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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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Comments

  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    People (or Penske)seem to forget that historically every micro car ever made was produced in response to severe and chronic economic desperation of some kind.

    Ah, but that formula is based on cheap fuel, cheap cars, and friendly oil suppliers. Fuel's not getting any cheaper, cars aren't getting any cheaper (but credit is easier), and the suppliers aren't so friendly anymore.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    It'll do very well. The thing is, delivery and courier companies alone will gobble this thing up. It's the modern replacement for the Geo Metro / Suzuki Swift. Commuters as well will love it. If it gets 45/55mpg, it's going to obliterate the competition - and the Prius as well, since half of that car is yuppie status and not about saving real money and resources.

    But the big deal... turbo. Nice. That means a chip and a kit might cost you a couple of grand and 5mpg or so, but 100hp with a stronger boost level will be easily doable (evil grin). 8 seconds 0-60 would be fun, to say the least.

    edit:
    The stock engine in Europe gets 4.7l/100km and this uses 4.9l/100km - or a bit less than 5% worse economy. Hardly worth mentioning and not the 20-30% that we were fearing,

    Of course, the CDI gets 3.4l/100km, which is astounding, really.

    Converted: Combined MPG, real world testing(Europe's testing is much more accurate to real life): 50.05mpg and 48mpg
    (Converted to *US gallons, no less!*).

    The TDI gets 69.18! But 0-60 in almost 20 seconds is truly dangerously slow.

    52kW 999cc 3-cylinder petrol: 52kW (71bhp) @5,800rpm; 92Nm torque @4,500rpm
    52kW petrol: 0-60 13.0 seconds
    (52kw = 69.73HP)

    62kW 999cc 3-cylinder petrol: 62kW (84bhp) @5,250rpm; 120Nm torque @3,250rpm
    62kW petrol turbo : 0-60 10.6 seconds
    (62KW = 83.14HP)

    What a difference a turbocharger makes - more power at lower rpms and much flatter torque curve as well. A bit over 2mpg lost in the exchange. This will be a quick car in city traffic(0-40) I bet.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Some say we'll have $4 gas this summer.

    I saw premium break $3.50 this past weekend when I visited CT, so I believe it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    well bump I was thinking of like...postwar Italy and Germany and Japan, when microcars were King...or when the pretty small Honda CVCC first came out during the 1973 Gas Crunch in the USA (very unfriendly fuel suppliers).

    These events were very serious spurs to the development of the microcar---but we have no such situation in America.

    I suppose one could "bet on" severe fuel shortages or punishing prices for gas in America in the near future, but then that would so screw up the economy I think the new car business would fall collectively to its knees and USED cars would become the hot ticket item---because it's not gas that would be in short supply but actual money in people's hands.

    (cf, depression or recession, when people tend to keep old cars going forever...)

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  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    I'm with you. Gimme a 6-speed stick and shave at least 3 seconds off the 0-60 for under $14k and I'd be VERY interested in a commuter car like that.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,851
    I'd like to see it more around $8k - like Kia Rio territory.

    The idea of parking a microcar in my garage and still having room to mess around on my workbench is appealing too.

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  • daysailerdaysailer Posts: 711
    Actually, the Civic CVCC was a BIGGER car than Honda had been selling in the US prior to the fuel crisis. Previously, there was the much smaller Honda 600 as well as numerous other small cars from other marques that were available in the '60s when there was no fuel availability/price issue.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    True, true...but the 600 wasn't a real car...that was a motorcycle powered toy...the CVCC was a "real" car, with a back seat, all the amenities, and great fuel mileage...Honda got SO LUCKY with the '73 Gas Embargo...they could never have sold that car in the quantities they did unless there was that gas crunch....'73 and '79 changed American cars forever....

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  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Geo Metro / Suzuki Swift. Commuters as well will love it.
    As a commuter, I have no love for the Metro/Swift. Loud, buzzy and nervous on the highway, just unpleasant.

    That means a chip and a kit might cost you a couple of grand and 5mpg or so, but 100hp with a stronger boost level will be easily doable (evil grin). 8 seconds 0-60 would be fun, to say the least.

