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mainefortwo

Why Do You Want A Smart Fortwo?

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Why do you want a smart fortwo?I have been asked that question by more than one person lately. My quick response revolves around my Mazda RX-8 getting around 20mpg on premium fuel on my mixed commute (back road, turnpike, city road) and if I can average around 40mpg on premium fuel in the smart fortwo, I would cut my commuting cost in half.Upon deeper reflection, I would say my answer goes back much further to the 1970’s when I was a teenager and became interested in the three “R’s” (Reduce-Reuse-Recycle). Ever since then I have not only stuck with these principles, but done my best to live by them. The smart fortwo may not be the most fuel efficient or lowest priced, or have the ability to carry four people, but it does have cradle to grave lifecycle attributes that the majority of cars do not.I am impressed by the effort by Mercedes to build a factory in Hambach, France that took into account how their product would fit in with the environment and to take the extra steps to ensure the factory met international environmental management system criteria (ISO 14001). This includes reducing process waste by removing heavy metals such as cadmium and lead from the Tridion cell hot dip galvanizing process, to powder coating to eliminate volatile organic compounds, and by the use of recycled or low impact materials where possible.On the road, the smart fortwo obviously uses less fuel than many other cars, but the premium fuel allowed the engine designers to optimize the emission controls and meet ULEV standards. I feel the twenty cents or so extra per gallon is a small price to pay for this benefit to the atmosphere. When I commute I try to carpool with another person, but have yet to travel to my current job with more than two, so a back seat is not needed. The size of the smart will allow me to work through congestion and reduce my stop-and-go driving and all but eliminate wasting fuel and creating exhaust to find a large enough parking space.I could use less fuel by purchasing a hybrid, but the cost of ownership is much greater due to the upwards of $10,000 premium over the smart MSRP, and as I said earlier, I do not need a back seat (or four doors) for commuting. I also have concerns with the environmental impact of nickel mining for the large batteries used in hybrids presently. I am also unaware of any factory that produces hybrids that are ISO 14001 certified?In the EU, smart maintains recycling centers for when the car has reached the end of its lifespan. I hope over time Mercedes and/or the Penske Auto Group establish regional recycling centers in North America that could serve the US, Canadian, and Mexican markets and use the materials for other consumer goods and as part of new smart cars. This would complete the cradle to grave cycle.As an Executive with a Bio-Tech. company, I probably should have a status vehicle like a full size luxury SUV, but that is just not me. The smart fortwo will be an outward sign of my commitment to the three R’s and can play a role in my overall quality of life. Whether or not that turns out to be the case will begin later this year when I take possession of my yellow passion coupe with silver Tridion and design black interior.This is why I want a smart fortwo. I would welcome hearing everyone else’s point of view if they were to respond to the same question. Thanks for hearing me out.mainefortwo :D

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They are adorable, fast, edgy, ego & carbon friendly, forward thinking, and the hottest car since the 300M (as far as styling goes).

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I think my reason is two-fold.1) I’ve always loved small cars. The first car I really wanted when I was a teenager was the new 1976 Honda Civic CVCC 5-speed hatchback. It took regular gas as the ‘pre-combustion’ chamber could burn the fuel efficiently without the need of a catalytic converter (back then I didn’t realize how bad leaded fuel was). It was small and it had a hatchback so you could fold the seats down and use it like a mini-station wagon. We had just emerged from an energy crisis and the big push back then was front-wheel drive. I remember how people said let’s eliminate the extra weight of the drive shaft to the rear wheels, plus utilize the engines weight and have the drive wheels underneath them for better traction. To me it just made sense. The fortwo's rear engine is like the original VW Beetle (except not air-cooled), and the weight over the drive wheels will add to extra traction during those winter days when you need it.2) It’s also a statement. Here it is over 30 years later, and they (American Automakers), still don’t get it. As soon as gasoline becomes “cheap”, they build these huge SUV’s, HUMMERS, and whatnot. We’re in conflict with the Middle East and at anytime, the House of Saud could be overthrown and the fuel we’ve been so accustom to getting could be turned-off. Or a terrorist act could explode a few oil refineries. At any sense, we’re setting ourselves up for another 1973 or 1978 oil crisis all over again. When it happens, everybody here will wander around acting like, “What happened?” and they’ll flock to Asia and Europe to buy fuel saving cars. The “Big Three” here in the United States will once again cry foul and want huge tariffs placed on imports because they can’t compete. The message once again will be “Buy American!” to convince people you’re not American if you buy a foreign car. My reply, “Tough!” “You’ve had over 30 years to produce a fuel efficient 30mpg + automobiles and instead decided to stick with the status quo.” I don’t even want to go too much into it, as my blood will just boil thinking about it. But you get the picture. Toyota & Honda showed us Hybrid technology and GM’s response was “…it’s just a fad.” I like the smart fortwo because of size (we don’t have kids), and parking can be a real hassle. Plus I love a convertible (we’re getting a cabrio). It gets great fuel mileage. People ask me if I want really good fuel mileage, why not get a Toyota Prius? “A Prius isn’t available in a convertible, and it’s too big for what I want”, is my reply. Plus, I feel it’s a statement against George Bush, and that alone makes me want to buy it! ;) (“whew!”)Ok, I’m done hyperventilating… :lol: -Tom L.

