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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?



  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    If Ford can bring it over as is for under $17k, I'll be right behind you in line. If Ford starts Fording in up and de contenting it they will have another Focus on their hands.
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    I could not agree with you more, unfortunately all the "good cars" seem to stay across the pond.

    Since I travel over there frequently, I have had the distinct pleasure of driving a wide variety of very interesting and fun small cars. Both in diesel and gas engined configurations, the choices are terrific and from an enthusiasts standpoint it just doesn't' get any better. :)
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    Podred, Didn't take your post as "anti-Volvo" in any way, shape or form. I was merely presenting my personal view on Volvo and reasons for buying. Your dog has excellent taste in cars. New C30, eh. Very smart looking vehicle and it nearly got my vote over an S60 but rear-seat access rather spoiled it, (getting older with even-older relatives, so 2-doors not ideal. Otherwise.................).

    As for the other cars in your garage. What can I say, apart from; "Stunning" but I'm not really a Farrari fan. Aston's, though, have always lit my fire from the time I say Graham Gouldman, (10cc), taking delivery of his new DB5, (IIRC), when I was a lot younger - and so was he.

    A C30 D5 may yet replace my S60 D5 at some stage and I'll just apologies to the old(er) folks and tell them it was an "economy" decision.

    Nicely back to the real topic, I think. :)
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    It's hard to talk about the Smart since hardly anyone has even laid eyes on one yet.

  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    Well, over here in Europe we've all seen lot's of Smart ForTwo's and we're a little underwhelmed, I guess. A great idea not particularly well executed. Great idea for a small car in the big city, but not really rated outside that envelope is, I think, the general concensus.

    However, I do recall being overtaken by one, (Pink over Charcoal - sweet!!), at 80mph+ on the E40 approaching the Brussels Ring Road one afternoon and thinking; "There's a brave lady - or a very foolish one". To my mind there is no comparison between the Smart and the other cars in the "Learn More" panel to the right.
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    Nice post, boaz47

    I enjoyed the points you made, especially the visuals created by your "Excursion rolling up on you" example....YIKES! Then your comment about the MB Midget door panel made me laugh so hard, as you are right, there was no cross brace whatsoever. My how times have changed...You also brought up some very valid points regarding the sub-compact / compact / mid-size comparisons as well.

    Myself? While I enjoy and appreciate the ability to have a modest collection of sports cars of various sizes, if I were limited to just one, it would be small. I simply love the "experience" of motoring around in a fast, maneuverable, car. I live close to the mountains and my " vice" is to drive through the winding roads every chance I get.

  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    Although I haven't had time to research it, I understand that Roger Penske is now behind the Smart car effort in the US and I find that very interesting.

    As you so aptly put it, the Smart ForTwo's are underwhelming, and I could not agree more. Even though I live in the US and have not seen one here yet, I was in London on business a few weeks ago and noticed a few. However I did not have an opportunity to see one sitting still. And yet I personally cannot imagine exposing myself by driving one in the midst of the average American "drivers" out on the freeway. Madness at it's finest.
  • alltorquealltorque Posts: 535
    It just struck me that your Nissan Versa bears a striking resemblance to the Nissan Note we get in U.K., albeit with slightly different nose treatment and quite different tail treatment, (hatch only here). Comes with 1.4 or 1.6 gassers or 1.5 dCI. 5-spd MT on the diesel and 1.4 and choice of 5MT or 4AT on the 1.6. It's based on the Renault Modus but isn't selling in great numbers - it's a fairly crowded sector.

    Over in Ireland, the same car is called the Tiida. Don't know what it's called in the rest of the EU, sorry.

    The other cars in the panel are as per U.K./Europe models,,,,,,,,,,,,,,other than you guys & gals will insist on putting the steering wheel etc on the wrong side. :)
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,880
    under-development Ford Verve? And what looks to be a glass-covered ceiling as well. That is probably part of what I find appealing, as my wife and I enjoy the sunroof in our Lancer GTS.

