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christos x wrote:
Quote:
Let's say that you're potentially in the market (don't tell Kevin) for a second car that you don't really need, it's just something you want.
OK i'm gonna put a bit of a downer on this whole thang...

buying a second car for no reason just because you want one, now i'm not saying that you shouldn't but as we are experiencing certain economic and social problems due to excess consumption isnt it about time we as a society strated to put away these ideas of frivilous consumerism.... huh?

I aint no eco activist but surely this sort of thinking will only exasipate the problems we are already faceing?

just a thought
didn't you try to stop us all from buying new macbooks a while back?

your words were echoing in my ears in the apple store last week.

did my credit card a world of good
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Kam wrote:
christos x wrote:
Quote:
Let's say that you're potentially in the market (don't tell Kevin) for a second car that you don't really need, it's just something you want.
OK i'm gonna put a bit of a downer on this whole thang...

buying a second car for no reason just because you want one, now i'm not saying that you shouldn't but as we are experiencing certain economic and social problems due to excess consumption isnt it about time we as a society strated to put away these ideas of frivilous consumerism.... huh?

I aint no eco activist but surely this sort of thinking will only exasipate the problems we are already faceing?

just a thought
didn't you try to stop us all from buying new macbooks a while back?

your words were echoing in my ears in the apple store last week.

did my credit card a world of good
Dont i get some sort of commission for the money i've saved you? PM me when your guilt starts to keep you awake at night
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choose
I've driven both and it's a no brainer. The Mini. New shape or old it's such a better car than the Smart.
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christos x wrote:
Quote:
Let's say that you're potentially in the market (don't tell Kevin) for a second car that you don't really need, it's just something you want.
OK i'm gonna put a bit of a downer on this whole thang...

buying a second car for no reason just because you want one, now i'm not saying that you shouldn't but as we are experiencing certain economic and social problems due to excess consumption isnt it about time we as a society strated to put away these ideas of frivilous consumerism.... huh?

I aint no eco activist but surely this sort of thinking will only exasipate the problems we are already faceing?

just a thought
I appreciate your comments but this is really all in good fun. Although I would love to get a fun little mini or smart it won't happen for sometime. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am very frugal and pretty careful with my money. Also ask anyone who knows me that I know how precious life is and waiting for 'someday' to do something or to get something that you want doesn't always happen. Life is too short so that's why we ride our scooters all the time, and that's one reason why I rode 7,000 miles last summer, and that's why we take a cruise once a year, and that's why we moved to the mountains, and that's why we're living life how we want to. Because for some, someday was too late and I'm not gonna let that happen.

And FYI, I have ZERO credit card bills and enough money to pay cash for one of those little babies. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!
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christos x wrote:
Quote:
Let's say that you're potentially in the market (don't tell Kevin) for a second car that you don't really need, it's just something you want.
OK i'm gonna put a bit of a downer on this whole thang...

buying a second car for no reason just because you want one, now i'm not saying that you shouldn't but as we are experiencing certain economic and social problems due to excess consumption isnt it about time we as a society strated to put away these ideas of frivilous consumerism.... huh?

I aint no eco activist but surely this sort of thinking will only exasipate the problems we are already faceing?

just a thought
thats the difference between european thinking and american thinking. i agree with you.

just another thought.
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nigelthefish wrote:
I'd say Mini just because i really dislike the looks of the Smart.
The Smart is just a fad that will soon be over; the Mini has a following & will have much better resale.
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I'd have to disagree with a couple of posters. But please note I don't have a Mini experience to compare it to. EDIT: Also note we own a 2005 model, not the new one shipping to the states just now...

The Smart car handles around our mountain canyon twisty roads like a dream. I don't understand why a poster thinks it handles poorly. It's the best handling car I ever drove. It hugs curves like a rail, and I've been tempted to speed around corners it tracks so well and secure.

Although it is built low to the ground our model has three kinds of traction control. We have a 70 foot inclined gravel driveway to get to the house, and it can handle ice superbly and moderate depths of snow. It gets up the driveway better than my VW cabrio and certainly better than the Vanagon. We used to own a Toyota Tercel and a Saturn sedan and it handles much better than those did on the driveway in icy conditions.

In Italy we DID see these parked at right angles to the curb all the time. Also on sidewalks, etc. We found that we don't have to worry about parking as much in towns, we don't need a full space and can usually find a spot closer to our destination. Swinging a U-turn as I said is fun and the thing is very maneuverable.
⚠️ Last edited by Boondocks on UTC; edited 2 times
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Louisiana_Geezer wrote:
nigelthefish wrote:
I'd say Mini just because i really dislike the looks of the Smart.
The Hummer is just a fad that will soon be over; the Smart has a following & will have much better resale.
Fixed it for ya'!

