// Smart Car a solution?
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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Smart Car a solution?

    OK, nobody else is posting about the Smart ForTwo, so I'll be the first.

    I have seen it up close, but not driven one and I have read a number of articles about it. Bottom line seems to be that it leaves a bit to be desired. Keep in mind that it only seats two, has rather limited storage, gets good but not great mileage (EPA rated 33city/41highway) and will set you back at least $12,000-14,000.

    Interior is tall and feels roomy for two. Storage is limited but you could fit quite a few groceries in it if you went to the store alone and folded down the passenger seat. Because it is tall but short and narrow, drivers report that it feels a little "tippy", has a choppy ride, especially on pot-holed urban streets, and can be buffeted quite a bit by the air stream off of semi's on the highway.

    The anemic 3-cylinder engine and slow-shifting, semi-automatic transmission force the driver to push the car to the edge of its performance envelope, especially on the highway, which can be exhilarating for some, scary for others. Its safety cell design performs surprisingly well in crash tests.

    The Smart ForTwo gets lots of attention. A reporter for one of the car mags noted that crowds gathered everywhere he went. Interestingly, people over-estimated the mileage (some guessed as high as 80mpg) and under-estimated the price (some thought it should cost as little as $8,000).

    For about the same price you could buy a Honda Fit or similar car that holds twice as many people, has at least twice as much storage space, gets similar gas mileage and is easier to drive. Its real strength is not fuel effficiency or price but its very compact footprint which helps overcome some of the challenges of owning a car in a dense urban environment. This raises a question, though: Do we solve some of these urban challenges by making cars smaller so we can cram in more of them or should we look for solutions which reduce the need for cars in such an environment?

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  3. #2

    We love our new smart

    We love our new smart four-two Passion coupe. We also own an '08 HCH II and both cars get simular milage around town and on the freeway. The smart is very reasonably priced & is a blast to drive. Everywhere we go people want to talk about the little smart. My wife drives 70 miles a day round trip to the office in the car and people are always pulling alongside and waving. If you are interested in a smart, go and drive one. Don't listen to negative types that have not driven one or don't own one. I have not meet an unhappy owner yet; unlike the HCH II.

  4. #3

    I couldn't possibly be

    I couldn't possibly be convinced to buy a car as small as the SmartForTwo this year or next because I just couldn't believe I could be safe, no matter what videos they put out. Maybe, possibly, after several years of real world use I could be convinced to change my mind, but definitely not now.

    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has an interesting article on the topic of small vs. subcompact cars:

    If I had to go cheap, I'd pick up an older model Toyota Corolla. I think you can still get a base model for around $15k - 3k more (at most) than the Smart Car. In exchange you get a bigger car with a 5 star front crash test rating, space for 4 passengers plus a trunk, and the same gas mileage as a Honda Fit (admittedly, 15% less than the Smart Car). I might also be able to buy a used Honda Civic hybrid and beat the Smart Car's mileage, or (obviously) if I had the right kind of money I'd just buy a Prius. :-)

    The only reasons I can think of that someone would buy a SmartCar would be 1. Extremely Cheap, 2. Novelty factor.

  5. #4

    I have a co-worker who owns

    I have a co-worker who owns a smart car and he swears by it. He's had it a couple years now & is completely satisfied. Personally, I'd buy one for a city car, but not a highway car. I'd feel safer in a highway car that had a bigger buffer zone were an accident to happen.


    Commercial & Industrial Matting - custom automotive http://matdepot.com/home.cfm

  6. #5

    Little death trap. I've

    Little death trap. I've seen accidents in Europe with these cars. Horrible outcomes. Trendy here in the states but in Europe they would much rather prefer a "normal" car.

  7. #6

    I'm really unimpressed with

    I'm really unimpressed with the gas mileage from such a tiny car. I can do about the same with a Honda Fit or Civic.

    I'm even more unimpressed that the Smart Car requires premium gas. Where are the fuel savings?

  8. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2008

    I'd rather take civic hybrid

    I'd rather take civic hybrid over this POS anyday.

  9. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Indeed I would take a civic

    Indeed I would take a civic hybrid for a POS to.But I think that Smart Cars have a point.If you don't think of it as a death trap it could be a fun ride.But I would never use one.

  10. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    only 33mi/gallon in the

    only 33mi/gallon in the city?
    that is awful.

    for a car that size I was thinking at least 40 in-town.
    who's going to drive that thing on the highway? Imagine a truck hitting you?

    not a very safe car, and again, the 'savings' do not justify such a purchase.

  11. #10

    Yes, for half a car, I'd

    Yes, for half a car, I'd expect at least twice the gas mileage. I am very disappointed in the mpg.

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