The Smart- What do you think?

pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
edited March 2014 in smart
about the Smart: America Needs to Get Smart, by Miles Cook.


What do you think? A hatchback that you can park just about anywhere..., not to mention, you can change the color of it when ever you like! ;-)



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  • perry40perry40 Member Posts: 94
    I know that there are many Americans here on the various Edmunds Forums that're dead set against the European/Asian style mini cars, but living here in Eastern Canada where gasoline, cars and insurance are expensive, and wages generally lower than the rest of the country, it'd be great to see some of these types made available here. I'd love to see cars like the Smart, Hyundai Atoz (Amica), Honda City and others in the dealerships and on the roads. People who say mini's won't work out in North America, forget that vehicles such as the Ford Festiva and Aspire did sell, were reliable and got great fuel mileage
  • cjaccettacjaccetta Member Posts: 236
    I think the Smart! would be a fine vehicle for intra-city driving but I sure wouldn't want to be behind the wheel of one if it were to tangle with a big hulking Chevy Tahoe. There was a good article about Smart! cars in Auto World Weekly a while back.

    Now that I think about it, I'd estimate that 65%-75% of my driving needs could be met by the Smart! car. Are there any plans to import them into the USA?
  • denniswadedenniswade Member Posts: 362
    but driving one of those to work next to Excursions piloted by numbskulls with cell phones glued to their ear makes me a little nervous.
  • liljonsonliljonson Member Posts: 109
    I like the Smart cars but the problem is that we have alot of idiots on the road with big SUVs that i still have no idea why we need an excursion to carry the family dog???? these people always almost side swipe me trying to switch lanes because they can't see me or as i say, can't drive. and i drive a 00 elantra, its not big but its an average size car. i don't think the US is ready for smart cars since 60-70% of american drivers still think its their road.
  • lokkilokki Member Posts: 1,200
    I've seen several of the Mini cars. The MOMA in New York had an exhibit of them last year.

    Several excellent designs, including the SMART.

    However, these are strictly city cars, and northern city cars at that. They wouldn't be practical here in Dallas where it's common to drive 40 - 50 miles on the expressway to go ANYWHERE, and often to do it in 100 degree temps.

    Those tiny engines aren't intended to run A/C units.

    Maybe in Boston or NYC.
  • liljonsonliljonson Member Posts: 109
    i know they are perfect for city driving like in nyc and boston as you said but if you live out in the suburbs like i do, your bound to get runover by a crazy kid out in him moms big 4runner.
  • kebbatkebbat Member Posts: 41
    Last month business took me to Taichung, Taiwan for 2 weeks and I saw several Smart cars tooling around the streets there. I'm not sure about safety, but they sure are cute.
  • bill_1bill_1 Member Posts: 97
    Actually I was reading something last night that suggested that the Smart Car might be coming to the USA (including a 4 seater they are working on). Provided the car could pass US Safety requirements and could at least do 65-70 easily with AC running, I would consider getting one. Considering how little these things are, the 55 HP engine (and 6 speed clutchless manual) ought to make them positively zip around and I think the diesel engine (which I think has 49 HP) is suppose to get like 80 MPG!.

    BTW, Many in the Northeast routinely have commutes of 35-50 miles one way and North East summers have plenty of days that require AC. Oh and one final point; a 55 HP engine in a car that small might have a better HP to weight ratio than many compacts on the road today and because of the smaller passenger cabin the AC would not have to be as powerful as in most cars so it could probably do fine. Remember these cars are sold all over Europe including Italy, Greece and Spain, all known for hot summers.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    According to this article, Tiny Smart Car May Come To U.S. What do you think? Any takers? ;-)

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  • revdrluvrevdrluv Member Posts: 417
    Maybe when I move to NYC. Wait cabs are still crown-vics there right... maybe not I might get mauled.
  • kjclowkjclow Member Posts: 29
    I just returned from two weeks in France. These Smart Cars are all over Paris and some of the other cities. I saw an ad for the cabrio version for around $10,000 (US). If they made a four or five seater, I think that it would sell well here in the states. After all, VW is selling all of the TDI's that they can import. So regardless of where you live and how far you have to drive, doubling or quadrupling your gas milage would make sense, wouldn't it?

    Does anyone have a web site for the Smart Cars?
  • perritoperrito Member Posts: 66
    We just returned from Spain and France, and my girlfriend is absolutely in love with the Smart cars... it's a little sick and worrying. They are very cute, but I would question their use on some two-lane roads and interstates for safety reasons (pick-ups, drunks, SUVs). BUT, that said, if they ever do import them we will definitely get one for scooting around town.

    The current model line-ups in Europe can easily do around 80-85 mph as their top speed, and can easily sustain A/C load as well... Spain gets mighty hot in the summer months.

