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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?



  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,614
    What kind of government creative accounting is this?

    Its not governmental accounting its basic statistics. In cases like this you become very critical of extreme highs or lows in reporting something like this as abnormalities. People can misremember, calculate wrong, have wrong facts or just outright lie. When something lies way outside the norm, say like everyone reporting between 32 and 36 MPG and someone comes along and reports 42MPG you should look at the 42 with suspect.

    Either way the Smart does really beat the Yaris by a long shot if it gets what the Canadian website claims.

    $12K for a car that does everything I need it to do and gets above 40 city sounds like a winner in my book.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 13,614
    Per the Canadian website the Smart uses 5.9 liters per 100 Kilometers resulting in about 40 MPG city

    Per the EPA website the Fit gets 34 Highway.

    big difference.

    But we will see when we get the EPA estiments

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2015 Honda CTX700D

  • you're right! Buy the biggest, most bloated SUV any way you want to...waste it if you want like there is not tomorrow..after all, we are AMERICANS..and, can do whatever we want!
  • $12K for a car that does everything I need it to do and gets above 40 city sounds like a winner in my book.

    I too think that would be great, unfortunately the Smart isn't that car for me. I think a 3-5 year old VW TDI would be a lot closer for me, especially since the hwy mileage is a bigger factor for me than city.
  • You're comparing Canadian mileage figures for the smart to American mileage figures for the Fit and/or Yaris but isn't the Canadian gallon larger???

  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    5.9 L/100 km is 39.875 miles per US gallon
  • I completely agree w/you regarding the smart; I can't see it being a practical purchase for 99.5% of the US population.

    However, you are 100% wrong saying there is no virtue to making do w/less (which I don't see as a sacrifice anyway). If EVERYONE in the US got 2 MPG better we would be MUCH better off. I don't care what the Chinese do. If they want to purchase more, so be it. If we can cut down on our polution and our dependence on foreign oil not only are we better off, but more importantly our children are as well. I don't like being at the beckon call of dictators who hate us and want to end our way of life. All these people claiming "I can do what I want" won't be able to much longer if we continue to live so frivolously.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    You're comparing two different standards. I used one. That said, I could see an impact of 4-5 mpg in midsize/20-22 mpg class. Once we get into high mileage cars, practicality becomes far more important than saving 10% on fuel economy, especially if those savings are limiting (and restricted to largely urban driving).
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    I think the whole subject is what is wrong with sub compacts. It would also seem as if that questions was aimed at the US consumer. The US consumer has shown preferences for larger vehicles than the Asians and Europeans so there must be a reason. we have more paved roads than they do. We average more miles than they do. We even tend to have larger houses than they do. Every country does what they feel is best for their country with little or no regard for other countries that is just how the world works. In African nations they drive even more diesels than they do in Europe. In fact most of the old Nissan and Toyota Diesel mini vans seem to have gone to Africa and Israel. On a hot day you can see and smell belching clouds of black smoke as each one drives passed using the lowest grade of diesel they can buy. Is there a condemnation for this practice? No because we aren't about judging how other cultures address these issues. Yet somehow we are expected to flog ourselves for the success of our nation and feel guilty for not having the same restrictions on transportation as some other have.

    Sub Compacts have as much right on our roads as any other car, that has never been an issue or the question. We have just shown as a society a preference for something more comfortable or with more power and yes even something as large as a SUV. It does not make US consumers evil simply because we haven't embraced the plight of drivers in other countries. We had clean air standards when Europe was still burning peat as heating fuel up to about 15 years ago. No one assumed they were evil because they were spewing dirt into the air and didn't care about American air. we simply have a different lifestyle and SUV and quad cab trucks work for us better than they do for people in other countries. We have no reason to feel guilty for being successful as a nation and for taking advantage of that success.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,844
    Once you get the Smart on the highway, it will, I predict, lose ANY advantage in MPG over a Yaris. The faster you run a small engine, the more fuel it consumes because you cannot gear it to overdrive.

