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robeiae
02-22-2009, 01:44 AM
Just saw one pass by. And I couldn't help but laugh.

I know, I know: they're eco-friendly, they're more efficient.

But come on! If you're driving a car that a Mini Cooper could beat the snot out of, I mean...COME ON!

Maybe if the colors were cooler...

Maryn
02-22-2009, 01:48 AM
I hear they just squeaked by in crash safety. How smart is that, huh? Huh?

I first saw one in Paris and thought it seemed okay for neighborhood jaunts and urban parking, but not for actual driving among F-350s and Hummers, which dwarf my mom-mobile.

Maryn, who doesn't want to die in a smart car

Jcomp
02-22-2009, 01:51 AM
Being 6'4" means I could never fold up into one anyway. It was bad enough driving an Escort around for five years.

Clair Dickson
02-22-2009, 01:51 AM
I think they look cooler than the boxy Equinox.

But I also think the so-called safety issue of being run over by other vehicles is NOT the SmartCar driver's fault. But, I prefer to put that blame on the folks who think mounting other cars is acceptable driving.

MattW
02-22-2009, 01:51 AM
I've seen them on 65 MPH highways. Scary.

Jcomp
02-22-2009, 02:02 AM
I saw one parked in my neighborhood the other day that had a sign on it stating "If this Smart Car's a-rockin'... a mosquito bumped into it..."

WendyNYC
02-22-2009, 02:09 AM
I see them frequently in New York. They might be great for parking, but, yeah, not gonna work for 2 adults+2 kids+1 dog.

rugcat
02-22-2009, 02:11 AM
If you live in a city like San Francisco, you can't take your car anywhere because it takes 45 minutes to find parking (or you can pay 20 dollars, and park in a lot 10 blocks away in the rain.)

For years, i had no car, only a motorcycle. A great solution, except in SF it rains most of the winter, and to be honest I'm getting a bit long in the tooth for zooming around on a two wheeler.

But a smart car? There's always a space you can squeeze into. Not a great car for the highway, obviously, but if I had the money I'd get one as a second car. Of course, that wouldn't be very eco friendly -- kind of defeats the purpose.

robeiae
02-22-2009, 02:25 AM
But if you went out for lunch in San Fran and brought a doggie bag home, would the Smart Car be able to climb back up the hills, with that added weight?

rhymegirl
02-22-2009, 02:27 AM
Stop making fun of my new car, Rob!

http://i77.photobucket.com/albums/j80/rhymegirl/smartcar.jpg

robeiae
02-22-2009, 02:28 AM
That's actual size, isn't it?

MsK
02-22-2009, 02:33 AM
I think they are adorable and obviously much more eco-friendly then my SUV (smaller SUV), but I will not be driving a little car like that until all the Suburbans, Escalades and giant pickup trucks, etc... are off the road.
I've grown too used to being in a SUV and sitting a little higher up then most cars.

KTC
02-22-2009, 02:42 AM
Just saw one pass by. And I couldn't help but laugh.

I know, I know: they're eco-friendly, they're more efficient.

But come on! If you're driving a car that a Mini Cooper could beat the snot out of, I mean...COME ON!

Maybe if the colors were cooler...


They have been in Canada for many years now. We're all used to having them. A friend of mine has one and absolutely loves it.

robeiae
02-22-2009, 02:46 AM
They have been in Canada for many years now. We're all used to having them. A friend of mine has one and absolutely loves it.
Thanks for the support.

:ROFL:

KTC
02-22-2009, 02:47 AM
your mockery is so fitting when you wear that avatar.

sassandgroove
02-22-2009, 02:48 AM
I think they'd be great in the city, but I sure wouldn't wanna be in a car accident in one of those.

robeiae
02-22-2009, 02:48 AM
Gentlemen, please! Rest your sphincters!

rhymegirl
02-22-2009, 02:51 AM
That's actual size, isn't it?

Yes.

And stop making fun of my car!

KTC
02-22-2009, 02:52 AM
The guy I know who has one actually built and patented a smart-car garage too. It's amazing. He's a member here at AW...just not on very often.

sassandgroove
02-22-2009, 02:58 AM
What did he use, a shoe box?

She_wulf
02-22-2009, 03:03 AM
I hear they just squeaked by in crash safety. How smart is that, huh? Huh?...


Being 6'4" means I could never fold up into one anyway. It was bad enough driving an Escort around for five years.


I've seen them on 65 MPH highways. Scary.
I had to comment to clear up some misconceptions...

I dated a guy who crash-tested and test-drove the SmartCars before they OK'd by the EPA, etc. to import to the US.

First, the smart car cage (nicknamed "the walnut") was INTACT after being hit at 65 mph by a semi truck. Only a few cars, Mercedes, I believe is one, can boast that the passenger carriage maintains integrity under those conditions. What was making the smartcar raise eyebrows was the charging connections for the electric model. They didn't comply with US standards. (mostly plug config was converted from Euro set up to US and it was a crappy/hack way to do it.)

