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Volkswagen Up! Concept Car

Artist's rendering of the production Volkswagen Up!  (Source: Auto Express)

Smart Fourtwo
VW gets back to its roots with the Up!

Back in October 2007, DailyTech brought you news concerning Volkswagen's Up! concept car. The tiny Up! measures just 135.8" in length and only 64.2" in width. VW's hope with the Up! is to spark a revolution in economical vehicles like the original Beetle.

According to Auto Express, work on the production version of the Up! is coming along nicely and more details of the tiny runabout are starting to leak out of VW headquarters. Like the original Beetle, the Up! is a rear-engine, rear wheel drive vehicle.

Despite the tiny dimensions, the Up! will be able to seat four people within its cabin. Adding to its versatility, the three passenger seats of the Up! can be folded to accept large/bulky cargo or removed completely for even more storage space.

Power for the Up! will come from a choice of gasoline or diesel two-cylinder engines. Both engines will be around 600c in capacity and will be turbocharged. VW is projecting that the turbocharged diesel motor will be good for 94 MPG combined on the European cycle.

Pricing for the Up! is expected to start at around £4,000 ($7,900 USD) in emerging markets for completely stripped models. Better-equipped models destined for the European market are expected to start at £7,500 ($14,800 USD).

With tiny vehicles like the Smart Fourtwo seeing huge demand in the United States, it may only be a matter of time before VW sends the Up! to our shores. Compared to the Smart Fourtwo, the Up! features room for two additional passengers and vastly superior fuel economy.



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German engineering strikes again..
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 11:22:56 AM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't buy either of these cars, mostly because I still have a working reproductive organ.

However I must say if your into this kind of vehicle, the UP simply blows away the " Smart " car. It doubled its MPG, costs half as much, and even has a bit more utility and can seat 3 people.

How do those guys do it ! German engineering, I salute you.




RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Flunk on 4/17/2008 11:34:05 AM , Rating: 5
Not everyone needs are huge shiney car to feel like a man. If I can comfortably sit in one, I might consider it. Saving money on gas is great.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By mdogs444 on 4/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 11:42:19 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
This thing is a death trap/organ donor. The only thing more unsafe on the roads than this UP, Yaris, Smartcar, stuff is a motorcycle.


I probably agree. I have not seen crash tests on the UP. But side impact tests on the Smart conclude that the driver can be thrown up to 8 feet from the vehicle. Due to there being no B pillar and the door flying open during impact. Yeah, sounds real Smart eh ?


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/17/2008 11:49:24 AM , Rating: 5
RE: German engineering strikes again..
By mdogs444 on 4/17/2008 11:52:55 AM , Rating: 2
Could have been a 15mph drive way crash for all we know. I promise you that was not an accident at 35+ or 50+ mph speeds.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/17/2008 11:54:35 AM , Rating: 5
Wow, that big intersection sure looks like a driveway to me ;-)


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By mdogs444 on 4/17/2008 12:00:12 PM , Rating: 1
Sorry, i couldnt tell. Only the last picture would come up for me for some reason.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Spuke on 4/17/2008 12:12:43 PM , Rating: 2
I like the fact that it's RWD and rear engined. Interesting that VW can do this in a car like this but no one else can do it in a car the size of a Civic. I didn't see hp mentioned although with the 600cc gas motor this thing will be a high rpm screamer. I predict 10k+ rpm in the aftermarket. I might have to pick one of these UP!


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Souka on 4/17/2008 3:06:29 PM , Rating: 5
The pics show good data...cars did their job.

truck was hit on front corner that is a crumple zone...doesn't take much to push it in like that.

smartcar was hit on side where there isn't a crumple zone...direct hit to frame (which bent) so only the outer body panel caved and wheel which is probably attached inches from the point of impact.

One thing not shown is the skid marks... I bet the truck pushed that car pretty vioently, whereas the truck just felt a dull thud.

My $.02


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By ebakke on 4/17/2008 5:03:54 PM , Rating: 3
If this (or the Smart cars) perform anything like the Yaris in a crash... no thanks. Those suckers get [i]launched[/i]. Compare it to your car.

http://www.safercar.gov/movie/2008/07Yaris-s.wmv


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Alexstarfire on 4/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: German engineering strikes again..
By ebakke on 4/17/2008 6:16:04 PM , Rating: 2
It's not that I expect to get in a crash, it's more that I'd like to be prepared if I do. I don't need to drive an M1 Abrams down the street, but I also would like to know that every accident won't be a serious accident.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By daniyarm on 4/18/2008 2:44:13 PM , Rating: 2
Everybody is talking about this car like it's a deathtrap. Look at how many people choose to ride a motorcycle! These cars aren't meant to be driven on the freeway all the time or cities with wide open roads and high speed limits. These cars are meant for slower traffic densely populated areas where parking sucks.
And by the way, US is the only country with such a high number of SUVs and trucks. Most cars in Europe and Japan are small, so it's much less of a threat for passengers in smaller cars.


