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Thread: Smart Cars

  1. #1
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    Default Smart Cars

    I think I'm interested in getting one of them once I get a steady job. Manolo just demo'd one on this morning's news (probably the only segment of his I paid attention to).

    Does anyone know if it can be driven on the freeway at legal speeds? (aka it won't sputter like the Scion xA)
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Smart Cars

    You're talking about the Smart Fortwo, right? I like them, but for that kind of money, I'd buy a Scion tC and save myself the extra 2 or 3 grand.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Smart Cars

    If this is what you're talking about:

    http://starbulletin.com/2007/06/13/b...s/story01.html

    Yeah, they're freeway-legal.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Something like these "Rapid Urban Flexible" (RUF) vehicles also make sense in congested areas of large cities. You get the convenience of being in your own car while saving gas and getting to where you need to go efficiently without the gridlock you encounter these days. Of course, it means everyone would have to convert to this system eventually, which could take decades.

    Miulang
    "Americans believe in three freedoms. Freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and the freedom to deny the other two to folks they don`t like. --Mark Twain

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    If this is what you're talking about:

    http://starbulletin.com/2007/06/13/b...s/story01.html

    Yeah, they're freeway-legal.
    but can they "keep up" with the other cars? (and do the speed limit?)

    (or am I underestimating the power of those small cars?)
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    If this is what you're talking about:

    http://starbulletin.com/2007/06/13/b...s/story01.html

    Yeah, they're freeway-legal.
    $27K? Damn! I thought they were about $20K, which I still felt was too expensive.




    Quote Originally Posted by adrian View Post
    but can they "keep up" with the other cars? (and do the speed limit?)
    Yeah, they should be able to do the speed limit no problem. You really want to spend close to $30K on one of those?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Smart Cars

    i saw quite a few of these cars on the highway while visiting my aunt up in canada. i think they're cool.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by zff View Post
    You really want to spend close to $30K on one of those?
    Why not? You can fit a couple of those cars in a regular parking space, and for a single person like me, its perfect - I don't need to waste empty space on what I don't need.

    I wonder how a claustrophobic would feel in that car?
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by adrian View Post
    Why not? You can fit a couple of those cars in a regular parking space, and for a single person like me, its perfect - I don't need to waste empty space on what I don't need.

    I wonder how a claustrophobic would feel in that car?
    You'd only feel it if you were sandwiched in between an SUV and an 18-wheel semi, driving in rain that was coming down horizontally with your windshield wipers malfunctioning. True story. Happened to me one time when I was driving in a rental Neon on a freeway in Pennsylvania.

    Miulang
    "Americans believe in three freedoms. Freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and the freedom to deny the other two to folks they don`t like. --Mark Twain

  10. #10

    Default Re: Smart Cars

    A couple of summers ago I was in England and Holland and saw them everywhere. Perfect for London. I even went into a showroom and stocked up on literature.
    Burl Burlingame
    "Art is never finished, only abandoned." -- Leonardo Da Vinci
    honoluluagonizer.com

  11. #11

    Default Re: Smart Cars

    I dunno why the link said it will cost $27k and up. Smart USA said it will cost between $12k to $17k.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    I dunno why the link said it will cost $27k and up. Smart USA said it will cost between $12k to $17k.
    Dealer markup?

    Miulang
    "Americans believe in three freedoms. Freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and the freedom to deny the other two to folks they don`t like. --Mark Twain

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    If this is what you're talking about:

    http://starbulletin.com/2007/06/13/b...s/story01.html

    Yeah, they're freeway-legal.
    Since you photographed the car, Dick, what did you think of it? I dunno...I think I'd want a lot more metal surrounding me on the freeway.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    I dunno why the link said it will cost $27k and up. Smart USA said it will cost between $12k to $17k.
    i think the difference is bcs green machine, at the moment, is bringing in smartcars & converting them. when smart opens their own dealerships next year, they'll be doing the conversions themselves.

    or at least that's what it sounds like:

