The Leaf is sold across the country, basically at all Nissan dealerships. Maintance and service too. Westminster smart, is the nearest dealership to me. 600 miles away. A top of the line smart Cabrio there, listed for $34.5k. That crazy. The rest of their inventory. $28-29k.Despite how much we like our smart cars, if you look at the actual vehicles themselves, I don't think It's hard to see why they feel as they do.
Here's a Car and Driver test of the 2018 Leaf:
It cost just a few thousand more dollars. And for that, you get four seats, a 0 to 60 acceleration time of 7.4 seconds compared to about 11 seconds for the smart, a near-silent 65 decibels at 70 miles per hour, no stability issues on the freeway, and the big elephant in the room, the 150-plus mile estimated range.
The only way you like the smart is if you embrace the size, uniqueness, or turning circle. Otherwise, as a vehicle for the cost, it is anything but a smart purchase.
NOT necessarily true - not all Nissan dealers are Leaf "qualified."The Leaf is sold across the country, basically at all Nissan dealerships. Maintance and service too.
We have 6 Nissan dealership in KC metro area. All of them offer the Leaf here. Discount prices. Their all over the road here. I have a friend who bought a used one. For his high school son. We got charging station everywhere too. Shopping centers, museums, theaters, dealerships, schools, parks, etc. Tesla’s are all over here too.NOT necessarily true - not all Nissan dealers are Leaf "qualified."
That ranges from sales to service. My experience locally - neither (2 Nissan dealers) dealership had demo units or new inventory. One had a used Leaf priced as though it was a rare, exotic Nissan not a 3-year old base model?
Salesman knew NOTHING about EV or Leaf and spent most of his time trying to dissuade me from electric even though I drove in with my ED? Asked if the Leaf connectivity had been upgraded from 2 - 3 G, no one knew anything about the Nissan $199 module replacement? I made a lowball offer on DEAD Leaf inventory and they didn't know what to do - 90 days later they called to see if I was still interested? :shrug:
Note, they wanted to sell me an Extended Warranty but, it was for an ICE not an EV???
We love, love, love our smart ED as well, but even living in the middle of the Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond/Kirkland metro area, we are on the freeway quite a lot of the time in our smart. It's a 20 mile trip to see my mother-in-law, with about 17 of that being on the freeway, and it's a 15 mile trip to see my daughter, about 12 of that on the freeway. And the freeways here during the sparsely patrolled times surrounding the commute hours have an average speed of between 65-75 MPH, sometimes faster, depending on how much traffic there actually is. I remember commuting to work a few times and spending several miles at a time bouncing off the speed limiter wishing for just 5 MPH more speed. And climbing a 5% gradient at 75 MPH is a foot to the floor event. But to not make these kind of trips in our urban environment, and well within the range of the ED, seems like a waste to do it in our ICE cars. So, more power and higher speed capability are definitely desired for us.Yeah, as a new vehicle anyway, the Smart is a very tough sell. But the leases were cheap, and used Smart ED's are dirt-cheap and certainly a value. The small size (and thus, maneuverability) is a plus, not a minus. Highway performance and 0-60 mph times are not too relevant for the car's usage in my old NE US city where urban freeways for intra-city travel are almost nonexistent - it sure goes from 0-35 mph fast enough! My Smart has been on an interstate highway only 3 or 4 times since it was leased/bought more than 3 years ago.
I still think it is the perfect car for our purposes.
It's no secret in the industry that the vast majority of EVs are lease - on the whole the percentage is well above 80%. But locally, I've seen 36 month lease deals for the new Leaf with less than $2000 at time of signing and monthly rates of $159. That means an effective monthly cost of around $230 or so.The largest criticism I have of electric vehicle reviews, is the continued insistence on using the MSRP as a major criteria when literally less than 5% of customers are even buying the smart EV. Practically everybody is leasing it. Literally AT LEAST 95% of these vehicles are being leased.
So any self-indulged opinion leader/reviewer, SHOULD do better research into how people are actually buying and using the smart EV (and most others), and then offer advice that corresponds to it. Since everybody is leasing it, rather than say "the other electric car alternative is 'ONLY' a few thousand more," they should get into the lease payments. The smart EV's lease payment is cheap compared to most of the other vehicles. Literally half in some cases.
But, whatever. Reviewers try so hard to be opinion leaders, but it would be nice if they did better research.
We see smart cars fairly regularly, and a decent percentage, maybe a quarter, are EDs.Yeah, compared to Seattle, LA, the DC area, Atlanta and lots of other places, Pittsburgh is the perfect city for a Smart (and before they cut public transit service a few years ago, the best city without the name "New York" for not owning a car at all, but that another topic). Yet, you don't see many Smarts here at all, I probably own the only ED in my pop. 1.4 million metro area. The only time I used it on the freeway for any extended distance (to get to PIT for a trip out of town) , the need to kick it down to "turbo" mode just to maintain 65 mph up a 6 percent hill was annoying. My wife refused to drive the ED on the "parkways" (as they call them here) at all.
