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Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Spectrum Abuser, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Spectrum Abuser, Jan 22, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2012
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #2
    That looks to be too small for me. I would worry about safety if I got in to a wreck. I would look for a used Civic or something similar.
     
  3. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #3
    Wow thats small... IMO SUVs feel more solid and safer, plus since you sit higher up its easier to see your surroundings :cool: Each to their own though ;)
     
  4. acidfast7 macrumors 65816

    acidfast7

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    EU
    #4
    People have using those over here for years most times they're called a "Smart Fortwo." It's not THAT small, as you can get a case of beer behind the seats, because here you will get the typical American responses of "not feeling safe" and "sitting up high." You're actually safer in one of these due to the chassis having crumple zones, versus a truck chassis-based SUV and little to no rollover potential.

    However, the economy on the car isn't THAT good, like around 40 mpg combined in the real world, which is quite crappy for the sacrifices in quality one has to make to drive it.

    I'd look at used VW Golf TDIs, Audi A3 TDIs, or a Passat wagon TDI if you can find one cheaply.
     
  5. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #5
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I'm 6'5" and fit in one perfectly.

    Fifth gear slammed one into a wall at 70mph and there way no encroachment into the safety cell! Yes your organs will be mush but you see the point. Your safer in a smart than any other car on the road.
     
  6. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #6
    But how often are you going to drive straight into a solid wall? Most likely your going to crash into another car, and in that case the car that has more momentum (the heavier car) will be better off. The reason little cars like this fair better in these tests is because large cars destroy themselves with their weight when they hit a solid wall.
     
  7. acidfast7 macrumors 65816

    acidfast7

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    EU
    #7
    lol

    typical American thinking.

    it depends on how much energy is transferred to the occupants of both cars. bigger SUVs (truck chassis) tend to transfer more energy to the occupants than smaller passenger cars, therefore, you're better off in the smaller car, in this case.

    :facepalm:

    personally, unless you live in an urban area where parking is an issue (probably only Manhattan in the US), which is what the Smart Fourtwo was designed for, you'd be better off with a used VW TDi (on an A3 TDi better yet).
     
  8. senseless macrumors 68000

    senseless

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2008
    Location:
    Pennsylvania, USA
    #8
    Small cars are easier for new drivers to park and maneuver, but you will adjust to a larger vehicle with experience. I would choose a subcompact or compact car with good visibility out the sides and rear. This will give you a better feel of where the car is on the road. There's nothing worse than having to parallel park a minivan or big SUV.
     
  9. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #9
    As a driver of a full-size SUV, I disagree.

    Parallel parking is relatively easy, since you only have to contend with the vehicle's length. My Expedition is roughly the same length as my wife's Flex, so I have no trouble parallel parking.

    No, the real problem is parking in standard spaces, where the width of the vehicle comes into play. It's easy to park, but you have to carefully choose a spot so that you have room to open your door once you've done so.
     
  10. bigjnyc macrumors 601

    bigjnyc

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    #10
    Whenever I see someone driving around in one of these I feel like they look cartoonish and ridiculous. just my personal opinion. And seeing one on the highway is cringeworthy you almost feel like they are going to get blown off the road if a truck drives by them at a high speed.
     
  11. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #11
    I am going to go with the "good god no" answer.
    Economically the cars are not good as MPG you can easily match with a compact car like the Civic for around the same price.

    Also you need to think longer term like college as chances are you will own this car threw college and chances are you will have to drive a few hours to get home and to school plus you have to transport all your crap each way. I drove a Sentra threw college and while living in the dorms at the beginning and end of each year I could still fill up the car to the point I was really the only person who could fit in it as everywhere but the driver sit was full. You will find that is the norm in the amount of stuff.

    Top it off at 70mph the road and engine noise in those cars is fairly load compared to others and let me tell you those noises add up and get to you over long distance and the cars just are not comfortable for long distance driving. Great for driving around in down town but suck outside of that area and since you are not going to be doing a lot of that not worth it.

    I say go with something like a Civic or a Sentra. Both are better and larger cars.
     