  • elec3elec3 Member Posts: 160
    I don't mind if YOU want to buy one :) As for myself, if I have 10 grand to spend on fun transportation for myself and maybe one other person that gets good gas mileage, I'm going to buy a motorcycle, not a Smart car.

    Still it would be good for someone like my mom who has a 4 mile commute through the suburbs to work. She doesn't really drive anywhere and usually it's just her, so it would probably make a nice high mileage runabout. Don't know if she could get the week's groceries in one of those though ;)
  • cecile_dazececile_daze Member Posts: 7
    I've seen one of these upclose and personal. They had this car in yellow sitting in the lobby of the place I work.

    I admit. It is cute car, the kind you think--"gee isn't that cute little car so cute?? I'd like to take it home with me". Looks nice and sleek--a Toyota Echo contender maybe and is lighter because of the plastic instead of steel.

    When I got inside I felt like I was in a comfortable tuna can on wheels. The panels are plastic and while they ARE made from impact resistant Xenoy(tradename)material I still felt...very vulnerable. I kept thinking if Bambi were to go waltzing across a darkened road somewhere in the backwoods I would have little to no crumple zone and that could spell trouble...Of course I didn't drive it either so depending on a test drive I could be persuaded to change my mind about a couple things.

    A neat feature about this car I liked is that you don't even need to worry about painting it. Rust would be non-exsitant on the body. And while I do not know what a new exterior body color would cost, it seems a lot simpler for those of us who change our minds quickly and want something "new".

    Daimler Chrysler has this on their site and anyone can take a look at it on-line at the link below. There isn't a specific site for America on this site but you can choose English for most any country you click on.

    See what ya think and I'll see the discussion on this as I have not seen that one yet.

  • cecile_dazececile_daze Member Posts: 7
    I found a 4 door looking thing--it may not be a SMART car but it looks a little like it, from from Hyundai. It's called ATOS. Can't tell if it is a hatchback, but it might be.

    Just thought I'd pass it along. Have no idea if this will be a new line-up.

  • cecile_dazececile_daze Member Posts: 7
    no one else likes the Smart cars either. lol.
  • gitongiton Member Posts: 15
    I saw alot of Smart cars on a recent trip to Vienna. They make sense there, because of thier high taxes, gas prices. But I do agree with some of the comments above. There aren't alot of large cars or SUVs on the road in Europe like in the US, definately a safety issue.
    Living in Chicago, size is a liability, hard to park and manuever a midsize car like a Ford Taurus. I can see the Smart car appealing to some people in large urban areas, but can't see a reason to have one in the suburbs or smaller towns, where parking and traffic congestion isn't such an issue.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Member Posts: 865
    I think they are nice cars, but I can't imagine the two seat ones in America, they are just too tiny.
  • bribarbbribarb Member Posts: 1
    My wife and I had seen the Smart Car while visiting our son in Germany. This car would definitely be a hit in America - considering our energy conservation goals until a viable alternative to fossil fuel can be found! We actually considered purchasing one of the cars there and have it shipped back to the States. However we did balk due to anticipated issues with American specifications. If the Smart Car cannot be brought over here, then we should be able to have a similar alternative available to the public.
  • perry40perry40 Member Posts: 94
    I agree totally ... if we here in North America are serious about weaning ourselfs off of the Middle Eastern Oil [non-permissible content removed], then we had better investigate viable transportation alternatives like the cool little Smart ... North America can be energy self-sufficient and concepts such as the Smart can help make it happen.
  • dogtrainerdogtrainer Member Posts: 96
    While you may feel that America should buy smart cars, I think you're kidding yourself if you think they will ever be popular here beyond a small market segment. Approximately the same number (possibly the same people) who follow a pure Vagan diet.

    Would you really want to be on the road in one of those roller skates with all the 18 wheelers and Excursions driven by people who are so busy talking on a cell phone and eating that they won't even see your teeny tiny car as they run over it? These cars are dangerous on American highways, and marginal in town, IMHO.
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Member Posts: 865
    I wouldn't mind at all if non-commercial trucks over a certain size were banned to allow small cars (a-la the Smart, and half of everything in Japan) to be safer on US roads. Of course, it's never going to happen, but I can dream.
  • tw1tw1 Member Posts: 4
    I've never seen a Smart car before, but I saw one this morning. Figured it was a new electric, but the guy zipped through traffic and took off like a bandit on Highway 280. It was pooring down rain too. I don't think the Smart car would have any problems negotiating US roads. Considering what I go through riding my motorcycle I think the Smart car is long overdue.

    As for safety? No matter what kind of car is made available to the public, lack of attention and interest in being an effective driver will result in accidents. Just this morning I watched a lady on the cell phone go into a sidways skid in her Camary while driving through the Golden Gate park. The turn is always slick due to oil off the trees. She could have corrected her problem with a little counter steer and been on her way. Instead she slammed on the breaks and parked her car 10 feet up the embankment with the car highcentered so both front and rear wheels off the ground. Lack of experience, training, attention or interest in knowing how to drive a vehicle will all ways end in some type of accident.

