Hey Smart Car - forget climate change, try to master Climate Control first!

Ok, so you’re thinking about buying a “smart car” - make sure you live in a region which doesn’t experience cold winters or hot summers. If you do that you should be fine. Otherwise you may as well go for a KIA, Toyota or even one of those adult trike bikes.

Here’s why, the climate control system on the smart car sucks ass.

once again, I’ll repeat that for those a little slow on the uptake.

the climate control system on the smart car sucks ass.

I’m not kidding. The car only has 43 hp to move itself plus your 200 pound ass around, there just isn’t that much left over for creature comforts.

If you live in a hot climate you will, I repeat, you will, find yourself roasting your nut-sack (or the female equivalent), while you sit in traffic.

I was warned by the dealer, after I bought the car (thanks asshole), that the air conditioner might come across as a bit of a disappointment. I would in all likelihood have to keep the thing blasting at all times if I wanted any semblance of bearable cabin temperature.

He wasn’t kidding.

My Smart car was black. This didn’t help. Roads are made of asphalt, this too didn’t help.

I went to a smart car owners barbecue, there was consensus, the air conditioner is terrible. You have to have the fan blaring at full blast to push a waft of coolish air the 18 inches from  the dash to your body.

There is a center vent on the car, you will find yourself pointing that directly at yourself. If someone is riding shotgun, tough shit for them, you’re the driver, it is in the passenger’s best interest that you keep the beads of sweat out of your eyes, its a safety issue dammit!

Hah!

Also, you will find that sometimes when you step on the gas, the AC will start blowing warmish air at you. Nice. Its already 35 degrees (80 plus F), and your car starts blowing hot air at you. Nice.

The reason for this is that the car is being smart at you. It knows what you want better than you do, so it gives it to you. It stops diverting power from the engine to auxillary devices such as the AC, to give you the momentary bit of pickup that you asked for. As an added bonus, you get more ass-sweat. Yay!

More on this in later posts, in the mean time don’t wear white pants on hot days.

smart car diesel vs gas car smart

Ok, rumor has it that the US smartcar will have be a gas model that gets 40mpg. WTF the specs on the diesel model say it gets 68mpg.

What does this mean to you, dear reader? I’ll tell you what, you get a hell of a lot less car for comparable mileage of many other cars.

I’m guessing that a Toyota Yaris could get more than 40mpg, I think the Toyota matrix gets about 40mpg actually.

Am I actively endorsing Toyota products over smartcars? Yes I am, at least over the “gas smart cars”. The gas factor doesn’t seem to make them that smart after all.

Mind you, the gas version may get some better pickup over the shitty 0 to 60 experienced by the diesel.

smart car video - smart car usa

Here is a video clip of the smart car.

It looks like it is the same content as the news article about the smart car from the previous post.

Smart car fever USA!

Ok, so according to Chrysler,

More than 22,000 Americans have already reserved a Smart Car.

With a national population of about 300 million people, with about 1.6 cars each, that number sounds a little on the low side.

Check out the full article here.

Smart car in the US

Smart Car makes Indiana debut

The Smart Car is making its Indiana
debut this weekend at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The Indy stop is
part of a 54-city national tour. Fans of the Smart Car lined up in the parking lot for a test drive.

Diesel smart car - before you buy.

If you plan on buying a smart car to save you aggravation at the gas pump, it may do that - provided there is a diesel pump somewhere along you commute route.

MAKE SURE THERE IS A DIESEL STATION ALONG YOUR COMMUTE ROUTE.

this is such an important point that i think i would like to repeat that -

MAKE SURE THERE IS A DIESEL STATION ALONG YOUR COMMUTE ROUTE.

When I bought my smart, I was working at a job that had a diesel pump at every gas station along my to work. Yay.

I changed jobs. It too was a long commute. There were no diesel pumps along the route. At first I didn’t think this would be a big deal.

I then found myself in a situation where I would remember on a Sunday night that I didn’t have enough fuel to get me to work in the morning.

I have to drag my sorry ass out of my warm house, on a cold winter night, to get into my freezing cold smart, to drive to the gas station, because none of the 5 gas stations along my commute carried diesel. Oh Joy!

This gets old real fast. So does:

  • Driving in the opposite direction of your home after work to gas up.
  • Leaving it till the morning and driving in the opposite direction of your work to gas up, so you have to either leave a lot earlier or show up late for work.
  • Driving anywhere out of your way to get diesel.
  • Taking mental note of all gas stations to know if they do or do not carry diesel.

Don’t kid yourself, unless your life is readily surrounded by diesel, this will become a real pain in the ass.

The car only has a 20 liter tank. You will be filling up often. Make sure you can fill up.

smart car pricing bullshit

If anyone tells you that a smart car is cheap, keep in mind that cheap is a relative term.

First of all, it seems to be a common misconception that you can get a smart car for $16,000 CDN dollars.

Wrong.

The price starts a $16,700 - Does not include taxes, freight, PDI, and administration charges.

Right there you are looking at a basic out the door price of something just north of $18,000.

Lets say you don’t want any extras (like maybe an air conditioner) you’ll be about to sign on the dotted line when the dealer may casually mention - “Oh yeah, one more thing”, unlike when Steve Jobs says this, you know you’re not going to enjoy what comes next - “You can’t drive this thing in winter without the winter tires - so thats probably something you should plan for.”

You now have the choice of saying

A) thats ok, i wont’ drive in the winter
B) How much is this going to cost me?

Most people say B.

Now comes the winter tire package. For a cool $800 they’ll sell you 4 winter tires for your new money saver.

You are now looking at around $19,000 + tax for your empty shell of a car - that can cart you about in the winter - Yaayy!!

Some extras you might like -

Automatic transmission option - $400
Heated seats (more on that later) - $400
Air Conditioner - $890 (hah! buy two!)
Cupholder - $58

If you choose these options you may be looking at something that resembles a basically functional configuration - all for the bargain basement price of about

$21,000 + Plus tax!

Enjoy your winter tires!

Canadian green rebates

Certain cars in Canada now qualify for rebates based on how Green they are.

Check out the who’s on the CO2 naughty and nice list over at Transport Canada.

www.tc.gc.ca

The Mercedes Smart car incentive - also known as nothing.

When I bought my smart in 2006, I was hoping that somehow the good Germans of Mercedes would make it a little easier for me.

Nope.

Me: “So, please tell me about the incentives”

Sales guy # 1 (aka asshole): “There aren’t any, we could arrange financing but you’re better off dealing with your bank.” followed by blank stare.

Luckily for me, Stephen Harper (the Grand Pu bah of Canada) came out with a $2,000 rebate program for buying a smart car. A year after I needed it. And he also did it in the name of Climate Change, fucker (please see previous post on Climate Change and smart cars).

(Yes, lucky for me indeed, the timing was perfect, it was right at the time I decided to put my car on the market. Joy, oh Joy! My selling price just fell about $3,000! Perfect!)

So the bottom line is, don’t be surprised if the smart dealer offers you bupkis for incentives.

The smart car’s role in preventing climate change

The smart car has no role in preventing climate change.

Man made CO2 is irrelevant to CC. If anyone tells you otherwise, do a little research yourself. Temperature occurs before CO2 levels. This means that Carbon dioxide is a result of temperature, not the other way around.

Go check it out yourself.

In closing the smart fortwo produces just as much bullshit as any other car.