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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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  • The goal of a vehicle in a collision is to absorb force to prevent passing it on to the occupants. There are very few "perfect" collisions the real world. Cars hit things and bounce and spin or flip and roll or what not.
    Vehicles being physically pushed forward in a rear end crash isn't exactly a terrible thing, as it allows the force to be dissipated over a greater distance and time. Head on collisions usually aren't 100% head on, leading to the frontal offset crash tests. If you watch that test, both cars usually end up spinning as they dissipate force. Front and back collisions are also better than t-bone type collisions because of the distance between your butt and the point of impact. In a front or rear collision, the point of impact is 5-6 feet away, where as a side impact is 5-6 inches away.That is why side air bags are important.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Its funny... the Smart's height makes it look bigger than the PT Cruiser behind it.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    The dynamics of accidents are too complex to predict any outcome based on size or weight. You could be in an Abrams tank and still get a rear view mirror imbedded in your head, or other freakish thing.

    LOL! :D
    Now I'd love to see an M1A2 Abrams with a rearview mirror! hahaha. That would be priceless! :D

    Regarding the other comments. If I have to be rear ended I'd rather be in a 65 ton Main battle tank than say a subcompact car or even a Semi!
    Yeah you'd feel the tank move a bit if a Semi hit it doing 40+mph but the 1500HP engine would be murder on fuel economy considering it can seat only 4 people.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,162
    >Vehicles being physically pushed forward in a rear end crash isn't exactly a terrible thing, as it allows the force to be dissipated over a greater distance and time.

    The fact that the one vehicle ends up being accelerated in a forward direction isn't the real key here; it's the amount of crush involved in both the impactor and impactee vehicle that occurs and dissipates some of the kinetic energy of the impactor relative to the impactee's speed that determines the acceleration on the impactee vehicle's occupants. That acceleration rate is what relates to injury as well as the design of the car seat and head rest.

    If the vehicles are both stiff frame with solidly mounted bumpers, the acceleration on the impacted vehicle and the deceleration on the striking vehicle will be much more rapid causing more injury.

    I watched a Saturn rear-ended by a Cobalt a couple of Saturdays ago. The Saturn started to bend behind the rear wheels to allow the rear end to crush more without accelerating the occupant cage as much. The Cobalt deteriorated back to the motor absorbing lots of energy in bending and crushing metal and parts.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    I guess I should have said "periscope" :blush:

    I've driven a tank but not an Abrams. I do fantasize about stealing one and letting it rip on Highway 17 out of Santa Cruz. Sure, I'd spend a lifetime in jail (maybe two) but it would make a statement to Caltrans. And I would get to San Jose faster in rush hour.

    MODERATOR

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    What I noticed with the discussion on merging and acceleration is two things:

    - Automatic.
    - Automatic.

    I can take my old 1987 4Runner and merge just fine in L.A. because I have a manual gearbox and 3rd gear gets me going quite quickly from 40-60mph. Downshift and floor it - zoom - I'm gone. In a slush-o-matic, well, yeah, you need gobs of HP and Torque because you're always running at 1/2 optimal efficiency.

    Lug lug lug - STOMP. Gosh - nothing happened!

    DUH.

    The manual in the Smart is a clutchless manual like Mercedes used to make in the 60s. Technically it's a manual with solenoids and computer activation of the clutch. So it will downshift quite quickly, and it's QUICK if you drive it aggressively in manual mode because it has a good torque to weight ratio. 20-40mph in traffic is a cinch. 0-60 requires holding it in gear until 3/4 of redline, but it's fine - certainly no worse than a typical Buick or Camry made ten years ago.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    Mr. Shiftright: I've driven a tank but not an Abrams. I do fantasize about stealing one and letting it rip on Highway 17 out of Santa Cruz. Sure, I'd spend a lifetime in jail (maybe two) but it would make a statement to Caltrans. And I would get to San Jose faster in rush hour.

    On one of those police chase video shows, I remember a man did just that with a tank in the San Diego area. He rampaged through a residential neighborhood, running OVER parked cars, trucks and even a motor home. He got the tank stuck on a freeway divider, and the police were able to get on the tank and eventually shot and killed him. So I wouldn't recommend this...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    how 'bout if I just weld a snowplow attachment onto a Ford dually? :shades:

    MODERATOR

  • how 'bout if I just weld a snowplow attachment onto a Ford dually?

