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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,906
    Back in college I had a 48hp Chevy Sprint so I know what it's like driving a slow car. Plan ahead, basically, for everything.

    I have an old Consumer Guide from 1985 that tested a Chevy Sprint. They didn't do their own 0-60 testing, but in the text it mentioned that GM estimated it could do 0-60 in about 12 seconds with the stick shift. If you didn't get air conditioning.

    Seriously, that's probably more than adequate for most driving. Heck, my two '79 New Yorkers, '76 LeMans, and '85 Silverado all take around 11-12 seconds to hit 60, and even so, it's not that often that I have to run them flat-out to get them to do what I need them to. And even merging onto highways, often it's pointless to run them flat-out, because then I'd be entering the highway faster than the flow of traffic, and only have to slow down.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Cool, my roommate in college had one of those.

    I dropped her off at the air port one time and drove it home for her. It didn't feel slow at all, but again that was an 1800 lb car.

    Hers was probably a later model, I think it had 62hp.

    I looked at those in 1991, but ended up in an Escort GT with 127hp. I guess I was tired of not being able to go up hills with the A/C on. ;)

    I recall looking at the price, and the HF was $300 cheaper than the LX or DX, IIRC, but those made 92hp. Then I thought...$30 per horse is a bargain. Didn't buy either, but I do remember shopping for them.

    I don't think the problem today is a lack of horsepower, when even the cheapest cars break 100hp. It's weight. It's scary how many fairly basic cars weigh over 3000 lbs.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,706
    Seriously, that's probably more than adequate for most driving.

    It is, a while back we timed ourselves in normal traffic. Typical 0-40mph times was between 12-15 seconds for a line of traffic coming off a stop light.

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

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    My slow car was a 69 Volvo 142. It was O once you got up to speed but that was quite some time. Could be worse. It could have been an automatic. Or had air conditioning.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,621
    i was thinking about lobbying for a '101', but we are just too busy.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,706
    I had a friend from high school who had a 142 (not sure what year it was). His uncle gave it to him in our senior year in high school with a little over 200K on it. It was an ok car but reliable as all heck. I think he took it to well over 400K on the original engine and tranny. IIRC it had a 2 liter engine.

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

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    You couldn't kill those things. I had mine up to 144K. It needed some work and had a bit of rust. It was one of those put some money into it or move on moments. They type where today I'd put the money into it. I was 26 at the time. 22 when I bought it.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    image

    Yes... both!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,906
    From what I've read, the Smart can do 0-60 in around 12-13 seconds, depending on who you want to believe. I found one quarter mile stat of around 19.2 seconds at 70.5 mph. And I think top speed is electronically limited to 90 mph.

    So, while it won't knock your socks off, it's still probably more than adequate for most needs. The only thing I'd worry about is highway merging. The 12-13 second 0-60 time doesn't scare me so much, but the quarter mile time does, and implies to me that the car is starting to get pushed to its limit after 60. For comparison, Consumer Reports tested a 1968 Dodge Dart with a 225 slant six (I remember this only because I used to own a similar 1969, so I know how it performed) and while it took them 14 seconds to get from 0-60, the quarter mile came in at 19 seconds at 72 mph. So, to get from 60 to 72 mph, it only took that car 5 seconds, while it's taking the Smart more like 6-7 seconds to get from 60 to 70.5 mph.

    And FWIW, that Dart seemed perfectly capable at the time, although I'm sure if I had it to drive today, it wouldn't be nearly as good as I remember!

    I also wonder then, how the Smart would do in highway passing? Such as, if you're cruising along at 65-70 and want to pass, but traffic in the passing lane is rolling past at a much faster clip. Would the Smart have the guts to pass safely?
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    It's not that big of a deal. Just plan out your spot, drop down a gear or two, then drop the hammer on it. If that's not enough for you, there is the turbo kit.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Should be fine for a city car, where 0-40 is all that matters, just to get out of people's way.