Second, I think top speed is 85 or possibly even 90 mph. The boyfriend commented it had about as much pick up (acceleration) as an compact Honda, and was better than most American-made compacts for acceleration.

The car imported is a hybrid, not full electric model. Due to heavy restrictions for user safety (regarding the plug configuration, shock grounding, etc.) the full electric won't be available until the charging mechanism is modified to comply with US safety standards. The Tesla (an electric sport coupe made in California) has specially designed grounding and shock/hazard safety features designed in that have passed US testing standards.

Oh, and this guy, was 5'10" and his buddy who was also doing the crash-test/road-tests was 6'2". He (bf) commented that the interior was roomier than he thought.

In "The Pink Panther" Steve Martin drives a smartcar. Steve is 6' according to his bio. There is even a line in the movie joking about how the inspector thought it seemed much smaller on the outside or something like that.

Of course, simply none of these reasons would make me buy a smartcar. It simply looks silly. The Tesla, on the other hand, is one heck of a car. Too bad it costs too much.
http://www.teslamotors.com/images/content/wallpaper_4982_300x225.jpg

Here's an idea... Tesla, make a sporty compact under 30K. That would make me consider electric.

A.

Angie
02-22-2009, 03:08 AM
What, no poll??

rugcat
02-22-2009, 03:13 AM
I think they are adorable and obviously much more eco-friendly then my SUV (smaller SUV), but I will not be driving a little car like that until all the Suburbans, Escalades and giant pickup trucks, etc... are off the road.
I've grown too used to being in a SUV and sitting a little higher up then most cars.That's why I hate SUVs. They started the arms race. The first ones were a little larger than the average car, giving a nice view of the road. Then everyone got one. Then the next generation had to be bigger, to regain the advantage, and so on, until driving a normal sized car in traffic amongst the behemoths made it impossible to see the road in front of you. Many people bought SUVs they didn't really want out of self preservation.

When gas hit 4 dollars a gallon, I thought the madness was over. But now it's back down, and the bloated will rule the roads for a while longer.

Clair Dickson
02-22-2009, 05:55 AM
Meh. I drive a rusted out bucket that's folding in half because I'm losing structural integrity in the subframe. Neat, huh? And I drive in SUVurbia. I'm not going to be scared wherever I go. Not worth it.

Besides, seeing all the SUV's on their sides, upside down and in the ditch this winter... didn't exactly make me feel like they're safer. At least in my little car I *know* I can't go very fast in snow, ice, etc. I'm not going to do anything stupid because I know I'm in a precarious position. If I were to get into an accident with this car, I would be SO screwed! The car would fold like an accordian. (Who needs bungee jumping for thrills?)

If Hubby's car was big enough for a family, I'd so buy a SmartCar for my little commute. But, since we're gonna need a four door car, and his is still pretty new, I'm relegated to driving the "family" car. I'm hoping for a nice big still-shiny 4-door Cavalier with less than 100k on it. Hey, a girl in my price range can dream, can't she? =)

Clair Dickson
02-22-2009, 05:58 AM
until driving a normal sized car in traffic amongst the behemoths made it impossible to see the road in front of you.

I'll make the argument that most people can't see the road when they're IN the behemoths. I had to drive a Ford Flex one day and I couldn't see where the hell the front ended or where the sides were and I felt like I was driving over both lanes. I checked the grill for little cars when I got to my destination... it was terrifying. I literally could NOT see small cars that were BESIDE me! Not cool. Not cool at all. (And, just for the record, I'm 5'7", not some short little lady.)

sassandgroove
02-22-2009, 06:06 AM
i used to drive a geo storm, which was a little two door, but it had a long front end. I put a cushion in my seat to sit up higher because I couldn't see where the front of the car was very well. I liked that car, it was pink, but my prism (which a corolla with a chevy sticker) is much easier to drive.

mario_c
02-22-2009, 10:03 AM
They remind me of my dad's Renault, when I was in high school (mid 80s). I have fond memories of driving around with him and suddenly the gas-o-meter dropped from full to zero. We had to push the car to the side of the road and walk to the gas station. Luckily it was tiny and easy to push.
Good times.

Bmwhtly
02-23-2009, 12:16 PM
Never mind crashing a Smart Car, all cars are tested for that (apart from that G-Wiz abomination).
But I was once a passenger in a Smart car when a plastic shopping bag blew out into the road. For a moment, I honestly thought we were going to dissapear into it.


The Tesla, on the other hand, is one heck of a car.
Except it, like all electric cars, is already obsolete thanks to the Honda FCX Clarity.
So Tesla almost certainly won't get the chance to make their cars reliable.