    So now you aren't getting the mileage, and you dumped another grand in the thing, you are pretty much in a Civic, which holds 5 and has a more comfortable ride.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    its been the same thing every summer for a while now. doom and gloom. doom and gloom. ;b

    i'm sure some folks are saying $5 (again). and, once again, I say it won't happen. I've been right each year so far (of course, a 50/50 chance ain't exactly fortune telling).

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    I get 48mpg average from that review(US gallons), so dropping that to 40-45mpg to create a car that's much faster than a Fit - for less money(because a $12K Pure with mods will be about 13K?). Total no-brainer. Either way it gets better efficiency, looks better, costs a LOT less, and has more safety and handling goodies as well.(Honda Fit with stability and traction control? Heh - as if.)

    Basically you just need to alter the computer/chip it and alter the intake and exhaust a bit. I bet you can get another 10-15% out of it without hardly trying. Of course, none of this would be possible without a turbo or supercharger to mess with in the first place. ;)

    Or just wait a year or two for the Brabus/AMG version. With this larger engine, expect 100hp+ out of it.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    actually, you'd still be getting about 5-7 mpg better than a Civic LX coupe. and it might be more fun.

    oops... pletko beat me to it ... kind of.

    an AMG Smart. Now THAT would be funny to see.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    They make a Brabus version in Europe already that gets about 85hp or so, so this is exactly like getting that version without the premium pricetag. With a bigger engine to work with, 100HP will be easy for them to achieve.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    plekto nor qbrozen mentioned that you would still be in a car weighing around 1800 pounds after mods, maybe less. The Civic weighs 2700, that's almost half a ton more of fun-sucking steel.

    You can read that article I linked to see who Penske thinks will actually be interested in this car. He mentions 4 groups, one of which is cash-starved first-time buyers, a group I don't think he should count on what with $9000 Aveos and Rios for sale out there every day. But he also mentions ultra-urban types and greenies and some other folks too, and I remember thinking he was pretty much right on with the other 3 groups, which are small groups but hey! He is only trying to sell 20K per year!

    And if it sells 40K/year, might we finally see the mighty Swift GT and the (Euro-Ford subcompact, why am I blanking on its name??) here for sale? Or the VW Polo, a pretty nice car in its own right? And shoot, stick a tiny turbo diesel in any one of those cars and the resulting fuel economy numbers might just make me buy one for a commuter even if it DIDN'T have a manual option! Welll....maybe I won't go THAT far. :-P

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Fiesta.

    Or the Ka? They even make a SportKa.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Euro-Ford subcompact, why am I blanking on its name??

    Fiesta, the Mazda2-derived next-gen of which is supposed to be here in a few years. There is also the Ka, which is more fortwo/Aygo sized.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'll guess he meant this:

    image
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    It wasn't just the gas crunch that propelled the Civic's sales. It was also a very good car for that class...in 1980 my family bought a used 1977 Civic CVCC.

    It was far ahead of our 1973 AMC Gremlin and my aunt's 1977 Ford Pinto in virtually everything except rust resistance (and the Gremlin wasn't much better in that regard, either).

    Even discounting the superior gas mileage, the Civic was revelation compared to its direct competitors at that time. Remember that in 1974, VW's big seller was still the OLD Beetle, and the domestic competition was the AMC Gremlin, Ford Pinto and Chevrolet Vega.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    plekto nor qbrozen mentioned that you would still be in a car weighing around 1800 pounds after mods, maybe less. The Civic weighs 2700, that's almost half a ton more of fun-sucking steel.
    ****

    Or to put it into today's terms:
    100HP/140lb-ft of torque(what I estimate is easily possible) - 1800lbs.

    That's equal to 200HP/280lb-ft - 3600lbs.(actually more because the thing will handle better and stop quicker, thanks to less mass to deal with)

    Even the stock model is equal to a roughly 170hp midsize sedan. That's no slouch. Not a rocket, but certainly not slow.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,753
    With a 1700-pound curb weight and 84 hp, I think it will be plenty fast enough to keep up with the Joneses,

    Not sure where you live but I am in the Chicago metro area and during rush hour traffic accelerates pretty slowly. Even if the car in front of you takes off like a bat out of hell two teenagers pushing a Yugo will catch up with it in a minute or two.