    I read a review of the SmartForTwo in Automobile magazine. The guy started out in Phoenix and took one to the Grand Canyon to see what all the stink was about. Pick it up and read the article if you are at all interested in the new Smart. I too have read that Roger Penske is getting involved in selling the Smart in America.

    As for the article, he said that yes, the small car did get buffeted fairly well from semi-trucks on the highway but, he was surprised how he felt like he was driving a larger car than he really was driving. He loved it's parking and manueverability, as we might expect, too.

    He said that town driving was great and that on the freeway it was a rig that he had to concentrate on in keeping the small buggy in the right openings while steering. He didn't say steering was not true, just that steering seemed to take both hands and some concentration.

    He said that at one stoplight in Tempe a couple of girls were sitting next to him and laughing hard at him. He blew it off and reasoned that they just don't know. :shades:

    He wasn't particularly pleased with gas mileage, I believe he said 31 mpg(same that I get in my Lancer!!) and that acceleration was adequate with the little RWD tranny and 3 cyl motor. IIRC he also had automatic tranny paddle shifters to play with for changing "gears". Check me on that if you want. It was I believe the Jan.'08 Automobile, the little Smart car has it's picture on the front of the magazine with the article I'm talking about in it. I mention that just in case it was the Feb.'08 Automobile magazine, I've read so many in the last week or so. You'll benefit from it if you're interested in the car.

    I give it a big thumbs down for my driving desires and needs. :D

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    The other cars in the panel are as per U.K./Europe models,,,,,,,,,,,,,,other than you guys & gals will insist on putting the steering wheel etc on the wrong side.

    Thanks....that's the best laugh I've had today!

    And speaking from personal experience of driving a friends right hand drive Renault Megane Sport Hatch (Great Car!) the last time I was in Ireland...I felt like a fish out of water.... :confuse:
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    Haha...yes but at least we drive on the Right.

    Part of the reason the US drives a different kind of car than Asia and Europe is because we expect different things.

    There is a book called the "Reckoning" I read a few years ago that is basically about the mistakes the US made when faced with the early surge of imports in the 60s. Two things were very clear in that Book. Nissan has a corporate hate of Toyota and americans look at their vehicles pretty much like they would a toaster. Americans expect to be able to drive their car trouble free with an absolute minimum or maintainance just like an appliance. The Asians look at a vehicle as a major investment and will go so far as to cover the vehicle with a blanket when the weather gets too cold. Europeans will put up with vehicles like VW because of their handling and are willing to overlook little things like power windows that need servicing more often. There was no way Lotus could sell the number of cars that the Miata was designed to copy because Americans simply wouldn't put up with the servicing requirements. I used to love my Healey and i was very impressed with my 124 Spyder but if Honda or Toyota would have made the powertrain I might still have one today.

    I can see the beauty of some of the European type of sports cars. I see some promise to Asian sports cars but I am still a big fan of the sledge hammer approach of Corvette and Viper. But then I thought the Sunbeam Tiger was a much better car than the Alpine.

    But as I have said earlier sub compacts simply aren't that much less expensive than a compact and they don't get that much better fuel mileage.
  • ventureventure Central PAPosts: 880
    There was a Smart parked in a mall parking lot here in central Pennsylvania this summer. It was yellow with the black trim thingy.

    It was sitting there beside another car. Nobody around it, nobody stopping to look at it, just sitting there all lonely.

    Never saw it again.

    2018 Legacy 3.6R, 2015 Crosstrek, 2015 Forester

  • In southeastern Pennsylvania, I used to see a Smart every couple of weeks last year. I'm looking forward to driving one and I have been since I saw my first one (in person) in 1999.
  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    That's funny, I saw one in the same area about 2 months ago at an office building near Philadelphia. I saw it 2 or 3 times in a weeks span and then it was gone. I wonder if PhillyrideShare has already received them ?

    I just assumed that they were already out and thought about checking them out just out of curiosity.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    I spotted a transporter loaded with Smarts headed north on I-5 in mid-Oregon last Friday, January the 18th. Just got a glimpse of them so all I can say for certain is that there were a bunch of them. It seemed odd that they would be heading toward Portland, which is after all, a port. The nearest port to the south would be... what? San Francisco?

