Smart cars!

Gate

Cadet
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
The itty bitty cars from Europe are finally hitting the US soon. They've been in Canada for some time and a small trickle has existed here in the US, but come 2008, they will be showing up at dealerships around the country.

There is currently a tour going around letting people test drive them. I'm looking forward to it when it comes to my area, if nothing else just for the fun experience of driving something just under 9 feet long (4 feet shorter than a mini cooper)

From what I've heard there are over 30,000 reserved by people so far.
So what do people think? Most interviews I've seen on them show people aren't daunted at all to drive them around amidst hummers and such. In fact, really the only negative thing I've heard (genuinely negative- not "but how can a car be safe without crumple zones the size of my living room?" or "but it only holds two") is that the transmission sucks.

Here are a few links that nicely show it off.

http://www.smartusa.com/smart-car-fortwo-tv.aspx
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skh5RFSjkQk
http://www.smartusa.com/index.aspx

So what do you all think? Both those who have lived amongst these for a while and those here in the US?
 

Kuzzle

Cadet
Joined
Jul 6, 2006
Those look awesome. I hate driving cars because you're moving so much material. Like, I have no problem driving ATVs and motorcycles, but cars always feel clunky and difficult to maneuver. At least, to me anyway...

So, like, yeah. They seem cool, and I'd be fine with having one, but I feel like I'm stuck in a sardine can when I'm in a regular-sized car, so I don't know. I like vans, 'cause they seem like the only type of car I've been in with any real leg room. I don't even like having my feet touch the floor, so I can't stand short seats, and I'd have to sit in one before I could give a real opinion. Forgive my broken... Everything. Thoughts aren't flowing well lately. :(2
 

HJ-Diviana

Cadet
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Location
St. Charles, MO
I kinda really want one now. I was looking up a bit about them, and in past years, the diesel powered ones were getting about 69 mpg!!

That's CRAZY. Plus with all those safety features, and that you can choose between automatic or manual whenever you want..
 

Gate

Cadet
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Sadly, it looks like the ones the US is getting are only in the 40-50 mpg range, but it still is wonderful given that they aren't hybrids. They are hoping for a 4 star safety rating and crash tests have shown them to be no less safe than larger cars.

After doing some fairly extensive research, I put in my 99 bucks to reserve a black and silver passion with red interior. I figure I'll be test driving one in September and if I decide I don't want one, I can just get my money back. But if I do decide to get one, then I'm not at the very end of the list. Normally I wouldn't consider buying a new car, but these make environmental statements as well as style and size ones. Less waste in production and use and less pollution.
 

deathmetal

Cadet
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Location
Wisconsin
Actually diesel exhaust is more polluting than normal gas. You might be saving money at the pump, but you aren't really helping the environment more. Sure there is less carbon dioxide in deisel, but there is alot of soot, or smog-forming pollutants and toxic particulate matter.
 

Gate

Cadet
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
I agree with you about the diesel- the emissions regulations in the US prevent them from being sold here. What I wish was being sold here is the "mini-hybrid" version that they developed. Those use regular gas and are 13% more efficient than the regular smart cars. And they don't have all the environmental and financial issues that most hybrids suffer from. There are multiple kinds of smart cars being developed but in the states only 3 versions of the fortwo are being sold (at least for now).
 

HJ-Diviana

Cadet
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Location
St. Charles, MO
There are plans to release one in the US that is entirely electric, although they are about twice the price.

I thought it was the diesel that were going to be released here? Their website actually says 40+ mpg, so it's possible it may get more, but even that is much better than the average 25-ish.

Another thing you have to consider, is their engine reuses much of the fumes, instead of releasing them into the air (like almost every other car). That reduces the amount of emissions by almost three times (I think that's what it said the other day when I read it).
 

Gate

Cadet
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
After one year, 4 months on the reservation list, my smart car has finally arrived! I just picked it up on wednesday and so far I'm having alot of fun driving around and getting alot of attention.

It's fun to be in front of a bright yellow expensive sports car at a stoplight and have the pedestrians be looking at my smart instead.

The transmission really is slow, but if you ease off the accelerator as it shifts it really smooths things out. That's about the only negative I have to report about it. It's a very agile little car, comfortable, a tiny turning radius, and very well thought out and put together. I'm looking forward to seeing how many mpg's I can squeeze out of it.



More pictures:
http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i65/gateandara/100_4103.jpg
http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i65/gateandara/100_4101.jpg
 

Homeslice513

Cadet
Joined
Mar 7, 2006
Location
England
I have seen a lot of these since living over here now. Congrats on the new ride!

Have yet to be in one but my Fiat is kind of small itself. Most cars are just bit smaller but the roadways and parking ask for it as well as they seem to have more laws regarding environments but when your country is only so large you have to do what you can with it.

And I just kind of read back some and saw the talks on mileage. From my understanding i believe the US gallon is like 3.8 litres and the EU gallon is based around 4.5 litres so that makes a huge mileage difference. I buy gas by the litre so it really throws me off, I don't even try to figure the mileage but at the same time I am hardly using any gas at this moment...or petrol as they say here.
 

Gate

Cadet
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
It's by far the smallest car on the road in the US. It's just 8.8 feet long, but you sit higher than most other 2 seaters out there and higher than in some sedans. It's also extremely roomy inside and the fact that the windows are large, the back window is right behind you (no blind spots) and that practically the whole roof is clear (panorama roof) it makes it feel even larger.

For comparison, a Ford Tundra pickup is 19ft long, a Toyota Camry is 15.7ft, and even a Mini Cooper is a huge 11.9ft. Daax, your Turcell is 13.5ft long, more than 1.5 times the length of my smart. :D2
 

Gate

Cadet
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
In the land of Hummers, Suburbans, and extended-cab extended-bed pickups, nothing like the smart has ever been seen before. Yeah, when I was in Germany for a month smarts were neat but they didn't seem out of place. Here in the US they represent a change in the way we think about cars.

After a decade of being elsewhere in the world they are finally here in the US and selling faster than they can be made. There have been more than 75,000 reservations in the states and two other car companies are preparing to bring in their own versions in the next couple of years.

Oh, and for the first time smart is making a profit. It's finally a viable car company. I definitely think all of that is something to be excited over.
 

HJ-Diviana

Cadet
Joined
Feb 27, 2006
Location
St. Charles, MO
Oh, and for the first time smart is making a profit. It's finally a viable car company. I definitely think all of that is something to be excited over.
Technically, Smart is owned by Mercedes-Benz. In my opinion they're already part of a branded name and a car company.
 

Gate

Cadet
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
Yep, that's very true. However, the subdivision in and of itself just leeched off of the parent company for a decade. Apparently it lost somewhere between 3-5 billion. If it wasn't for the vision and hope of the Mercedes president it would have been axed within a year like most failed subdivisions. So for years it was essentially on life support and finally has come off.
 

Gate

Cadet
Joined
Oct 17, 2006
I just filled up the car for the first time and got 39mpg. I haven't exactly been hypermiling and have done about half highway, half in-town driving. This next tank I'll be practicing some of the basics of hypermiling such as shifting into N when coming up to and sitting at a stoplight, easing up on the acceleration and breaking, and driving a bit slower. Also, the car is supposed to get better fuel economy as it breaks in. People report getting about 5mpg better after the first few thousand miles.
Given that the smart costs half of what a Prius costs, I'm quite happy.
 
Top Bottom