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  1. #1
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    smart car

    Any smart car owners? I once saw a smart car hauling 2 mtn bikes. I am wondering if this vehicle is worth thinking about owning?
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  2. #2
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    that little thing scares me - drove one from a friend and during crosswinds or even large-semi it makes me nervous. it's like a large golf cart

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    I owned a 2008 (ordered in 2006) and replaced it with 74k miles with a 2013. I made my own bike/ski rack and can carry 2 of either. Side winds can make them rock a bit, but then they can make my Tundra rock a bit too. My wife and I both drive Smarts, and we both get an average of 44mpg. I love passing SUVs or tiny-pecker-trucks going up Vail Pass. On more than one occasion, I've had guys in F250s whimper and groan when I fill up at the pump next to them. I had one lady ask if it was electric as I was standing at the pump filling it up.

    With good tires, they are amazing in the snow. The cars not only commute nicely between Aspen and Beaver Creek, but our driveway (.6 miles, average 12.7% grade, unpaved) is not a challenge as long as it's plowed.

    Sitting in the car, it does not feel small at all. My wife is 5' tall and says the seats are a little too big. We feel quite safe in them, they are little more than a roll cage with 8 airbags and there are plenty of stories about people walking away from rollovers. Many SUVs will flatten on a rollover, not a Smart.

    My rack can carry 2 MTB, road, or 1 Pugsley, and if a road bike is loaded I can still open the rear glass. It's made of 3/4" tube, angle iron, and 1" round tube which hinges out to hold a 2nd bike and wheels. It also has 2 'cups' and a scissor ski rack and carries the skis vertically. I have seen hitches installed for hitch racks, but I didn't want to spend the money, and I can weld.

  4. #4
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    I don't have a smart. But I do think there a cool little car. If I lived in a big city i would think about having one or a 500. Here is an interesting video were they crash one at 70mph.

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ju6t-yyoU8s" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  5. #5
    no trees are safe
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    I'd rather get a toyota. Smart car owners that I know are mostly a$$holes.

    That impact would still severely hurt you due to G force. These cars aren't made for high speeds. The narrow chassis makes it unstable at side forces like wind.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. D View Post
    Any smart car owners? I once saw a smart car hauling 2 mtn bikes. I am wondering if this vehicle is worth thinking about owning?
    I never drove one myself, and I have no objection to small cars in general. Bigger, by itself, does not equal safer. A well designed modern small car comes out way better than a poorly designed bigger car. Remember when a Mini spanked the F150 in a crash test? Top Gear did a head-on collision test between a mid 90's Volvo 940 (the big ass wagon) and a Ford Focus (IIRC) and the Focus did way better, even with a 800 pound disadvantage in mass.

    But, seems to me you can get a lot of slightly bigger cars for the same price, and get better gas mileage and more space to haul stuff (like bikes). Seems that the Nissan Versa, Mazda 2 or Toyota Yaris would be a better choice, unless you're trying to wedge it in tiny crowded urban parking spaces. From what I have seen from folks who actually own Smart Cars, they say that they ride super harsh.

    Although, I'm encouraged to see a real Smart Car owner state that he gets 44mpg. I thought the EPA estimate on that thing was like 35 mpg.

    I say it's worth taking a real look at one. They have a lot of cool tech that goes into them. It just seems to me that the main plus of the Smart is it's mega compact parking space footprint. Other than that, I don't see the advantage over a more traditional subcompact 4 seater (even if the back seats aren't very useful for adults).

    Quote Originally Posted by Millfox View Post
    I'd rather get a toyota. Smart car owners that I know are mostly a$$holes.
    I never understood this argument. I see it all the time. Are you saying there is something in the car that turns people into ashholes? How do you get to know random people on the freeway who are driving Smart Cars well enough to find out of the are ashholes or not?

    I say get what you like. Why spend your hard earned (assumed) dollars to make somebody else happy.... unless it's your SO riding in the car with you?
    Last edited by pimpbot; 08-25-2012 at 01:43 PM.

  7. #7
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    To me the car makes no sense. 44mpg is great but you can get a used Honda or Toyota for less money and have 4 doors and a trunk. You can get a brand new Kia or Hyundai for a few thousand more and get 36 mpg compared to the EPA rating of 38 in a smart. You have a 1.0 liter engine with 70 hp and they reccomend using premium gas.
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  8. #8
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    I had a Gen 1 Smart, a grey market car. Got rid of it, too hard to source parts for it. Other than that it did what it was supposed to do. The newer generations are easier to service and get parts for.

  9. #9
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    44mpg is not very good if you ask me. Both audi and vw have cars that comsume 78mpg.
    Volkswagen Lupo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Audi A2 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    These are really cheap to drive I suppose. I don't think they make them anymore.
    They actually consume less than a moped. But you have to drive them economic if you want that milage.
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    No way I would drive one of those. Bigger isn't always safer but it sure as hell means I don't have to poke my head out a sunroof. Not made for people who are 6'+

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    Quote Originally Posted by Millfox View Post
    I'd rather get a toyota. Smart car owners that I know are mostly a$$holes.

    .
    I guess that means you're off my ride list. Thanks for the generalization, though.

    Owning both a Toyota and 3 Smarts, my Toyota has had 5 recalls; Smarts: none.