    "They aren't scheduled to officially hit the U.S. until early next year, but importers are already shipping the cars from Europe to conversion shops, which tailor them to U.S. safety and environmental standards."

    i'd heard about the smart cars back in 2003 when my aunt, who lives in hong kong but travels extensively, told me about them. since then, i'd visted the smartusa website maybe once every six months or so. i found them rather tempting, actually.

    eric & i saw a black smartfortwo on H-1 in weekday morning traffic somewhere between the 10th ave and university onramps earlier this year. it made a nearby MINI look...well, not so mini. driver of the smart was a middle aged white guy, grinning all the while. definitely, it's a headturner. i think i jacked up my neck from the rubbernecking i did. it's rather like the rubbernecking i remember people used to do for the new beetle and the MINI when they came out, cept maybe worse. besides the driver of the smartcar and eric and i, i doubt many on the freeway knew what that tiny little eggshaped car was all about.

    speeds go up to 90 mph, which, if you're mostly a commuter, is all you'd need. if you already feel claustrophobic in a MINI cooper or an aveo or a yaris then definitely you'd feel claustrophobic in a smartfortwo.

    adrian--if i were you, i'd wait until smart opens a dealership in hawaii before you buy. otherwise, the price that it is now just isn't worth it, even with the gas savings.

    by the way, anyone know of someone who bought one of those GEM cars? i know someone whose niece owns a GEM but she got a ticket for not paying for metered street parking. i thought metered street parking was supposed to be completely free if you have a GEM.
    superbia (pride), avaritia (greed), luxuria (lust), invidia (envy), gula (gluttony), ira (wrath) & acedia (sloth)--the seven deadly sins.

    "when you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people i deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly..."--meditations, marcus aurelius (make sure you read the rest of the passage, ya lazy wankers!)

    nothing humiliates like the truth.--me, in conversation w/mixedplatebroker re 3rd party, 2009-11-11, 1213

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by Miulang View Post
    You'd only feel it if you were sandwiched in between an SUV and an 18-wheel semi, driving in rain that was coming down horizontally with your windshield wipers malfunctioning. True story. Happened to me one time when I was driving in a rental Neon on a freeway in Pennsylvania.
    I already feel it when I'm in between a Suburban and an Excursion. Fortunately my car has the zip to overtake them.

    (oh, and thanks for reviving another pet peeve. BRB)
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Smart Cars

    The cars go, like, 80 or 90 mph, no problem. Incredible torque.

    They're so expensive right now because of such limited demand, and the cost of getting them US standards, thus the high price now. After a year or two the price is expected to drop. Plus, the dealer here in Honolulu only offers the higher-end models.

    Personally, I thought the car was pretty cool, albeit small. But not much smaller than a Mini Cooper. It drove very well, and had incredible handling. Something I'd look into if all I needed was a mode of transport. But that's it -- it doesn't transport much else than the two occupants of the vehicle.

    I used to drive a Mini, but it was simply too small for what I need to carry. Plus, it was very expensive to maintain. It is, after all, a BMW. And that's something to think about with this Smart Car. It's made by Mercedes.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    but it was simply too small for what I need to carry.

    I think that's one issue with the very small cars. Perhaps you only do drive just yourself every work day. But the car still has to be able to deal with what you do on the weekend and after work - unless you have two cars. So pushing people to very small cars could actually lead to more cars as people would have to have a second car for their other stuff.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by SusieMisajon View Post
    First...get a job.
    holy mother of god, susie. are you so enamoured of adrian's tailpipe that you constantly have to be up it? your constant naghagging of late forces me to wonder what the hell is so lacking in your life that you think it's justified to be such a harpy to a kid who's humbly coming to those older, supposedly wiser of us for advice.

    i've bolded that part of his initial post that you apparently ignored just so you could take a shrewish shot at him:

    Quote Originally Posted by adrian View Post
    I think I'm interested in getting one of them once I get a steady job. Manolo just demo'd one on this morning's news (probably the only segment of his I paid attention to).
    superbia (pride), avaritia (greed), luxuria (lust), invidia (envy), gula (gluttony), ira (wrath) & acedia (sloth)--the seven deadly sins.

