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The (not so) Smart Fortwo Car; and the MPG SHAM!

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posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 10:05 PM
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Have you seen it? The all new, revolutionary “Smart” car that—out of all of the discussed, cutting edge fuel-busting autos—is finally starting to bite some pavement. Well it's a complete sham.



I started seeing these around town of late. Even saw a neighbor has one—he keeps it out at the end of his driveway for all to see. I was genuinely intrigued, particularly since my Jeep Cherokee only gets about 15 mpg. And cost exactly $90 to fill here in New York State.

First I went to a dealer website and find this:




The $99 Reservation Program ! Would you like to reserve your very own new smart for two? Our exciting $99 Reservation Program is open to all smart enthusiasts. Be sure to share the news about this exciting program with your family and friends.



Link

Wow, “Exciting”. These are so freaking revolutionary that, apparently, you must Pay to get on a waiting list to buy one!

However, the most important question of all was not even addressed on this website, which is, specifically: WHAT IS THE GOSH-DARNED GAS MILEAGE. So, frustrated, and even more curious I did some more searching and was frankly, a bit surprised:




The Smart ForTwo's big selling point is going to be fuel economy. For the current version, the company estimates a combined city/highway fuel mileage of about 40 miles per gallon, according to DaimlerChrysler. (The 60 mpg figure sometimes reported is for the diesel-engine version.)


Link

This couldn’t be right so I delved into some further research and here were the best estimate ratings I could find on this state of the art little car:




“4.7 L/100 km (60 mpg imp/50 mpg US) for the gasoline model”


Link

Actually, if you read around it’s a bit unclear and rather confusing.

Now, I’m not out to bash this cute little golf-cart-sized car. However, during my internet searches I couldn’t help but think back to my good old 1985 Honda CRX. I drove this baby 150 miles commute per day, five days weekly for a couple years. I ended up selling it with 235,000 miles on it. And I’m SURE it got between 40 and 50 mpg.

CRX Stats

I won't even mention the safety issues—it’s the size of a freaking golf cart, man!

Look See

“So what’s your point Corbin?” My point is, I think that somehow we’re expected to simply forget about some of the truly awesome cars of twenty or so years ago and are actually being duped into believing that these new “high MPG” cars are somehow special.

And if these things are so hot, and cutting edge, that people are willing to pay to get on a wating list for one, then why the heck, please tell me, aren’t these car companies climbing over each other to get these things built and on the road for all those hungry consumers?

Perhaps car companies are in cahoots with the oil companies to keep us gussling overpriced gas, like drunken sailers. Are we, society, like a bunch of brainless, grazing cattle, oblivious to the world going on around us, while being herded and fed to those that dine on our ignorance?

By the way, I’m SURE the Honda CRX is not the only fuel efficient car of the past and would be interested in hearing about some others.


[edit on 22-6-2008 by Corbin Dalus]




posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 10:09 PM
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How could I forget? Here's the CRX:





posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 10:31 PM
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Originally posted by Corbin DalusLook SeeAre we, society, like a bunch of brainless, grazing cattle, oblivious to the world going on around us, while being herded and fed to those that dine on our ignorance?


Yup. Pretty much. You have summed up the current state of affairs very nicely.



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 10:43 PM
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Wow - thanks for your post. I had no idea the mileage on this little car was so bad. I saw the advertising and thought this was a new revolution in fuel efficient autos. I have to admit though I was a little more than concerned about the crash safety of a car this size. I even saw an advertisement that it was given a "good" crash rating by the agency that give the ratings to autos. Then when I read their report, their testing is done based on vehicle size and weight class. So in essence, if you're hit by another golf cart sized vehicle, you'll be okay in the SmartFortwo - if you're hit by an SUV, you're probably not going to survive! It would be nice if there were a company out there that's actually concerned with something more than making a fast buck off the consumer.



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 11:43 PM
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Good thread.

A couple of points:

Not only is the gas mileage bad for such a small vehicle, but it has a terrible time getting up to speed as well. So not only is the driver basically driving an uncomfortable, inefficient coffin down the road, he's also more likely to get killed because he can't get up to speed fast enough on the onramp to the freeway.

Cars this size, no matter what their mileage, should be relegated to the city limits and prohibited from highways unless they have a rollcage and enough pickup.

