10 responses to “car guys & more on traffic

  1. I know that was meant to demonstrate safety, but notice how the hood of the Merc crushes and it otherwise fine while the Smart Car is smashed in past where my ankles and knees (they have been giving me problems anyway) would have been. Just looks awful.

  2. The smart car is designed for a very specific audience… city dwellers. Places where you’ll very rarely go over 40mph. Places where there isn’t much room. Places like Cali, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, NY and maybe a handful of other cities (Even-though one of the perks of living in Chicago and NY is that you don’t need a car). I don’t see it doing great in the midwest where everyone has to drive long distances to get anywhere. – even-though I saw two smart cars driving on the highway in KC about 2 weeks ago, so I guess people out here are buying them.

    I think the car will do ok in the US. Not great. There are just so many other practical choices out there. Like, the Honda Fit. Great little car. It is pretty cheap, small but still pretty roomy, pretty good gas milage… and there is the mazda 6 and a slew of other compact/subcompact choices that offer a nice size/mpg combo.

    So what is the point I am trying to make? Not sure. Maybe when I am living in Paris I will buy a Smart Car – but until then, I’ll pass.

  3. i live in chicago and have had a smart car for almost a year now. it doesn’t feel as small as it looks. lots of headroom. and it’s got a steel cage. basically it’s an oval steel cage on wheels. you forget you’re driving one until you notice all the strange looks you get from passersby.

    but if i got hit by a yukon i reckon my smart would just bounce away.

    americans are either very enthusiastic about it (gas mileage, environmental impact, novelty factor) or they think it’s a joke. either way, smaller cars are coming back in a big way in the USA.

    my favorite thing to do is pull up next to a mini at a light. not so mini now are you?

  4. I see, so, it’s an arms race? Your neighbor has a Jeep. So you need a yukon. They get a denali. So you need a hummer?

    Maybe the solution is to get rid of these pointless monstrosities altogether. Then, you wouldn’t be so scared to drive a smaller, fuel efficient car.

    Interesting fact. Avg fuel economy for all cars in the US right now is less than the fuel economy of the model T.

    I’m sick of going backwards.

    Bring on the smart car!

  5. @Whome – I don’t know that it is an arms race more than it is a call for reason. A SmartCar is neat and trendy and all that but doesn’t get THAT much better gas mileage than, say, a Mazda and the Mazda is also safer, more fun to drive, actually a car, etc and so on.

    There are so many inexpensive cars that offer great value, great gas mileage, space and all that but people overlook them because they don’t show off, they don’t have the same recongnizability badge value that a Prius or SmartCar has…even though they are thousands of dollars cheaper and have comparable gas mileage and better additional features.

    Also, there are, sadly, a bunch of overweight SUVs out there in America and it makes sense to take that into account when buying a car no matter how much you wish it weren’t so.

  6. @Whome – Interesting about the Model T gas mileage comparison. Where did you find that information?

  7. Actually, it does quite a bit better than a Mazda: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/bestworst.shtml.

  8. @Patchchord – but if you take into account purchase price and miles per year, the difference in dollar terms really isn’t that much (unless you drive A LOT – or very aggressively) and may even be in favor of the mazda (again, depending on how many miles per year – or aggressively – you drive).

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