By Spuke on 4/18/2008 3:41:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Most cars in Europe and Japan are small, so it's much less of a threat for passengers in smaller cars.
Different cultures and lifestyles not to mention we have WAY more open spaces.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Reflex on 4/17/2008 7:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
When I drove my S-10 it was an accident magnet. Over the six years I hat it I collected enough insurance money that even after paying for repairs(I only repaired problems that affected its road worthiness, cosmetic issues I ignored) I ended up breaking even. Paid $8000 for it in 2001, collected $6500 in insurance payouts for the next five years(thats taking out what was spent on essential repairs), sold it in 2007 for $1500. Result: Drove a vehicle for five years(it was parked the sixth) for the cost of fuel, and routine maintinence.

While I certainly don't expect to get hit all the time, I am very aware now that it is inevitable that someone will not be paying attention. And I guarantee you that that Smart car(and probably this VW vehicle) would not have surived at least two of the hits I took, including a 35mph rear-ender from a truck that didn't realize I had stopped for a red light(there were four cars in front of me stopped as well, he was distracted by his kid). That was the most serious hit I took and it bent my frame as well as destroying the rear bumper and tailgate. In a Smart car his truck would have been embedded in the back of my head(especially since he had it raised, hence the damage to the tailgate).

For the record I don't advise people to drive tanks or anything, the S-10 was the largest vehicle I have owned(currently drive a Jeep Liberty CRD which is diesel and gets great mileage). But I do think a reasonably sized vehicle should be considered just for personal safety. If mileage was the only real concern, even a motorcycle can seat two...


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Alexstarfire on 4/17/2008 9:09:07 PM , Rating: 1
OK, I can understand that. You certainly can't prevent being rear-ended, unless you have lots of space in front of you for some reason. Anything else, though, can be avoided. I guess we just having opposing views on the way cars should be made. While I normally think that the consumer should have ultimate control in what he/she wants, I don't think that's fair for the car market. I only think that way because of the amount of cars on the road, at least in the US. Cars got so big for many reasons, with one being that they are "safer" than smaller cars. To me that thinking just leads to bigger and bigger cars. Sure, you in the bigger car might be safer, but the smaller car gets a lot more force put on it. BTW, I equate bigger to mean heavier. I know it's not always true though. Anyways, cars really need to all be made the same height, at least the bumper height anyways.

Course, I think nearly every car on the road should be revamped.

Well, unless a car is literally a death trap then I'm going to value mileage over anything else.

BTW, I've been in an accident at 40MPH in an Isuzu Rodeo against a bigger SUV, can't recall the make and model off hand. Even with her car flipping twice everyone ended up up little more than scraps and bruises. Actually, the only thing that happened to me was a minor burn from the airbag deploying. Not sure about her car, but mine got totalled. Sounds bad, but pretty much only the front end was smashed in. Her car, on the other hand, had one of her back wheels literally broken off, plus tons of other damage.

I couldn't say how bad it would have been if I was in a smaller car, but it doesn't seem like it would have been much worse. Though, I can say that I hit her and not the other way around. Anyways, if I had been in a smaller car I probably would have avoided her, but the Rodeo doesn't turn so well.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Alexvrb on 4/17/2008 11:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Anything else, though, can be avoided.
Being rear-ended isn't the only unavoidable accident scenario, by a long shot. People are unpredictable.
quote:
Well, unless a car is literally a death trap then I'm going to value mileage over anything else.
This car looks a lot like a death trap to me. The damage to the car in an impact is only part of the ouch-that-hurts equation. Even if the car takes the damage well enough, secondary impact is kinda important too. That's why modern vehicles have crumple zones - something this vehicle is not going to have much of.
quote:
While I normally think that the consumer should have ultimate control in what he/she wants, I don't think that's fair for the car market. I only think that way because of the amount of cars on the road, at least in the US. Cars got so big for many reasons, with one being that they are "safer" than smaller cars. To me that thinking just leads to bigger and bigger cars.
I'm OK with lighter, to a point. But to each his own, and that is why I disagree with the idea that the government should control what you can buy. If you want a smart car or similar, good for you. The market will self-regulate. Despite what you think, most vehicles really aren't getting bigger and heavier. By and large, they are getting LIGHTER. Look at domestic "fullsize" vehicles these days. They are lighter and smaller than their body-on-frame predecessors. Full size SUVs are also being phased out in favor of crossovers. Even many trucks are getting lighter. There will always still be some large vehicles on the road (hard working trucks of various sorts). But fuel and vehicle costs will determine what people buy and drive.
quote:
I couldn't say how bad it would have been if I was in a smaller car, but it doesn't seem like it would have been much worse.
Think about this. How bad would it have been if SHE was in a smaller car and you plowed into her with your Rodeo. If there were goalposts, you'd get the extra point.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Alexstarfire on 4/17/2008 11:23:33 PM , Rating: 1
Perhaps some examples of other so-called "unavoidable" situations then?