Fuel efficient cars: I have a 93 Miata that gets over 40 mpg. Yes, it's also coffin-sized, but the mileage is great and it's definitely quick because it weighs less than a large horse...and I look great in it too! That's also something that's not going to happen in a fortwo.

Smart Fortwo = total scam. Every time I see someone driving it I just laugh.



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 12:03 AM
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The whole point for the smart line is the size - not the mileage. It's designed as a city car that can be parked anywhere. That's the concept.

The mileage - if you take the EEC numbers - is quite good. Are there cars with better mileage? Absolutely. But it's still in the top group.

I've driven a couple of them, and they're actually pretty fun to drive. I'd take one over a Honda Fit, at any rate. Well laid out and appointed interior, decent handling, and above all - solid (believe it or not).

As far as safety goes - that's where this design really has merit, in my opinion. They're spec'd out like any other Benz in terms of airbags. The cage design.... watch this (70 mph into a wall):



That said, i'd be more into one of these (which they stopped producing for some reason:

smart roadster



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 12:19 AM
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I'm impressed by the crash test. However, where am I going to put my grocies or luggage, etc? My Honda CRX had a hatch back.



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 12:22 AM
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The following article was very interesting, comparing the green movement's favourite, the Toyota Prius, against a large family shifter.

fifthgear.five.tv...:%20the%20great%20MPG%20test



The result

Had we relied on the onboard computers, the Prius would have won by a landslide, as by the end of the trip they read 57mpg and 42mpg for the Prius and Jeep respectively.

However, to get the real figure, we calculated consumption based on how much fuel each car had used over the 160 miles. The result was astonishing: both cars had used nearly identical amounts of fuel. The Jeep had averaged 38.9 mpg - only 3.1 mpg less than its computer had recorded. However, the computer of the Prius appeared to be telling whoppers: it actually achieved just 39.9 mpg - a massive 17.1 mpg less than it had claimed.


Mmmmm...Whoppers indeed!

I drive a 2003 SEAT Leon (spanish built Golf basically) with a 1.9TDi emgine. On a trip last week to visit relatives I decided to drive economically - no lead foot, gentle acceleration and staying within the speed limits on the motorway sections - and on both the outbound and return journeys the trip computer was registering nearly 57mpg. Now, the replacement car I am looking at has a 1.6Litre TDi engine with almost the same power as my current 1.9TDi but with even better overall mpg figures and lower C02 emissions. Perhaps this has something to do with the steep rise in diesel pricing as more and more people are switching to TDi engines for the better fuel economy.



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 12:30 AM
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The car market is ripe for new players to take over, but I haven't seen anything on the market yet. Where is the air car? Where are the electric hybrids that get over 100mpg, where are the plug ins? Whoever can get those to the market first will make a killing, too bad half of them are crap like this.

Nothing has changed much mileage wise in gas powered cars in the last 20 years.

Though not gas, my family member had a Volkswagen diesel pickup truck in the 80's with a 10 gallon tank that would always go over 500 miles per tank. He always bragged about how cheap it was to drive it at family gatherings. Is there any equivalent out there on the highway today?

Another has a Nissan Altima 97 that easily gets 35 mpg and looks much more roomy than the model displayed here. Nissan's easily do 200k between engine changes and you can buy a 97' used with 100k for less than 5k.

Nope I'll hold off on a new car purchase until I can get a plug in hybrid or something better.


[edit on 23-6-2008 by verylowfrequency]



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 12:32 AM
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Originally posted by Corbin Dalus
I'm impressed by the crash test. However, where am I going to put my grocies or luggage, etc? My Honda CRX had a hatch back.


Apparently there's room in the back for 2 sets of clubs. That's what I've heard, anyway.

Personally, I prefer something with a lot more ground clearance than either the smart or the CRX. Diesel, for preference (still the cheap stuff here, and better mileage in general).



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 12:36 AM
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I swear to you, I am genuinely looking into buying a well-maintained older model vehicle. Along the lines of the ones mentioned here.



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 02:04 AM
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Buy a motorbike instead. I can easily get 4.5litres per 100km on my Suzuki GS500F, and its faster than any of the cars your talking about here...

Only a complete fool would part with their hard earned for a Toyota Prius.



