The Smart smartly sucks. 40 mpg? My 99 Civic HX gets 42 mpg combined 2 days city 5 days hwy going 60 to 65 mph. Lots more space and cargo area too. If it really requires Premium that is so dumb, and I think it will bomb.
You guys are WAY too hard on this car. First of all, it's the only 3-banger out there, in fact the only current car under 1.5 liter is the Civic hybrid at 1.3 (Note the EPA lists the Renesis at 1.3. As if.). It's also the only sub-100 hp non-hybrid. The Insight is dead, and never really sold many in the first place. Prop up its headstone next to the Metro, Fiesta, actually-compact Civic, diesel VW, fuel-efficient Saturn... kind of depressing, isn't it?
The smart pure starts at $11.6k. That's dirt cheap for a new car... the Aveo starts at only $1k less, and it's a freaking Aveo. The smart would get 33/41 in the 2008 mpg ratings (according to them, if it were rated). Look at the 2008 specs... in city or highway only 2 cars get into the 40's: the 40/45 Civic hybrid, and the 48/45 Prius. The runner up is the $14k 28/37 Corolla. The Yaris is 29/36, the Fit 28/34... kind of depressing, isn't it?
OK, fine, new cars are overpriced and can't get decent mileage. And why is a Civic VX better than a Messerschmitt KR200, or any scooter ever made? Safety, emissions, drivability and availability. Which is why the smart makes sense compared to some 20th century tin box. You won't be crushed quite so bad, pollute quite so bad, while enjoying your brand new heated seats and keyless entry. That is as good as it gets, for better or worse.
Note: I'm not in the market for a smart. They aren't impressive in an absolute way... but they're relatively decent little cars.
Yeah, 40MPG? There are diesel options, not currently new though because of the US EPA, which isn't helping anything, that get better FE, but also have good resale value and can carry more people and stuff.
The US isn't Europe, and we will not have 1200 year old cities with streets and buildings that have the physical size restrictions that would make something that small a dramatic advantage. Yeah, I can see where it could do some neat things, but, mostly, it would be a fair one person commuter car. If you have a family, you'll need another car.
SUV's? Before them, there were Vista Cruiser wagaons, Ford Country Squire wagons build on one ton chassis with 460's, and others. You could still pull your boat with those. The SUV is the natural progression of the wagon with a command seating position. Do many people own watercraft in Europe? I'm sure people do, but someone might know more than me on that.
Voted no...but it is a small step in the right direction. If it sells ok it might induce car makers to bring over other "super small" vehicles they already have in production.
2006 Jeep Liberty CRD...Founder of L.O.S.T.
OME 2.25" Lift w/ Toyo Open Country HTs 235/75/16s
ASFIR Alum Eng/Tranny/Transfercase/Fuel Skids
2002 Air Box Mod...Air Tabs (5) on Roof...(3)each behind rear windows
Partial Grill Block with Custom Air Scoop and 3" Open Catback Exhaust
Lambretta UNO150cc 4 Stroke Scooter
I'd love to see a 200hp turbodiesel Focus, probably a 2.5l Duratorq unit or something. That much torque would put a serious hurting on just about anything...and they should have brought that styling across the pond...
Oh, and the 1.8l Duratorq turbodiesel for the more mileage-conscious among us
'67 Mustang - out of commission after an accident
'00 Echo - DD
'11 Kia Rio - Wife's DD
'09 Harley Nightster - 48mpg and 1/4 miles in the 12's