    Where it would feel slow would be passing on the highway, 50-70 maybe, though hopefully the owner isn't driving often on those kinds of roads.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 9,621
    i work across the river, about a mile as the crow flies, from a 'smart' dealer.
    maybe i have seen 4 or 5, ever.
    last weekend i saw one for sale up in litchfield.
    it was sitting in the yard with grass growing around it, like many other cars that have been waiting for a buyer for a while.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    Headed to LA with some friends last weekend in their Sienna, there we were, cruising along around 75 mph, got passed by a Smart car! And it was way out in the middle of nowhere too, it was clearly someone making the trek from SF to LA like us.

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

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The only time I ever see Smarts on the road are on I-65, typically traveling 65+ mph. When my 130hp '96 Accord is working hard climbing Shades Mountain in Birmingham, AL, I wonder how the little Smart is making it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I saw one today on my way in. I was in my Miata, top down, enjoying the drive.

    I can't help but think - why would you get a Smart when leftover 08 Miatas have a $5000 incentive tied to them right now? I doubt I paid significantly more than that Smart owner did.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    I live about an hour north of Atlanta in a small college town. There are a few kids at the college who drive a Smart and I hate getting stuck behind them. It's very hilly in this area and they drop down to 40-45 going up one of the bigger hills, despite the 55mph limit. It's happened twice so far! Thankfully, there's a spot to make a quick pass just before and after that hill...and I can get around them without even taking my Mazda3 out of 5th gear.

    The Smart makes a great city car- tiny, easy to park in tight spaces, adequate power for in-town driving. But if you routinely drive on highways/interstates or any long distances, the Nissan Versa would be cheaper to buy, a lot faster and more comfortable and gets 34mpg highway.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    With three Hondas in my driveway, dating from 1996 to 2006, and a 2007 in my parents possession, I can say honestly I've never heard of any A/C issues, other than a few complaints about rocks hitting the condensers and making holes in them, destroying them.

    No representation is made that the quality of air conditioning services provided by vehicles produced by Honda of America is better than that of air conditioning services provided by alternate automobile manufacturers.

    Paid shills? Please... I see you're a relatively new poster here. Just a friendly heads-up to ya... hosts will remove posts with personal attacks. :shades:

    Happy Hon...I mean Motoring.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,181
    This isn't the Honda AC problems discussion. That would be the Honda CR-V AC Compressor Issues discussion.

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  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,181
    Goes 40mph, and gets 70 miles per gallon. And it's street legal.

    World’s Tiniest Car

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    There is NO WAY that's street legal! :-P

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

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,181
    No worries about HUMMERs. Just drive right under them. Maybe duck a little. :)

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    And there I was hoping you were pointing to a description of some new Honda, smaller than Fit, that we would be getting in the U.S.! If only....

    :-(

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

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If he did drive under a Hummer, he'd have a convertible, and then there would at least be enough head room! :D
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,682
    this little Baskerville.

    image
    Kia No.3

    Today I found out the No.3 will come with a standard 6-speed manual tranny. This little subcompact would be a good one to make a return to the manual transmission with. I'd get the colors pictured on this No.3, too. ;)

    There's only one small problem, carnuts. The No.3's not coming to the U.S.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's hard to tell the scale...is that Yaris sized, or smaller?

    Sure beats the Korean-made Aveo5.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Its Yaris sized. Has a TDI engine in it, which is why it won't be for sale in the U.S.

    It should get 46mpg or so, converting a similar sized TDI engine in another KIA/Hyundai in the U.K., to U.S. gallons.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,181
    Crash Test Video: Tata Nano (Straightline)

    Doesn't look too bad, all things considered.

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Seemed to do well IMHO also. I'd like to see more data and a better camera angle while we're asking for more.
  • aladdinsanealaddinsane Posts: 182
    Howdy all...
    According to the September issue of Motor Trend magazine the 2010 Yaris will gain traction/electronic stability control as standard equipment. This is great, if it's true. I see nothing about this "gain" anywhere online with what little research I've done. Can anyone in the know out there confirm this? At times I doubt MT is really on the beam, so to speak. I do know that upper level versions of Nissan's '10 Versa and Sentra get stab/esc. I'm surprised Toyota didn't include these safety features in the first place with the Yaris. :confuse:
    Please inform. I'd really appreciate it.
    Many thanx...
    Peace!<-AladdinSane<- :shades:
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