    You silly bay area folks...you don't have to weld anything, here in Michigan at Varsity Ford they have a number of Superduty Ford trucks with the snow plow prep already installed and ready to go. You just add your Myer blade and hydraulics and you are all set.

    This way you can angle the blade from inside the cab, so as you push the cars out of your way, you can alternate right or left.

    :cry: I miss the central coast. I wanna go home. :cry:
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    With 0-60 times as slow as posted here for the Smart your definition of quick needs some explaining. If the xA and xB were condemned for being slow it is hard to believe the Smart that is even slower would be considered quick. After all when the run the 0-60 tests they are trying as hard as they can to get the best times.

    Still many of the post in this discussion have reached back into the minds of many of us to express the concerns that most US consumers have. If we are going to buy a sub compact how will it hold up to an impact with the millions of bigger vehicles we see on the road every day? I agree that no one plans on having an accident but they do happen. While any accident would cause us to clinch our teeth in expectation it is easy to see how most people might look at getting hit by the neighbors 18 year old son driving a F-150 when you go through an intersection in your new Smart.

    I agree with Shifty that we need to study more to see why small car deaths are going up when the total death rate for new vehicles are going down. There could be any number of reasonable explanations. But your brain tells you that if you are given the choice of getting hit by a Smart car or a Expidition you aren't going to pick the Expidition and pull for some freak set of circumstances to save you.

    And Shifty, there have been times when I might have decided to put a plow on the front of my Old Ram Charger when I was commuting. But an extra heavy duty Brush guard did just the trick one afternoon. My wife was driving a friend to the post office when a Grand Am ran head on into her coming around a slippery curve. My Wife saw the Grand Am coming and managed to pull as far right as she could and stopped. The Grand am hit just to the left of our front license plate and dead on into the front bumper and brush guard. We drove the Ram Charger home and later had it fixed getting a new bumper, replaced the drivers side fender and stearing box. They just cleaned an re polished the brush guard. They had to bring in a flat bed to haul the Grand Am away. I do some off roading so I believe in body armor. I haven't added much to the GMC but there are times I have considered it.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,722
    Now I'd love to see an M1A2 Abrams with a rearview mirror!

    Thats the model the French army uses, they have the rearview mirror so they can watch the battle.

    Ducking and running

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

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,689
    That model also has seven reverse speeds and only one forward gear.
  • Ohhh french jokes I love these.

    For sale 10,000 French assault rifles only dropped ONCE.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,722
    Ohhh french jokes I love these.

    Ok, how many French men does it take to defend Paris?

    Answer: No one knows, it's never been done before.

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

  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    I've driven a tank but not an Abrams. I do fantasize about stealing one and letting it rip on Highway 17 out of Santa Cruz. Sure, I'd spend a lifetime in jail (maybe two) but it would make a statement to Caltrans. And I would get to San Jose faster in rush hour.

    Yes, it'd be so great to just mow down all the big SUV's into flat pancakes, minus their owners of course.
    In the UK you can drive a tank legally on the road there. Funny how we have less freedom in the US than they do in the UK when it comes to cars. I guess that's what they get for paying high taxes on fuel.
    You can also drive an Ariel Atom to work, when it isn't raining, which it usually is.
    I wonder if the Atom now available in the US would be considered a Compact or a Subcompact?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    Well call it luck or call it a message from god but no sooner did I mention I'd like to drive a tank through traffic when lo and behold I see this bumper sticker on a truck in front of me:

    Don't postpone your dreams

    it said....

    And then I see this ad, for a mere $130,000....

    http://www.tankride.com/images/Russian%20Panzer%20For%20Sale.JPG

    I mean, this CAN'T be a co-incidence.

    MODERATOR

  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    One of my Favorite quotes made about the French was actually made by Donald Rumsfeld ...

    "Going to war without France is like going duck hunting without your accordion".
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Well call it luck or call it a message from god but no sooner did I mention I'd like to drive a tank through traffic when lo and behold I see this bumper sticker on a truck in front of me:
    Don't postpone your dreams
    it said....
    And then I see this ad, for a mere $130,000....
    http://www.tankride.com/images/Russian%20Panzer%20For%20Sale.JPG
    I mean, this CAN'T be a co-incidence.

