Smart Cars: Best or Worst for Hoboken?

6/28/2010 Update:

Two years later: How do you like Smart Cars in Hoboken?

Many of us see the “benefits” of Smart Cars that are rolling around the streets these days. Decent fuel economy, easy to park, and… uh – that’s about it. Oh, and “affordable.”

But I’m still not sold on the whole thing. I have a list of concerns that fully prevent me from even thinking about getting one:

  • For starters, I’m not sure I can put all my trust in those so-called government crash tests. Seems like the laws of physics are against these miniature vehicles.
  • What is the insurance cost on them? What about five years from now?
  • How much practical room is there inside? How many shopping trips are impossible because of the size limitations?
  • What is the general height/weight limit on passengers or drivers?
  • Can you see at intersections in Hoboken?
  • Do you feel safe driving one?

SEE THE FIRST SMART CARS IN HOBOKEN – AFTER THE JUMP!

First sighting of Smart Cars in Hoboken, NJ

5/27/2008:

I’m sure many of you have seen a couple of these Smart Cars popping up in Hoboken. I spotted this yellow one over the Memorial Day weekend.

These tiny vehicles start at about $14,000 and get over 30mpg city and over 40mpg highway. While they’re pretty much awesome for parking in town, would you feel safe driving this death-ride? Especially with the way folks drive in New Jersey?

Although, I’m sure pedestrians would feel safer, as I’d probably damage this car if it hit me at an intersection.

PHOTO GALLERY (HOLD MOUSE OVER IMAGE TO NAVIGATE – 3 PHOTOS IN THIS SET)

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152 Comments on "Smart Cars: Best or Worst for Hoboken?"

Journey
Member
Journey

My parents have friends that own one, but they use it for their ‘towed’ (pronounced Toad). They tow it behind their Motorhome and then drive it around to shops and sights while their wheeled home chills in a campground. They choose it because it is light, the bigger your towed, the more fuel you consume towing it, etc.

nacholibre
Member
nacholibre

They score 5 stars on the moron test. As pointed out above, the mileage isn’t that special, and you can get a bigger, safer, more efficient car for LESS money (I am a huge fan of buying nice/low mil. used cars, and if you are just a city commuter, you don’t need to rack up the miles on a new car). My aunt and uncle wanted to get a Smart but they weigh about 300 lbs. each…what kind of mileage would they get? Probably the same as my (gasp) SUV!

I know one’s manhood has no direct relation to their car, but I can’t help but think they look too f-in’ funny to be seen in.

bradykp
Member
bradykp

I’ve ridden in them, they really are nice vehicles to drive. as for new v used, as a recent car shopper, i found that in a lot of cases new is “cheaper” overall (latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2...new-car-deals-beat-buying-used.html).

the main draw to the smart car is the ease of parking. that’s how it was marketed in europe at least. not necessarily it’s efficiency. it’s as long as a normal car is wide, so you could park it front-first or back-first in european cities. that’s the appeal. it’s not really because it’s super fuel efficient. [quote comment=”194150″]They score 5 stars on the moron test. As pointed out above, the mileage isn’t that special, and you can get a bigger, safer, more efficient car for LESS money (I am a huge fan of buying nice/low mil. used cars, and if you are just a city commuter, you don’t need to rack up the miles on a new car). My aunt and uncle wanted to get a Smart but they weigh about 300 lbs. each…what kind of mileage would they get? Probably the same as my (gasp) SUV! I know one’s manhood has no direct relation to their car, but I can’t help but think they look too f-in’ funny to be seen in.[/quote]

plywood
Member
plywood

Yes, size matters. When I consider a car to use in Hoboken, the two main criteria are how long is it (obviously the shorter the better) and does it have 4 wheel drive to get in and out of those cavernous parallel parking topless igloos we have to get our cars in and out of much of the winter. Nothing like trying to get a rear-wheel-only-drive vehicle out of a snowy parking space when the wheels are in a 3 inch deep puddle that froze since you parked your car in it.[quote comment=”194159″]I’ve ridden in them, they really are nice vehicles to drive. as for new v used, as a recent car shopper, i found that in a lot of cases new is “cheaper” overall ().the main draw to the smart car is the ease of parking. that’s how it was marketed in europe at least. not necessarily it’s efficiency. it’s as long as a normal car is wide, so you could park it front-first or back-first in european cities. that’s the appeal. it’s not really because it’s super fuel efficient.

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bradykp
Member
bradykp

you buy 4wd to get out of a snowed in parking space? ever hear of a shovel?[quote comment=”194179″]Yes, size matters. When I consider a car to use in Hoboken, the two main criteria are how long is it (obviously the shorter the better) and does it have 4 wheel drive to get in and out of those cavernous parallel parking topless igloos we have to get our cars in and out of much of the winter. Nothing like trying to get a rear-wheel-only-drive vehicle out of a snowy parking space when the wheels are in a 3 inch deep puddle that froze since you parked your car in it.

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plywood
Member
plywood

Riddle me this Master of the Obvious: Which came first, the Luddite philosophy or the indoor parking space?[quote comment=”194205″]you buy 4wd to get out of a snowed in parking space? ever hear of a shovel?

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bradykp
Member
bradykp

just seems like a colassal waste of gas/maintenance money all to get you out of the pittance of snow this area of NJ gets a few times a year. [quote comment=”194207″]Riddle me this Master of the Obvious: Which came first, the Luddite philosophy or the indoor parking space?[/quote]

bradykp
Member
bradykp

people keep criticizing small cars saying they’d get sandwiched, yet the smaller cars are often the best crash-test results (VW bug, Smart, etc). I still think the Smart car is a bit too expensive, but if I had to deal with street parking, it’s a pretty cool idea. For shopping trips where you need more stuff, a roof rack would do wonders. But – as it’s been said before – is this really a better option than a Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Prius, or maybe even a VW Jetta?

They are still insanely popular in European cities like Rome though.

wiskeytango1
Member
wiskeytango1

if anyone ever God forbid gets hit driving a smart car or gets sandwiched btn two trucks
it would not be so smart.. stupid is as stupid does :mrgreen: 🙄

hobokendave
Member
hobokendave

I still find these “new” economical cars funny when I bought a VW Fox in 1988 that got 30-35 mpg until the day the transmission blew out…..in 2004.

Easy-E
Member

I had a ’88 Honda CRX HF, and I always got at least 45 MPG.[quote comment=”194056″]I still find these “new” economical cars funny when I bought a VW Fox in 1988 that got 30-35 mpg until the day the transmission blew out…..in 2004.[/quote]

KenOn10
Member
KenOn10

When introduced to the US market, Smart cars were supposed to be 60mpg (and were rated similarly in Europe)… but the EPA says only 33city/41hwy, not too impressive for such a small car. I’d get one if it got 60mpg… plenty of room, really, because my wife told me she’d never set foot in one![quote comment=”194066″]I had a ‘88 Honda CRX HF, and I always got at least 45 MPG.

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