Fuelly Forums

Fuelly Forums (http://www.fuelly.com/forums/)
-   General Fuel Topics (http://www.fuelly.com/forums/f8/)
-   -   100 MPG smart car myth (http://www.fuelly.com/forums/f8/100-mpg-smart-car-myth-10038.html)

Brian D. 09-23-2008 05:36 AM

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.

thisisntjared 09-23-2008 05:48 AM

in europe they are getting much better mpg with a different motor.

Jay2TheRescue 09-23-2008 05:53 AM

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.

-Jay

Erdrick 09-23-2008 06:10 AM

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.

Jay2TheRescue 09-23-2008 06:37 AM

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.

GasSavers_GasUser 09-23-2008 06:49 AM

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.

Dave

GasSavers_BEEF 09-23-2008 07:32 AM

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.

Sludgy 09-23-2008 07:41 AM

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.

itjstagame 09-23-2008 07:50 AM

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.

Brian D. 09-23-2008 08:24 AM

"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.

Lug_Nut 09-23-2008 08:39 AM

The EPA test is performed by the auto manufacturers with their own test operators on their own dynamometers in climate controlled rooms. The program used by all the dynamometers are the same, but the 'driving' techniques used by the operators are up to their own choices within the acceleration and deceleration limits of the program. The program may say to accelerate from a stop to 30 mph, but the rate of acceleration is somewhat up to the operator provided the target "speed" is achieved before some "distance" has been traveled. Hardly 'real world', since windows up or down makes no difference on a treadmill, but more applicable for comparison purposes between different vehicles than what existed before 1972.

The Jetta 'clean diesel' is a 2009 model. 30-41 with 6 speed manual, 29-40 with automatic clutch DSG 6 speed sequential
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/Feg/diesel.shtml

thisisntjared 09-23-2008 08:39 AM

my point was its not really a rumor, just a skewed and exaggerated fact.

Jay2TheRescue 09-23-2008 08:50 AM

This is what the EPA says about the new rating system...

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/ratings2008.shtml

opelgt73 09-23-2008 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian D. (Post 119284)
BTW, everyone here seems to know that the 88-91 CRX HF (FED) gets 49/51 all day long, without even trying.

I get that in my FED HF (check my gas log). I would bet it would be more consistently around 55/58 back when ethanol free gas was available.

GasSavers_BEEF 09-23-2008 09:56 AM

I don't really think that it is fair to compare a new car of today against a car of the past. you can't go out and get a honda that gets 50+ mpg (EPA i mean) even the hybrid civic falls short of that. auto makers have changed the way they make cars from the 80s and 90s for power and safety and both involve using more gas.

my first car was a 3-cyl geo metro that got 46 MPG when I got rid of it. and I wasn't easy on it either. I was never easy on the throttle until gas hit $3+ a gallon.

I am in the market for another fuel efficient car so I have looked around quite a bit. the smart gets the best EPA mileage of any non-hybrid (excluding diesels...maybe) out there. it does have it's drawbacks which I am taking into consideration and maybe rethinking because of those drawbacks but nobody else can get into the 40s (EPA highway) on just gasoline alone.

is it worth it? that is for the individual to decide.

side note: the 100MPG smart doesn't exist, at least not right now.

Jay2TheRescue 09-23-2008 11:13 AM

Think about this... In the 70's an accord was a compact car. Now an Accord is one of the biggest new cars you can get now, aside from a Grand Marquis, and the accord gets half the mileage it did in the 70's.

-Jay

bowtieguy 09-23-2008 12:33 PM

here's a smart diesel:

http://www.gassavers.org/garage/view/433

and another:

http://www.gassavers.org/garage/view/288

thisisntjared 09-23-2008 01:23 PM

wow that one smart has gotten over 100mpg on more than one occasion.

Mike T 09-23-2008 07:46 PM

The green one is mine, and it will consistently return 60 US MPG, and driven sensibly but not carefully. Mine has wide wheels and tires, and is a convertible, so the top is often down (bad aero). When it's up, the heated seats or air conditioning are usually on.

www.spritmonitor.de reports that the average fuel economy of all first-generation diesel smarts is 57 US MPG, so I am slightly better than average.

The diesel smarts were sold in Canada between September 2004 and November 2007, being only 2005 and 2006 models.

The new smarts with the 1 L Mitsubishi engines are good for maybe 40 US MPG if driven similarly.