    The Prius has already suffered the same fate. It's got great city mileage but when people take it on the freeway, their overall MPG sits right around 41-44 mpg, and this was a far cry from EPA or Toyota brochures.

    Once again, a SMART only makes sense to a city dweller/driver who values parking over everything else, and is willing to pay a premium for that one advantage (presuming his city allows perpendicular parking and offers other perks to SMARTS).

    RE; LIARS -- I don't think the people reporting 40 MPG + on their Yaris on this site are liars. If they are, they must have all agreed to tell the same lie. :P

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  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    People can misremember, calculate wrong, have wrong facts or just outright lie. When something lies way outside the norm, say like everyone reporting between 32 and 36 MPG and someone comes along and reports 42MPG you should look at the 42 with suspect.

    Have you ever shared your numbers to EPA's website? Calling those who do liars is the last thing that comes to my mind. I don't know about you, but I find the new EPA rating ridiculous. There is no way I can get 26 mpg in my TL on highway, unless (perhaps) I drive at 90 mph all day long. I get 24-26 mpg (lately, 26 mpg has been difficult perhaps due to traffic congestion and winter fuel, still got 24.9 mpg on last tank). Same with 98 Accord. 27 mpg on highway? How about 32-33 mpg at 80 mph?

    The worst tank ever in either car is around 23 mpg, and over 236K miles. Interestingly enough, even that is better than the suggested combined mileage by EPA. So, tell me why I should take EPA more seriously than my personal observation, and reporting by others who seem to get similar mileage as I do?

    Interestingly enough, the one that seems to lie outside of the norm is the EPA rating. At their website, 2007 Fit/Auto has 26 observed fuel economy. Among those, reported with 40-60% city, all but one exceeded EPA's rating. You may choose to disbelieve them all and stick with EPA, I won't.
  • oregonboyoregonboy Posts: 1,653
    dromedarius, you make an excellent point regarding fuel savings.

    The simple fact is that petroleum is a finite resource and while it won't run out overnight, at some point production will peak, demand will exceed supply, prices will increase dramatically (we ain't seen nothin' yet), and some areas will experience shortages. This may not happen this week, this month, or this year, but there is a very good chance that it will happen within ten years. :surprise:

    When it does happen, what do you want parked in your garage? What do you want parked in all of you neighbors garages across the city/state/country? Hummers? :confuse:

    The time to prepare is now, not after the situation becomes critical. :shades:

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    All I am saying is the virtue is in your mind not reality. We already have cleaner pollution standards than Europe. They allow more particulants than we do. As we get more drivers we use more fuel and I can easily get 8 MPG better fuel mileage with a SUV simply by changing to a diesel. We could keep our vehicles just the way they are and save even more fuel if we refused to go shopping in the malls. we could save fuel even more if we went back to neighborhood schools and sold all the school busses. Cars only represent about 50 percent of the fuel and energy we use in the US. How much energy would we save by having smaller houses. After 911 fuel prices dropped by close to 75 cents a gallon simply because we cut back on Air travel just in this country. There are many things we could do that would save just as much as giving up our SUVs and trucks. Doing one of those things is no more virtuous than doing the other. It all depends on what soap box you are standing close to.

    My complaint with Sub Compacts is they do not provide enough additional benefits over a current compact when the Corolla gets better fuel mileage than a Fit and the price is the same. I don't assume the owner of the Fit is an Ugly American because they decided the benefits of that car were worth the extra fuel it burns over the Corolla. It simply all breaks down to personal preferences.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,844
    The Fit is far more versatile than the Corolla. It's more useful, that's why people buy it. And that utility doesn't give up gas mileage, so that's another perk. A Fit is not an irrational choice by any means, but a Hummer is unless you are a commando or a big game hunter I guess, where you really really need to crawl up the sides of mountains.