Well, cars may be getting lighter NOW, but I'm not talking about what cars are doing now, I'm talking about how they got this way to begin with.

Perhaps she would have, who knows. I always thought the Rodeo was too big anyway. Only reason I had it was because my parents gave it to me. Can't beat free. I can say this, if she were in the smaller car it probably wouldn't have flipped over. I can't speculate more than that though. Course, if she had been PAYING ATTENTION instead of chatting on her cell phone. It got tossed out the window when she got hit. Only know that cause they found her cell phone on the ground. Not sure if it was still working or not though.

If drivers would pay attention more then we wouldn't have so many damn accidents to begin with. The US has the most lenient drivers test I've ever seen. I can't even count how many people I know got their license without knowing how to drive. ONLY IN AMERICA.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By weskurtz0081 on 4/18/2008 1:34:22 AM , Rating: 2
Clearly you have not driven in many other countries. Go drive around in the Middle East, Mexico, South America.... just to name a few. I have been to MUCH worse driving countries than the US.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/18/2008 1:45:22 AM , Rating: 2
> "I have been to MUCH worse driving countries than the US. "

Agreed. I thought Thailand was as bad as it could possibly be...then I visited Vietnam. I tell people stories, and no one believes them.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Alexstarfire on 4/18/2008 5:35:26 AM , Rating: 2
I bet a lot of them don't have licenses though. I know that over in Taiwan driving isn't nearly as bad, same as in Japan. Their streets are smaller as well.


By Reflex on 4/18/2008 4:52:12 PM , Rating: 2
If you think driving in Taiwan isn't worse than the US then you haven't spent much time there. We have team members go over there every year for trade shows and the horror stories they tell are amazing. I've seen pictures as well. Heck, Anandtech once chronicled the horror of getting around in Taipei.

As for unavoidable accidents, its very simple: Anytime your movement is restricted by other traffic or you are unable to see the other vehicle in time, the accident is unavoidable. For instance, the rear end collision I mentioned, I saw the guy coming and realized he wasn't going to stop. But as I was boxed in by traffic I was not able to move, signal or do anything that would have halted it, all I did was hammer my e-brake and regular brakes down as hard as I could as fast as I could which kept me from sliding into the car in front of me(stopped maybe an inch short).

Other times I have been sideswiped by people who are in my blind spots(I had a canopy, so a significant portion of the back was not visible if someone chose to change lanes next to me). And like I said, even if you have some ultra-elite evasive maneuver in mind for any given situation, you are still at the mercy of other drivers and thier car placement, that 'dodge to the left lane' maneuver you've got in your head only works if there is no one in the left lane when you need to use it. Honestly I'd rather take the hit on my vehicle than drive so defensively that I cause an even worse accident or kill a pedestrian trying to get away from an impending crash.


By PitViper007 on 4/23/2008 2:19:19 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think anyone EXPECTS to be in a crash, however, there is a good likelihood, that over the life of the car it will be in one.

My wife was just in an accident about a week and a half ago. Driver of the other vehicle ran a red light and smacked into my wife's driver side door. She didn't expect to have an idiot run a red light and hit her. I thank GOD that she was in a large "mini"van (Chrysler Town & Country) which helped to minimize damage to her. As it is she's still hurting.

The point is, the larger the vehicle is that you are in, the more likely you are to walk away from any accident that you do have, and you need to think of that when deciding on buying a new vehicle. Just my 2¢


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By mrteddyears on 4/18/2008 8:44:01 AM , Rating: 3
I think this is the reason smart cars are better left for the golf course

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJHpUO-S0i8


By 306maxi on 4/20/2008 12:13:58 PM , Rating: 2
That's a 70mph impact into a fairly immovable object. Most accidents occur at much lesser speeds. If you'd taken the time to watch the video you'd have seen that the car performs quite well.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By michal1980 on 4/17/2008 11:55:36 AM , Rating: 5
actually looks like the truck did better.

not only did the truck absorb the damage instead of the passangers. it didn't break and axel like the smart did.

The shock to the people in the smart car, would have likely been many times more then the people in the nissan.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By TheDoc9 on 4/17/2008 12:04:54 PM , Rating: 1
yeah it's really not a fair comparison because of where the truck hit the smart. It's entirely possible to total one vehicle and leave the other with minor damage if you hit it in certain areas.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By FITCamaro on 4/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: German engineering strikes again..
By TheDoc9 on 4/17/2008 4:32:17 PM , Rating: 1
Obviously you've never been in a wreck, and when your best argument against someone is to make fun of what they say because you have no argument then it's time you wake up or go back to highschool.