Small fuel effecient vehicles are not a fad. The Smart is not the end all in small vehicles by a long shot. Look at all the cool micro cars that are now going to be coming to the States. I would love it if we got the Fiat!!

I wasn't very happy to see how different it was in size compared to the original. At least it is a good start. The Diesel would have been better IMHO.

Speaking of which... the Mini comes in a Diesel in Europe... *jealous*
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sethwas wrote:
It's kind of the lesser of two evils,
Leaving out resale and finance and depreciation, you're looking at a car with a choppy ride/clunky tranny (smart) to a car with a spotty reliability record (mini).

If you want something small with a hatch that is still a 'real' car you can try for a Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Toyota Yaris, Scion xD, Nissan Cube, GM Aveo/G5, Hyunda Accent SE (poor mans Mini) etc.
If you want a teeny car you can try the iQ above.

Seth
I got a Honda Fit Sport (red, with a manual transmission), and I love it! Much cheaper than the Mini, super reliable, roomy, and drives like a sports car. Plus, the in-town mileage is over 32 mpg, even during break-in.
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Re: Mini vs. Smart

Just watch "The Italian Job". Either the original '69 version with Michael Caine or the '03 remake with Mark Wahlberg.
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volosong wrote:
Re: Mini vs. Smart

Just watch "The Italian Job". Either the original '69 version with Michael Caine or the '03 remake with Mark Wahlberg.
Your right, very cool scene. I remember when those cars were up for auction on ebay and when the studios were selling them.
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tough call.

does USA have the fiat 500 yet? if it was me i'd be tempted to throw a (new) fiat 500 in the mix. it has the sportiness of the mini and the diesel is more economic than the smart car.

can't go past a mini though, i want a new clubman to match my 1969 van!
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As an owner of an '06 MINI Cooper S with the JCW package AND an '06 Vespa GT 200, I'm obviously partial. But, I have spent some time behind the wheel of the Smart car and found it... lacking... I wanted to love it. I really did. But, it's rather cheap feeling, doesn't get THAT great of gas mileage, and is rather overpriced for what you get. Besides that, you can't leave Mustangs, Boxters, and lotsa other sport cars scratching their heads wondering how that MINI got so far ahead of them in the Smart.
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so i actually read the other posts and no fiat in USA yet... fingers crossed you'll get it soon!

if you wanted to go secondhand you could get the smart roadster, they're super cool.. i think they stoped making them in 2005?
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joshdotcom wrote:
As an owner of an '06 MINI Cooper S with the JCW package AND an '06 Vespa GT 200, I'm obviously partial. But, I have spent some time behind the wheel of the Smart car and found it... lacking... I wanted to love it. I really did. But, it's rather cheap feeling, doesn't get THAT great of gas mileage, and is rather overpriced for what you get. Besides that, you can't leave Mustangs, Boxters, and lotsa other sport cars scratching their heads wondering how that MINI got so far ahead of them in the Smart.
i'm moving to back to orange next weekend. we should get together with our four vehicles for a photoshoot!!!
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Quig wrote:
I got a Honda Fit Sport (red, with a manual transmission), and I love it! Much cheaper than the Mini, super reliable, roomy, and drives like a sports car. Plus, the in-town mileage is over 32 mpg, even during break-in.
That's what people seem to miss. The smart's only real redeeming factor is that it is so tiny that it can park places regular cars can't (perpendicular in a parallel spot), and that normally optioned it is less than $15k, which is where the other cars on my list all seem to hover around (I don't count stripped out models).
However, it is really just a backseat away from 'b' class cars (the list I gave earlier), and as a size penalty it does not have as much storage as those cars, nor does it get better mileage.
In fact, those 'b' class cars ALL have cleaner emissions than the smart as well.

So if you only need or want a 4 wheel scooter with heat or a/c and a radio, the smart is for you (and likely a significant portion of the driving population), but for an extra grand, you may like your other choices. When the smart comes in all-electric, it is a completely different story because the ride, transmission, power, 'green factor' and convenience will change the competition.
Until then, I think most people would pay the grand for some more car. If the smart was $9,995 with auto, a/c and a radio you would see far more people going for it.

