Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Is SmartCar a Smart Choice?

The Smartcar Fortwo... idiots

In a word, no. But it depends. I'll let you be the judge.
Consider the following, before wasting your hard-earned money.

Firstly, the SmartCar Fortwo is a 2-seater car with almost zero luggage space according to their own website. And there's nothing wrong with that if you intend to treat the car like a motorcycle with a sidecar. But the environmentally conscientious should stop reading now, as this car is more suited towards the poseur environmentalist.

Think it's just for running errands around town, maybe a little grocery shopping? Think again. There's no space for groceries, especially if you have someone in the passenger seat. The trunk only has room for "two small shopping bags" according to the Smart Car website, and with no spare tire, a nail or construction debris blowing the tire out could leave you completely stranded.

I hear what you're saying.... "Waitaminit - There must be something special about the car. The engine? The amount of pollution it creates?" Sorry, wrong again. If you thought it was created by an environmentally proactive company with an electric or hybrid engine, the wool has been pulled over your eyes. The engine is nothing more than a 3-cylinder diesel. That's right, a common diesel engine. That point alone should make you sit up and say "Wha?!?" or even "Zha?!?"

41 hp / 60 mpg

The 2005 Honda Insight, a gasoline/electric hybrid, is still the most fuel efficent car in North America, despite what the SmartCar website says. For the same price as the 'Passion' SmartCar, you get better mileage, more luggage space, and a better warranty, not to mention 26 more ponies.
In a bare-knuckled match, the Insight reigns supreme.
67 hp / 66 mpg (manual)

What's fun about the SmartCar is that the plastic body panels can be popped off, and replaced with another colour. It's a very customizable car which totally appeals to me. Mercedes claims that 80% of the Smartcar is made from recyclable materials. This seems like the company's saving grace. But, like all other cars, it is still made from steel, plastic and rubber, which are all recyclable.

I used to think the SmartCar was the most innovative car design in the last 50 years, until I learned the facts. Once my eyes were opened to the truth about this European car, I've done a complete about-face on my opinion of its non-electric self. Hopefully I've opened your eyes too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

DMC & ME - I totally agree with you...although the smart cars are cute and all that stuff...they are not practical for North America. Could you imagine driving one of these things beside a Lincoln Navigator or something larger? It would be ideal if North American cars were smaller, and were better for the environment, but unfortunately that is not the case. I have to guiltily admit that i am a HUGE fan of the Mini...and yes...my boyfriend looks HOT driving one!
Trish the Dish

2:00:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

Hey MegaTrish, I agree, your BF looks hot in a Mini. He doesn't look so good in a SmartCar though.

2:18:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My 250 lb frame and my 135 lb girlfriend spent 2200km and a week in one going all over southern europe, complete with two large backpacks and all the toys that the airlines would allow us to carry home to the US without excess baggage charge. You are full of S**t. Grow up and learn to pack your bags more efficiently and stop buying the can-only-buy-two-pack mondo 55-roll toilet paper bargains from Costco to wipe yer... Oh, and yeah, if you go to market once a week instead of once a month you might actually get fresh produce in your fridge, too.
Our "big car" is a Honda Del Sol and our small car is an old mini (pre BMW) and our American asses seem to have no probs...
AND - just 'cause the idiot next to you can't drive and hasta have a hummer to feel secure doesn't mean I need one too. Instead I DON'T use the cellphone when driving and drive defensively, with my eyes open - and haven't had an accident since 1981.

9:25:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

"Grow up"? Sorry anonymous, you seem to be greatly offended by the facts about the SmartCar. I am not "full of Sh*t" as you describe. My facts all came from the SmartCar website and the Honda website. If you are truly angry, you should be angry at them, not me.

I'm not saying the car is completely stupid. It serves a purpose - in Europe, where roads are narrower, and fuel prices are higher.

1:55:00 PM

Blogger Rowan said...

yes you most certianly have opened my eyes. I knew all but the part about DIESEL!!! I didn't realize they still made cars that req'd it.

10:01:00 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

Anyone who is afraid to drive a small car on American roads is a pussy.

The real D.M.C.

7:40:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

Um... well said. I think.

12:13:00 PM


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