By Spuke on 4/17/2008 5:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
I thought it was pretty funny personally.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 12:18:36 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
actually looks like the truck did better.


Most certainly. Based alone on the fact that the truck probably drove off after the accident. Meanwhile the Smart has a busted axel. And by the way, good luck walking into your local parts store and finding a replacement lol.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By mindless1 on 4/17/2008 2:14:12 PM , Rating: 1
You'd have to be a bit silly to think your local parts store would have the front end for the truck.

Accidents break car parts, so what? It's not like driving off after an accident is all that important, if you have thousands in damage (which the truck did) you might as well have it towed to the shop. That is, unless you were in some remote inhospitable area and driving away was a life necessity but I don't see that as the intended purpose behind these small runabout vehicles.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 3:36:20 PM , Rating: 3
> "It's not like driving off after an accident is all that important"

The point, of course, is that if the vehicle can be driven off after the accident, the occupants inside probably weren't turned into strawberry jam.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By DeepBlue1975 on 4/17/2008 4:27:36 PM , Rating: 1
Mass is not the main problem.

The problem is hitting a significant higher vehicle which generates an incompatibility problem with the car's crumple zones (an SUV crashing any car of your choice, even the heaviest of the cars, will make its front bumper end up passing through the windshield).

I've read several statistical reports and analysis on the web and the mass differential, though plays a role in fatality, is not as important as you'd think.

Remember that on a car-car collision you're not talking about rigid body physics, and a larger car usually has a larger front end with more space for more crumple zones negating part (but of course, not all) of the mass differential.

As I've read, the heaviest car vs the most feather weighted ones doesn't have as big an advantage in a crash as the one even the smallest of the SUVs has against the biggest car


By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 4:44:29 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Mass is not the main problem.


I agree with what you said. But... well.. everyone should just watch this vid

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02eghIfyHP0


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 5:07:36 PM , Rating: 2
> "Mass is not the main problem"

Mass *is* the main factor. Let me illustrate with some real-world figures. Let's assume two cars, one weighing twice the other, both travelling 60mph collide head on. The total velocity of the combined system after the crash will be 20 mph in the direction of the larger vehicle's travel.

For the heavier car, that crash is equivalent to hitting a fixed barrier at 40mph. But for the lighter car, its equivalent to hitting at EIGHTY mph (it winds up moving backwards at -20 mph).

Sure, a crumple zone can spread that impact out in time...but it can't reduce the total momentum change one bit. And lighter cars are smaller, which means the crumple zone has less room to work in anyway.

Yes, stronger materials, cabin design, height, all play a part. But the mass differential is THE primary factor. When you start talking about 2:1 (or for some of these tiny cars, even 4:1 differentials) no amount of design is going to trump that.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By DeepBlue1975 on 4/17/2008 9:00:12 PM , Rating: 3
Mass is the main problem when you compare car to car collisions, but not SUV vs car collisions. And it's not as important as you think. I know that what you say is true, but statistical reports I've read from many countries say something different: fatality rate induced by mass difference does not increase in a linear fashion (that is, a twice as heavy car inducing double the probabilities for the smaller car to die).

But in turn, head on SUV / Truck - car collisions have the crumple zone incompatibility as the main problem.

It won't matter how much your car weights if the SUV crashing you weighs only 75% of your car's heft, but has its front bumper hanging 1 foot above your car's front bumper: the SUV's front end will completely override your car's crumple zone and you, inside the heaviest vehicle by far, are still the most likely to come up dead from the unfortunate encounter.

This is such a problem that in the US a large group of auto makers promised that by 2010 they will only be selling SUVs / light trucks which in some way are made compatible with cars as far as what crumple zones concern.

Besides, your calculation of momentum is not taking the crumpling effect into consideration. What you say applies for perfectly rigid bodies, not deformable ones as cars, so the final speed of the combined system in favour for the heaviest car will be much less and for the lighter vehicle it won't be that much either. So basically your figures are not real world, unless we're talking about high rigidity framed vehicles such as not so new trucks which won't crumple.

But as I said, when you are talking about similar vehicles crashing, yes, mass differential is a problem and the main one. Once you involve two different kinds of vehicles in the collision, mass takes a second seat, specially in side collisions (a car hitting an SUV by the side is not as fatal for the SUV as it would be for the car if it were to be laterally hit by an SUV).


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/18/2008 12:32:29 AM , Rating: 2
> "I know that what you say is true, but statistical reports I've read from many countries say something different"

Perhaps you could link to a few of these reams of statistical reports? I read one that indicated SUVs were more dangerous than their mass suggested...however, that report left off the most dangerous class of vehicle of all -- small, two-door coupes/sports cars.