Wayne K
02-23-2009, 12:48 PM
Never mind crashing a Smart Car, all cars are tested for that (apart from that G-Wiz abomination).
But I was once a passenger in a Smart car when a plastic shopping bag blew out into the road. .
How much damage was done to the car?:D

chevbrock
02-23-2009, 04:47 PM
I hope you all got out before the oxygen ran out :D

We could go on for weeks like this ...

maestrowork
02-23-2009, 06:10 PM
These cars are really "cute" in a sort of bunny slipper way. But I sure am not driving a bunny slipper on the highway. I tried to squeeze into a Mini Cooper once and it was horrible, and I'm not even that tall at 5'10. The back seats are a joke -- why did they make the Mini a 4-seater coupe? The back seats are only good for children.

To me, the Smart Car is probably good for short commute and city parking. If you live in places like Rome or Amsterdam, probably a good idea. Not so much New York or Chicago -- the SUVs would eat it alive.

scarletpeaches
02-23-2009, 06:14 PM
I think they'd be great in the city, but I sure wouldn't wanna be in a car accident in one of those.

I wouldn't want to be in a car accident in any car.

I told a friend years ago if I could drive I'd get a Smart Car and she said, "But if you crash it, it'll concertina!"

My reply was, "I'm not planning on wrapping it round a lamp-post."

She said they're called 'accidents' because you don't mean them to happen but I merely pointed out she probably didn't mean her three or four 'accidents' to happen either; that still doesn't make her as safe a driver as certain others who've never claimed on their insurance their entire life...

Wayne K
02-23-2009, 06:17 PM
I hope you all got out before the oxygen ran out :D

We could go on for weeks like this ...
Let's do..

CaroGirl
02-23-2009, 06:50 PM
I'd get a SmartCar if I didn't have to haul around 2 kids. It would make a nice short-distance commuter car for my husband, but we both need to be able to take the kids places and the wee thing just isn't big enough. They're ubiquitous around here now. There are 3 on my street alone (it's a long street). So there's no stigma attached. I agree with the idea of not wanting to have an accident at all.

writerterri
02-23-2009, 08:41 PM
That's actual size, isn't it?


From the looks of you, yes.


Sorry, it was screaming my name. I had to take it.

Wayne K
02-23-2009, 08:42 PM
I don't own a car so in order to be more green I pop Beano like aspirin.

Red-Green
02-23-2009, 09:25 PM
There are a few Smart Cars around my town, but the one I love is a little black one with a one-word bumper sticker on the back: COMPENSATING.

Awesome. I laugh myself silly every time I see it.

benbradley
02-23-2009, 10:34 PM
Of course, the most unbelieable thing about the Smart Car is it's built by Mercedes Benz. I wonder if the original Mr. Benz is spinning in his grave.

But on to something else:

...
Except it, like all electric cars, is already obsolete thanks to the Honda FCX Clarity.
So Tesla almost certainly won't get the chance to make their cars reliable.
Huh? Are you sure? The Tesla Roadster is NOT marketed and sold solely based on it being an electric zero-emission vehicle.

Let's compare with that Clarity thingie:

Results 1 - 10 of about 481,000 for FCX Clarity (http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.answers.com/clarity&r=67&ei=BOiiSZP9Csyatwe6y8CQDQ&sa=X&oi=dict&ct=D&cd=1&usg=AFQjCNE3vRudobAZbF1Dj5mC5ZWhzDxgmA)
Results 1 - 10 of about 13,800 for FCX Clarity (http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.answers.com/clarity&r=67&ei=HeiiSZyCIdG3tweyu8iTDQ&sa=X&oi=dict&ct=D&cd=1&usg=AFQjCNFx2LWLhMZCHC3HlUT3P0ZN8wIAYA) acceleration (http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.answers.com/acceleration&r=67&ei=HeiiSZyCIdG3tweyu8iTDQ&sa=X&oi=dict&ct=D&cd=2&usg=AFQjCNE1TMJu1sj8JD0By_TaTuQAk6csJg)

And copy/pasting from the first page of that second Google search:

Honda FCX - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_FCX)

Limited marketing of a latest fuel cell vehicle named FCX Clarity, ... of 150 km/h (93 mph) and a 0-100 km/h (0-60 mph) acceleration time of 11 seconds. ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_FCX - 56k - Cached (http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:msj3Y9U4Gt4J:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_FCX+FCX+Clarity+acceleration&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us&client=firefox-a) - Similar pages (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hs=SJ0&q=related:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_FCX) - (bolding mine) <giggling suppressed>

No, it doesn't look like it's gonna make the Tesla obsolete. I don't expect Governor Arnie or any other Tesla customer to cancel his order (did he get in on the first production run? He might even have hos already) and buy a Clarity.

maestrowork
02-23-2009, 10:55 PM
I agree. Tesla and Clarity are two different classes of cars, built for different classes of consumers. Fuel Cell is very exciting but the selling point of Tesla isn't simply energy. It's like saying people who are buying a Ferrari would instead buy a Prius. That's just not true.