    As for the Smart car? Heck my girlfriend and I could sell both our cars get a Smart car, and a slightly larger vehicle to haul people and weekend junk and still reduce our costs and gas pump bill.

    The builder needs to get off their duff and get these cars in the US pronto. No better time to do it when the price at the pump is going up.

    I want one!
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    Anyone have any more thoughts about the Smart? If it continues to be inactive here, this discussion will soon be closed and archived.

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  • npaladin2000npaladin2000 Member Posts: 593
    I'm sitting here WISHING for the Roadster Coupe know, the Miata-looking Smart. ;) Anyway, I just shipped off an e-mail to them begging for some information and what the chances would be of the vehicles making it to the US. I mean come on, if Honda can sell Civics, Hyundai can sell Accents, and BMW can sell the 1-series (as they are planning to) then DaimlerChrysler can sell SMART cars. Maybe as Chryslers or MBs, but they could do it.

    Anyway, what are the chances of Edmunds getting to have a look at the SMART lineup? If people were to read more about them here, it might generate more interest in the cars, and more pressure to sell them here.
  • bobo4ubobo4u Member Posts: 1
    After doing a little research about the new Smart Roadster, I found this bit of info on the Daimler Chrysler web site;

    " "Interest in our products continues to be enormous. This allows continued growth in new markets", says Philipp Schiemer. With the start of production of a further smart model in Juiz de Fora (Brazil), smart plans to enter the US market in 2005."

    Based on the success of the MINI, I think we (USA) will see Smarts here. Must be a backlash against big gas-gussling beamoths taking root. 'Bout time. Those Smart Roadsters look like fun machines--a great weekend toy.
  • npaladin2000npaladin2000 Member Posts: 593
    Yeah, when I heard back from SMART, they were saying that they're making something called a "fourfour" there that's supposed to end up in the US smarket somehow.

    But they wouldn't say whether the Rodster was coming here....they said it might though.
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    Here's a little more news: U.S. Gets Smart With SUV. ;-)

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  • npaladin2000npaladin2000 Member Posts: 593
    Gee, what a shock...I can just see it: "We want to bring this small-car brand to the US...oh, wait a second, all they seem to buy are those big honking SUVs. Guess we'd better invent one to sell there."

    I wonder what they'll do to a SMART to make it an SUV...
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    I was thinking the same thing. They may be stretching the limits of the definition, or they're trying to set the record for the world's smallest "suv". Of course we may just be surprised. ;-)

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  • npaladin2000npaladin2000 Member Posts: 593
    Well, one can hope they're just using the word "SUV" to get the attention of those silly people behind the wheel of their Excursions (you know, the ones that never leave the road and never have more than 2 seats occupied. ;) )

    I'd think that SMART would have to have a 4 seater to convert, first of all...I think someone was saying the "ForFour" might be a candidate...on, wait, that's what SMART told me in the e-mail. OK. Besides, the ForFour is pretty much the only thing they could convert to an SUV...just jack up the suspension and throw on an AWD system. Here's the gallery for it on SMART's international website: - -1064379301-enm-smart/content/en/en/smart/modelle/smartforfour/ga- - lerie

    Hope that link fits...anyway, you'll notice it looks NOTHING like the SMART vehicles for sale now. ;) And I wonder how much DC will tell them to "swell" it before bringing it here...for all we know if could end up as big as a Pacifica...
  • npaladin2000npaladin2000 Member Posts: 593
    Ok, I just cracked this open, and guess what was sitting on page 4? A nice side view of the Forfour, and a statement that a Smart model would come to the US in 2006 to be sold through selected Merc dealers. That's the good news.

    Here's the bad: It IS a sport/utility, and will be built in Brazil. Likely it will be a "highly modified" Forfour. Doesn't say how highly modified, but it probably means a lot more than jacking up the suspension. The article also said "Don't look for the current be on our shores." No Roadster Coupe. :(

    Come on guys...if the Scion xA can sell here, then the Forfour could sell here too! And if the Miata and the MR2 sell then the Roadster Coupe could sell!

    Maybe we should start a petition or something...
  • eandlcubedeandlcubed Member Posts: 78
    there shouldn't be safety concern about these smart/a-class. yes the car is small but it is packed with all the safety features you could want. the european commission offset crashed a smart against a seat (similar to vw golf) and the smart came out ahead. the door can be opened without the jaw-of-life gadget.
     granted there are lots of big suvs in the states but there are also lots of motorcycles and the cycle folks do pretty well around these suvs.
     the reasons that these cars, i.e. mini, smart, scion, would do weill in the states today because consumers are getting smart about fuel eco and environ and are now gravitate toward smaller cars. look how well those small station wagons, a4, jetta, protege5, focus, are doing.
     maybe the planet can be saved afterall :)
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