Why I will not buy a smart car

The Smart Cart is an innovative European high mileage economy car. It is also coming to America via http://www.smartusa.com/

My current car, a Civic Sedan has about 3 years of life left on it. I have a pile of cash saved in a special fund for a new car. Being green is important to me.

However, I will not be buying a Smart Car.

The $15 K price tag ( with basic options ) is cheap and the car still has 8 cubic feet of storage with its innovative design.

Why not buy a Smart Car?

Smart Car has removed the diesel engine used in Europe and replaced it with a gas engine for US consumers. It only gets 40 miles per gallon. My 1991 Honda Civic does 35 mpg and has a back seat. The Prius is down to $21 K and can get above 40 mpg. The GM Volt is about 3 years away. The clean diesel accord is about 1 – 2 years away from being released in the US with a promise of 50 mpg.

Modern safety features allow for the driver of such small cars to walk away from crashes. However such cars are toast in those situations. Given the low price it is unlikely that an insurance company will pay me enough in the event of an accident to replace a Smart Car. Given its size, one medium accident could be enough to kill the car.

Lastly, there is the advertisement that the European division of Smart Car put up in Europe, gratuitously insulting Americans that goes something like “European this, American nothing”

As a reasonably informed American I am aware that self serving decisions made by American corporate and governmental leadership have led to my country being seen as mean, stupid, backward, etc…

As an American who is not mean, who is not stupid, and who is not backward it hurts to watch it all happening.

I don’t need to give my hard earned and hard saved cash to a company that is “rubbing it in”.

Especially with the US version of the Smart Car not offering anything all that incredible compared to some of the other new car alternatives.

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7 thoughts on “Why I will not buy a smart car”

  1. Much higher. Diesel is much more efficient. I think an American buying one of these cars would deserve the insults Smart Car is putting on their European billboards.

  2. BW, I wouldn’t get too worked up over the ‘rubbing it in part’ because that’s really just a few marketing assholes thinking they’re soo smart and soo clever. People in marketing usually are not good/creative enough to write for TV or film so end up as bitter wise-ass hacks. (of course some do have great talent but certainly not the creators of that ad)
    The other 2 points you made seem reasonable to me..I do however really like the look of that ride.

  3. Good point about the safety on these kinds of cars. If you do walk away alive then the the chances of your car still being in any kind of managable condition is very unlikely. I’m also surprised that they have taken out the diesel which is used so widely in EU.

  4. A friend of mine at work told me that the U.S. doesn’t have more diesel cars because California air quality standards are higher than the rest of the country. Auto manufacturers don’t want to make two of the same model car, one for California and one for the rest of the U.S.. So, if their cars don’t pass California air quality tests, which many diesel cars do not, they don’t sell them here.

    Like the mini cooper, the American version of the Smart Car gets suprisingly bad gas mileage for its size. However, for its size minicoopers are very safe. Not by bulk, but by technology. If you get in an accident in a minicooper your car will be totaled whereas another car might not be, but you will walk away from the accident.

    I wonder if the Smart Car has similar safety technology.

    I’ve been seeing them around the D.C. area. They maybe a disappointment in terms of gas mileage, but they look like a pleasure for parallel parking in the city.

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