    I think it makes the perfect commute car, even if your commute does take you on the highway.

    Around here the highways don't go all that fast during rush hour.

    The Smart looks like a great commuter car

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,753
    But...when you sit there and think rationally, the Fit is twice the car for nearly the same price.

    One question. Why would I spend even a dime more for a car thats twice as big that doesn't save me any money when I won't use the extra space?

    I am considering the Smart as my car (the wife would have a mid sized sedan) that would mainly be used for commuting and running errands. I cannot think of the last time doing something like that I needed more room than the Smart has. So why spend more to get more when I never will need more?

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,753
    I am not that sure about that. A stick is a nightmare for my commute and shaving 3 seconds is pretty meaningless when traffic under these conditions rarely out accelerates what a Smart will do.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    Why would I spend even a dime more for a car thats twice as big that doesn't save me any money when I won't use the extra space?

    If you buy a Smart, you'll probably have the value of a used Daewoo. Not such a good idea. If you have a Honda Fit, you can always sell it for a good price.

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  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,753
    First off making a statement of the resale value of a make thats not even on the market yet is pure speculation.

    Secondly resale value of every car I get rid of is next to nothing as the best economic sense is to keep a car until the wheels fall off. So if you're looking at the best financial choice between the two buy the Smart and keep it.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    A forgotten car in the USA, but extraordinarily popular in Europe, was the Simca 1100, introduced in the USA in 1969 (I believe) as the Simca 1204 due to the increased engine displacement. Front wheel drive, cavernous storage with its hatchback design, excellent seats and ride in the French tradition, and a transverse OHV 4-cylinder with a single barrel Solex carb, and a 4-speed. It easily delivered 36+MPG on the highway.

    I bought a new 1970 1204 in October 1970, and it was a daily driver until 1985, until the rust took its toll on the unibody. It had a torsion bar suspension, front and rear, with bunches of vertical wheel travel that provided excellent ride quality considering its small size.

    Chrysler didn't know how to market this car in the USA, thus it failed after only a few years in this market. But, the 1100, and its variants, were a huge success throughout Europe.

    Another small car available in the late '60s and early '70s was the Austin America - but, I won't go there!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,050
    It's been on the market a long time in Europe snake. The Smart is an older design and so the used car values are pretty well established. It's like talking about the resale value of a Ford Focus or something like that, not so speculative really.

    But I can't argue if you are planning to drive it until it drops many years hence---then resale is of no consequence, you're right.

    PS: Gas mileage -- I had a Renault Dauphine with the special "economy carburetor" that you could buy from Renault--and it would put up amazing mileage....better than my 2006 subcompact. It was so much more refined than a VW bug, too. But alas, it was French....

    MrShiftright
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  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,753
    While it has been on sale a long time in Europe that is Europe not here Stateside (I am presuming that most posters here are stateside), whats true in Europe may not be true in the US.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    Bingo! That's what I meant. ;-)

    And getting the SportKa here wouldn't be a bad thing either. I am rooting for the ForTwo!

    It is SUCH a shame Mazda decided not to try to sell the new Mazda2 here. :-(

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,851
    A forgotten car in the USA

    I remember it well since I cut a Simca body in half with a sabre saw back in 1970. The owner was another kid in high school and his daddy owned one of the dealerships. He wanted to chop the ride but I think it wound up at the dump.

    I bet the Smart Roadster is holding resale value pretty well.

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  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    If I could get a Smart Roadster, I'd take one over the FourTwo in a second. No, half a second.

    Why is it that the coolest cars in the world can be had all over the damn planet and not here in the U.S. where we have more drivers and more miles of road than anyplace else on the planet?

    And Don't even get me started on how the Ariel Atom is street legal in the U.K. and not in the U.S. If there ever was a car that I actually would do almost anything to drive, this is it without a doubt.
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