She_wulf
02-24-2009, 10:04 AM
... I don't expect Governor Arnie or any other Tesla customer to cancel his order (did he get in on the first production run? He might even have hos already) and buy a Clarity.
Doesn't the Governator have a bio or electric Humvee?

I saw it on ET? possibly...

Joe270
02-24-2009, 10:13 AM
Doesn't the Governator have a bio or electric Humvee?

It's hydrogen fueled. They actually trailer it to events and offload it nearby, then he drives it the last couple blocks.

Seriously.

Bmwhtly
02-24-2009, 03:28 PM
why did they make the Mini a 4-seater coupe? The back seats are only good for children.Coupe?
Isn't it a hatchback?

Either way, the back seats are pretty worthless.

"But if you crash it, it'll concertina!"

My reply was, "I'm not planning on wrapping it round a lamp-post."
That reminds me of something funny I heard about TVR (they used to be a smallish manufacturer of very fast, shouty, plastic sports cars.)

Interviewer: "Your cars have almost no safety features"
TVR exec: "Well don't crash then."


No, it doesn't look like it's gonna make the Tesla obsolete. I don't expect Governor Arnie or any other Tesla customer to cancel his order (did he get in on the first production run? He might even have hos already) and buy a Clarity.I didn't mean the Clarity and the Telsa were going head to head, I meant the technology in the Clarity is surely going to make the technology of the Tesla obsolete.

After all, who's going to choose a zero-emissions vehicle that you have to plug into a socket for 4-6 hours every 200 miles when you could have a zero-emmisions vehicle that you fill up from a filling station like a real car? Nobody, that's who.

maestrowork
02-24-2009, 07:35 PM
Not really. People will still use gas -- trust me, they will -- even if fuel cells become the de facto technology. I mean, you don't see everyone buying hybrids now, do you? And hybrids have been out for almost 10 years now. Lose market shares, for sure, but actually plug-in hybrids are the new big thing. So a 0-emission plug-in would be hot, at least for the next few years. There are many things to consider when getting a new car, and energy technology is only one. Price point, looks, handling, acceleration, etc. etc. Unless fuel cell cars can go from 0 to 60 in 6 seconds, you will still have people who won't buy them.

Wayne K
02-24-2009, 07:43 PM
Not really. People will still use gas -- trust me, they will -- even if fuel cells become the de facto technology. I mean, you don't see everyone buying hybrids now, do you? And hybrids have been out for almost 10 years now. Lose market shares, for sure, but actually plug-in hybrids are the new big thing. So a 0-emission plug-in would be hot, at least for the next few years. There are many things to consider when getting a new car, and energy technology is only one. Price point, looks, handling, acceleration, etc. etc. Unless fuel cell cars can go from 0 to 60 in 6 seconds, you will still have people who won't buy them.
If you all took turns living in the pollution that comes from the processing of gasoline, you would all drive 0 emission cars. I couldn't leave Marcus Hook Pennsylvania without a new outlook on the subject.

She_wulf
03-15-2009, 05:59 AM
...Unless fuel cell cars can go from 0 to 60 in 6 seconds, you will still have people who won't buy them.
I know this is late in response, but this info comes direct from the Tesla website:

Acceleration 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds

Top Speed 125 mph (electronically limited)
oh, and go to their "acceleration & torque page (here (http://www.teslamotors.com/performance/acceleration_and_torque.php)) to see the real advantage of electric over gasoline engines.

LaurieD
03-15-2009, 06:03 AM
My car knows how to bring the kids to school and then back home again without any conscious assistance from me at all. Smartest car I know. ;)

Yeshanu
03-15-2009, 09:01 AM
Of course, the most unbelieable thing about the Smart Car is it's built by Mercedes Benz. I wonder if the original Mr. Benz is spinning in his grave.


I've met a couple of people who owned them, and they love them. I asked one if his car was blown off the road by high winds, and he said no. Apparently, it's got a fairly hefty engine (or maybe it's that frame) that keeps it from blowing over. He said it's one of the best engineered cars on the road. (And he should know--he's an engineer.)

I asked another how it drove in the snow. He said, "Like a snowmobile."

I'd have considered buying one, except I do need a car that will hold two adults and a cello, and a Smart Car doesn't fit the bill. The smallest car that works is my new Yaris. I was surprised the first time I drove it--I can see better from the driver's seat of that small car than I could see from my van. Drove it on the 401 today for the first time, and had to watch the spedometer, just like normal, to keep from speeding. :tongue

I gassed it up yesterday. Right in front of me was a guy in a big pickup truck. I'd gassed up, paid and gone on my way before he was finished filling his tank. Poor him... :D