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Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

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  • #16
    Re: Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

    If you were to take many of those old cars and make them meet modern day safety and emissions regulations their gas mileage would be quite worse. All that stuff is weight that keeps getting added on. Even compact cars are not really that compact anymore. Cars are much heavier now. All things being equal most modern cars will be more efficient.
    Last edited by Velosapien; 06-24-2008, 11:53 AM.

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    • #17
      Re: Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

      Originally posted by Rafael View Post
      I had a datsun b210 once upon a time. It was about the size of todays honda civic. I got 35 mpg in the city and close to 50mpg on the highway. This was back in the 1970s. What gives?

      I had a friend with a 210 and compared to a modern day Civic it was tiny. Doing some quick searching it looks like a Datsun b210 weighs about 2000lbs and was rated officially at 29/41mpg. I think it had somewhere around 60 to 80hp but can't find any solid details. A base 2008 Honda Civic weighs about 2800lbs and gets 25/36 with a 140hp engine. All things considered the civic is a far more efficient vehicle. If you dumped those extra 800 pounds and went with a smaller engine, you could probably beat a Prius.

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      • #18
        Re: Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

        The Honda Insight which they stopped making, gets 70MPG.

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        • #19
          Re: Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

          The Insight was rather impractical which led to its demise but it's not completely dead. They're planning to fit its hybrid powertrain on to the Fit. It's expected to fall in the mid 50mpg range. They are ressurecting the Insight name in a new model but it's a completely new car.

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          • #20
            Re: Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

            The VX while 13 year ago was as reasonably safe as alot of small cars. Airbag requirements hadn't come along though.

            You could get around 50 mpg hwy in a normal internal combustion engine. This was there "lean burn" engine if I recall and was very low in environmental impact.

            I have no citation for this, but I could swear I remember reading that the Clinton administration made a requirement for automakers to make a certain percentage of hybrid vehicles. Not saying it was dumb or bad intentions if true, just didn't pan out yet.

            Also, like I said I've always been a car enthusiast (or nut). A short while ago, gas was cheap, but they made hybrids. I'm always looking at prices and new things. Anyway, they passed a $3,000.00 tax credit for a hybrid. Within a month, the prices for hybrids went up............ about $3000.00. .

            J.C.
            Last edited by BobsPlumbing; 06-24-2008, 06:03 PM.

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            • #21
              Re: Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

              I had a deposit on a smart, and was on the waiting list for 8 months. I finally canceled when I found it was going to be another 12-14 months until I got my car. Meanwhile, other cars were showing up in the area, and dealers were adding assorted dealer installed options to make more profit (they are not allowed to sell the car for more than MSRP.)

              However, the cars are extremely well made. I have a new Mercedes C-300, and the quality of the smart is every bit as good. It is not a cheap car. It is a small urban car. At $12-18k, you could get something else, but it wouldn't be a smart.

              The smart gets the highest 2008 MPG of any car available in the US that isn't a diesel or hybrid. Sure older cars beat the gas mileage. But they don't build those any more. Today's Civic is much larger than our '83 Accord, weighs half again as much, and has half again the engine. We apparently don't want the cars of the '70s any more.

              The smart passed the crash tests with aplomb, and there are videos out there of the car surviving crashes that no other car could. It doesn't matter, as the passenger would be dead no matter what the vehicle. But running the car into a concrete barrier at 70 MPG, having it bounce back and roll over, and still be able to open and close the door with the latch intact is pretty impressive. Especially considering that the M-B E-class that they tested after didn't fare near as well.

              According to owners on smartcarofamerica.com, the car mostly excedes the advertised MPG specs, and is a joy to drive. As expected, it isn't for the highway, but it can comfortably cruise at 70 MPH plus, and is limited to 90 MPH.

              Then there is the "too small for safety" issue. Hell, compared to most motorcycles and all four of my scooters, the smart is huge! I ride on the Interstate and in heavy traffic all the time. As long as you know that you are nearly invisible to most drivers today, and drive defensively, you'll be OK. Buy owners of small sports cars, motorcycles, scooters and bicycles have known that for years! And any more, everyone needs to watch for unattentive drivers. Just because your in a large vehicle doesn't make you immune to someone on a phone running a light.

