I'd like to see some safety ratings on this car. I like that its small and efficient, but for its size I think it should get better then 40?! I wouldn't wanna drive it farther then a few miles, I'd be too worried about getting into a fender bender and being killed.
Every ounce of "Safety" gained from having a larger vehicle is taken from the safety of whoever it is that you are running into. Yesterday in my city,two children (walking) where struck by an SUV at an intersection. Small dent in the bumper and safer than I ever want to be.
I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
The Smart can run on regular without a problem. Most modern engines that call for premium can adjust for lower octane. My parents Acura calls for the expensive stuff, but they still get 30mpg on the highway without trying on the regular they've always put in.
The answer is 'no'. I'm not impressed at all by ANY of the new vehicles that get 40MPG. And I have NO idea why people are clamoring for them.
I just keep saying to these people, in the 80s there were PLENTY of 40MPG cars, or get a 50MPG diesel Rabbit. The reason they're not around now is safety. Now I haven't looked at the figures and such to know how many less people are killed now a days and how much of the less deaths are associated to crumple zones and air bags, etc. But I'd like to see them. I mean the main reason people don't feel 'safe' in these cars now is because of SUVs, WHY does these things called SUVs exist? I live in a rural area and I can understanding wanting AWD but many cars have this now a days there's no reason to drive an aerodynamic brick and danger everyone else because it's too heavy and you can't control it.
On the other hand, I LOVE tiny cars. I'd love a Honda Beat or Mazda Autozam. And I don't think they get much over 40MPG either as an average. I'm not too sure why, probably just too small for proper aerodynamics and the engine is just too under powered for the load.
Like the fact the US gets a 1L with an absurdly low ratio trans, I bet the 1L has enough power to go 70MPH at 2500rpm, but with a higher diff ratio it wouldn't accelerate fast enough for americans.
Lastly, cars can be designed right, I mean 40MPG from a smart car is stupid, 30MPG from a Honda Beat is also kind of stupid, but somehow with all it's safety features and weight my 2002 Lexus ES300 can get 33MPG at 65MPH and THAT impresses me. Yes a Prius gets more than that but 45MPG is NOT impressive. The problem is the drivers. Sure I can get 33MPG in my lexus but I bet most people get 25MPG, they probably go 85MPH instead too. Just like the Prius owners, it's been proven that most people that drive like us on the board here could get 50-60MPG out of them and then they start to look more impressive.
Just got this email from Smart....so no more talk of crash tests not being advertised. I haven't looked at the results yet though.....wonder if they are good or bad ....just checked. Try comparing it to a Mini, Yaris and Accent - seems like the drivers of all those cars are in for a quick and instantaneous death too.
"Dear smart Enthusiast,
This week the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its results of the smart fortwo frontal and side crash tests.
The results are consistent with our expectations and what we have been communicating to you. The NHTSA evaluations and video of the crash testing can be found on their website ? www.safercar.gov. We encourage to you view the site.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety also performs crash testing on vehicles in the United States. We expect these results within 30 days and we will share the results with you once we receive their final report.
Safety is a top priority for Mercedes Benz and smart USA. All crash data is currently being reviewed by Mercedes-Benz engineers as we continue to look for ways to make the smart fortwo an even safer vehicle.
It's all marketing.
If you notice, Minis only cought on because of how they were marketed through upscale BMW dealerships.
Scions have been marketed to kids and presented as 'cool'.
Also, the media presented them as funky 'chic' vehicles.
Vehicles such as the Metro have always been presented the opposite way.
Movies and commercials poke fun at the car, and the masses follow along.