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Old 09-23-2008, 05:36 AM   #1
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100 MPG smart car myth

So I'm sitting down at lunch with a co-worker yesterday, when he mentions that he was looking at possibly buying a smart car for his daughter. He highlighted the fact that the crash test received high marks. I said that was great and all, but the car was more of a novelty, being that it only gets 33/40MPG. He then said "those darn things get 100MPG....that's what the dealer told me."

Okay, folks, who the hell is passing these rumors about these cars getting 100MPG anyway?! This is ridiculous. I hope people aren't actually getting into these cars without first doing their homework...but it seems they are.
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:48 AM   #2
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in europe they are getting much better mpg with a different motor.
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:53 AM   #3
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You're right. You can do a lot better mileage wise with other cars, and actually have more room. Plus, doesn't the smart only run on premium? My grandfather's Grand Marquis gets almost 30 on the highway with no hypermiling at all. I'd imagine with a grille block, extended airdam, belly pan, and driving with economy in mind you could do at least 35 hwy, maybe more and have a comfortable car that seats 6, is cheap to repair and will run on 87 octane. Factoring in the price difference between premium and regular, a modded and hypermiled Grand Marquis may even have a cheaper cost per mile. Especially when you consider that you can get a nice one a couple of years old for around $10,000. When you look at it that way, the smart doesn't seem to live up to its name.

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Old 09-23-2008, 06:10 AM   #4
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Jay2: I think that thisisntjared was talking about the diesel flavor of the smart. If I remember correctly, there was a guy that hung around here that actually got his hands on one. I think that he was getting in the 80s or 90s w/o even trying.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:37 AM   #5
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Yes, but in the context that the OP put it, of someone who is just going to go down to the Smart dealer and buy one because it gets 100 MPG isn't going to buy a diesel. That person will end up with a gasoline model, and be very disspointed when they don't end up getting 100 MPG. I was merely pointing out that the US model really wasn't that good conisdering I could get a Grand Marquis to get close to the Smart's US EPA ratings.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:49 AM   #6
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100mpg, yea right. Car salesmen will sometimes tell you anything. It doesn't take much looking around to find a real car....with 4 doors and a trunk even.....that gets as good or better mpg. But they do get all the better more fuel efficient motors over in Europe. Ford has a 65mpg oil burner you can't get here.

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Old 09-23-2008, 07:32 AM   #7
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the diesel smart was available in canada in (I think) '06 and '07. I don't think you can even get them there anymore.

as for the mileage, the smart gets the best EPA of any NON-hybrid car here in the states. it doesn't beat everyone by much but it also comes with a smaller price tag as well. there again, not by much. if you are a family of two or even single and don't want to get rid of the SUV, use the smart for commuting purposes only. it has its purpose.

there may be diesels available now that do better than the smart. haven't checked out VW in a while.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:41 AM   #8
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The Smart Car is a city car, not designed for big highway mpg numbers. It's too tall and too short to have really good aerodynamics.
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:50 AM   #9
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It's rated higher than I thought actually: 33 36 41
Mini Cooper's got: 28 32 37
Wow and actually the Jetta TDI (from '06, didn't see diesel listed in '08 on fueleconomy.gov) is only 30 33 37

So I guess it is the best right now.
Of course it says '85 Honda Civic Coupe HF is rated 40 43 48 in the new method and that was a good amount bigger then the smart.
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Old 09-23-2008, 08:24 AM   #10
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"new method"

So, what is it with the "new method" of figuring EPA esitmates, anyway?? Funny, but I thought math was math.....X miles divided by X gallons. The only thing I could see changing is what percentage the EPA estimates give to highway driving as opposed to city driving. That's the only thing I could see changing the numbers.

BTW, everyone here seems to know that the 88-91 CRX HF (FED) gets 49/51 all day long, without even trying.
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