And in any case, I never disputed that SUVs were more prone to rollover. The issue being discussed, though, is *mass*. Heavier cars win; lighter cars lose. Driving a 1600 lb vehicle on roads frequented by 4000 lb sedans and 6000 lb SUVs *is* more dangerous than a more conventional choice, no more how well-engineered that vehicle is.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By DeepBlue1975 on 4/18/2008 2:07:34 PM , Rating: 2
Here's one, doesn't talk directly about mass but however says which cars are reported to be less fatal on accidents and things like that.

http://www.aceee.org/pubs/t021full.pdf

If I find the other ones I'll post them, too.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/18/2008 3:42:17 PM , Rating: 1
> Here's one, doesn't talk directly about mass but however says which cars are reported to be less fatal on accidents and things like that."

Err, that report AGREES with me. Look at the risk to drivers for SUVs...its far below that of compact and subcompact cars. And the study even quotes an earlier study, which specifically ties decreasing vehicle mass to decreasing safety!

You may have been fooled by a line in the intro which talks about the "combined risk" for SUVs. But that includes risks to other drivers -- people in cars struck by SUVs.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By DeepBlue1975 on 4/18/2008 6:16:55 PM , Rating: 2
You cheater! :D

Look at figure 3, in which the picture shows risks for the driver and other drivers according to vehicle type (including examples of specific models) in a bidimensional chart (x-axis represents risks for the driver and y-axis is risk for others).

I'll quote the conclusions of the article a little below that graph:

quote:

Midsize and Large Cars. The safest midsize and large cars (Avalon, Camry, and Accord)
are as safe as the safest SUV (Suburban); average midsize and large cars are just as safe
as the average SUV. However, SUVs impose a greater risk on drivers of other vehicles
than do all types of cars. The combined risk of the average SUV (129) is about 30%
higher than that for the average large car (100) and 25% higher than that for the average
midsize car (105), while the safest SUV (Suburban, 111) has at least a 40% higher
combined risk than the three safest midsize and large cars (Avalon, 63; Camry, 72; and
Accord, 79).
2. Subcompact and Compact Cars. The safest subcompact (Civic and Jetta) and compact
(626 and Altima) car models are as safe to their drivers as the average SUV (see Figures
2 and 3, and Table A5 in the appendix). When one considers the combined risk, including
those killed in the other vehicle in two-vehicle crashes, then the safest subcompact and
compact models are actually safer than the average SUV. Moreover, the combined risk
for the average subcompact or compact car (147 and 136, respectively) is only slightly
higher than that for the average SUV (129).
A critical aspect of the dispute regarding whether light or small cars are relatively
dangerous for their occupants is the very large range in the risk to drivers of subcompact
cars (see Figure 2). At one end are the low-risk Jetta and Civic models, as just mentioned,
but at roughly twice their risk are the Cavalier, Escort, and Neon models (and their
twins). Those three very popular models are responsible for increasing the average risk to
drivers of subcompact cars. Does the safety record of those three models prove that light
cars are unsafe? We present evidence that there is no such simple rule. Might it instead suggest that relatively inexpensive cars tend to be unsafe? Perhaps. In any event, the
argument that the low weight of cars with high fuel economy has resulted in many excess
deaths is unfounded; that by paying careful attention to safety in vehicle design, smaller
cars can be, and indeed have been, made as safe as larger ones.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/18/2008 6:34:13 PM , Rating: 1
Sure, but let me point out some facts:

a. The study disagrees with an earlier study that found mass *was* a crucial factor in safety.

b. The study excluded the very lightest cars entirely (2,500 lbs and under) It specifically said this group "tends to have a high risk to their drivers (169 deaths per million sold)"

c. The study excluded all the sports cars from the compacts/subcompact category, on the grounds that these are driven "more agressively" (and thus dangerously.) That takes out the worst of the small car drivers...but no such correction was done for SUV drivers (and trust me, a lot of young urban punks driving Escalades and Hummers account for far more than their fair share of accidents). This is one of the reasons vans get the highest rating of all..who drives a minivan like a sports car?

d. Even excluding sports and sporty cars, three of the four worst cars on the chart are subcompacts...and the fourth is a compact pickup.

e. Comparing small cars to large cars, and small SUVs/trucks to large ones, one clearly sees that, even in this study, mass DOES make a difference. Take for instance the Chevy Blazer (risk: 110) to the heavier Tahoe (risk:60 ). Or the Camry (risk:45) to the Civic (risk:75).

Mass *does* make a difference.


By DeepBlue1975 on 4/18/2008 10:13:26 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't mass doesn't make a difference.