  12. jsolares macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Location:
    Land of eternal Spring
    #12
    The US is not urban enough for such a car to make much sense, it will depend on where you live and where do you plan to use it tho.

    A diesel Jetta might be the best choice tho, it makes close to the same MPG as the Smart.
     
  13. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #13
    Absolutely false. A friend of ours had a slow-speed, corner-to-corner head-on collision in her Smart (hard to say, but someone turned left directly in front of her and they collided driver-side to driver-side.)

    They call it a "Smart" car for a reason. Her car decided that the speed was slow enough that retracting the seatbelts was sufficient, and that deploying the airbags was not necessary - airbags can really mess you up. Between the cage and seatbelts she was absolutely fine.

    Her Smart car was repaired. She literally stepped out of the car and "walked away". The big pickup that hit her was totalled, and the emergency crews had to pull the driver out, and take him to the hospital. They didn't have to use the jaws or life or anything dramatic like that, but he was banged up.

    The idea of a Smart Car is that the Smart's steel safety cage uses the big vehicles crumple zones, so they big car ends up crumpled and mangled.

    We have two Smarts. Love them, and wouldn't give them up.

    They can carry more than you'd think. Hockey sticks, with driver plus passenger. Enough luggage (if you pack light-ish) for long driving trips. I've carried an 8ft Christmas tree home in one (no passenger, and the tree sticks out the back).

    If you every need to carry 2 passengers you're hooped. Haven't tried a passenger and dog yet. They are very easy to park... really easy. In my part of the world they are putting in special "micro" car parking spots which are either cheaper or more convenient (or both). Love parking right outside the busy store, next to the handicapped spots.

    No matter how busy the house-party, I can always find a spot to tuck the Smart, right near the front door. In fact, in any parking situation where there are those "grey" parking spots.... the Smart will fit. And those cutouts they put into sidewalk curbs for wheelchairs? You can use 'em in a Smart Car.... don't ask me how I know, but knowing that fact may help you out one day.

    If you anticipate daily highway driving you may want something with a bit more weight. They only thing we don't like is that on a highway on a very windy day you do have to 'fight' a bit. There isn't enough weight to a Smart to give you much momentum. On calm days the Smart is fine on a highway, we did a record run down from Campbell River a few months ago, averaging 120kmh no problems. We've run up the I-5 in heavy traffic with no worries as well.

    On city and country roads however, they are a treat. What they don't tell you is that the Smart is not a bad sports car. They are light and the engine is in the rear. The electronic traction control is pretty good, so you can really push the corners. Don't expect to get the stated fuel economies if you decide to drive like Paul Tracey though :) .

    Take one out on a test drive, best way to see if you like it.
     
  14. acidfast7 macrumors 65816

    acidfast7

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    EU
    #14
    we're I live, very dense urban area, almost all smarts are parked perpendicular to the other cars. therefore, they only need like 1.5m of parking space.

    they look like great cars, but I wouldn't expect most people to understand them.
     
  15. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #15
    Two thumbs up!

    I think the OP should tell us where she/he lives. It makes a big difference. Where I live, there are Smarts everywhere, and it's no big deal. And like I said, there are special parking spots for them often. When we drove down into the Washington state, they were so rare that we got stopped everywhere... people thought they were "so cute".... then I told them how little we had spent on gas that week on our driving trip.... and the reaction was to take them a little more seriously.
     
  16. juanm macrumors 65816

    juanm

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Location:
    Fury 161
    #16
    And you can get a bumper sticker that says "I'm undercompensating" :D
     
  17. Alaerian Guest

    Alaerian

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Location:
    A barstool, Innis & Gunn in hand
    #17
    It's a first car.

    Buy something used. Spend a couple thousand dollars. Drive it into the ground. Then, when you are done with college and on your own, buy your first "new" car. I'm sorry, but a 16 year old child does not need a brand new car, no matter what it is.
     
  18. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Location:
    On tenterhooks
    #18
    Smart Passion Coupe for first time driver?

    Does no one else have a problem with the name for this little econo-box??

    I think a more accurate one would be the Smart Birth Control Coupe. ;)
     
  19. acidfast7 macrumors 65816

    acidfast7

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    EU
    #19
    Ironically, that name is for North America only.