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  • I would like to see people live in smaller houses (judging by the current foreclosure situation, they probably do, too), use fluorescent bulbs, carpool, fly commercial, etc., etc. My conservation streak is not limited to JUST SUVs and trucks. My point is if everyone had the myopic view "I can do what I want" we'd be in even more trouble, but conversely, EVERY person who changes their lifestyle just LITTLE bit can make a difference, especially as those numbers grow.
  • john500john500 Posts: 409
    I agree with snakeweasel on this one. If you asked 100 people how to calculate the fuel economy in their car, I would guess you would get 10 different answers and I suspect that is where a lot of the variation comes in. The way I record fuel efficiency is to fill up at time 1 (and do not top the tank - let the vapor lock stop the fill). Ride around for some distance to about 1/2 the tank volume and then fill up at time 2 when the ambient temperature is the same. This will ensure that the tank doesn't expand significantly (since the gasoline T is generally constant since it is stored underground). Even this technique has the problem that as you consume gasoline, the weight of the vehicle gets lower. Therefore, if I rode around until the gauge was nearly empty, I should get somewhat higher fuel economy due to a weight of the vehicle. I would like to hear you ask 10 people you know how they compute fuel efficiency and see if you still believe the 42 mpg outlier (try to avoid people in occupations that deal with measurements and constraints i.e. avoid engineers, scientists, accountants).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,844
    Yeah but when 90% of the reported MPG are in one clump and only 10% are in the outlying data, why would you believe the 90% are calculating incorrectly?

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  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,243
    people be required? For instance, take mpg numbers from 1,000 people instead of the current 100 people and then average out all of their results. Then compare to what youv'e got now.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I don't take the pain that you seem to go for, calculating mileage. I just filled up my Accord. 366 miles, 14.03 gallons (auto-stop) which is good for 26.1 mpg. I can literally place a bet that my next tank will get me somewhere close to 26 mpg unless driving conditions change drastically.

    My driving conditions is approximately 50-50. On highway, I will drive between 60-80 mph, but mostly around 70-72 mph. This is an old car (1998, 184K miles). This is the same car that has returned 32+ mpg on long (500+ mile) road trips with speeds averaging over 75 mph (and thats average, including time spent at stop(s)).

    EPA tells me this car should get 27 mpg highway, 21 mpg in city. Tell me, what makes their number more credible, and why I shouldn't rely on what I observe.

    My numbers are consistent with numbers being quoted by others. Yet, I must believe they are liars (and so am I)? Gas/tank expansion/contraction theory is fine, but those differences are minimal enough to even worry about on this scale. And that car isn't the only one. I have another that makes me call the new EPA rating system a joke.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 7,243
    I have that is a compact car, get 32 mpg highway(like I do) and 20 mpg in town (like I do) why would I want a subcompact car?

    If I liked the design of a subcompact car I would buy one but so far I don't see a car design I like more than the '08 Mitsu Lancer GTS compact. And parking in my little town and even Tucson and Safford and Sierra Vista for shopping is laid-back southern Arizona, not up-tight Philadelphia, Chicago or New York City type of parking. So parking is not an issue.

    Mpg with subcompacts is currently not good enough. For my next car I am going to look at all the electrics available at that time (probably around the year 2012 or 2013 at the rate I'm putting mileage on my Lancer GTS) and pick one that I like. By then hopefully the range of travel with one charge-up will improve significantly, manufacturer's will increase the max.speed one can go in an all-electric vehicle, the initial cost to buy the vehicle will drop with good sound technology and mass-production, and the whole issue of re-charging these EV's will have been figured out and implemented by then. If I'm gonna buy a small ICE vehicle then the car should get a minimum of 40 mpg and hopefully 45-50 mpg, and up.

    Otherwise I will enjoy my '08 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS and it's better carrying capability than a subcompact and similar gas mileage to one. It's good to have a little more room to store things and seat more people comfortably for excursions, etc.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

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