My whole point was that in a car - SUV head on crash, even if the car is 1.5x the weight of the SUV, he who drives the car has the biggest chance of having an SUV's front bumper fatally tattooed in his forehead while de SUV's driver has larger probabilities of stepping out of his vehicle unharmed. :)

Of course, a lighter car's driver will get "even more killed" after hitting an SUV.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By andrinoaa on 4/18/2008 6:09:50 AM , Rating: 2
again , I ask, what should we be driving, Kenworths?
Surely, mass isn't the problem. Its the fool behind the wheel! lol


By misuspita on 4/19/2008 4:01:36 AM , Rating: 2
RE: German engineering strikes again..
By random git on 4/20/2008 8:38:04 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry, using that reasoning getting shot is equivalent to hitting a fixed obstacle the size of a bullet at 0.01 ft/s. And to nitpick a bit, the momentum change will obviously be the same for both vehicles no matter what their weight ratio.


By masher2 (blog) on 4/20/2008 12:18:18 PM , Rating: 2
> "the momentum change will obviously be the same for both vehicles no matter what their weight ratio."

Delta P will be, yes...that's what conservation of momentum means. But what the human body feels isn't total momentum change, but dP/m, or the instaneous change in velocity. The "m" of course in that equation is mass...which is why a larger mass equates to a smaller force felt. And that, in turns, translates to less damage taken.

> "using that reasoning getting shot is equivalent to hitting a fixed obstacle the size of a bullet at 0.01 ft/s."

From a ratio of momentum transfer, it certainly is. How else do you think bulletproof vests work? The total momentum in a bullet is very small...spread it out over a surface large enough to prevent penetration, and you take no damage.


By mindless1 on 4/19/2008 11:14:21 AM , Rating: 2
Actually the opposite tends to be true with trucks (having a full frame). The body itself does not absorb as much of the impact so the people inside are jarred more, not less.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By andrinoaa on 4/18/2008 6:07:16 AM , Rating: 2
so what are you suggesting - drive a Kenworth?


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/18/2008 10:10:57 AM , Rating: 2
> "so what are you suggesting - drive a Kenworth? ".

I'm not *suggesting* anything. Drive a 1500 lb Smart Car all you want.

My family, however, will remain in vehicles that weight ~3X that much...as long as there are so many 6000 lb idiot-propelled SUVs on the road.

In any case, the entire mass issue will be moot in 15-20 years, as soon as a substantial portion of vehicles on the road are computer-driven.


By Donkeyshins on 4/18/2008 12:28:37 PM , Rating: 2
A 4500 lb car? Are you serious? Hell, even your 3000 lb cars are extremely safe in a crash.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By andrinoaa on 4/18/2008 5:56:19 PM , Rating: 2
yes you are masher2 suggesting. Your reasoning is clouded by emotion and illogical fear. Just extrapolate your arguement. Your suv needs to be BIG to survive crash with other BIG suv. Surely to survive crash with other Big suv, you NEED a BIGGER suv ie Kenworth!
You have touched on the real problem ( subconsciously )
"so many 6000lb IDIOT-PROPELLED suvs".
This probably is what is holding back american car developments in line with the rest of the developed world.
You won't have to address this issue soon because oil is fast running to $150/barrel. There won't be any suv then, lol
When I line up to get petrol and see some sucker in a V8 pouring money into his tank, I have a chuckle - there goes another days wages, lol, because I like to work! lol


By masher2 (blog) on 4/18/2008 6:12:40 PM , Rating: 2
> "Your reasoning is clouded by emotion and illogical fear. "

There's no "emotion and illogical fear" in basic Newtonian mechanics.

> " because oil is fast running to $150/barrel. There won't be any suv then, lol"

Ten years ago, when oil was $20/bbl, people said $100 oil would be the end of SUVs...and yet today, they're still selling well. To most buyers of expensive SUVs, $4/gallon gas really isn't that big a cost.


By Spuke on 4/18/2008 7:21:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have a chuckle - there goes another days wages, lol, because I like to work! lol
I make quite a bit more per day than any SUV or pickups tank of gas. As a matter of fact, I make more than a semi trucks tank of gas per day. Besides those that can afford to buy these things already know that they're not great on gas. You can't afford it but others can.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By DeepBlue1975 on 4/18/2008 2:29:40 PM , Rating: 2
I know SUVs are the best in case of a head on collision, but I'd never buy one because I hate them.

My actual car has a weight of 1320kg (2900 lb I think) and is a hatchback that's only 4.22m long (some 14 ft) and as 99% of the time there's only my wife and myself inside (combined weight of 300lb and each of us being 5' 6" tall) and it feels like wasted space on wheels.

I'd like it to be at least 200kg lighter for its size and I definitely know that my next car has to be smaller and less hefty. I don't care so much about head - on crash security because I've been driving for 15 years and never had a single crash, so I won't waste my money on a car I don't like just to improve the surviving probability on a less than likely situation.

