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Old 06-15-2008, 09:42 AM   #29
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This doesn't look like a hypothetical car of the same size.
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:49 AM   #30
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Smart car gets highest score in crash tests - Autos - MSNBC.com another good smart cart crash test report.
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:52 AM   #31
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Smart Car? My husband was screaming about that 3 days ago- he found out that they botched the US version of these great little cars from Europe. He'd computed the economy of the EU version with whats shown up here as a Smart, and said its about half. We were getting 70mpg with a 700cc diesel Smart ForTwo with the convertible ragtop. If they actually only get 32mpg here on petrol, why is it so much difference, why the economy is half? Why not offer a diesel?

We drove Smarts at 120KM/h comfortably- I think its 70 here. When you push it past that (its hits 140KM/h) you feel a little small on the road, like its not quite controllable in a comfortable way. We're both over 6' tall, and fit perfectly in it, but I'd have to agree- a Fit, Yaris, or our choice is a TDI Beetle- is a better and roomier option in the US as opposed to an overpriced Smart US version.

If you're only getting 32mpg, and a bigger car with 4 seats and a trunk get 28mpg- over the course of a 1 year period, its not worth buying, as an extra car, a primary car- in either way, you'll be inconvenienced in that time, and probably dislike the choice. If it was 70mpg- different story.

Keep in mind that this car was built for parking, as well as economy. If you live in the suburbs, its not a needed car at the price they charge here, or the minimal fuel savings of the US version. If you lived in the country, and they got 70mpg, and you needed a 100 mile commute each way- they'd make better sense and pay for themselves.

On the highway, we get as much as 21mpg with an F350 5 speed. 11 miles better, for that size car is pitiful, just my .02 cents worth. EZ
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:36 AM   #32
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My financial adviser has one. We got to see it a week ago when we visited him. He loves it and claims that he is getting just over 50 MPG with his. He was on the waiting list for almost a year before he got his. It was parked next to my Tundra and I think I could fit it in the bed of my truck (tailgate down). Instead of a spare tire, it comes with a can of flat fix and a 12 volt compressor.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:02 AM   #33
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Craftsman - I'm sure you can find a whole bunch of You Tube videos of various models of cars being crashed into one another. Nevertheless, the crash test information that consumers rely upon is produced by two main organizations, the IIHS (funded by insurance companies) and the NHTSA (funded by our tax dollars). In doing frontal crash testing, both organizations run cars into a fixed barrier, i.e. it's like a head on collision with a car of similar weight going a similar speed. As a result, when reviewing crash test ratings, it's important to remember that the ratings do not assume whatever vehicle they're testing is run into a vehicle that's significantly larger. In the case of an accident in a Smart car, it will almost certainly be in an accident with a materially larger vehicle. For its size, the Smart car crash test ratings are quite good, but I wouldn't want one of my kids to be in the passenger seat of a Smart car. If prospective consumers of a Smart car think a crash test rating of "Good," the IIHS's highest rating, will mean that they'll fare well in a crash against a typical car on the road (one much bigger on average), it's useful for them to understand the crash testing methodology when making choices about safety.

This is not to say that I'm opposed to smaller, fuel efficient vehcles; I use one as my daily driver and only drive my SUV when I tow my boat or have multiple passengers with me. But if a combination of fuel economy and utility is the goal in purchasing a smaller car, there are better choices than the Smart car in my opinion. Both the Yaris and the Fit, have back seats, and have more than enough cargo space to go grocery shopping for a few weeks...something that can't be said about a Smart car. Since they get the same mileage and cost the same as a Smart car, those looking for good fuel economy and utility in a small car would be well served to shop around.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:06 AM   #34
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I'll say this- I laughed at them until my husband drove me in one- on the highway in France, north of Paris. I felt incredibly safe. He saw one crash once, against a concrete utility pole in Spain, and said he'd trust it with our kids- if it was big enough for them. The shape is supposed to be the reason its safe- like an egg.

I don't know where the 32 and 33mpg rates came from, but I've heard more than once, so its possible. I know it didn't really matter where we were- city or highway- we got no worse than 60mpg when had them. EZ
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:12 AM   #35
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Just be careful putting your arm and hand out the window, you may cause it to turn in that direction.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:29 AM   #36
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We have slowed down while towing Lucy from 65/70 to 55/60. The preliminary results are a 20% mpg increase. We were getting 9.5/10.0. We are now getting 11.5/12.0.

