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Smart ForTwo vs. Honda Fit Test drive report

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Smart ForTwo vs. Honda Fit Test drive report

Old 07-13-08, 10:11 PM
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sweetnsourbkr
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Smart ForTwo vs. Honda Fit Test drive report

Choices Choices choices!! Both cars are fabulous! Regardless of what reviewers say, the Smart ForTwo is very driveable, even at freeway speeds (280 San Jose). The Fit, however, drives more like a normal car (i.e. Civic, Corolla, etc), whilst the ForTwo is a bit of an oddball, introducing concepts that Americans may not be immediately comfortable with.

Size comparison:




Lisa fell in love with the Smart car immediately. She thought it was easy to drive, despite the 'manumatic' tranny. It's also amazingly roomy inside. Safety systems were a priority for the 2nd gen Smart.



One surprising thing about the Smart: it uses premium gas. I guess that's because it's a high compression engine with dual camshafts. It will take regular, but it's optimized for 95 octane (91 is minimum, according to the sticker). The Fit uses regular octane gas, but gas mileage is dismal, 24/30. The ForTwo gets 33/40.

The Smart's tranny is a bit different, but Lisa had no issues. It's an electronic clutch system, where there is no torque converter to actuate gear shifting. The ECU calculates shift points and throttle positions. To make it shift in auto mode, you have to NOT floor the accelerator, and as it shifts into a higher gear, it feels more like a stickshift (a bit jerky) rather than an automatic (smoother). It has a 'sport shift' mode with paddles, but I thought that was a bit of a gimmick.


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Old 07-13-08, 10:13 PM
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Interior:



Rear bumper diffuser:



Rear Engine bay:



Front hood area stores all the fluids, and heat exchangers for the A/C and radiator system.



Test driving:

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Old 07-13-08, 10:14 PM
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One cool thing about the color is that you can order different color panels, so you can mix and match. Almost all body panels are plastic, so they can be snapped off and replaced. The only structural piece is the roll cage that is exposed as the black stripe on the above picture.
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Old 07-13-08, 10:27 PM
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Nice ride, err, drive report! Sounds like it's a Smart then?
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Old 07-13-08, 10:35 PM
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She looks so cute in the Smart car! Sounds like it is a good match.
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Old 07-13-08, 10:40 PM
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David/Lisa:

Did you know that you could fit a bike in the Smart car?


This one ....

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Old 07-13-08, 10:45 PM
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I agree, it looks like the Smart is a good fit. (No pun intended.) (Okay, it was.) I was under the impression that the Smart had an infinitely variable transmission thing going on, however.

The Fit is supposed to be a tiny car, but it really doesn't look it to me. Neither does the Nissan Versa. The Toyota Yaris looks small, but the other two look a lot bigger. I've never seen them side by side, though, so it could be optical illusion.
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Old 07-13-08, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by sweetnsourbkr View Post
One surprising thing about the Smart: it uses premium gas. I guess that's because it's a high compression engine with dual camshafts. It will take regular, but it's optimized for 95 octane (91 is minimum, according to the sticker). The Fit uses regular octane gas, but gas mileage is dismal, 24/30. The ForTwo gets 33/40.
Don't know where you're getting these Fit gas mileage estimates from. Spec is:

Manual: 28/34
Auto: 27/34

There is a lot of confusion about the octane requirements of the Smart. You may be looking at Euro-based RON octane with the 95 number. There are two methods of measuring octane - research and motor and they can be as much as 10 points difference. US pump octane is based on the average of RON and MON and is typically about five points lower. So 95 RON and 91 pump are about the same.

- Mark
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Old 07-13-08, 11:23 PM
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Nice, sounds like she really likes the Smart car - that's why you do the test drives!

JB
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Old 07-14-08, 01:43 AM
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Yeah, it sounds like 95RON is about 90/91MON so you might want to try mid-grade (seeing as how we're all running out 98RON (93-94MON) 'premium fuel' cars on crappy CA 91MON anyway...

I also thought the tranny was a CVT but I have also read about it being sorta jerky, which doesn't make sense if its a CVT.
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Old 07-14-08, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
Don't know where you're getting these Fit gas mileage estimates from. Spec is:

Manual: 28/34
Auto: 27/34
I got it off a window sticker at the dealership. I was surprised at the low numbers as well. In any case, the average mpg for the Fit is still considerably lower than what we're looking for: ~35 average.
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Old 07-14-08, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
Nice ride, err, drive report! Sounds like it's a Smart then?
Thanks! The reservation just went thru. Thanks for all the info everyone. We really needed to test drive those two to get the right idea of what she wanted.
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Old 07-14-08, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by sweetnsourbkr View Post
I got it off a window sticker at the dealership. I was surprised at the low numbers as well. In any case, the average mpg for the Fit is still considerably lower than what we're looking for: ~35 average.

