Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Smart Cars.... Yeah, right, sure they are.

Smart Cars. Yes, there is an auto company that makes and sells theses all over the world. I am sure you have seen one - and I don't mean in a toybox, I mean ON THE ROAD.
And, I am sure that you had a good laugh, too.

Now, this post is politically incorrect, very much so, but please, humor me. I am still recovering from a power outage. Anyone that knows me, knows that I can't be more than 6 hours from a hot shower, so you can imagine my anxiety level at the thought of another wind storm approaching....
Here is the actual smart car in relation to an average size American car. I understand the premise. The smart cars are as LONG as a standard car is wide - usually somewhere around 8 feet.
I understand the premise of better gas mileage. Using less metals, fuel, tires etc to do the same amount of work as a typical car. Smart cars get roughly 60 mpg and have an 8.5 gallon fuel tank compared with getting 17 mpg and a 20 gallon tank.
If we were speaking stats, the smart car would win hands down.... But take a look at some of these cars:

Do you recognize this one? It is a 1980 Yugo. I blame the Yugo for the rise of the Smart Car and the like.
Yugo's claim to fame were that they were cheap. So cheap, in fact that mechanics suggested purchasing a used clunker before purchasing a YUGO as the parts were worth more in the clunker.

Here is a a 1974 Sebring Vanguard Citicar. Just looking at this, I feel like my toes would be tucked under a headlight.
Corbin Sparow 1999. This one looks like it has a little more leg room for the single driver/passenger that it can transport.

Ah, the thoroughly modern Toyota Scion IQ. Notice the bold color chosen for visibility, no doubt.

The Tata Nano 2008 sold in India where most people don't drive. After getting a glimpse of this car, I can see why. You can't convince me that the back seat has any leg room, then again, neither does the front seat.

Ahh - this one is designed for storage! The Nissan S Cargo 1989. This would come in handy if you ever had to take home 2 or maybe even 3 grocery bags.

And this photo is what started me on this subject. Last Saturday, we were braving the snow (which had stopped when this pic was taken) and were leaving the little town of Washington NH, when I spotted this smart car coming up the hill.
I wish I could get a close up of the driver, because that would be the face of a brave man.

Smart cars are ideal in a laboratory. Insert them into the real world and they should be called "Death Traps".
Can you imagine being passed by a plow truck in one of these? It would blow you off the road! Can you imagine being in a automobile crash or falling into a pot hole?
What about being stuck on a dirt road during mud season?

These are popular in Europe and are the "norm" where there are few plow trucks, 18 wheelers and Avalanches, Escalades, Suburbans and Grand Cherokees on the road. But, here in America, particularly in New England, I would rather take my chances on the road with a gas guzzler, my second choice would be a bicycle. There is an expression I am reminded of when seeing these cars on the road, "never bring a knife to a gunfight".

1 comment:

Ally said...

When I see them I always think the same thing - they are cute as a button but how would you ever survive a car accident (I don't want to find out first hand)!