    "when you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people i deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly..."--meditations, marcus aurelius (make sure you read the rest of the passage, ya lazy wankers!)

    nothing humiliates like the truth.--me, in conversation w/mixedplatebroker re 3rd party, 2009-11-11, 1213

  20. #20

    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
    I think that's one issue with the very small cars. Perhaps you only do drive just yourself every work day. But the car still has to be able to deal with what you do on the weekend and after work - unless you have two cars. So pushing people to very small cars could actually lead to more cars as people would have to have a second car for their other stuff.
    Rather than buy a "commuter" car and a "weekend" car, it might make more sense if something like Flexcar existed in Honolulu, where you share the expenses for the operation of a second car without the hassles. I've talked with the management of Flexcar (HQ'd in Seattle) a couple of times already about starting a franchise in Honolulu and they said they would consider it.

    One scenario would be to use public transportation to get into town (rail or bus), use a company-subsidized Flexcar for errands during the day while in town, and then on the weekends, use your own bigger car to go holoholo or shopping. The advantage would be a faster commute (no more hassles with gridlock on the freeway), no parking hassles at work (you wouldn't be driving your car to work), but ready access to a car at work if you needed it to run errands during the day without having to pay for parking, insurance or gas for a car.

    For people who live in areas in the city with scarce onstreet parking, Flexcar would be advantageous because you wouldn't have the hassle and expense of owning a car and all the driving around looking for an open parking space (a Flexcar always is parked in a reserved space), but when you need a car, you would have one close by that you could use for a cheap hourly rate that included the gas and insurance coverage. Flexcar has hybrids, sedans, minivans, trucks and even sports car to share. The only downside is you do have to call ahead and reserve the car so you couldn't be spontaneous about your trips, but it does save a whole lot of money if you only use your car periodically. And the car is always a newer car that you don't have to maintain and if it breaks down, you get a replacement car at no extra cost to you.

    Miulang
    "Americans believe in three freedoms. Freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and the freedom to deny the other two to folks they don`t like. --Mark Twain

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by ericncyn View Post
    i've bolded that part of his initial post that you apparently ignored just so you could take a shrewish shot at him:
    Plus, our carport is so full of cars right now, I don't know where to park a car that small. With a lot of pacific islanders living in my neighborhood, I think it'll get carried away if it isn't bolted down or something.
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by GeckoGeek View Post
    I think that's one issue with the very small cars. Perhaps you only do drive just yourself every work day. But the car still has to be able to deal with what you do on the weekend and after work - unless you have two cars. So pushing people to very small cars could actually lead to more cars as people would have to have a second car for their other stuff.
    I see it being useful with companies who do house calls (like our computer repair shop).

    Maybe as this gets more mainstream and other manufacturers get into the game, the prices will go down, and probably it can be included with homes.
    How'd I get so white and nerdy?

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by Miulang View Post
    Rather than buy a "commuter" car and a "weekend" car, it might make more sense if something like Flexcar existed in Honolulu...
    I calculated the monthly cost to run our beloved ECHO and it came out to $69.40, which is just slightly above the monthly cost of the flexcar at $68.00, so in our case it wouldn't be something we'd be interested in. We already get the great gas mileage, she's economical to run, and parking is no problem.
    Last edited by ploal5333; August 16th, 2007 at 11:39 AM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Quote Originally Posted by ploal5333 View Post
    I calculated the monthly cost to run our beloved ECHO and it came out to $69.40, which is just slightly above the monthly cost of the flexcar at $68.00...
    Oops! Should've read $135.42. Quite a difference it seems.
    She's still beloved.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Smart Cars

    Hilarious youtube review of the Smartcar (hopefully you can understand the blokes' accents). The reviewer spent 12 continuous hours locked (and driving) in the car around London and its environs in a Smartcar Fortwo.

    Miulang
    "Americans believe in three freedoms. Freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and the freedom to deny the other two to folks they don`t like. --Mark Twain

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