But looking underneath my ED now, it sure looks like there is room for a battery pack about twice as large as the existing one - a little vertical foot room might be sacrificed, and the suspension would need to be beefed up, but it looks doable. A Smart ED with 140 miles range, DC fast charging and greater power that a larger pack would allow would shut up a lot of the critics.
Who uses the smart car? What is its purpose? How are folks acquiring them?It's no secret in the industry that the vast majority of EVs are lease - on the whole the percentage is well above 80%. But locally, I've seen 36 month lease deals for the new Leaf with less than $2000 at time of signing and monthly rates of $159. That means an effective monthly cost of around $230 or so.
I don't know what kind of lease deals are available on the ED, but let's say it's $100 per month with $2000 at signing. That's still $170 per month effective cost.
So would you pay an extra $2.30 per day for everything extra that a Leaf offers over a smart? That's less than half the cost of a latte.
I'm not a tinkerer so your knowledge may be better than mines, but I do read a fair amount and am a spectulative investor in innovative battery technology companies and what I have seen indicates that battery energy density in terms of both weight and volume have continued to be improved to the present day.Actually, as an EV tinkerer, I'm pretty sure there really have not been improvements in lithium battery energy density since 2013 - and probably not much forthcoming. The biggest improvement has been lower cost (if you are a big manufacturer - not schmucks like me) and improved quality control and reliability. Don't expect any kind of "Moores Law" for Lithium batteries. The improved range of the latest model EVs mostly just reflects the lower cost of the batteries and design creativity in fitting a larger volume of batteries underneath the car's floor pan.
The new 4.6 kWh Chinese LliFeMnPO4 pack in my 2011 electric scooter I bought this spring still cost the same as in 2011 - although the quality control of the Chinese cells has improved a lot - no longer a need to buy 26 cells to assemble a 24-cell pack - anticipating a couple cells quickly going bad.
My point was that there seems to be empty space forward of the battery pack (behind a plastic undercover) for a larger battery pack to have been used.
I understand that you are a dealer and so have a vested interest, but I think it is a dangerous precedent to continue what seems common in our current environment, and that is not only blame the press when we have a disagreement on viewpoint, but to denigrate them. Instead, as a counter viewpoint, I'd appreciate a link to an article from any reviewer who sees the situation "properly". Or perhaps you can write a counterpoint - the article is accepting responses.Who uses the smart car? What is its purpose? How are folks acquiring them?
Folks with multiple vehicles in their household don't mind that smart only has 2 seats. Folks with multiple vehicles in their household might not mind the smart's lower driving range. Folks who are leasing them may care more about how to minimize their 3 year lease expense, rather than care about the MSRP when they aren't buying the car.
Valuable information that fit into one paragraph. The reviewer kept rambling on and on slinging b.s. just to make his crap stick, but he missed all the important points. A good and fair review emphasizes to the reader the intent of a vehicle design and whether it carries out on its intent well.
Instead, his self-indulgent attitude was highly sarcastic about smart's great turning radius and "spending $25,000" on the car as if 99% of smart electric buyers are paying $25,000 for the cars to begin with.
His review lacks context because he doesn't see the bigger picture, he doesn't see the grand scheme of things. He could have just said "the range is too short" and left it at that. Then those of us could really see why he's endlessly whining, instead of trying to fluff up the word count of his article to try to cover up his disses.
Well, from what I can tell, ***smart USA*** says the current 453 EQ Electric Drive does 0-60 in 11.7 seconds (and has a top speed limited to 81 MPH), so this reviewer's 11.4 second report is actually better than the official specification. And so is Car and Driver's review on the 453 ED, which estimated 11.1 seconds. If anything, it seems you should have a complaint against smart USA for publishing their figures, and you should probably also tell them how to access this super-duper acceleration mode which no one seems to be able to find, even though as in the case of Car and Driver, the test track drivers have done it for years and because they also race cars, should know how to mash an accelerator pedal to the floor as well as anybody.Notice how he sticks to paper stats when he talks about 0 to 60 times, 81 mph top speed, and driving range. He drove that car in mild-weathered Seattle. He EASILY could achieve more than 58 miles of driving range in Seattle and he knows it. The 81 mph top speed is based on the 2013 car, not the 2018 car, so he's WRONG there, and his 0 to 60 time is based on scaled-down performance which is based on worst-case scenarios.
Typical 0 to 60 driving is considerably faster, and a good reviewer should mention that it accelerates as well or better than most gas vehicles unless they are willing to floor their gas vehicles while practicing perfect launch techniques.
The reviewer is highly confident. But confidence doesn't mean fair, well-written, or accurate.