  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    I just assumed that they were already out and thought about checking them out just out of curiosity.

    No, they're just now starting to trickle out to the dealers. They're sold out for at least the rest of the 2008 model year, so it should be interesting to see if the dealers get any demo cars or not.
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    S = as in Swatch Watch, the original designer of the car
    M = Mercedes, the co Swatch used to build the car.
    ART = for Art's sake in other words a work of art.

    Roger Penske's United Auto Group, the second largest dealer network is the official distributor of the cars. The first years projection is 20,000 sold. Very ambitious.

    For more see this link:
    Smart History
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    The first years projection is 20,000 sold. Very ambitious.

    Not really. They had 35,000 reservations at $99 a pop back in November. :shades:
  • texasestexases Posts: 7,736
    Yes, the key will be 3-5 years from now, with the 'new' gone, will they still be selling 20,000 Smarts a year?
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Sure, when gas is $5-6 a gallon. 20,000 Smarts, 35,000 Aygos, 15,000 Micras, etc. Of course, half of those will be diesels.
  • podredpodred Posts: 127
    I agree when gasoline prices go up so high that people finally get serious about taking action the small cars will definitely rule.

    Regarding Diesel, I'm all for Diesel engines, however what really gets me irritated is the prices that are currently being charged for Diesel Fuel.

    For those of you who remember years ago, there was always quite a spread between the price of gas (higher) and diesel (lower). Just the other day I noticed at a truck stop where diesel was .20 cents a gallon MORE than gasoline.........PURE EXTORTION... :mad:
  • texasestexases Posts: 7,736
    Or a reflection of the higher costs to go to the low sulfur specification...
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    they talk about the demand for heating oil in the northeast and whatnot, but I DO wonder sometimes if the price of diesel is being manipulated for oil company profit.

    Aygo, Micra, Justy, bring them on! I would love to see some of those offered in the States. :-)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,419
    I saw it 2 or 3 times in a weeks span and then it was gone.

    They are going from city to city with some Smart cars promoting them at events. Could have been that that was happening when you saw them.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,419
    I spotted a transporter loaded with Smarts headed north on I-5 in mid-Oregon last Friday,

    Could have been that promotion tour Smart has been on across the US. Not sure if they are still doing it or not.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    No, the last one was at the beginning of December, and I think those cars were carried in the enclosed trailers at the shows.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,419
    Thanks, I knew they were doing the tour thing but wasn't sure when it ended. It's no longer on their website.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    going the way it is going it will be hard to imagine any new vehicles doing well. People that can't make the house payment can't make the credit card payment either. In most cases the car is the second biggest purchase most people make after their house and we are now being told that the economy is effecting new car sales as well. If things turn out as the experts are predicting and we slip into a real recession "new" cars sales will continue to fall. The argument that people will still have to drive only means people will hold on to what they are driving longer. People still need to have a place to live and yet the housing market is absolutely flat and new homes are getting hit hard. With the stock market dropping like a rock and the ripple effect it is having in other countries it will be surprising if there will be many new vehicle offerings from any country.

    However I was interested to see what Smart was named for. I now understand why they haven't made any money in all the years they have been on the market. Their watches were good looking but worthless as a watch. A fad that passed almost as quickly as it came.

    With the dollar dropping any car not made in the US can only get more expensive and harder to sell so I would look for many new small imported diesels if this recession does last another year as they say it will. Yes, I realize it is a splash of cold water in the face but everyone in all of the media outlets are reporting it as well as the government. By the time the government admits we are in a recession we have been in it for a long time. It will be hard to imagine everyone who put 99 bucks down to reserve a Smart will follow through at this time.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,419
    I just called the nearest dealership for them to me and they stated that they have them in stock and they invited me over for a test drive. Unfortunately its also the start of tax season and any time I am off the dealerships are closed. But as soon as I get a chance I will check them out and report back (but that may not be till April 16th :blush: )

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • Swatch is still one of the largest watchmakers in the world. And they haven't had anything to do with this car since BEFORE production started in the late 1990s.

    Smart car sales have done very well worldwide and adding the US will only enhance that.
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