" cars cost less than 2/3 the price, get better fuel economy, and are probably more reliable to boot.
post #39 of 77
I have had a Smart for years and personally I think that this debate is not particularly sophisticated, but then again, perhaps in the US you have a simpler system of regulation of vehicles.

In the UK there are distinct advantages in driving a Smart. We have an annual road tax based on CO2 emissions. When the latest changes take effect, I will pay £30 pa to tax my Smart against £270 for family saloon type vehicles and £455 or there about for SUVs. (all approximate figures, each vehicle is individually rated)

The £240 pa I save on tax against a saloon buys me enough fuel to cover most of my annual mileage, living in a city and not covering more than a few thousand miles a year.

On top of this, when the new COo2 based congestion charge is applied in London my Smart will be exempt, saving £10 a day in the congestion zone.

It makes very good economic sense to drive a Smart here, and more than that, the elevated driving position and clutchless drive system make city driving easier, as well as the car having obvious parking advantages.

Finally, driving 'Hummer' type vehicles here is increasing being seen as being about as socially acceptable as paedophilia, so less hassle is guaranteed.

The latest ForTwo has an NCAP safety rating of 4 stars, not too shabby.

As far as 'manliness' goes, are members here so lacking in confidence and self-worth they actually care?

It's like novelty ties, you can't buy a personality for a fiver, nor can you buy "˜manliness' for whatever you pay for your vehicle.
post #40 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonk View Post
I have had a Smart for years and personally I think that this debate is not particularly sophisticated, but then again, perhaps in the US you have a simpler system of regulation of vehicles.

In the UK there are distinct advantages in driving a Smart. We have an annual road tax based on CO2 emissions.

The US has a similar tax, but not directly based on CO2. We have a "gas guzzler tax" which is to be paid on all vehicles that don't get a combined 22.5mpg which is between 1,000 and $7700 depending on how bad the formulated economy is. HOWEVER, trucks and SUV's are exempt from the taxation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonk View Post
As far as 'manliness' goes, are members here so lacking in confidence and self-worth they actually care?

Well, some people use it to compensate and some people use it to compliment. Why else would I drive a lifted truck on 35's? It's not to draw attention to what I don't have
post #41 of 77
Martin Buckley wrote in some older edition of Classic Cars about driving a Mercedes W111 coupe in London--perfect:

post #42 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serg View Post

plz.

Fiat has a hit on their hands with the new 500. Along with the Mini you are going to see more upscale sub compacts on the road in North America over the next few years. I hope Fiat comes back to North America with this, they finally got their act together.
post #43 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Smith View Post
Fiat has a hit on their hands with the new 500. Along with the Mini you are going to see more upscale sub compacts on the road in North America over the next few years. I hope Fiat comes back to North America with this, they finally got their act together.
I dunno. I think Japan is better at the sub compact than Europe. I can't comment directly on the market in America, but here in Australia the Honda Jazz is a better prospect than the fiat 500 and I imagine the rest of the world isn't too dissimilar, except perhaps in Italy itself. The Honda Jazz GLi vs. The Fiat 500 Pop, they both have the same power to weight, and the same torque to weight so they'd get about at the same speed. The Jazz has 100ccs more displacement, is heavier and returns 5.7ltrs/100kms combined compared to the Fiat's 5.1ltrs/100km. So there is a bit of a difference in petrol. The Jazz wins on usability though. It's bigger, has 5 doors, has just over twice the boot space with the seats up, and almost two and a half times the storage space with the seats folded down! The real winner though is your back pocket. The basic Jazz GLi manual is $15,990, while the Fiat is a whopping $22,990. The only time I would suggest getting the Fiat over the Jazz is if you want to get the sports version, as the sport Fiat has rear discs while the sport Jazz (VTi) has drums. However, the VTi Jazz is still markedly cheaper at $18,990 vs. the 500 Sport at $26,990. For an extra $3000 over the 500 sport, down here you could get the Colt Rallyart, which blows the Fiat out of the water as far as engine performance goes with 113kw and 210nm of torque - in the same realm as the Mini Cooper S, but for $10,000 less. And the Colt Rallyart has rear discs too. These same comparisons can be made against the Smart ForFour too. The Smart is a clever idea, but as soon as you give it 4 seats it's just a standard sub compact, and I think it looses to the Jazz and similar cars. I can't make a direct comparison because here in Australia we only have the Smart ForTwo. But TopGear backs me up so I feel pretty confidant about that one.
post #44 of 77
that car is just adorable. i believe they put it through the elk test, which is basically just getting the car to swerve rapidly to dodge an oncoming elk, and the poor car tipped over. All I could think of was a little smart car, on its side, with its wheel spinning, and a sad turtle expression.
post #45 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrad View Post
The smart cars actually do really well in high speed accidents, much to my surprise. There's a video where the run one staright into a New Jersey barrier at 70mph and it survives remarkably intact. Only thing is they carry so little forward momentum they just stop too fast upon hitting something. No way on earth you'd live through it.


http://youtube.com/watch?v=ju6t-yyoU8s

not to be a naysayer, but simple physics. I just had a jury trial come back today dealing with a small vehicle being struck by a large truck. Large truck 1, small car 0 The dead in the small didn't have a chance. That doesn't make the vehicle defective, however.

There is absolutely no way I would get in one of these Smart cars in the united states, mileage be damned. sorry, but $4 gas ain't worth my personal safety. NCAP testing is great, but that measures only performance of the bags and belts, not the vehicle. Maybe if I am gonna slam into a barrier at 35 mph in a frontal in conformation with FMVSS 208, I will reconsider, but seeing as this is the real world and crash will more likely than not be between two or more vehicles, I want a shitload of steel on my side.

http://www.crashtest.com/explanations/nhtsa/index.htm

"In 1978 the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began crash-testing popular vehicle models in the United States. Their protocol (FMVSS 208) involved running vehicles head-on into a fixed barrier at 35 mph. Results were published for the information of consumers, as the US arm of the international New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). Today's passenger vehicles are designed to be more crashworthy than they used to be, largely thanks to this testing. Still, over 30,000 occupants die in crashes on U.S. roads each year.

The very success of the NCAP means remaining differences in performance among most new vehicles in full-width tests are small. This doesn't mean important crashworthiness differences no longer exist. They do exist, and additional crash test configurations can highlight these differences. One such test is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) frontal offset crash. Full-width and offset tests complement each other. Full-width tests are especially demanding of restraints but less demanding of structure, while the reverse is true in offsets.

Full-width frontal impact crash test - NHTSA and OSA currently use this procedure for their full-width frontal impact collisions. Dummies are seated in the driver's and front passenger seat. The vehicle crashes head-on into a rigid concrete barrier at 35 mph (56 km/h). Afterwards, researchers measure and evaluate the impact on the dummies' head, chest, and legs.

This test provides very high deceleration forces to the test dummies and is particularly well suited to the evaluation of occupant restraint systems such as seat belts and air bags. Of note, however, the damage done to the vehicle itself is not assessed. "


Bottom line: Drive a big SUV or a crossover. I won't let my family ride in anything else. The potential savings of say $1,000 per year ain't worth it.
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