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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 07:22 AM Thread Starter
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smart compared with motorcycles

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Originally Posted by JustSmarTnuf View Post
I keep searching the web for a positive review of the smart fortwo, and I just canít find any. At this point, though, Iím really scratching my head. If the fortwo is such a terrible car, why canít I stop driving mine? I traded my motorcycle for this thing exactly 4 weeks ago...

I think that last sentence just might be the answer to your question. You're comparing the smart to your motorcycle, which I'm sure it is a much better car. The reviews you are reading are comparing the smart to other cars, where the opinions might not be as favorable.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-21-2012, 07:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Critical Thinker View Post
I think that last sentence just might be the answer to your question. You're comparing the smart to your motorcycle, which I'm sure it is a much better car. The reviews you are reading are comparing the smart to other cars, where the opinions might not be as favorable.
Ugh ... just when I was starting to enjoy preaching to the choir.
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 12:32 AM
 
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What I don't understand is how you can compare apples and oranges. The smart is a two seat three cylinder car with rear wheel drive. What other car matches this criteria to compare it too? The ones they keep talking about are oranges to our apples. It is unique and should be enjoyed as such.

Last edited by rawhidekid; 02-22-2012 at 12:33 AM. Reason: Word misspelled
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 05:47 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rawhidekid View Post
What I don't understand is how you can compare apples and oranges. The smart is a two seat three cylinder car with rear wheel drive. What other car matches this criteria to compare it too? The ones they keep talking about are oranges to our apples. It is unique and should be enjoyed as such.
Well, if it is impossible to find another car with similar dimensions, cylinder count, and drivetrain layout, then the only thing to do is find a car that it competes with for sales. It may not be an ideal comparison, but it's certainly better than comparing a car with a motorcycle.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Critical Thinker View Post
I think that last sentence just might be the answer to your question. You're comparing the smart to your motorcycle, which I'm sure it is a much better car. The reviews you are reading are comparing the smart to other cars, where the opinions might not be as favorable.

It's true that the smart may not be a direct competitor to a motorcycle, although they do share the ease of parking and good fuel economy. It would be more accurate to compare it to other small two seat cars. If it came down to pure practicality, we would all be driving appliance cars: Versa, Accent, Corolla, etc. But, there are vehicles like the Mazda Miata. Why would anyone want a Miata compared with a Versa hatch, for instance? The Miata only carries two people, has limited cargo space, doesn't get the fuel economy of the Versa and it costs more. Why did Mazda even consider making such a vehicle?

Of course, the answer is that the Miata offers something (handling, open air driving, sharing a roadster heritage with MG/Triumph, etc.) beyond practicality that appeals to a niche buyer. So it is with the smart. There is a niche buyer that values some of the attributes of the smart - size, fuel economy, parking ability, plastic body panels, uniqueness, greenness, cheapest convertible, etc. - to offset the loss in practicality that the average consumer perceives in larger, mass consumption vehicles. For those perceived benefits, the buyer will accept some of the smart's deficiencies.

Daimler never intended the smart to be a mass production vehicle. Articles prior to the smart's introduction in the US cited a ceiling of 20K units per year in a best case scenario. Penske "hoped" to sell 15-16K units per year. Of course, we'd like for the smart to be selling more than it is, but even if these goals were met after the first two years on the market, the smart market would still be a tiny niche.

Last edited by rfernatt; 02-22-2012 at 09:26 AM.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rfernatt View Post
It's true that the smart may not be a direct competitor to a motorcycle, although they do share the ease of parking and good fuel economy. It would be more accurate to compare it to other small two seat cars.
Exactly--other cars. But I'll admit that the problem in comparing the smart to another car is that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a car that matches up well with it in terms of size/weight/engine/drivetrain etc...

You can't be serious when you say that a smart and a motorcycle share good fuel economy, right? I mean, a smart may get somewhat decent fuel economy for a car, but it's nowhere near the average fuel economy of a motorcycle. Even the newer 650cc crotch rockets get about 50 mpg around town. And when you start to look at the smaller engine motorcycles (250cc and smaller), you're looking at anywhere from 65 - 110 MPG on average.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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This is all so much fluff - trying to compare a smart to (what?) for (what purpose?) Pretty much an exercise in trying to produce arguments to meet the already formed conclusion - "the smart is not for me." We get that; turns out the smart wasn't the car for everyone that bought one (what a shock!) However, the majority of us get the car, we understand its quirks and limits - and we still love it. Might as well ask somebody why they like a PB&J on Wonder Bread...because they do. If you don't want one, don't buy one.

