Smart Cars in the U.S.

Posted:
in AppleOutsider edited January 2014
linky



Well its about time. I for one think this will be great for larger urban areas where parking and traffic jams are an issue.



Hopefully they can thrive in the U.S. where big SUV's and trucks are the norm.



So, given the option, would anyone here consider buying a Smart Car?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 53
    maimezvousmaimezvous Posts: 802member
    I would get a Smart Car the instant that I could afford one. It's so cool that they are coming to the US.
  • Reply 2 of 53
    rufusswanrufusswan Posts: 132member
    Yes, and not because I live in an urban/city enviro. I live way out in the woods. Here's why it's makes sense:



    For those occasions where I actually HAUL people or stuff I have a 91 Mazda King Cab Pickup. This amounts to < 5% of all annual 'trips', and I get about 27 mpg. A person does have to haul a canoe and fishin gear on occasion!



    Am retired with no kids or pets. I don't normally to haul much more than a bag of groceries and a 12 pack. The closet retail establishment is a 16 mile round trip. And trust me, it aint a full service WalMart. It's Joe's Country Store, and yea, you can by gas, beer, cigs, bread, milk, and rent a movie, but little else. So if I drive my truck, it costs me $2 to get there to spend $5 on a six-pack. That's a heavy cost.



    The nearest town of any size is either 30 miles or 50 miles, round trip. That means $3.50 to $5 per trip. To get to a CITY is a 100 mile round trip. At $2.70 per gallon, going anywhere from a rural enviro is costly.



    I might miss a ten-block trip to the store, but wound'nt live in a city if ya paid me.



    Paz
  • Reply 3 of 53
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    How much is a cheap hybrid? It seems a lot more viable than a smart car, with better city fuel economy to boot.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by rufusswan

    Yes, and not because I live in an urban/city enviro. I live way out in the woods. Here's why it's makes sense:



    You're going to have to make a lot of trips to make up for the $15k price tag, plus insurance, plus tax. Additionally, the energy cost of building the vehicle itself is much, much more costly to the environment than the added emissions from your truck.



    If you want to get a smart car, that's fine, but getting one as a second car is not in-line with any environmental or economic logic.
  • Reply 4 of 53
    rufusswanrufusswan Posts: 132member
    Splinemodel,



    Your points are certainly accurate, but I was not attempting to 'make the case' for the purchase of a SmartCar. {How the hell do you haul a 17' canoe on a 8.33 foot long auto? Very delicately, I suppose!} I did answer YES, but that was a courtesy to the spirit of the thread.



    Let me be more specific, and tell you why I posted.



    Normally, when folks talk about smaller, more efficient, nimbler autos, they IMMEDIATELY conclude that they would "make sense" to urban users. I can't argue with this, but it seems to me that they don't stop to consider also "make sense" to the rural user.



    As I attempted to allude to, the urban driver goes 10 blocks to the QuickTrip. A rural user might go 10 MILES. The urban driver may drive 4 miles to a BestBut/CircuitCity/Walmart,etc. The rural driver may go 30/40/50 miles to find a burg that big. Ya begginin' to see a pattern here?



    On a per trip basis, guess who is using the most petrol?



    Do you think it is the urban/liberal/pinko/soccer mom who is haulin 8 kids to the local ballfield?



    OR,



    Is it the lone redneck/conservative/coon-huntin'/chickin fightn'/rural dude headin miles down the road to the fishin hole?



    Paz
  • Reply 5 of 53
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Hey rufuss, despite the evidence to the contrary, it was nothing personal. I was making an example, and you happened to walk right into it.



    I think your point is well made, although I will say that the urban appeal of the smart car is that it's small and nimble, and also that traffic in cities is not fast enough to expose the weaknesses of the smart car, which are top speed and cargo space. In a rural environment, the smart car will almost always be a second vehicle. On pure economics, a vegetable-oil burning diesel would be the best option. I'm not sure how bad they pollute.
  • Reply 6 of 53
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Splinemodel

    How much is a cheap hybrid? It seems a lot more viable than a smart car, with better city fuel economy to boot.









    Most hybrids I've seen are too expensive and not thrifty enough with the fuel. I fail to see why we aren't driving 100mpg vehicles by now. Or at least, people should look towards small 4 seat cars like the Lupo of Deisel Charade.



    Me, I'll stick with walking, cycling, buses, trains, scooters and on occasion, private taxis. That combo works out so much cheaper, and just as flexible to me.



    Same definitely applies to the Smart Car, but they are lovely.
  • Reply 7 of 53
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    The Smarts are cool. There are quite a few of them in the city I live in in Japan; I can see two every day, and there is a dealer just down the road. One of my co-workers has one and loves it.
  • Reply 8 of 53
    tmptmp Posts: 601member
    I would consider it, but let's face it, it would be more of a fashion statement than a real jab at economy. Even at 50 mpg city, I'd have to drive a lot to make up the extra puchase price over say, and Aveo or a Yaris, of for that matter, for the paid-for Civic I drive now. No to mention the bus that I take to work and shanks mare I use to got to the grocery store.



    But if 100 people in LA decide to ditch the Excursion and buy one of these, great.
  • Reply 9 of 53
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,190member
    Ever since I saw them in person all over Rome a year or so ago, I've loved Smart cars. The question is: will Mercedes follow the lead of the Cooper mini and handle it's introduciton to the US in an intelligent manner, or will they apply their usual lame-ass marketing team? Time will tell. For me, they can't get here soon enough.
  • Reply 10 of 53
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by belfast-biker

    I fail to see why we aren't driving 100mpg vehicles by now.