Seth
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sethwas wrote:
Quig wrote:
I got a Honda Fit Sport (red, with a manual transmission), and I love it! Much cheaper than the Mini, super reliable, roomy, and drives like a sports car. Plus, the in-town mileage is over 32 mpg, even during break-in.
That's what people seem to miss. The smart's only real redeeming factor is that it is so tiny that it can park places regular cars can't (perpendicular in a parallel spot), and that normally optioned it is less than $15k, which is where the other cars on my list all seem to hover around (I don't count stripped out models).
However, it is really just a backseat away from 'b' class cars (the list I gave earlier), and as a size penalty it does not have as much storage as those cars, nor does it get better mileage.
In fact, those 'b' class cars ALL have cleaner emissions than the smart as well.

So if you only need or want a 4 wheel scooter with heat or a/c and a radio, the smart is for you (and likely a significant portion of the driving population), but for an extra grand, you may like your other choices. When the smart comes in all-electric, it is a completely different story because the ride, transmission, power, 'green factor' and convenience will change the competition.
Until then, I think most people would pay the grand for some more car. If the smart was $9,995 with auto, a/c and a radio you would see far more people going for it.

Seth
+1
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If you had both in your garage,
you would drive the Smart more often.
It's just more cute and cooler.
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Well, I suppose it could be that the Smart Car for the US this year has been cheapened too much.

Our 2005 model, same as for Europe, is really a quality car, what you would expect of Mercedes. And it does have the turbo 700cc engine by Mercedes and it really does get 50-60 mpg US mixed driving. It really does handle amazingly well going around corners like a tiny sports car. There is enough room in it to haul 2 adults AND all the garbage we need to haul around at least 95% of the time. There is much more legroom than our old Saturn sedan for example. We can fit two very large cat carriers in the back or fill up the back with many shopping bags.

And after 40,000 miles it only needs routine service at the mileage intervals. Had to replace a rear brake light bulb...that's it.

It climbs our snow/ice driveway as I said better than any other car we've tried to get up to our house.

All I can figure is that you folks are test driving the new model which I know has the 1000cc Mitsubishi engine and is built not as nicely.
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Has anybody mentioned the 2010 Mini E? It's coming out (in the U.S.) in just a few months! But it won't be for sale. It'll only be available to "select private and corporate customers...for a one year period."

http://autos.yahoo.com/auto-shows/la_auto_show_2008/737/2010-Mini-E;_ylt=AoZ2Syreo1agYX9f4IFRomHBqaB4;_ylv=3
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williamvillage wrote:
No competition . The Mini because I wouldn't want to crash in a Smart Car.
iscoot wrote:
... so far as opinions go, mine is to get the Mini, the smart is a toy and not nearly so safe or utilitarian as the mini.
As you say, everyone has opinions. As far as safety though, you'd be better off looking at actual crash tests than opinions of people who evidently haven't even driven a Smart. Their performance in crash tests is nothing short of amazing. While the Smart is certainly intended to be primarily an urban car, it has a fair amount going for it in the right application. The big problem with the US version is the so-so gas mileage. Let's have the diesel! (better mileage than your Vespa)
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Rex wrote:
Has anybody mentioned the 2010 Mini E? It's coming out (in the U.S.) in just a few months! But it won't be for sale. It'll only be available to "select private and corporate customers...for a one year period."

http://autos.yahoo.com/auto-shows/la_auto_show_2008/737/2010-Mini-E;_ylt=AoZ2Syreo1agYX9f4IFRomHBqaB4;_ylv=3
$850 a month.
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Dooglas wrote:
Let's have the diesel! (better mileage than your Vespa)
There are big hurdles in getting greater light duty diesel use to happen in the US - here's a succinct explanation:
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/pdfs/deer_2007/session7/deer07_williams.pdf
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jimc wrote:
There are big hurdles in getting greater light duty diesel use to happen in the US
Okay, here are his 3 big arguments.
- EPA and CARB emissions standards are challenging
- Consumer acceptance is uncertain
- Diesel fuel consumer cost savings advantage over gasoline vary

VW has already met the new EPA and CARB standards with their TDI. New TDI Audi's, M-B's and Hondas are on the way. Looks like that challenge has been met.

Consumer acceptance will follow right on the heels of a 70 mpg vehicle in the US (such as the diesel Smart or Polo). That is not to mention that VW sells every one of it's current TDI Jetta's just as soon as it can get them to a dealer

Okay, so savings vary depending on the relative price of each fuel at any given moment. Diesel still consistently has the advantage, and that is not to mention the additional advantages of biodiesel.

Now let's see a diesel Smart (before VW beats them to it with a TDI Polo in the US).
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Smart for me. On my 2nd. It's orignal like the first Mini (had 4 off them including a 1275GT). Mind you I do like the new Fiat 500 8) .Attached a photo of my Smart with my ET4 which I have since changed for my GTS 300
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What's this? Smart doesn't have a Clubman style option? Nuts!