One the home front, we have a 1958 BMW Isetta, named Ichabod Isetta. We call him Ikky for short. We have had Ikky for many years, and now he is actually getting some real use because he gets 60-65 mpg. He is a little tough to take in the summer, though.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:43 AM   #37
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Here's one crashing into a concrete wall at 70mph. There are plenty of much larger cars that fare far worse.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:45 AM   #38
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Here's one review of the Smart car. They got 33 mpg.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/11/au...=fortwo&st=nyt

Motor Trend got 32 mpg and had similar gripes about the transmission.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:50 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonzai30b View Post
Craftsman - I'm sure you can find a whole bunch of You Tube videos of various models of cars being crashed into one another. Nevertheless, the crash test information that consumers rely upon is produced by two main organizations, the IIHS (funded by insurance companies) and the NHTSA (funded by our tax dollars). In doing frontal crash testing, both organizations run cars into a fixed barrier, i.e. it's like a head on collision with a car of similar weight going a similar speed. As a result, when reviewing crash test ratings, it's important to remember that the ratings do not assume whatever vehicle they're testing is run into a vehicle that's significantly larger. In the case of an accident in a Smart car, it will almost certainly be in an accident with a materially larger vehicle. For its size, the Smart car crash test ratings are quite good, but I wouldn't want one of my kids to be in the passenger seat of a Smart car. If prospective consumers of a Smart car think a crash test rating of "Good," the IIHS's highest rating, will mean that they'll fare well in a crash against a typical car on the road (one much bigger on average), it's useful for them to understand the crash testing methodology when making choices about safety.

This is not to say that I'm opposed to smaller, fuel efficient vehcles; I use one as my daily driver and only drive my SUV when I tow my boat or have multiple passengers with me. But if a combination of fuel economy and utility is the goal in purchasing a smaller car, there are better choices than the Smart car in my opinion. Both the Yaris and the Fit, have back seats, and have more than enough cargo space to go grocery shopping for a few weeks...something that can't be said about a Smart car. Since they get the same mileage and cost the same as a Smart car, those looking for good fuel economy and utility in a small car would be well served to shop around.
I agree with this, and I also feel that the Smart is safe, but the object, as a motorcycle rider and passenger, as my husband who has been riding Harleys over 20 years says, is not to crash.

I'm certainly a fan of Smarts, but if the US Smart is lacking benefits of the EU version, something is wrong. My guy says that they did it to VW- great cars built in Germany, but mass production in Mexico made the US version cheap and unreliable.

I know that we use all these little 1.2 liter cars in Europe, and they go pretty well. We rented a Seat Ibiza 5 door with a 1.4L diesel, and it cruised easily at 180KM/h on the AutoPista in Spain. Of course, we got passed regularly by Audi A8 W12's and the like, doing over 240.

We even have little moped powered cars- have moped plates and everything, and work well for the cost, and get probably better than a Smart- they're like the Poor Mans Smart car.

USA started to realize what Europeans do for cars when the Dodge Van was traded for the far superior Mercedes Benz Sprinter. About 28mpg and faster than our F350's on a 5 cylinder diesel.
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Old 06-15-2008, 02:44 PM   #40
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There are all kinds of small cars with diesel engines offed in Europe, Canada and South america that you can't buy in the U.S. I'm a fan of the Ford Ranger, offered in crew cab and diesel in South America but 2008 is the last year for the U.S. American car companies could offer cars with better gas milege in the U.S., the already do in many parts of the world. If if your argument is because of EPA standards, tell it to someone who might believe it.
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Old 06-15-2008, 03:24 PM   #41
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I don't believe it either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by craftsman View Post
There are all kinds of small cars with diesel engines offed in Europe, Canada and South america that you can't buy in the U.S. I'm a fan of the Ford Ranger, offered in crew cab and diesel in South America but 2008 is the last year for the U.S. American car companies could offer cars with better gas milege in the U.S., the already do in many parts of the world. If if your argument is because of EPA standards, tell it to someone who might believe it.
Too many other places have cars with excellent economy. They also get their dental work done for less than $2500 a tooth, gall bladder removed for less than $500, and insurance for a car is 300EUR a year in most places. Like everywhere else but the USA. We had our baby at home- the hospitals here can break you into a peasant- with or without insurance.

The top pickup in Europe was always the Mitsubishi L200 in a crew cab 4WD with diesel. Its seems similar to your Ranger you like. We looked at one, but couldn't fit well for the money. Economy figured in at about 34mpg when my husband converted it. Would tow our Bubble easily, but not much bigger. They sell them here- I've seen them, but not many.
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Old 06-15-2008, 03:42 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EllieZ
The top pickup in Europe was always the Mitsubishi L200 in a crew cab 4WD with diesel. Its seems similar to your Ranger you like. We looked at one, but couldn't fit well for the money. Economy figured in at about 34mpg when my husband converted it. Would tow our Bubble easily, but not much bigger. They sell them here- I've seen them, but not many.
Nissan has a very good diesel pickup in Europe, called there an Aventura (known in North America as a Frontier). If we are lucky, they may be released here, but the emission controls will probably strangle them, as they have to be detuned to meet the standards. Then again, they may wind up as successful as the MB Sprinter.
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