• eye Posted: 3/19/2010 3:41pm PDT

    Cars for Cheapskates. What a great post.

  • Limousine Liberal Posted: 3/19/2010 3:54pm PDT

    in these challenging times, definitely a timely / relevant article. agree with the introductory discussion that it MAY be better to take a hard look at some used cars in this price range before pulling the trigger on these cars. if there is significant highway driving likely, would likely err to the side of larger/heavier used car.

  • Allan Posted: 3/19/2010 4:10pm PDT

    Why not a used car with A/C, some comfort, and street cred? Heat and boredom can work people into a road rage.

  • RobertF Posted: 3/19/2010 4:45pm PDT

    No, the smart isn't for everyone, but I commute on the Interstate every day with one and have averaged 43 mpg over the past 26K miles. For my wife and I (no kids), it is the most efficient way to transport two people 75 miles a day to and from work. Of course, it's also been to DC, Philly, Indy, Montgomery, AL, etc. on vacations/road trips as well. Add cruise control and two people are ready to go. This June it will in Kansas City for the first national smart rally. :)

  • Montumental Nada Posted: 3/19/2010 5:43pm PDT

    Oh, c'mon. We all know that the salesman will do EVERYTHING in his power to convince the buyers, "C'mon, guys, for only TEN DOLLARS A MONTH MORE, you can have a REAL CAR, not this smaller vehicle ... do you really feel safe ... would you really want people to see you in this ... look at the deals we have on this MUCH NICER and BIGGER car ... " and these vehicles will gather dust at the back of the lot.
    If we could buy cars from the manufacturers, those guys would be out of business and more people might actually drive basic transport. Which is all most of us need. Absent the slimeballs in the checked sports coats.

  • rocket88 Posted: 3/19/2010 7:54pm PDT

    With the exception of the Smart these cars get poor mpg for thier size. I would expect 40+ mpg if I drove one of these tin cans.

  • gary bing Posted: 3/21/2010 6:27pm PDT

    I think the purchase of these cars are a classic case of being pennywise and pound foolish. You can get a certified used car with a 100,000 mile warenty. That sure beats the usual 3 year 30,000 mile warenty providrd b y most car manufactures. The car itself will be heftier and more comfortable and safer. Cheaple people unite. Stay away from these bogus bargains. Buy a real car and let others pay for the depreciation. I usually get 4 year old cars and get a warrenty from a source other than the dealer. It is far better and cheaper.

  • Earl Posted: 3/22/2010 7:51pm PDT

    My 1986 Sprint (striped model) never got less than 50 mpg city and averaged 60-70 highway. Chevy stoped selling it after a few years. It had nothing except the 1 liter Mitsubushi engine. No radio, AC, etc. I drove it from Nashville to Branson weekly at 60 mph for 6 years and had no problems. So why are these only getting 30-35 mpg? Better has been done before, why not again?

  • RobertF Posted: 3/26/2010 9:26am PDT

    @Earl: A few things come into play: 1) The EPA changed their fuel economy rating scheme to be more 'accurate' so that 2008 and newer cars appear to get less mileage than previously, but it's just a ratings game. You have to compare apples-apples. For example, the smart would be rated more like 40 - 45 under the old system which would ironically reflect my real world average of 43. 2) Newer cars have gotten heavier, better equipped, and safer, but all of these enhancements add weight which decreases mileage. 3) Emissions regulations have become stricter adding more weight and additional systems that reduce economy. 4) Last, but not least, people drive differently than they did in the 80s - as city congestion increases, time spent idling in traffic or sitting at red lights increases; people accelerate and drive faster just because they can; we expect to run A/C constantly just so we can turn up the heated leather seats a little more for the one person in that eight passenger SUV sitting in traffic, etc. These were the reasons that the EPA changed their rating formula to be more accurate.

  • Ray Posted: 3/26/2010 6:32pm PDT

    I thought I was being frugal by not buying the SRT8 on Wednesday and by purchasing the new Plum Crazy RT Challenger...I have banked money, continue to work hard and love my wife so what if it gets 15mpg. the government is going to take it from you one way or another so you might as well be able to chirp 'em in 4th!