    The rest of the world, calls it the Smart Fortwo.

    We also get BRABUS model and tuned models with Huyabusa engines that do 0-60 in under 5sec and about 140mph (and you can still park the things easily.)

     
  20. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #20
    I am a Smart owner, here's a car just like mine:

    [​IMG]

    I love my car - it's great fun to drive, it's very economical and it's very rare. It has some awesome features like paddle shift gears on the steering wheel, heated leather seats and an electric folding soft top that works while travelling 60+mph.

    When I take my car for service, they give me a ForTwo as a courtesy car. I cannot believe that these two cars are in any way related - the ForTwo is easily the worst car I have ever driven.

    I've never been in a car where I've felt that a rollover during normal driving is possible, but it definitely seems to be in the ForTwo. Even at low speeds it feels like a sharp turn would have it on its roof.

    The pedals are completely bizarre - one huge accelerator and a tiny brake that is either off or 100% on - there is no travel here.

    They are also EXPENSIVE. A new ForTwo starts at £9200 here - you can get a similarly equipped Suzuki Swift or Ford Ka for the same price.

    It does definitely share a few things with my car though, such as the terrible gearbox and the cheap interior plastics.

    Do yourself a favour and investigate the Ford Fiesta.
     
  21. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #21
    ^^ That cabrio design is really pretty. What is it called / where was it (is it?) sold?

    Impressive. Have you driven one? I'd be curious to see what it feels like, since it's so tall.

    It actually does not do too poorly in the Euro NCAP and American IIHS crash tests. It looks like it had issues in the American NHTSA testing. If I lived in a very urban area, I think I'd be really interested in one, for the parkability alone.
     
  22. neiltc13, Jan 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012

    neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #22
    My car is a Smart Roadster BRABUS Xclusive - 2006 model, so one of the last they made. Production was from 2003-2006 and I think it was only ever on sale in Europe and some models made it to Japan.

    There were a few different models, but the main differentiator was between the standard model and the BRABUS model (80bhp vs 101bhp). There was also a roadster-coupe version available, which had more storage space in the back:

    [​IMG]



    A lot of Americans don't even know about this car, or the two others that entered production for Smart:

    [​IMG]

    Smart ForFour - as the name suggests it has four seats and four doors. The BRABUS model (pictured) had a 177 bhp engine that did 0-60mph in 6.9sec.

    [​IMG]

    Smart Crossblade (yes there really is no roof and no real doors.
     
  23. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #23
    I'd be concerned about safety in the car. I've sat in one before and it certainly doesn't feel small, but I'm really picky about safety. Not much distance between you and the front of your car.

    Anyways, you can probably get a really nice and reliable car for ≤$5000. Then you won't have to worry about scratching it up and what not.
     
  24. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Location:
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    #24
    So, the OP never really stated if this was US based or not, so this is all based on US models.

    My gripe with the Smart models in the US is that it is a novelty and not much else. There are other models available in a similar price range that offer similar mileage and a better in most other respects. The Ford Fiesta SFE, for example, is close in price and offers similar MPG (33/41 for the Smart Couple vs. 29/40 for the Fiesta), and offers more trunk space, and a back seat. The same is true of the Honda Fit (28/35), Toyota Yaris (29/35), and Mazda3 (28/40 with the SkyActive engine).* All of these are also around the same price point.

    Lots of people have complained about the same things neiltc13 did: odd ergonomics, tippy feeling, etc. US models have also had problems with the transmissions.


    *All MPG numbers taken from fueleconomy.gov using automatic transmission versions of the cars.
     
  25. acidfast7 macrumors 65816

    acidfast7

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Location:
    EU
    #25
    If we're talking about small roadsters, I'm looking at a Daihatsu for me gf.

    It's only slightly bigger than a Smart ForTwo, so it's really easy to park in the middle of the city and it has a hell of a lot more style than a Smart/Miata.

    Performance is OK for the size. Roughly 9s 0-60 and about 115mph top speed (kinda slow for long distances on the autobahn, but ok for the city).

    But, the used market it still kinda small, but I have seen a few in the 3000-4000€ range of late.

    driving
     

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