  12. #12
    no trees are safe
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    I just say whats my experience. People that I know that own smart cars are a$$holes one way or another. That gives me a general bad impression of the car due to negative associations. Hey maybe you're an OK person I dont know you but I really dont like your car.

    These cars arent met for longer cruises. Their intended use is a city vehicle.

    You wanted an opinion. I gave you one.

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    Actually, no. I was not the OP, I simply answered his questions based on my experience. Clearly, your reading comprehension skills are on a par with your automotive analysis.

  14. #14
    no trees are safe
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    Now you're just being ans a$$hole your self...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandmangts View Post
    To me the car makes no sense. 44mpg is great but you can get a used Honda or Toyota for less money and have 4 doors and a trunk. You can get a brand new Kia or Hyundai for a few thousand more and get 36 mpg compared to the EPA rating of 38 in a smart. You have a 1.0 liter engine with 70 hp and they reccomend using premium gas.
    THIS x 100

    IMO the smart car makes zero sense, unless you live in a very crowded city where space and parking is at a premium (or maybe you want something small to tow behind your motorhome). I'll amit that I think it's cool how little space they can fit in for parking. But that's the only adavantage to them as far as I can see.

    No room for passengers or cargo, requires premuim fuel (really???? to feed the whopping 70hp?), and on top of that worse mileage than a "real" car. And not to mention you look like an @sshat while driving one.

    And FYI the newer Hyundais are rated at 40mpg highway, and popular Mechanics did a test where they actually exceeded that by a decent amount. And IIRC, in the same test, a Chevy Cruze (a four door with an actual TRUNK) got 48mpg.

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    I'd love to see a smart going down the road with multiple bikes standing on the roof.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    44mpg is not very good if you ask me. Both audi and vw have cars that comsume 78mpg.
    Volkswagen Lupo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Audi A2 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    These are really cheap to drive I suppose. I don't think they make them anymore.
    They actually consume less than a moped. But you have to drive them economic if you want that milage.
    Those are available in America now? Last time I looked a month or two ago the 2012 Prius was the MPG king of non full-electrics at 50 combined MPG EPA rating. Just looked at the 2012 smart fortwo coupe and that is rated at 36 combined.

    Fuel Economy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Significant Otter View Post
    No way I would drive one of those. Bigger isn't always safer but it sure as hell means I don't have to poke my head out a sunroof. Not made for people who are 6'+
    @ 6'2" I had more than enough room in mine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blubaru View Post
    I'd love to see a smart going down the road with multiple bikes standing on the roof.
    No roof mounts for a Smart, all are hitch or frame mount.
    Last edited by AZ; 08-26-2012 at 05:47 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tl1 View Post
    Those are available in America now? Last time I looked a month or two ago the 2012 Prius was the MPG king of non full-electrics at 50 combined MPG EPA rating. Just looked at the 2012 smart fortwo coupe and that is rated at 36 combined.

    Fuel Economy
    Nope, just a few of the great European diesels we can't get here thanks to asinine govt. regulations.

    And considering what a toy the Smart is, 36mpg combined is pretty poor, considering you make so many compromises to get that. A co-worker of mine has a '08 Jetta TDI, and he was telling me he never gets less than 33 with it, and that's not driving easy. He also said on a week where he was doing alot of highway driving to attend a class, he got 50mpg that tank.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Nope, just a few of the great European diesels we can't get here thanks to asinine govt. regulations.

    And considering what a toy the Smart is, 36mpg combined is pretty poor, considering you make so many compromises to get that. A co-worker of mine has a '08 Jetta TDI, and he was telling me he never gets less than 33 with it, and that's not driving easy. He also said on a week where he was doing alot of highway driving to attend a class, he got 50mpg that tank.
    The euro diesels are clean enough to pass regulations here. That isn't the issues. Vw won't bring their smaller cars here for marketing reasons. Also, our crash test standards are way higher here.

    They would have a hard time selling an 70hp diesel in an $18k car that went 0-60 in 12 seconds. In Europe where diesel is $8 a gallon, it makes sense.

    There was talk of vw making a US market Polo here to compete with the Fit, but they thought it woul just cannibalize sales of the Golf.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Millfox View Post
    Now you're just being ans a$$hole your self...
    Apparently it doesn't take much to qualify as one with you.

  22. #22
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    Gas and diesel cost about the same in europe, but diesel has more energy per liter and kilo, and the engines have more torque per volume, so the run cheaper, and usually they are turbos.

    Maybe Toyota has a few cheap to drive cars, like Auris, Yaris and Aygo, iirc at least one of them had some really boring 3 cylinder turbodiesel a few years back. 12 horsepower or something. Should be like 60 mpg or more there, easily. The "3L" models run so cheap because they had special tires only made for running small cars really cheap. If you put regular tires on the consumption goes up like 25%. Its a bit like bikes, tires matter.
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  23. #23
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    I like the Smart car, always have. Its made by Mercedes so you know its safe and well built. If you live in a city and use the car for just urban driving, it makes perfect sense. I live in Boston and see a lot Smart cars - you can park them anywhere. Parking here sucks, especially in the winter when the roads are a lot narrowing due to snow piles.

    Its not a car geared towards people who drive a lot, use highways often and/or drive long distances. There are plenty of people who live in big cities who stay within the city for everything - its the perfect car for that.
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