    No it can't, it's fate, buy it! Oh can I commute with you when you get your WW2 Tiger Tank? :D
    It's a diesel so it gets good economy.... for a 50 ton Battle tank. :shades:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    Well the tanks I used to re-fuel in the Army got 3 gallons to the mile. I used to scold the crews for being "leadfoots". I think they took 300 gallons, not sure, it's been so long. Then we'd pull off the line and watch them firing in echelon and blow stuff up. It made for a nice picnic. A bit noisy though. Hard to nap.

    I bet if Toyota built our tanks they'd get much better fuel mileage and you could go through a whole war without a warranty claim.

    MODERATOR

  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    Well the tanks I used to re-fuel in the Army got 3 gallons to the mile. I used to scold the crews for being "leadfoots". I think they took 300 gallons, not sure, it's been so long. Then we'd pull off the line and watch them firing in echelon and blow stuff up. It made for a nice picnic. A bit noisy though. Hard to nap.

    Well, I guess the US can afford that kind of economy for their tanks. Most tanks seem to use diesel I wonder why we have gas instead?

    I bet if Toyota built our tanks they'd get much better fuel mileage and you could go through a whole war without a warranty claim.

    Maybe but I don't think I'd want a Camry M2A4 Battle Tank with a Hybrid engine in it. Imagine the size of the battery! :D
    Would an APV be based on a Corolla platform?
    Probably they'd sell tanks under the Scion brand for the hip, new, modern Gov't military. LOL! :shades:
  • Well, I guess the US can afford that kind of economy for their tanks. Most tanks seem to use diesel I wonder why we have gas instead?

    I bet if Toyota built our tanks they'd get much better fuel mileage and you could go through a whole war without a warranty claim.


    I think in the past, they were busy making aircraft that only needed to complete 1 mission...
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,722
    In the UK you can drive a tank legally on the road there.

    The only thing that would stop you from driving one here is size and weight. The metal tracks would also pose a problem but they make rubber pads that you can put on them to solve that issue.

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

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,722
    I think in the past, they were busy making aircraft that only needed to complete 1 mission...

    I think that was Mitsubishi.

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

  • Well, I guess the US can afford that kind of economy for their tanks. Most tanks seem to use diesel I wonder why we have gas instead?

    Well the M1A1 uses a gas turbine engine that can run on just about any fuel. Gas mileage isn't so great but the turbine engine is very light weight.

    The M1's relatively high mobility is achieved through a high power-to-weight ratio conferred by its 1,500-hp gas turbine powerplant. It is compact, starts more readily than a diesel, but has lower fuel mileage. In tanks produced after mid-1990, an Allied-Bendix digital electronic fuel control system is claimed to reduce fuel consumption by 18%-20%. Development of a recouperator that uses exhaust gases to preheat air entering the engine's compressor is also aimed at reducing fuel consumption. Moreover, the Army claims that the AGT-1500 is much more reliable than a diesel, noting a fivefold increase in average hours of operation before an overhaul compared to the standard U.S. tank diesel.

    Source

    The Bradley uses a diesel engine but it makes about half the horsepower which is why the Bradley had lighter weight aluminum armor initially.
  • tiff_ctiff_c Posts: 531
    In the UK you can drive a tank legally on the road there.

    The only thing that would stop you from driving one here is size and weight. The metal tracks would also pose a problem but they make rubber pads that you can put on them to solve that issue.

    Yes I think you have to have the rubber treads on the tracks otherwise you'd chew the road to bits.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Love where this thread is going... :D
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,806
    It's all my fault, too. How embarrassing. :blush:

    Well, let's veer back onto the topic before they cancel my Christmas gift.

    MODERATOR

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Are they giving away those dropped rifles? :D

    Hopefully a car-themed gift.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    are they going to start selling that VW Up! model? Now there's a subcompact! Word is subcompacts have been so hot in the last year that VW is going to develop an Up! 5-door for sale in the States.

    Rear-engined, rear-drive, I get a kick out of just thinking about it. :-)

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

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,722
    Tanks for getting us back on topic,

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

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