Edited by LorbeerTLC

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Ditto your first paragraph, LorbeerTLC.My second car -- I was about 18 -- was used Civic (also a '75), regular gas, four-speed. This was a quirky one, as it had the exact shape of a hatch-back, but had a tiny little trunk below the rear window. It had a manual choke, which made winter starts easy. It was nimble in-town and held its own on the expressway. It was cool to drive, and most cars I've owned since have been two-door puddle-jumpers, fun to drive and easy on gas.Unfortunately, t was the same metallic blue colour as about 90% of Civics at that time (or so it seemed to me) -- I remember wandering the university parking lot on cold winter nights trying my key in a dozen snowed-in metallic blue civics.My first car was a used '74 Pontiac Astra (twin of Chevy Vega) -- it was an oil burning rust-bucket, one of many disastrous attempts Detroit made in the small car market in the seventies.As for the Smart fortwo, it is the first little car that I can afford that captures the fun of my old Civic, as well as learning to drive mountain roads on my grandma's '68 Beetle. And like my '75 Civic, and my grandma's '68 Bug, the thing actually works.

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I first saw the Smart on the streets of Bologna in while living there in 2002. I turned to my Italian friend enthusiastically and asked him how to get one. "Vorrei averne uno anch'io ma sono troppo cari," he responded. [i would like one, too, but they are too expensive.]

I loved the styling. I loved the amenties inside. I loved the intelligent design regarding safety. I loved the fact that they were made in the EU by eco and labor conscious Daimler. When I learned about the gas mileage, I loved it even more.

Now that they are affordable, there is nothing to stop me now from owning this well-built little automobile.

Besides the reasons mentioned, the Smart for Two has Euro appeal. I miss Italia here in the Pacific Northwest.

Can't wait to be notified by the dealer that it is my turn to actually own one.

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Mainefourtwo, that was carefully thought out and eloquently said. I bought my 451 for those same reasons.I sold my 2001 Prius last month and bought my 451 (also yellow with silver). I tell you ... I never raved about the Prius like I do about the smart. If you drive an RX-8, then you like to drive and I know I do. The fortwo is like a go-kart (except with seat warmers, airconditioning etc). It doesn't have a huge amount of power, but I love working the gears using both paddle and stick, I enjoy the firm ride and the whole experience.I somehow don't see my smart being recycled ... I see me changing the engine, transmission, in fact ... everything at some point but I see me driving it forever. OK, I know it's unrealistic, but it's nice to know that if it need to be recylced, it can.

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I see the forwtwo is the the perfect choice for a large number of US drivers.The single person, city dweller. The urban couple's second car. The everyday commuter's car.For myself it is a perfect combination of second car, commuter, two-seater. Which means I save $80 per month on bridge tolls, $35 on gas, and an average 30 minutes per day using the HOV lane. Plus in San Francisco most of the available parking consists of the 10.5' that is left between other parked cars.It's a smart savings in all areas, which I expect will continue until everyone else get's smart and goes small. Not likely in a status conscious society like ours.Scott

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Well I want something different. The Prius I have is that something different and when I move out of the house, I want a vehicle that goes against the "norm" and the smart fortwo does it. It's a 2 seater with a ton of features and just like the Prius, it's environmentally friendly (although the smart has the edge with the production process).Just like the Prius, you have to learn how to drive the car and it gives you a sense of being one with the vehicle - that you know its quirks and you know how to get the most out of it; a bond if you will.I live in the city so a smart should be easy to drive and while the city usually has metered parking, parking in the suburbs will be easy because of its small size. Even though it uses premium fuel, it costs less to refuel compared to the Yaris (if they both travelled the same distance).P.S. the nickel used in the Prius is a very very small percentage and it is recycled.

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Hi Nextourer,Thank you very much for the nickel content perspective on the Prius. I have great respect for the green vision of the Japanese and believe the next generation batteries will be even better for power storage and the environment. A full hybrid (not the auto stop-start offering currently) would be very interesting to see.mainefortwo :D

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Well yes but given the smart's lightweight, wouldn't a full EV serve it better? I don't think there's enough space for both a small engine, battery and two electric motors.

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my first car was a subaru forester and i loved the elevation in the seat and having a hatch. my current car is an elantra because i still love a hatch and the tight handling. the fortwo offers me fuel efficiency, safety, hatch, seat elevation, better parking options, and an oh-so-very-different mystique.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Friday was the sixth anniversary of the "adoption day" for Karl von Doodlebug (KvD) and the attached pictures were taken six years apart to within the hour. I think the car has held up better than I have! On Wednesday of this past week KvD hit 60,000 miles (96,560 km) and just keeps chugging along. :D

post-3720-1399146286_thumb.jpg

post-3720-1399146436_thumb.jpg

Edited by mainefortwo

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Nah you are both looking good, six years on!

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