The black car is owned by Serge in Quebec and he has a lifetime fuel economy of 72 US MPG. I know of one other Canadian smart that is at that level of FE.

The 100 MPG statement, if issued by a US smart salesperson, is scandalously off-base! The diesel can achieve it on the highway at a steady 50 MPH, but not the gasser!

BumblingB 09-23-2008 07:54 PM

Those are old 450 diesels that get the awesome mileage - Mike T should chime in later on as he has one.

The one here in the US (451) uses a GAS 3cyl Mitsubishi motor - 1.0L. The old gas motor in the 450 was something like .6L and was essentially a 60k mile throw away motor despite being a MB.

As far as the 100mpg myth - I get that question quite often though most don't seem to shrug there shoulders in disgust when I mention I get between 40-50mpg on most tanks ( I do as my old Insight really spoiled me and I get ABOVE EPA ratings, check my logs 15k worth so far ). There have been other cars in my stable that have gotten better mileage BUT I now have my car modified to my liking to where there isn't much that compares to it on certain things like parking, driver comfort etc. and I love it - the other one will get a few of those mods in time.

For the most part - the same ones who are passing on those 100mpg rumors are the same dingbats that pass on the myth/rumor that the Smarts are unsafe.

BTW - the Smart being a city car I STILL put 100 miles a day on it. Secondary highways & city - NOT interstate though it drives fine on the interstate.

BumblingB 09-23-2008 07:55 PM

DOH Mike! I spoke too soon! or late.......

FLAteam 09-24-2008 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wazabi Owner (Post 119336)
For the most part - the same ones who are passing on those 100mpg rumors are the same dingbats that pass on the myth/rumor that the Smarts are unsafe.

Dingbats like the people at Edmunds.com and Fifth Gear?

http://blogs.edmunds.com/strategies/...-purchase.html

thisisntjared 09-24-2008 10:01 AM

that blog makes the smart seam like its a motorcycle. it still weighs almost a ton. literally. it is only a few pounds shy of civics made in the 90s.

regarding the rollover tests, they said that the smart is worse than some suvs. which suvs?? there are some suvs out there that are to handle like cars! and guess what, the fortwo is raced safely on tracks with turns. the rollover is not that much of an issue.

i dont know what the author of that blog is thinking, but a 5 star rating is a 5 star rating even if the door opens. hahaha, oh wait, it doesnt matter if the door opens because the driver(or passenger) is wearing their seatbelt. some cars do not even get 5 out of 5 stars in ANY of the nhtsa catagories. case in point: mitsubishi lancer

the blog is a lot of speculation.

BumblingB 09-24-2008 01:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FLAteam (Post 119372)
Dingbats like the people at Edmunds.com and Fifth Gear?

http://blogs.edmunds.com/strategies/...-purchase.html

I picked up this link while quiclly browsing the same site you mentioned. It is to the (IIHS) Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Those wing-nuts there gave it a top rating - that's weird I got a link to such a favorable article from Edmunds. :confused: Maybe that's why I have such good insurance rates on the car? Hard to say.

FLAteam 09-24-2008 01:24 PM

I guess the jury's still out on the safety of the car.

I'm pretty open about hating on Smart cars, so I'll leave it at that.

Jay2TheRescue 09-24-2008 01:36 PM

If I really wanted to go all out I'd get an 80's model volvo diesel with a manual transmission. They were big, safe cars with EPA highway ratings around 30 MPG. I'm sure they would probably lend themselves nicely to hypermiling, and you could convert them to run on WVO as well, bringing your operating costs down. I just saw an 84 Volvo wagon diesel with a manual on Craigslist for under $2,000. I'm tempted. Seems like the perfect flea market car. Safe, decent FE, and pleanty of room for my treasures I pick up along the way.

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/m...845364980.html

-Jay

slurp812 09-24-2008 04:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brian D. (Post 119284)
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.

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/ratings2008.shtml

There are more factors other than those listed as well. but that's what they adjusted for.

Mike T 09-24-2008 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue (Post 119400)
If I really wanted to go all out I'd get an 80's model volvo diesel with a manual transmission. They were big, safe cars with EPA highway ratings around 30 MPG.

http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=86M_fV-1yKY I'd rather be in the tiny Renault Modus, thanks!

konitime 09-24-2008 09:10 PM

Hi,

here a german site where people list their gas-costs. Special the Smart Fortwo cdi.

http://www.spritmonitor.de/de/uebers...&vehicletype=1


with best regards.