But then again, I know that a Hummer H2 would be among the safest choices out there...


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Spuke on 4/18/2008 3:48:46 PM , Rating: 2
You guys don't plan on having any children? You'll probably want to keep your present car with all of that "wasted space" if you do.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By DeepBlue1975 on 4/18/2008 5:33:03 PM , Rating: 2
Nope, me and my wife are not planning on having any children by the time being.
Don't know if I'll change my mind in the years to come but for now it is not something we'd like to happen.

I like small, lightweight and powerful cars. If some day unipersonal cars come to market I'll definitely want one.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Spuke on 4/18/2008 7:32:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I like small, lightweight and powerful cars.
So do I but I'm an empty nester so I can indulge if I choose. When my kids were home, my wife and I both drove sedans until we decided she should have a truck to support her hobby (horses). With kids, you need the extra space. We didn't have enough room for their friends unless we took both cars and sometimes we had to rent a large sedan for more cargo capacity. In all honesty, we should've just bought a large SUV that she could use to tow with while hauling the kids and their friends around. The cost would have been the same as driving two cars. But neither of us likes SUV's. In our case, efficiency and practicality took a back seat to what we wanted.

BTW, my perfect car would be a 2000 lb, RWD hatchback with a turbo 4 cylinder making at least 250hp.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By DeepBlue1975 on 4/19/2008 4:00:12 AM , Rating: 2
When you find that hatch, tell me and I'll just run to buy it, even if it means being "weak" against a Cadillac Escalade :D


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Spuke on 4/20/2008 2:27:16 PM , Rating: 2
I could take the motor out of a Acura RDX and install it in a 92 Civic hatchback. Then lighten the car a bit but I'd STILL be missing RWD. I honestly think this will never happen. Car markers only seem interested in RWD in large sedans and sports cars. My Solstice is about the lightest RWD car you can buy new and it still weighs 2900 lbs.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/20/2008 5:30:47 PM , Rating: 2
> "Car markers only seem interested in RWD in large sedans and sports cars..."

RWD hurts the fleet average MPG too much in subcompacts. As long as CAFE standards continue to rise, I wouldn't expect to see too many RWD small cars.


By Spuke on 4/20/2008 6:01:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
RWD hurts the fleet average MPG too much in subcompacts.
How so? You might lose a little cargo space but everything else is the same. MPG should be unaffected. My car (Solstice) gets 28 mpg (lead foot too) on my commutes and it has the drag coefficient of a brick. There's no reason a RWD subcompact with a better drag coefficient to not get the same or better gas mileage. It might cost a little bit more but with direct injection, turbocharging, diesels, lightweight materials becoming a requirement, cars will be a LOT more expensive than they are now anyways.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 12:13:04 PM , Rating: 2
http://money.cnn.com/2008/04/03/autos/smart_crash_...

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20...

K Brandon I can post links too :)

Interesting note : Crash test star ratings don't take into account doors flying open. Which is what happens when a Smart is hit on the side.

The Smart scored 3 stars in the passenger safety category. Only one other car in the 2008 linup of all manufacturers scored as low, the BMW M5.

I'm hoping the UP! will fare a bit better. But I still wouldn't climb into one of these. And if a friend of mine ever expects me to ride in one of these, I'm going to have to insist I drive.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 12:45:35 PM , Rating: 2
> "The Smart scored 3 stars in the passenger safety category. Only one other car in the 2008 linup of all manufacturers scored as low"

And of course crash test ratings are performed against a fixed barrier, which negates vehicle mass as a factor in the equation.

Cabin strength, crumple zones, etc, all play their part...but there's no working around a large disparity in mass.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By manoj252 on 4/17/2008 6:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGTzDLi1B1o&NR=1

What if the crash test with the fixed barrier was at a much higher speed like in this video? The frame sure looks solid!


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/18/2008 6:41:59 PM , Rating: 2
See my previous post. If a car collides with one twice as heavy, both doing 60 mph, the larger car experiences a force as if it hit a fixed barrier at 40mph...but for the smaller cars, it's equivalent to hitting at 80.

No matter how solid your frame is, if you deccelerate a cabin from 80 to 0 in 1/10 of a second, the occupants are going to be seriously injured.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By DeepBlue1975 on 4/19/2008 4:16:47 AM , Rating: 2
Again, that would only happen talking about perfecty rigid bodies.

You give crumple zones less credit than they deserve. Granted, they're not miraculous, but in fact do highly reduce the fatality in a crash.

Your rigid body calculations applied fairly well to old cars with framed bodies, which would transfer the crash's deceleration in a rather immediate fashion. The crumple zones, when activated, can shave a bit of that speed change, enough that, coupled with the action of airbags and pretensioned seatbelts really help to reduce the chance of death.

