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Smart Fortwo



  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,563
    Since the car was designed around sideways parking but it's no longer legal to do so in the U.S. with ANY Smart, then it has no advantages to defeat any more.

    I beg to differ with you. I have had the opportunity to drive the Smart in cramped crowded urban streets here in Chicago. There was more than one time I was able to navigate through an area that I know for a fact I wouldn't be able to in any other car available in the US.

    Hate to tell you this but in those situations a couple if inches often is the difference between getting through and being stuck.

    There are three types of people in this world. Those who are good at math and those who are not.

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,707
    This may be true, but even after a small "redesign" like I posted, it would still be the smallest thing on the road by a significant margin. As it is, though, it's just too tiny to deal with major traffic like I get here in Los Angeles. It's horrendously slow and ridiculously tiny compared to the massive SUVs and trucks that are everywhere. I'd not feel safe in it on a major freeway.

    And, remember, this originally was about what car to get for a teenager. You know, the types that WILL get in a crash sooner or later and that are starting to drive.

    The smart money there is to get them a big cheap full-size sedan and let them destroy that instead.
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 643
    No, Jack, I do not own or drive a "Smart" (I have more regard for life and limb than that) but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,563
    It's horrendously slow

    But the reality of the situation traffic in large urban areas are even more horrendously slow. Sometime time how fast traffic takes to get to 40.

    and ridiculously tiny compared to the massive SUVs and trucks that are everywhere

    And that is what makes them so much better in high density urban settings. I have gotten a Smart through areas that an SUV or a truck would have never gotten through.

    There are three types of people in this world. Those who are good at math and those who are not.

  • beachfish2beachfish2 Posts: 177
    I have seen 2 on rural interstates in Virginia and everytime a tractor-trailer went by them they were blown all over their lane. The trucks were only doing 70 in an area where 75 or 80 is more common. (I remember the same kind of problems when I drove a '65 VW bug and then a '75 Datsun B210. They just weren't up to it.)

    I saw another one on a rural interstate in a 30-35 mph crosswind and it was downright scary to watch the driver fight it and try to maintain the 65 mph speed limit.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,419
    This is so absurd. Every situation has its drawbacks. Has anyone here said the thing handles best on rural gusty freeways? The advantage is in urban congestion. If you take it occasionally on rural interstates, you will be fine, but your drive would be more pleasant in a Lacrosse, ok? The smart handles way better (not to mention being much safer) than the VW Beetle ever did, and lots of people braved the roads in those years ago. If you buy a motorcycle, you are almost guaranteed to get wet sometime. So no one should buy one?
  • dstromdstrom Posts: 13
    I'm sorry, but that's just not true. I owned VW bugs for 20 years and they were affected, often dramatically, by big trucks and crosswinds, but my smart is not. I live and drive in rural Virginia and drive mine on the interstates all the time at 70-75 mph. No problem! Most of the time I don't even notice trucks or crosswinds. And when I do notice them it's no worse than every other small car and never even close to as bad as my VWs were.. And I've certainly never had to "fight" to maintain control. I suggest that you may want to drive them yourself before making uninformed observations - :)

    PS: I often find myself drifting up to 80-85 mph so I've installed a cruise control :)
  • redfred1redfred1 Posts: 8
    Rural VA (probably 66/64/85/ or 81 I would guess) is not as windy as the open highways of central TX. I speak as an owner of a Smart and during large gusts of wind and large trucks I have found the car to move around about the same as my Civic and van. I guess I am not sure what you are referring to in terms of cars leaving their lanes unless the drivers panic and over-react (which is not the cars issue). I have never had to "fight" for control but have found that the car handles wonderfully in tight turns, 180's, and 90's (taking a sharp turn into my driveway at speed). Car easily does 90 for long stretches on our straight and flat TX roads and I have never lacked power to merge into traffic. All of this coming from a guy that owned and street raced a 69 RT Charger with a 440M, 68 RR stick with a 440M, and 71 Cuda with a 383. I am not bragging, just explaining that even a muscle car owner can concede that the Smart is a pretty durable and fun car to drive AND gets 40 mpg on the highway.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,563
    I have seen two on rural interstates in Illinois, they didn't seem to have any issues with the wind or trucks.

    There are three types of people in this world. Those who are good at math and those who are not.

  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,683
    Nope not a Gorite. But come back in 20 years and I bet your opinion will have changed.
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 643
    edited October 2010
    In essence, the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) crash test results confirm the fundamental laws of Physics – when two vehicles are accelerating at the same rate, the one with a bigger mass exerts more force (F = m * a). In short, if a Cadillac Escalade collides head-on with a Smart Fortwo, most likely the Smart driver would suffer more injury than the Escalade driver. For vehicles (and among other things), size matters.

    Still, in an accident, "the laws of physics can't be repealed," said Russ Rader of the Arlington, Va.-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. "Even with modern safety features like multiple air bags, people in small, light cars are always at a disadvantage in crashes."
  • oldguy89oldguy89 Posts: 2
    edited March 2011
    Yes, yes, most if not all people who drive cars are aware of said laws.
    But you know I hear this all the time, and once had a guy with a Honda Gold Wing tell me he wouldn't drive a smart as they aren't safe. Now that was a riot. Be honest there are a lot of small cars on the road, not to mention a lot of high powered fiber glass cars on the road, so the issue isn't just a smart issue. I just wish that people would recognize that this is an issue for all small cars and not just harp on the smart car.
    Just my 1 million turkish lira. :P
  • stout7735stout7735 Posts: 20
    Show me the bodies...Over 40,000 Smarts sold in America in the last 3 years and only 4 fatalities in Smarts... That is better survival rate than an average motor vehicle...Mercedes design and engineering trumps American common sense...
  • prigglypriggly Posts: 643
    My friend, nothing trumps American common sense, least of all Mercedes engineering (or lack thereof).
  • stout7735stout7735 Posts: 20
    Don't talk smack, when American engineering built such gems as exploding Ford Pintos and "lethal at any speed crash" Ford F-150s...
  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808
    Let's not let this turn into a personal beef please.


    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

  • dmathews3dmathews3 Posts: 1,739
    YA, don't talk about Toyota, Nissan, or mitsubishi to start.
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