Wilfried

Philip1 09-25-2008 06:37 AM

The US smart is a cute but a bit useless car. it is one of those cars you buy to stand out. Not to save the planet. the huge car seen in my signature gets between 30 and 35 mpg seats 5 and has a 4 star NCAP rating (in Europe its a Vaxhall Vectra) it's big and safe and can haul stuff along with the 5 passengers. So logically one should look at milage and passenger accommodation over cute cliche'.

Mike T 09-25-2008 07:59 AM

If you need a big boat, that Saturn is fine, but if all you want is a small - say - convertible, the smart makes sense just as much as the massive Opel does. So let's not be so dismissive of those who don't haul crap around all the time. If you are getting 30-35 MPG with that car, you would be doing 45-50 with the US smart.

GasSavers_BEEF 09-25-2008 08:05 AM

my hope is that the smart that is rated 40+ mpg can be modded similarly to what we do here and with driving technique to get even higher.

I am currently getting 45%+ over EPA. if I could do that in the smart it would push it into the mid to high 50s. if you don't have a family and you don't need the HAUL-IT room, then the smart makes better sense.

I understand the need for people room and stuff room but if you don't usually need it or if you have a second vehicle that is an SUV then the smart tends to make better sense.

*edit* I just noticed that in mike-t's avatar, he has a pic of a smart next to an SUV.

Jay2TheRescue 09-25-2008 08:18 AM

Are you sure its an SUV? Looks like a station wagon to me.

-Jay

GasSavers_BEEF 09-25-2008 08:39 AM

(I know I am going to catch crap for this one)

is there really much difference between a station wagon and an SUV?

Greyg 09-25-2008 08:53 AM

Very little difference except in people's minds.

Jay2TheRescue 09-25-2008 10:04 AM

Well, a lot of manufacturers sell wagons labeled as "crossover vehicles" to try and avoid the wagon stigma. Take the Taurus X and the Chrysler Pacifica for example. Station wagons in my eyes. Lexus also has one - I'm not sure of the model name but it looks like a tall wagon to me.

I'm sure if it was made now the Dodge Colt Vista Wagon would have AWD and be labeled an SUV, or a crossover at least.

GasSavers_BEEF 09-25-2008 11:51 AM

I guess technically speaking an SUV is truck based where as a stationwagon is car based.

that leaves the crossovers as I want to say car based.

they all look like big hatchbacks to me. or maybe trucks with camper shells.

my wife has an element and we are looking into a 3rd vehicle. she really likes the hatchbacks because they are the most like her element. she says it is a mini-SUV. I thought that was funny. she said that she really likes the convenience of the hatch vs a sedan. funny to hear that from her when she used to get on me about my geo metro syndrome.

Philip1 09-25-2008 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike T (Post 119468)
If you need a big boat, that Saturn is fine, but if all you want is a small - say - convertible, the smart makes sense just as much as the massive Opel does. So let's not be so dismissive of those who don't haul crap around all the time. If you are getting 30-35 MPG with that car, you would be doing 45-50 with the US smart.

I'm not saying I don't want one (because I do BIG TIME)
the difference between an SUV and a wagon is about 4 feet in height, 20mpg and 2-4000lbs

theholycow 09-25-2008 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue (Post 119478)
Well, a lot of manufacturers sell wagons labeled as "crossover vehicles" to try and avoid the wagon stigma.

...also to avoid the car's stricter CAFE requirements and increase their CAFE truck rating.

My wife calls everything "truck". It used to be just SUVs, then it was tall wagons being sold as SUVs, now I've even caught her calling my VW Rabbit a "truck".

The reality is that the term SUV is now so diluted as to be meaningless...it can mean anything from a tall hatchback to an enclosed full-sized truck to a small wagon to a van. The only thing SUV means now is "soccer mom stigma", or for those whose thinking hasn't caught up, "masculine macho trucky thing". In the meantime, when my wife says which vehicle we should go in, I have no idea if she means the full size 4wd pickup, the compact hatchback, the Isuzu Rodeo, or the old Buick coupe.

Mike T 09-25-2008 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BEEF (Post 119469)
*edit* I just noticed that in mike-t's avatar, he has a pic of a smart next to an SUV.

It is my Mercedes-Benz B 200 that is referred to in my signature, the 32 US MPG car...

It is technically probably a crossover, being based on the A-Class.... but I think of it as a large hatchback. It's HUGE inside.


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:03 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.