    Because heat engines aren't very efficient by nature, and there are limits to the chemical energy in gasoline. Hybrids are only helpful due to the fact that braking charges the battery. Sometimes I wonder the feasibility of creating a very small Thorium reactor which could be used in things like cars, buses, trains. If it would be possible to encase it into a very stable enclosure, it would make for a very long-life battery.
  • Reply 11 of 53
    fellowshipfellowship Posts: 5,038member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rufusswan

    Splinemodel,



    Your points are certainly accurate, but I was not attempting to 'make the case' for the purchase of a SmartCar. {How the hell do you haul a 17' canoe on a 8.33 foot long auto? Very delicately, I suppose!} I did answer YES, but that was a courtesy to the spirit of the thread.



    Let me be more specific, and tell you why I posted.



    Normally, when folks talk about smaller, more efficient, nimbler autos, they IMMEDIATELY conclude that they would "make sense" to urban users. I can't argue with this, but it seems to me that they don't stop to consider also "make sense" to the rural user.



    As I attempted to allude to, the urban driver goes 10 blocks to the QuickTrip. A rural user might go 10 MILES. The urban driver may drive 4 miles to a BestBut/CircuitCity/Walmart,etc. The rural driver may go 30/40/50 miles to find a burg that big. Ya begginin' to see a pattern here?



    On a per trip basis, guess who is using the most petrol?



    Do you think it is the urban/liberal/pinko/soccer mom who is haulin 8 kids to the local ballfield?



    OR,



    Is it the lone redneck/conservative/coon-huntin'/chickin fightn'/rural dude headin miles down the road to the fishin hole?



    Paz




    LOL



    Post of the year! Did nobody else enjoy this bit of comedy



    Fellows
  • Reply 12 of 53
    fellowshipfellowship Posts: 5,038member
    We need a pic:



    Taken from Paris France October 2005















    Some more Paris Pics
  • Reply 13 of 53
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    well, we are finally moved into ottawa (and out of louisiana), and this thread is of interest because i have seen a TON of smart cars, as well as all of your smaller cars like the yaris, matrix, aveos, etc. (even beetles, so my wife and i have two of the most popular cars in the area -- matrix and beetle -- whereas we were dwarfed by the constant barrage of suburbans, hummers, escalades and the like in our old neck of the woods).



    small cars pay for themselves in one area, as far as i am concerned... finding city parking. so many times, a spot between two badly parked cars will go unused because you'd have to be a stunt driver to pull off the parallel, but smaller autos like the ones described above can fit in a friggin' phone booth. the time i waste trying to get into and out of downtown areas quickly for errands is ridiculous when i am in a slightly larger rental car.



    heck, i'd even consider a vespa if it wasn't unusable 3-4 months of the year up here (weather).
  • Reply 14 of 53
    Fellows,



    I like dem 'rimps' on da first car. The second one could use some pimpin'!
  • Reply 15 of 53
    bergermeisterbergermeister Posts: 6,784member
    I'll try to stop by a dealer (in Japan) in the next day or two to take some photos... they have red and green and blue and some colors the original iMac didn't come in... theY's sho iz good loookin'.



    http://www.smart-j.com/index2.html
  • Reply 16 of 53
    The Smart cars are great, we've had them in the UK since they where first released. We now have the fortwo, forfour and roadster, with all models available with Brabus conversions.



    Some engine info:



    the suprex turbo engine



    Complete with turbo charger and air cooler, the 3-cylinder rear-mounted suprex engine weighs in at just 59 kg. Capable of delivering up to 74 bhp (BRABUS), it delivers excellent fuel consumption and low CO2 emissions.



    low consumption



    When we say low fuel consumption, we mean low. Would you believe, over 49 miles to the gallon (or London to Edinburgh on one tankful)?



    low emissions



    Our new suprex turbo engines don?t just comply with today?s stringent emission standards, they already meet tomorrow?s even tougher standards. In fact our HC, CO and NO emissions are 50% lower than the standards currently required.



    electronic accelerator



    Inside the accelerator pedal is a piece of electronics called a potentiometer. Put your foot down to accelerate and the engine gets the message faster ? so you feel the power faster and more directly. It?s a little thing learned from grandprix racing.



    dual ignition



    Every cylinder has two spark plugs for reliable cold starting with low emissions.
  • Reply 17 of 53
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Porkspeare

    low consumption



    When we say low fuel consumption, we mean low. Would you believe, over 49 miles to the gallon (or London to Edinburgh on one tankful)?[/B]



    Pssssh. The guy from Top Gear went from London to Edinburgh and back on one tankful in an Audi Diesel V8. (40mpg)
  • Reply 18 of 53
    relicrelic Posts: 4,735member
    I've been driving a smart car for the last three years. I use it to putt around Zurich as finding a parking place is a real chore, (you can park on the sidewalk with a Smart). It?s not my main car but a defiant welcomed secondary that gets lots of use. I highly recommend one to anyone who?s living in a beach community or a compact city like Portland Oregon or Zurich Switzerland.
  • Reply 19 of 53
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,590member
    Those cars are a mere speck on the road next to my Dodge Cummins Diesel Dually MegaCab, I would stay on your side of the road.
  • Reply 20 of 53
    There's no way that an average size American could fit into one of those Hot Wheel cars. I'm six three, and couldn't do it. One of the reasons that I don't own a Corvette Z-06 is because of that.



    Plus, if a ten speed biker hit you, you'd be toast in that smart car.
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