The Smart Car

Ernie Lane ernielane at VERIZON.NET
Sat Aug 16 14:30:24 MDT 2008

Richard Whitenight wrote:
> John, no matter what type of gas mileage the Smart Car gets, it aint
> going to do you ANY good if a larger/heavier car slams into you. Nice
> thing about the Smart Car, is that it fits well in the space for a
> double wide coffin. My heavier Hyundia Accent only cost $12,999, has
> an automatic transmission, CD player, fantastic A/C, seats 5
> comfortably, and gets 27 mpg in the city, 36 on the road.

The key point here is that you _can_ take your Accent on the road.

By the way, we've had a Hyundai XG350L and now have a Santa Fe.  I'd buy 
a Tiburon if they made a convertible.  I've owned about a dozen makes of 
cars, and Hyundai has always given me the best overall experience.
> On 8/14/08, John A. Quayle <blueoval57 at> wrote:
>> Richard Whitenight wrote:
>>> The Smart Car makes an excellent ready made coffin if you're hit by just
>>> about any vehicle larger than you :-).
>>           /*Richard, you just stole my thunder, big fella.......and the
>> point made is an excellent one. As the passion to gain better mileage
>> takes hold of the marketplace, cars will keep getting lighter and
>> lighter, plus inherently less safe. Where will this mad dash end? At
>> _SOME_ point, there must be value placed on a human life, since it's now
>> deemed expendable in an effort to gain better fuel mileage. It's a sick
>> chase when you really weigh everything involved. The Smart Car must be
>> targeted for single adults who do a modicum of driving around town - the
>> mall, the grocery store, to work, what-have-you. Ernie's point that the
>> car will never fully pay for itself in fuel savings is also an excellent
>> point.
>>           As for an old geezer like myself, I'll take the tried and true
>> 1957 Chevy Belair with a modern bored and stroked 350cid power plant
>> (making it 383 cubes). With today's aftermarket technology, it's
>> possible to squeeze an impressive 28 mpg out of such a vehicle - so long
>> as you don't drive it like you're trying to escape from Jeff Gordon.
>> Besides, the classics just plain look far more appealing, have a
>> boatload of genuine character, and are simply fun to drive!
>> John Q.
>> */
>>> On 8/14/08, Ernie Lane <ernielane at> wrote:
>>>> While I was out doing some errands yesterday, I saw my first Smart Car.
>>>>   I was surprised that it was so small -- smaller than I had thought --
>>>> and I wonder who buys it.
>>>> Now, it seems to me that it's only good for commuting to work and
>>>> running local errands, or otherwise driving locally -- and only then, no
>>>> families.  It's a two-seater, after all, which means a family of four
>>>> can't take it to the mall.
>>>> While it has a highway efficiency rating, _I_ sure as hell wouldn't take
>>>> it on a highway.
>>>> Consequently, the market is limited to people that can afford having a
>>>> car just for the small stuff.  And, for now, it's manual transmission
>>>> only, which is going to limit the market even further.
>>>> Then I wondered if it's even "worth" it.  Based on its having a city
>>>> rating of 33 mpg, and my SUV has gotten a combined 21 mpg, and using
>>>> $4.00 a gallon for gasoline, and using 66 miles/day for convenience
>>>> (that is, two gallons of gasoline per day), it would take 1.1 more
>>>> gallons per day for the SUV, or $4.40 per day.  At 250 days of work per
>>>> year, then, that comes to an advantage of $1,100 per year for the Smart
>>>> Car -- based on an estimated $15,000 cost, it would take 13.6 (!) years
>>>> to make that up.  Of course, more driving means it would take less time.
>>>>   Conversely, less driving means more time.  Similarly, gas above $4.00
>>>> means less time, and gas below means more.
>>>> In other words, it will practically _never_ pay for itself.  And I
>>>> wonder if a car that small would even last 4-5 years, or will become a
>>>> junker after a couple.

More information about the Rushtalk mailing list