The Smart Car is coming

Discussion in 'Mercedes-Benz' started by xcel, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Is America ready for these new economy-size cars?

    [xfloat=right][/xfloat]ABC Nightline - Jan. 10, 2008

    It's here this month and it’s a start … No, it’s a SMART :) -- Ed.

    Dieter Zetsche runs one of the biggest auto makers in the world. Daimler. Making high end luxury Mercedes Benz cars. And now he is bringing a new car to America.

    Reporter: This is a Mercedes?

    Dieter Zetsch: Not quite, it is a SMART and is a close relative to Mercedes.

    A small relative. The Smart Car. Less then 9’ long, room for just two people, three cylinders, just 71 HP, 40 mpg and fits in half a parking spot.

    They have sold 800,00 that have been buzzing around European streets for nearly a decade.

    And starting next month …

    Dieter Zetsch: Everybody who sees the car starts to smile and just like what he or she sees.

    Reporter:A Head turner ha?

    Dieter Zetsch: Absolutely, absolutely… [rm][/rm]
  2. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    That's a fun video. :)

    I'm looking forward to seeing these things out on the road! I still want to test drive a 5MT diesel version...
  3. atlaw4u

    atlaw4u Well-Known Member

    I first encountered the Smart in Europe and loved the design. I put a deposit down when I heard they were coming to the States but withdrew it when I found out they we would only be getting the gasoline version.
  4. Robert Lastick

    Robert Lastick Well-Known Member

    A three cylinder engine that gets 40 MPG?

    Alright, the yellow flag is down on the playing field! Something is defenitely wrong here. Maybeee its the tranny. Maybee it is geared for power and not for MPG.

    Whatever the problem, I would need 60 MPG before I would even consider it. I can get 40 MPG any day of the week (except when I am plowing thru snow drifts) with my RRSB Saturn, hardly hypermiling, with the air conditioning on full blast!!!

    Its cute tho.
  5. noflash

    noflash Senior Member

    I'd like to see a comparison test against the Yaris hatch. Why does the Yaris hatchback create none of the buzz the 42 creates?

    Whoa, I never typed out the FourTwo like that! Isn't 42 the anwer to Life, the Universe, and Everything? ;)
  6. I know that I think its a great looking car even for me being 6'9 and heard of the great mpg it gets over seas, then saw tthe epa rating for it here and saw my jaw just hit the floor.
  7. amann1

    amann1 Member

    I've seen several of the old ones on the streets in my area. A local used car dealership was importing the Canadian model and selling it to local American buyers.

    The Canadian 2006 Smart ForTwo Coupe came with a 0.8L 3-cyl Diesel w/ 6spd manual transmission. On the Canadian fuel economy test, it's rated at 4.6L/100km city and 3.8L/100km highway (that's 61/74 city/hwy in MPG). By comparison, the 2006 Prius gets 71/67 city/hwy MPG on the Canadian test.
  8. -mr. bill

    -mr. bill Senior Member

    Estimated 33/41 (EPA 2008).

    Let's see. What cars sold in the US that beat that. Toyota Prius. Honda Civic Hybrid.

    So this is really really bad because?

    (I wish people would quit pining about the dirty diesels that are *NOT* sold in this country. This place is called CleanMPG isn't it? Clean diesels are coming soon.)

    -mr. bill
  9. warthog1984

    warthog1984 Well-Known Member

    Because the Yaris hatch has 3 major flaws.

    * The FE is identical to the larger, more comfortable, less econobox looking Corolla. Which is an excellent car by the same company.

    * The Center Gauge Cluster is hazardous and awkward.

    * The Rear Seat head space is uncomfortably close to the hatch.

    Also, the Honda Fit has really dominated the sub market.

