Bye-bye to the so-called "Smart" car

I love my backup camera. The only problem is during inclement weather like snow or heavy rain they become useless.

I think that it all comes down to how/where they are mounted. I have never had a snow-related problem with mine, and the worst that happens during a heavy rain is that the image becomes slightly blurred by the raindrops on the lens.

I think we have similar vehicles. The camera is on my wife’s 2013 highlander. No experience with snow with the camera here in MS, though. On the rare occasion that it does snow, we take my 2005 4wd truck. I’ve heard that the fwd Highlander isn’t awesome in snow. Of course that’s not why I take the truck. I’d rather risk denting the truck!

Speaking of the highlander and snow, I wonder how the “snow” button works. I assume it just deadens the drive by wire throttle (increases the input needed). I’ve played with the button. Sure makes it feel doggy. Amazing the difference in perceived power the throttle calibration can make, if indeed that is what the “snow” button changes.

What is the smart car you speak of. Never heard of it.

Sarcasm doesn’t communicate well via the internet, so I am not sure if you are serious.
If you have seriously never heard of these infernal little road roaches, a Google search should produce some information for you. And, if you want to see them in person, your nearest Mercedes dealership might still have some on display.

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This was circulating some years back:


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It was imported to DK as well, as well as the Heinkel and the messersmith.
They did not get very popular as you could not park them with the front to the curb and they were not possible to register and use as a taxi!!!
That’s the story that runs around here. The taxi part is true.
If somebody parked close in front of you, you could not get in the car as the front was the door on the Heinkel and the Isetta.

In Germany. the Isetta had the nickname of “Knutschkugel”, which translates roughly into kissing bubble

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That is true, but–of even greater importance–just imagine the carnage if one of those micro-cars had a frontal collision with a more substantial vehicle! Even if the impact was minor, there is no way that the front-mounted door could have been opened, and the occupants would have been trapped.

Oh no !!! Im heartbroken . The only car that would be on the losing end of a crash with a riding lawnmower .


I’ve actually wanted to acquire one of these vehicles so that I could transplant one of many capable motorcycle engines into it. Its been done many times by others and the results look fun to me… Safety is entirely another thing however, but if you start off thinking that it is no more safe than a motorcycle then you are probably on good footing from the beginning. I don’t know how anyone could think of this death trap any other way really.

That’s exactly how it works. I’ve never used it. I have well over 300k miles driving in snow. It’s second nature to me.

The Highlander AWD (which is what I have) is excellent in snow. No problems even driving to white mountains for skiing or back to central NY visiting family during the winter.

I’ve never tried it in actual snow. I just couldn’t help myself, though. Had to mash that mysterious “snow” button. Sadly, I was disappointed as it did not begin to snow after pressing it. I should put a call in to Toyota customer service and express my dissatisfaction. Obviously my “snow” button is faulty.

Perhaps if we (the USA) didn’t mandate that they remove the efficient diesel engine and manual transmission that it was supposed to have, then the Smart car may have been a more intelligent attempt.

I think this little thing may have caught on better if it maintained its 50-60+ mpg Diesel and manual trans as it was originally designed, instead we got a ridiculous version of a fairly ridiculous concept that barely, if at all, out MPG’d a Honda Civic. It made little to no sense as presented to our market, but it could have made an argument if its mpg was so high as to provide more of an incentive to suffer the obvious dimensional challenges it faced right off the bat. There was little reason to choose this “Smart” car as we got it here.

If you dumb down a Smart Car on purpose, what then do you have in the end?

I had a customer who swore by how smart this VW was

which he bragged got 51 mpg. It was about as simple and basic as you can get but never seemed to make a place for itself in the US market. Or any market I guess.

I would never buy it even if it made 90+ MPG here in USA, where I would have to drive it next to bunch of crazy F150 and Suburban owners.
The area of Northern Virginia where I live used to be non-crowded and relaxed on driving style when I moved in, I felt safe in small cars, but over the last 10+ years it surely remind me on New Jersey / New York driving style where you drive 10-15 over the speed-limit and sure somebody tailgates you hard and demands you to go faster.
Having that driving experience in a tiny car… no, not for me.

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Oh you have no arguments from me on those points Mr @thegreendrag0n… The “Smartyness” would have drained right on out of that thing in a few moments if driven around in my area…and yet I still see a few here and there.

I always tried to think of that Smart as nothing more than a motorcycle…however it is probably more dangerous. It lulls you into feeling safe-ish and yet it cannot get out of its own way let alone the way of a 20 something young lady in her Suburban, who is barrelling toward the red light that you are stopped at behind a pickup truck. Her phone in one hand, applying mascara with the other and driving with the other… wait, uh… You get the idea.

Sure, I’ve got your point, but needed to get a part of your note to put my note into context.

On MPG argument, I’m quite surprised that some “small” cars actually get worse MPG out of smaller engine and lesser weight, probably aerodynamics is not agreeing with the aesthetics designers.

IMO, the problem with the SMART car in the US is that there are other alternatives in the city than microcars. There are few areas where we are forced to use these small cars. When I was in Amsterdam in 2003, we couldn’t keep the 9 passenger van we had for the first week and a half; there was no place to park. When I say that, I mean no legal place to park a large vehicle. We were forced to return it after dropping off our luggage.

Isn’t it funny how often men choose to describe women in these scenarios, in spite of the fact that insurance rates for women are lower than they are for men?

The insurance industry knows women are better drivers than men, yet men keep perpetuating the stereotype that it’s the other way around.

How ironic.