Bear in mind that the mileage figures may also depend on the year of the car. Mileage estimates have always been optimistic, but the EPA started using a new system for all 2008 models that is a bit more realistic, but still likely a wee bit optimistic.

Also, your mileage could be very dependent on your driving style. A heavy foot will drop things quite a bit as I'm assure you are aware of.

Have you checked out the reviews on the two cars? Perhaps Consumer reports?

Nice to have too neat options to chose from. Good luck.


****Actually the 'Smart Cars' site mentions the change in mileage figures
from 2007 to 2008................

http://www.smartusa.com/smart-car-te...fications.aspx


****

Last edited by LastPlace; 07-14-08 at 05:46 PM.
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Old 07-14-08, 05:49 PM
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Fuel consumption* City/highway (mpg) 40/45 (EPA 2007); 33/41 (EPA 2008)
Anything above 35 mpg average will suffice. The gallons per 100 miles figure seems to flatten out after about 35 mpg.

See: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0619142118.htm
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Old 07-15-08, 11:47 PM
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We have an '07 Fit, and enjoy it very much. I believe the 27/34 mpg figures. And, the back seats flip up in a way that its easy to slip a bike in the back with only the front wheel removed.
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Old 07-16-08, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Steverino View Post
We have an '07 Fit, and enjoy it very much. I believe the 27/34 mpg figures. And, the back seats flip up in a way that its easy to slip a bike in the back with only the front wheel removed.
Thanks for the info.

I'm actually shopping for a small car and am considering the smart, fit, yaris & focus.

Does anyone know if you can fit a standard road bike in the smart with just removing the front wheel?

Does anyone have comments on the yaris or focus?

Thanks.
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Old 07-16-08, 03:13 PM
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The Fit appears to be twice the car, for the same price, and with similar mpg. And, over the past decade, Honda's have had the industry's best record for reliability and low repair costs.
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Old 07-16-08, 03:39 PM
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OT: Does anyone know if they're going to bring the Toyota AYGO to the US?
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Old 07-16-08, 05:13 PM
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I'm buying the new '09 Fit once the are released.

Gotta get rid of my WRX first though....
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Old 07-16-08, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by huytheskigod View Post
OT: Does anyone know if they're going to bring the Toyota AYGO to the US?
I kind of like the Yaris, so the thought of something even smaller is fun. While my first thought was "There's no way they'd ever sell that here," that was also what I thought when I first saw the Smart.

Now...

Originally Posted by Wikipedia
In 2008, Toyota created a driveable one-off concept car based on the Toyota Aygo. Named the Aygo Crazy, it will be unveiled to the public at the British International Motor Show in London, before appearing at other UK-based motor shows during the summer.[4]

Aygo Crazy has a rear mounted 1.8 litre VVTi engine from the Toyota MR2 and Celica, mated to an MR2 five speed gearbox and fitted with a Toyota Motorsport turbocharger conversion. The manufacturer claims the engine produces 197bhp (200PS) at 6,700rpm and 177lb/ft (240Nm) torque at 3,400rpm.

Weighing just 1,050kg (2,315lbs), this gives it a 0-62mph sprint time of 5.75 seconds and a theoretical top speed of 127mph, though the latter has not been tested. Unlike the standard Aygo, it has no driver aids, power steering or anti-lock brakes but its rear wheel drive layout helps traction under heavy acceleration.
WANT.

Originally Posted by Wikipedia
Toyota claims the Aygo Crazy cost 100,000 to build.
Aw.
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Old 07-16-08, 07:34 PM
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Good luck trying to get a Fit for the sticker price around here.
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Old 07-16-08, 07:50 PM
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Interesting. Based on the extremely scientific method of "what I see around", I figured the Fit wasn't selling too well. Meanwhile, the Yaris is going for saturation, and the Smart is doing really well. Then again, there's a Smart dealership in Sacramento somewhere. I halfway want to feign an interest in one enough to get a test drive out of it.
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Old 07-16-08, 09:26 PM
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i have a honda fit and absolutely LOVE it.

i average 50mpg

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Old 07-16-08, 09:28 PM
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The Fit is popular here in the Bay. The number of Smart cars on the road these days reminds me of when the Toyota Prius first came into the market. I'd see one here and there, but not often at all.

Today, on 880 as I sat in traffic on the way home, I saw more Priuses than I saw SUVs. Okay, maybe not, but I saw at least 3 riding back to back, and at least one anywhere I looked.
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Old 07-16-08, 09:28 PM
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oh, and if you are considering either the smart car or the honda fit, you have to think of teh cost of maintenence. the fit will be cheaper to own than the smart car. and you can carry five 6'+ adults easily. and haul a bunch of stuff.

i have a hitch and rack, and easily transport my bicycles

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