    The Smart is like the Mini: you don't get it for the gas mileage, you get it for the look.
  10. GPS_MAN1

    GPS_MAN1 Member

    The 4000 pound Ford Escape Hybrid beats that!!!
    ( with a good driver, but costs a tad more )

    Sounds like a "dumb" car to me!
  11. aca2983

    aca2983 Well-Known Member

    The only advantage it has over other cars is parking. Other than that, a motorcycle or a Yaris is a better choice.
  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi GPS Man1:
    ___What was that supposed to mean? There are at least 25 cars from any number of manufacturers that can beat an FEH with a good driver. The Yaris, Corolla, Camry, TCH, Prius, HiHy, Fit, Civic, HCH-II, Accord, Focus, Fusion, Aveo, Cobalt, G6, Solstice and any number of Korean’s and European makes and models with the right driver and 90% of them for a lot less …

    ___As for the SMART Fortwo, it easily pulls 50 + for those that want it although its Mitsubishi engine is not that efficient given its size unfortunately :(

    ___Good Luck

  13. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    <Raises hand in support of statement> :D
  14. Vooch

    Vooch Well-Known Member

    The 4-2 is certainly a niche product which fills a specific need. US cities such as Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and possibly LA are the most likely candidates for buyers needing Smart cars. They'll sell 25,000 - 50,000 a year.

    We should welcome the Smart because it helps validate the small car paradigm.

    note on the old epa cycle its 40/45 MPG
  15. pdk

    pdk Beacon of Sanity

    That's only a little over what my old '93 Nissan Sentra got. I'd get 35 MPG from driving that thing like an idiot. I could probably pull low 40s knowing what I know now and not doing much that's crazy. Wayne could probably get 50 out of it.
  16. mulad

    mulad Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I've compared its attraction to that of the iPod, though actually the iPod may be a much more well-rounded device than the Smart is...

    They increased the size of the engine for the U.S. market--to 1.0L. That probably reduced fuel economy a bit, but that was the only way to get the 0-60 time down to 12-13 seconds (I know that's plenty for everybody here, but it's right at the edge of what'd be acceptable to most people). Apparently the transmission shifts twice as fast as in older versions of the car, but that only means it's half an eternity.

    You have to be careful about what you put in the rear cargo space, as the engine is mounted just below. There's some insulation, but it can still get warm back there.

    Oh, here's something I didn't learn until just now -- the car uses premium gasoline. Well, it's economical enough that the excess cost of premium is offset by better mileage, but it's still something to consider. On the other hand, it narrows the gap between it and, say, a Corolla.
  17. pumaman

    pumaman Well-Known Member

    I think the people designing this car, and others like it, have a preconceived notion of what kind of accelleration Americans have become used to. They worry that a car tuned exclusively for high mileage wouldn't sell due to lackluster performance.

    They could very well be right, but it would be nice if they would make a max FE trim for those who want it.
  18. -mr. bill

    -mr. bill Senior Member

    No it's not. Your old '93 Nissan Sentra got, in adjusted MPG EPA2008, 25/35. Look it up on

    The benchmark has been changed.

    -mr. bill
  19. 300TTto545

    300TTto545 Well-Known Member

    Smart is "not" at these numbers. Smaller than an HCHII (by a lot), similar price point, much worse gas mileage, slower. Makes very little sense. Looks like a death trap (even if it isn't). Reliability is questionable, dealer network is in its infancy - could go out of business easily.

    Nope - wouldn't do it. Now if it got better mileage than an HCHII - nah - still wouldn't do it. It would have to be 70 mpg and me not having other options.
  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi 300TT:

    ___The SMART Fortwo costs half of an HCH-II and with a 36 mpg combined rating, only 6 off the 42 mpg rating of the HCH-II.

    ___The SMART Fortwo is not a Prius-II or HCH-II competitor. It is a down in the same price range (cheaper in fact when you include the safety and amenities) as an Aveo, Focus, Fit and Yaris. Utility is lacking with no rear seats of course. In terms of safety, it scored the same 4 stars on the Euro NCAP as the Civic did!

    ___It is not for everybody, that is for sure but if you wanted an attractive city runabout that receives HCH-II FE around town, the Smart Fortwo will do everything most would ever ask of it. And for a lot less $’s up front too.

    ___Good Luck


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