              The smart may not be for everyone, but it is a quality built car that serves its purpose well, and doesn't cost too much to buy or own. What's stupid about that?
              Steve
              www.MorrisGarage.com

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              • #22
                Re: Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

                I worked at someones house yesterday that had one. I didn't examine it well but I have no problem with it and don't think anyone is stupid to purchase one.

                But I do think alot of so called "improvements" in all cars is lacking.

                And you may love your Mercedes. If so, GREAT! But Mercedes has been rated for years as one of the most problematic brands manufactured.

                Saying the Smart is comparable to a Mercedes isn't saying much to me.

                J.C.

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                • #23
                  Re: Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

                  Guess who makes the smart car?




                  Smart is a division of Mercedes

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                  • #24
                    Re: Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

                    Saw a guy parking one on Saturday so I stopped to talk to him. He said he really like the car and it had all the standard goodies of a regualr sized car, auto, power steering, air, etc. He said the gas mileage was around 33 city! He didn't seem to mind and said claims of higher mileage were not true in his opinion. All I could think about was how tiny this poor excuse for a car was as it sat there. A tiny two seater with less than a foot of rear cargo room. God help you if you got rear ended. He said he felt safe and that it had some kind of roll cage design? I think it's too small for me or anyone I care about, just can't see it holding up well in an accident and there's just no room inside. They seem to be selling plenty so time will tell how they hold up. Good luck to anyone who buys into this product. I think we could get much more car and better mileage if the auto makers had the incentives.

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                    • #25
                      Re: Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

                      Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                      I think we could get much more car and better mileage if the auto makers had the incentives.
                      They can certainly be made a lot more fuel efficient, but thats going to require cars to get a lot smaller and lighter for conventional gas engine cars. In which case the Smart would not be as small in comparison. As it is right now the Smart is ranked the most fuel efficient non-hybrid car in the US.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

                        Guy at work had one today. It's so small I was able to pick up the back end off the ground. I wouldn't trust it in a crash.
                        Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                        • #27
                          Re: Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

                          Oh no B! Now you've done it. I can see the next RoundUp competition at the hotel.

                          Ricks gonna challenge you to the Smart car lift.

                          J.C.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

                            Sorry, old thread, but had ro react. B)

                            Originally posted by Frankiarmz View Post
                            Mile per gallon ratings are 33 city and 40 highway which are lousy considering the size of this thing.
                            Yeah, if it is as small as I read, it's lousy.

                            If a mile is roughly 1,6 kilometers, 33 to 40 makes 53 to 64 km roughly...
                            A gallon is what, 4,7 liters? that would be 7,3 to 8,8 liters per 100 km (the way it is calculated here) or 11 to 13 kilometers per liter...

                            Well, my 1984 Ford Fiesta, which is apparently larger, and of older technology than the car being discussed, refused to consume more than 5,5l/100km, which makes 18+ km/l or 53 mpg... if I got the coefficients even closely right.

                            And now, my 1991 Toyota Carina runs with approximately 6l/100km, or 16 to 17km/l... 50mpg??? That it weighs approximately two Fiestas and consumes little more gas, it is rather economical. Guess i'm not upgrading to a newer model any time soon, not with our gas prices reaching for the heavens.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

                              My wife told me today how a dealer in our area gave/loaned/whatever a few smart cars to the school where she works for on-campus use. She said they are all over the place. Great merchandizing strategy. The school, as you can imagine, is full of left wingers who love this kind of thing. With apologies to Thomas Merton, as an added benefit to the local economy, caused by the marketing ploy, the sale of laundry detergent has increased because those professors' shorts are dripping every time they see one drive by.

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                              • #30
                                Re: Smart Car, Stupid Consumers?

                                Originally posted by Dummyload View Post

                                A gallon is what, 4,7 liters? that would be 7,3 to 8,8 liters per 100 km (the way it is calculated here) or 11 to 13 kilometers per liter...
                                1 gallon = 3.79 liters.

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