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 07:26 AM
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Sloth, I completely agree with you regarding the Prius. Just seems to me a hodge-podje of technolegies. I definately have thought about getting a bike, but in the city, with all the traffic and related accidents, not to mention, I know so many people of late who've lost it on a bike, including my next door neighbor who lost it all if you know what I mean. Also Britguy, I read up on the SEAT Leon. Really seems like a sharp car. Alot of style too. Wish they offered them here.



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 11:20 AM
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reply to post by Corbin Dalus
 



Safety: So your CRX had a roll cage ? That's the safest golf cart you'll ever see. I'd rather get flipped in a smart than many other vehicles. Here's a story of that.

Building: The smart's backorder is partly because of French labour law (the plant is in France, if that wasn't guessable): smart can't hire a third shift and then just get rid of it when they don't need it anymore. BTW: (an area in) New York has the shortest wait – about six months. The reservation programme only started when smart announced bringing the car to the US, I believe, and they were right to, with 30-50k reservations. And FYI that $99 goes toward the car payment. If you don't want the car in the end, you'll get your money back ; for Jupiter's sake, it's just a reservation to get in a long USA line. Sorry that they're not all American-WalMart-like so that you can just check out right there without waiting.

Efficiency: Today's vehicles are heavier, especially due to safety. Re: the roll cage. I don't know why people expect miracles from gas engines. Get a motorcycle. If your CRX had some heavyweighted-yet-efficient magic going on, look for another one. Amid the literally double&tripple-tonned SUVs that America will depart with only after high gas prices, a 35-45 MPG car *is* rather special. That 50MPG quote you have there is from the older estimate when the Whatever Centre of US Gas Mileage Estimation had less-real regulations on estimation. But, a few have gotten 50, though 40'd probably be average. The smart is the highest MPG gas-only car in the US I think. The *hybrid* Prius does about equal. Stop requesting twenty year old magic from today's gas-only vehicles – it's nonexistent.

Small cars: Toyata have their Yarises, and I think BMW's rumoured to bring back their Isetta. Not to mention I saw a Kia Rio painted 30MPG (assuming that's right).

Money: Today's oil business is like the 80s electronics business, and there are many oil-selling Microsofts. Gas prices *this* high are really only recent. smart can't climb over everyone else to get more of these out there without getting sued and shut down, and other companies are only starting to get small efficient things out there now because people didn't care about efficiency five years ago. 500 horsepower, 190 MPH, 7 seating, multitudes of cubic feet of trunk, tanks of vehicles are all people cared about, because gas was as cheap as water at that time.

Does all that horsepower, speed, *too much* seating (sorry, but there are not as many seven member families as there are seven seater SUVs – usually it's just one family member driving to work !), trunkspace rarely used, and being able to run over things as if tanks not make enough of society of a bunch of brainless, grazing cattle, oblivious to the world going on around us, while being herded and fed to those that dine on our ignorance – more like arrogance really – for you ?

Screw Miles Per Gallon. ...But then ?: it started hurting. You want the car companies to catch up to something people only cared about for a few years when the car companies were used building tanks because they couldn't sell some small out-of-US-place efficient car. You won't get an efficient tank without it being battery or hybrid and thus costing thousands of more dollars than it would have if it were pure gas.

It's small's turn – whether it's on your wheels or in your bank account. Wanna choose as if you're not a brainless cow, anyone ?



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 12:48 PM
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Anonymous ATS,
Whew, thanks for your more than generous reply. Honestly, I agree with most of that which you stated here. I drive a Jeep Cherokee (15 mpg) because I'm a property owner as well as a father. The SUV serves as a truck to transport tools and supplies as well as little children. Otherwise, I would not even have bought it (It was my first "truck-like" vehicle).
Now, as for the Smart Fortwo: I have NO ISSUE with the car or the company. My beef is with the car manufacturers, the oil companies and probably most of all with our society that has allowed it to get this way. Like you said, we drive around with one person transported in huge SUVs. It's true. The remark about the $99, was simply that I found this irritating since $99 to most people around here is significant. However, you've corrected me and it's indeed refreshing to hear that this serves a down payment on the vehicle.
The REAL issue is that WE HAVE HAD CARS WITH THIS KIND OF EFFICIENCY IN THE PAST. You and I both know, as well, that there has been a force that seeks to keep the gas guzzlers on the road. These suckers (literally) are not at the edge of our technological capabilities by a long shot. By the way, is it not fascinating how our technology keeps accelerating particularly when you look at computers and such, but the areas of importance such as cancer and related issues as well as energy consumption are practically at a standstill.
Anyway. Enough of the rant. If the car were available to me I might even buy it. In the meantime, I'm likely to pay a 5th the price for an older CRX. Thanks for the input.