Once again, you're missing the point. I couldn't care less about comparing a smart to any other vehicle (two wheels, four wheels, whatever). My comment was to the OP because it seemed like he was singing the praises of his new smart while comparing to the vehicle that he traded for it--a motorcycle. And that's just fine and dandy if he wants to make that comparison. Of course a smart is going to have several advantages over a motorcycle. But since he asked why he doesn't see positive reviews, I simply stated the reason is probably because those reviews are not comparing a smart and a motorcycle (what he was doing), but a smart compared to other cars.

It's kinda funny when I say it, people react. But looking through the thread, someone else said basically the same thing (quoted below), but nobody even raised an eyebrow. Weird how that works, isn't it?

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The problem is... Most reviewers compare the Smart to other cars

We compare the Smart to our old Vespa scooters, and Smart wins every time. (Except for repair costs.) A2Jack
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Critical Thinker View Post
Exactly--other cars. But I'll admit that the problem in comparing the smart to another car is that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a car that matches up well with it in terms of size/weight/engine/drivetrain etc...

You can't be serious when you say that a smart and a motorcycle share good fuel economy, right? I mean, a smart may get somewhat decent fuel economy for a car, but it's nowhere near the average fuel economy of a motorcycle. Even the newer 650cc crotch rockets get about 50 mpg around town. And when you start to look at the smaller engine motorcycles (250cc and smaller), you're looking at anywhere from 65 - 110 MPG on average.
Not according to real life reports on Fuelly.com from motorcycle owners. Unfortunately, cycle mileage isn't as readily available as vehicle EPA estimates. The medians of the ranges below are in the same ballpark as smart mileage. These motorcycles are from the top 10 on Fuelly. Some scooters eke into the 100 MPG club for some owners.

Honda VFR 800: 23-48 MPG
Suzuki SV650S: 32-60 MPG
Kawasaki Ninja 250R: 39-65 MPG
Suzuki DL650: 30-58 MPG
Honda CBR250R: 50-84 MPG
Kawasaki EX500: 34-59 MPG

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Originally Posted by jwight View Post
This is all so much fluff - trying to compare a smart to (what?) for (what purpose?) Pretty much an exercise in trying to produce arguments to meet the already formed conclusion - "the smart is not for me." We get that; turns out the smart wasn't the car for everyone that bought one (what a shock!) However, the majority of us get the car, we understand its quirks and limits - and we still love it. Might as well ask somebody why they like a PB&J on Wonder Bread...because they do. If you don't want one, don't buy one.
PB&J on honey wheat is obviously a superior choice.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 04:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Critical Thinker View Post
My comment was to the OP because it seemed like he was singing the praises of his new smart while comparing to the vehicle that he traded for it--a motorcycle.
I made some comparisons to the motorcycle I traded for my Passion, and to the motorcycling experience in general. All of those comparisons were legitimate. Apparently that distracted some (CT) from my larger point that reviewers portray the smart fortwo as nothing but punishment and fright on 4 wheels.

I have found, to the contrary, that driving my little Passion is such an enjoyable kick that I cannot get enought of it. That's not a claim that it's better than a conventional car or better than a motorcycle. That is, however, my Passionate proclamation that the smart fortwo is better than any of the reviews I had read until dancote, august8pm, and jwight drew my attention to the Winding Roads article.

Last edited by JustSmarTnuf; 02-22-2012 at 10:00 PM. Reason: Added credit to august8pm
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-22-2012, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by rfernatt View Post
Not according to real life reports on Fuelly.com from motorcycle owners. Unfortunately, cycle mileage isn't as readily available as vehicle EPA estimates. The medians of the ranges below are in the same ballpark as smart mileage. These motorcycles are from the top 10 on Fuelly. Some scooters eke into the 100 MPG club for some owners.

Honda VFR 800: 23-48 MPG
Suzuki SV650S: 32-60 MPG
Kawasaki Ninja 250R: 39-65 MPG
Suzuki DL650: 30-58 MPG
Honda CBR250R: 50-84 MPG
Kawasaki EX500: 34-59 MPG


One of my best smart stories is when I first got my smart, a bunch of guys I work with ride bikes. Most are cruisers. They gave me a rough time about my smart, and we started a bet about fuel mileage. I beat them all 4 weeks in a row. They all had to pony up $20 to pay off the bet! So CT, say what you want about mileage, I won the bet to prove smart wins.
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