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I have to think that if someone could build and sell a three wheel car for $10,000 and still make a profit that an existing auto maker would be working on it. There must be a lot of people in the world who need transportation but can't afford to pay $40,000 for a traditional car.
 

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I don't see why some company doesn't just make a cheap 4 wheeled car that meets US regulations. If Tata can make a car that costs $2,000 it shouldn't be too hard to get something under $10,000.

I can't think of a single "three wheel car of the American people" venture that actually succeeded in its mission. The list is long from the Dale all the way to the Elio.

For me, Saturn was one of the last great attempts at cheap transport for the masses...then GM did its thing and Saturn became the also-ran it was until its eventual death.
 

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I don't see why some company doesn't just make a cheap 4 wheeled car that meets US regulations. If Tata can make a car that costs $2,000 it shouldn't be too hard to get something under $10,000.

I can't think of a single "three wheel car of the American people" venture that actually succeeded in its mission. The list is long from the Dale all the way to the Elio.

For me, Saturn was one of the last great attempts at cheap transport for the masses...then GM did its thing and Saturn became the also-ran it was until its eventual death.

I don’t believe, I’d want to be in a crash in a Tata. Or a Yugo either. Saturn brand, couldn’t compete with Honda, Toyota, and any of the Japanese brands. Comparable price range too. Had plastic door gaps, you could stick you whole hand though. Cheapest grade interior. Oil leakers. The last of that brand models, were more refine. Clones, of the Chevy, Pontiac, and GMC. GM dropped Saturn, hasn’t looked back.

The VW Bug was the vehicle for the masses. If you want a 3 wheel vehicle. Polaris slingshot.
 

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The problem is once it has 4 wheels, it has to meet strict safety standards to be sold in the U.S. and those safety standards are not cheap. 3 wheeled cars in almost every state is considered a motorcycle and doesn't need to meet any safety standards. That's why it's so cheap to build a 3 wheeled vehicle. That's also why the $2000 Tata is not sold in the US. Surprisingly, there are a few well known cars that almost didn't get sold in the US because they initially failed safety tests. Fiat500 and Honda CR-Z come to mind.
 

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Tata was planning a global version of the Nano that would meet modern safety standards and would still cost less than $10,000. It was shelved after sales performance of the original Nano weren’t as hot as expected. In Tata’s home market, a $2,000 car is still a ton of money when a motorbike is a dime a dozen.

Regardless, it’s not an impossible task. Remember, smart hit the States with a $12,000 base price, and that’s after considering the fact that having MB backing makes smarts more expensive in the first place.

Let’s be honest, the ONLY reason these companies are chasing three wheelers are because they’re basically unregulated. It’s easier to build something cheap when there are barely any rules to follow.

I’m still a fan of the NHTSA proposal that spawned when Paul petitioned to the feds that his car shouldn’t have to follow neither car rules nor motorcycle rules:

If your three wheeler is basically a car sans a wheel (Elio), it’ll have to meet car regulations.

If your car is basically a motorcycle plus a wheel (Morgan), it’ll have to meet motorcycle regulations.

That makes sense to me. All it would take is the first lawsuit against Elio challenging its advertised (though not officially tested) “Five Star Safety Rating” to highlight what a bad idea it is.
 

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I don’t believe, I’d want to be in a crash in a Tata. Or a Yugo either. Saturn brand, couldn’t compete with Honda, Toyota, and any of the Japanese brands. Comparable price range too. Had plastic door gaps, you could stick you whole hand though. Cheapest grade interior. Oil leakers. The last of that brand models, were more refine. Clones, of the Chevy, Pontiac, and GMC. GM dropped Saturn, hasn’t looked back.

The VW Bug was the vehicle for the masses. If you want a 3 wheel vehicle. Polaris slingshot.
You know how many times I have heard "I'd hate to be in that thing and get hit by a....." My reply is " What would you want to be in??" I doubt anyone would WANT to be in a crash, but then most people don't wear a belt with suspenders do they??
I have seen full size SUV's that have been in seemingly minor crashes with more tragic results than a well engineered smaller car. (I know the Tata does not fall in that range) but I don't use crash protection as the number one reason to buy a car. Maybe we should all hang old tires around the outside of our cars to avoid being hit, then put on a suit made of multiple layers of bubble wrap and we would be safe. Probably wouldn't be able to move but...

Chevy does make a lower cost car, Sonic with a starting price of around $15k so there you go. kind of like driving a roller skate that needs a push now and then, but 30 mpg isn't bad for that price.
 

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We have the Nissan Micra here in Canada that was under 10 grand when it first came out. Still being sold but didn't look at current price. Hasn't gone up that much.
 

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You know how many times I have heard "I'd hate to be in that thing and get hit by a....." My reply is " What would you want to be in??" I doubt anyone would WANT to be in a crash, but then most people don't wear a belt with suspenders do they??
I have seen full size SUV's that have been in seemingly minor crashes with more tragic results than a well engineered smaller car. (I know the Tata does not fall in that range) but I don't use crash protection as the number one reason to buy a car. Maybe we should all hang old tires around the outside of our cars to avoid being hit, then put on a suit made of multiple layers of bubble wrap and we would be safe. Probably wouldn't be able to move but...

Chevy does make a lower cost car, Sonic with a starting price of around $15k so there you go. kind of like driving a roller skate that needs a push now and then, but 30 mpg isn't bad for that price.
Actual Chevy sells a smaller car. It’s called the Spark. Starts around $13k. 39mpg.

The Sonic is not a roller skate on wheels, by any means. Chevy offers a really nice 2 door, and 4 door sedan. Standard,138 hp Turbo charged engine. 4G LTE WiFi, Apple car play, Android. 10 airbags. JD Powers rated it top safety small cars. 37 mpg. Standard rear visions camera. Options.... front collision alert, lane change sensor, rear park assist.

The Chevy Spark, offer some of the same features. Tops off around $16k.
 

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I looked at a Spark EV before buying my smart ED. Used, they are quite a bit more expensive and the backseat (like all subcompacts) is basically useless. The smart just made more sense, it gets rid of the useless backseat and gives you a much more menuverable car that easily fits in a crowded garage.
 

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I still love my smart and wouldn't change unless I had no other choice. I am just tired of uninformed people thinking they are the one who has to save me from my decisions when they don't have any idea what the heck they are talking about.

I can't speak for the specifics about either the spark, or the sonic as I have not had the need to research them. On my rd smart and I am still happy with it. Even after one catching on fire, and taking out a deer with another. I still use it to commute around 86 miles per day in every type of weather. I rebuilt the front end after clobbering the deer, and even drove 23 miles after the hit to get home. Insurance wanted to call it totaled with $4000 damage. fixed it and still driving it.
 

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nice looking even for a prototype. hope they get around to a gas version (doubtful) but a reasonable price on an EV version
 

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Go to You Tube. Sondors EV prototype drive. The women test driver, takes a short drive. Only 20 mpg. Proto type is Not street legal. Front a 3/4 front view while driving forward. The little vehicle, looks like it’s moving side ways.
 
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