My vote . . if one were taking a vote . .would have to go to the Mini. And a Clubman at that.
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heres a thought
I think I'd have to justify the Mini far less than the Smart if you catch my drift. It's a proper car and just looks stunning. The Smart is a roller skate.
The Smart having such a short wheel base does rock backward and forward on uneven road surfaces much like the small Suzuki Jeeps used to but the Mini being longer doesn't. As for the Clubman - what a car !
They do it in the most amazing dark copper/brown metalic and silver over here and if I had the money....
Can't beat a Vespa though no matter how cool you are.
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none .. both German .. he he he he
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prompt
Do you know who I work for Spider ?
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ohsuchislife wrote:
none .. both German .. he he he he
+1

Besides, a 70 MPG Diesel wouldn't be my cup o' tea, based on my experience with them back in the 80s. GM needs to get the price of the Volt down to a more palatable price, and put that technology into other smaller cars.
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Ok, if I really were in the market for a 2nd car I'd be more confused than ever. By throwing in other vehicles you're making it harder to pick! Growing up very poor in the 70s the only car I wanted was a VW Rabbit. Now I see that there's a VW Polo TDI that we can only pray comes to the states. Proud owner of a 2003 VW Jetta TDI. I've said countless times that if the Mini were diesel it would be a no-brainer for me to pick a new car. So for now, I'll sit and wait for the Polo to arrive. Thanks so much for your opinions and insight!
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Edit
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volosong wrote:
Re: Mini vs. Smart

Just watch "The Italian Job". Either the original '69 version with Michael Caine or the UTTERLY CRIMINAL SHITE '03 remake with Mark Wahlberg.
I think you missed a bit there so I fixed it.

Same goes for the remake of "Get Carter". Don't watch it unless you like spoiling your brain.
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Go for the Honda Fit, it will be more reliable than those two, and will have a higher resale value! I still drive a 250,000 Km Honda Civic Si circa 1993 and it still has lungs in the highway! Could sell it for US$7,500 yet after all these years!
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black 09 GTS 250 Super "Miranda", 05 Stella (sold)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 396
Location: Lost Twixt Denver and Wyoming
UTC quote
Finally... someone hit on the only bad thing I have to report on the Smart Car...after driving it for 2 1/2 years, 40,000 miles.

It does have one weakness. It does not handle washboard gravel roads well. And we can test this a lot out here, because we don't exactly have all paved roads.

There is a 2nd minor weakness that I have been told is common to Mercedes...the front wheels get dirty from brake debris. Haven't had to replace them yet though.

But I would point out that as far as I can count on this thread, only one other person has chimed in with an opinion on the Smart that has actually owned one...and owned one for a long time. Correct me if wrong. And that report from the UK was positive, owner was even on their 2nd Smart.

I don't know about the redesigned ones for this year but the mpg sticker on our 2005 model said 42mpg. A model in Italy that we saw earlier said similar. But I can report, averaged over 40k miles, with premium gas it gets 50-60 mpg very consistently.

Also, it handles much much better than people report. "Like riding on a rail" is really true. The steering wheel is also more responsive than other vehicles. At no time do I feel that it is tipping over, even if I go fast around corners (I'm talking 40-55mph roads, not just city block corners). It is built low to the ground and the wheels are placed outboard a bit.

This may make it look like a rollerskate, but remember what they said of the VW bug? It was called a "Pregnant Rollerskate". One of the most successful cars ever built.

We own the "Passion" model with the glass roof, not the convertible. I can assure you it IS quiet. It does get buffeted by the wind a bit, but not anywhere near as much as a VW van for example. If you compare it to a Toyota Tercel, yes, it goes side to side a little more. I've never driven an SUV so I can't compare there.

I think if you do the research, you will find it is crash tested more safe than you would expect. We were told equal to the Jeep Grand Cherokee by our dealer but that is prob sales BS. We have taken it on the Interstate at 80mph, and passed traffic. Somehow they designed the thing so that one sits up high, and one feels very safe on the road.

As far as roominess, it's a little like Dr. Who's Tardis. I can't figure out how they did it, but I can just stretch my legs out fully without bending the knee as a passenger and 5' 9". I can't remember a time in 2 1/2 years that I couldn't fit everything I wanted into the back with a little creativity...except for what you would expect: bicycles, scoots, plywood, tables.