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 01:11 PM
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Originally posted by Anonymous ATS
... Stop requesting twenty year old magic from today's gas-only vehicles – it's nonexistent.
...


I hate to burst your bubble, but this wasn't "nonexistent" technology. Whether it was magic or not I leave up to you.

I ALSO had a 1985 Honda CRX HF model. It had a 10 gallon tank. And by "10 gallon", I mean filling it up until it was spilling out of the tube.

The best mileage I got in it was a trip to the east coast. I got 575 miles on 3/4 of a tank. That's AT LEAST 76 miles per gallon.

Speaking of that, here's a funny story involving that car. Yes, I know it is off-topic, but writing about that car got me to remembering some things. I had this BIG German Shepard Dog. He was very, very hairy, and looked more like a wolf than a GSD. Well, he used to ride around with me in the back of that CRX, and sometimes he would crawl into the front seat.

One time, he did that. But, since he was so long, his nose touched the windshield. He apparently didn't like that, so he started moving his front legs and scrunching up his butt. He eventually ended up sitting STRAIGHT UP, like a human would sit, with his front legs hanging down. Get a mental picture of a werewolf sitting in a passenger seat of a Honda CRX. This would be an accurate mental picture of what it looked like.

The look on people's faces as we passed them was priceless! They would look over, you know how you do when people pass you, then they would do a double-take, and their jaws would fall open. I laughed so hard for 10 minutes, that I nearly wrecked the car. Part of what was so funny is that he was behaving as a person would do. As we were passing, he would "casually" look over at the other car, just as a person would do. Then he would look straight ahead. Priceless, and a memory I will never forget.


[edit on 23-6-2008 by sir_chancealot]



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 01:53 PM
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Originally posted by Sloth
Buy a motorbike instead. I can easily get 4.5litres per 100km on my Suzuki GS500F, and its faster than any of the cars your talking about here...

Only a complete fool would part with their hard earned for a Toyota Prius.


This is only an option depending on where you live. I don't know where the OP lives but in Canada, insurance for a motorcycle, esp if it's your first one is ridiculous. Thousands of dollars per year ridiculous. Besides that, you can only drive it for 5-7 months per year. Because of these things, gas would need to approach $10/gallon for this to be a viable option for most people.

However, if you live in the Southern or Southwestern US for instance, it is a great choice because insurance is cheap and you can drive it all year round. Not to mention that there is a lot less traffic and less chance of getting killed.



posted on Jun, 23 2008 @ 06:00 PM
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First , sir_chancealot, I loved that freaking story about the German Shepard! Up untill a few years ago I had them all of my life. They are such awesome animals; so loyal. I loved that story. I tried to U2U you but the thing is down.
Also, about the motorcycle, sc2099, I actually live about 15 miles from the Canadian border. I would say, judjing from the amount of riders I see, it can't be too bad. I'm very tempted, however, to get a bike as, other than being a blast to ride, the gas mileage is second to none. The weather though---OUCH!



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 06:33 PM
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Yeah fair enough about the weather. I don't have to worry about that problem here in Sydney Australia, pretty decent riding weather all year round...no snow or ice to contend with. The insurance isn't that bad here either. You never get caught in a traffic jam on a bike...



posted on Jun, 24 2008 @ 08:04 PM
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I’ve seen a couple of these little things and I’m not impressed. My 13yr old Toyota gets 40mpg under the right conditions, has great pickup, everything works on it, and it cost me 2K. I’ve put 50k miles on it so far and expect to run up another 100k. Car payments are for suckers.


As to the bikes, we’ve had a lot more of them running around since the price of gas has doubled, and someone gets killed almost every month here in DFW. Some of it’s probably due to inexperience, but we all know it’s dangerous to ride in traffic. Bikes are just hard to see. Even I’ve taken a left turn in front of one, and I watch like a hawk. Offroad only for me.



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