I'm sure that the Mini is a fine car, but I don't understand the bias toward it, except that it is probably cheaper and more available (understandable). I'm sure that there are people that can report on the Mini after owning one for many miles. But I don't think that makes them a judge of the Smart even if they gave it a test ride.

As I said, We've owned the Smart for 40k miles, and while I can't speak for the new ones, I can refute what people seem to be saying about it as blanket statements.

I'm sorry for the continued rant, but you have to realize this is a FUN car for us to drive. Gas mileage, handling, built well, quality. Yes, very reliable too. I've become passionate about it.

End of Sermon.
@dooglas avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Buddy Kick 125
Joined: UTC
Posts: 13376
Location: Oregon City, OR
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@dooglas avatar
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Buddy Kick 125
Joined: UTC
Posts: 13376
Location: Oregon City, OR
UTC quote
Louisiana_Geezer wrote:
Besides, a 70 MPG Diesel wouldn't be my cup o' tea, based on my experience with them back in the 80s. GM needs to get the price of the Volt down to a more palatable price, and put that technology into other smaller cars.
If you are offering opinions about small diesels based on experience with the damned aweful GM diesels of the early 80s, you need to reset your clock. Go drive a new VW Jetta TDI and then see what you think about small diesels. I wouldn't count on GM getting an electric car right either. That job will probably fall to the Japanese manufacturers just like the current generation of hybrids.

Now back to a Smart diesel for the US. Or, hell, a diesel Clubman. I'm easy. (different cars for different jobs)
@louisiana_geezer avatar
UTC

Addicted
Honda Shadow VLX (Fly 150 sold)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 926
Location: Baton Rouge
 
Addicted
@louisiana_geezer avatar
Honda Shadow VLX (Fly 150 sold)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 926
Location: Baton Rouge
UTC quote
Dooglas wrote:
If you are offering opinions about small diesels based on experience with the damned aweful GM diesels of the early 80s, you need to reset your clock. Go drive a new VW Jetta TDI and then see what you think about small diesels. I wouldn't count on GM getting an electric car right either. That job will probably fall to the Japanese manufacturers just like the current generation of hybrids.

Now back to a Smart diesel for the US. Or, hell, a diesel Clubman. I'm easy. (different cars for different jobs)
Actually, no... I made the mistake of buying a Peugeot 505D in 1982.

Fact is that Americans, by and large, don't care for diesels of any kind. The logistics, furthermore, would impede the kind of growth needed to make the car a financial success.

The newly-elected government wants you to start thinking about electrics and hybrids.
@rbruce63 avatar
UTC

Hooked
1998 ET4-125 Pre-Leader
Joined: UTC
Posts: 304
Location: San José, Costa Rica
 
Hooked
@rbruce63 avatar
1998 ET4-125 Pre-Leader
Joined: UTC
Posts: 304
Location: San José, Costa Rica
UTC quote
But Billy sans Scoot, but with a GT knows better, perhaps a VW LUPO is better than both models, the Mini, albeit, is the "classy" choice.

Here in Costa Rica a lightly used Mini-Cooper S is around US$29,500 which is quite a lot and put's me in the terrain of a Grand Cherokee Laredo, my favourite guzzler and with an alcoholic (Flex Fuel Vehicle) V8 even better!

Not that anybody asked!

Take care,
@dooglas avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Buddy Kick 125
Joined: UTC
Posts: 13376
Location: Oregon City, OR
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@dooglas avatar
GTS 300ABS, Buddy 125, Buddy Kick 125
Joined: UTC
Posts: 13376
Location: Oregon City, OR
UTC quote
Louisiana_Geezer wrote:
Fact is that Americans, by and large, don't care for diesels of any kind. The logistics, furthermore, would impede the kind of growth needed to make the car a financial success.
Well, I can only speak for this part of the US. Here, VW diesels have quite a following and are sold as quickly as they hit the lot. The new TDI Jetta Sportwagon has a long backorder. At the other end of the spectrum, large diesel pickups also have a big following around here for good reasons (mileage, torque, load). If by logistics, you mean diesel pumps; we've certainly got plenty of those around here.

As far as diesel vehicles go, 500M Europeans can't be too far wrong. Bring on that diesel Smart.
@jimc avatar
UTC

Moderaptor
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43656
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
 
Moderaptor
@jimc avatar
The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 43656
Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
UTC quote
I understood the reason most EU diesel models weren't exported to the US was because the diesel at the US pumps wasn't quite up to the standard required for the more modern engines. I'm not quite sure where I got this from so it might be duff gen. I do know that the US refining plants aren't set up for producing enough diesel for 'light duty' use. They expect their diesel product to be used by the 'big ole rigs' and that's it.
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