Sure, the heaviest car has an advantage but that doesn't mean that if you are in the smallest car you have a near 100% probability of dying.

Let me put it into perspective:
How many times were you involved in a head on collision in your driving lifetime?
How many miles passed between those crashes?
What is your miles / accident ratio?
How risky are the places you usually are cruising?
How often did you find yourself passing by near a deadly crash?

Taking that into account, how high do you think it is your probability of being involved in a likely to be fatal accident?

If you like big cars or SUVs, great, buy them.
But if you don't, just spending money on them because you think that reducing your chance of death in an accident from 1/10000 to 1/30000, at least IMHO is not worth it, and fear is winning you over if it is preventing you from getting the kind of car you'd really enjoy driving.


By masher2 (blog) on 4/19/2008 10:06:20 PM , Rating: 2
> "Again, that would only happen talking about perfecty rigid bodies."

No, no. If the body was perfectly rigid, the decelleration would be instantaneous, yielding an infinite force(mathematically, such "impulse" effects modelled with a Dirac delta). No such thing as a perfectly rigid body exists for this reason, though we can often model as such with reasonably accurate results.

The crumple zones are certainly effective...they're the reason that decelleration is spread out in time. But on a small car, not only does the crumple zone have less room to work, but the lower mass means it has to absorb a much greater force. Double whammy.

A large car might have, say, two foot of frame to crumple...and it only has to decellerate by 40 mph (given my original example above). A car massing half as much might have 1.5. of crumple zone...and it has to absorb double the impact. That's 2.6X the resultant force on the cabin, and its occupants.

> "how high do you think it is your probability of being involved in a likely to be fatal accident?"

Each year, some 43,000 in the US die in traffic accidents. Over an 80 year lifespan, that equates to slightly over a 1% chance. Roughly twice as many are seriously injured, though they avoid death.

Those are odds worth reducing, however you slice it.


By 91TTZ on 4/17/2008 9:51:55 PM , Rating: 2
Pictures are misleading. I bet the occupants in the Smart felt a much more violent impact than the occupants in the truck.

1. The truck had a crumple zone whereas the Smart did not. The full force of the impact was felt by the occupants of the Smart since the whole car was displaced instead of a crumple zone deforming.

2. The truck is probably twice as heavy as the Smart. As a result, when they collided the change of velocity of the Smart was much more drastic than the truck.

If I put you in a reinforced steel cage and slammed you against a wall, the steel cage would look unharmed. But you'd be dead inside since your body cannot take the acceleration forces that a steel cage can.


By Captain Orgazmo on 4/18/2008 8:11:28 PM , Rating: 2
It's a matter of simple physics and common sense: a two ton SUV and a Smart hit head on... who will be better off? For that exact reason (namely the abundance of ridiculously over-sized SUVs driven invariably by inept 5 foot tall females) I am very reluctant to drive a car the size of a golf cart on a freeway.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By AlexWade on 4/17/2008 12:01:23 PM , Rating: 2
I would be afraid of these small cars at 70+ MPH because Americans love SUV's. Have you noticed how concrete medians are now taller? That is because of the popularity of SUV's. And besides, there are people like the really tall man in the Simpsons episode 22 short tales about Springfield and Smart cars would not work for them, though it would look funny.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By ikkeman on 4/17/2008 12:10:35 PM , Rating: 2
if Jeremy Clarkson of top gear (6'5") not only fits in an VW golf, but actually prefers it to any other car - big poeple don't require big cars...


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Spuke on 4/17/2008 12:15:18 PM , Rating: 1
The Golf is not a small car by any means. I used to own one. This car and the Smart are WAY smaller. The Smart makes the Fit look like a limo.


By Spuke on 4/19/2008 3:23:58 PM , Rating: 2
So the Golf IS a small car? What the hell did I say that rated a one? I DID own one and it wasn't small. It had plenty of room for 4 people and a good amount of cargo space. And at nearly 3000 lbs, it really is NOT a small car.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 12:54:30 PM , Rating: 4
> "Jeremy Clarkson of top gear (6'5") not only fits in an VW golf, but actually prefers it "

That doesn't really say much, given I've seen Clarkson squeeze into a Peel P50...a car so small one can pick it up and carry it into your home or office:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqf1yKxb9hI


By marsbound2024 on 4/17/2008 2:23:41 PM , Rating: 2
Man that's a great video.


By kmmatney on 4/17/2008 2:43:26 PM , Rating: 2
Awesome video!


By maven81 on 4/17/2008 2:59:05 PM , Rating: 2
In the event of an avoidable collision (you see someone doing something crazy and have enough time to react) the smaller car would probably be a better bet. There have been several times when I managed to avoid an accident due to the fact that having a lighter car with more acceleration I could swerve out of the way or edge out another car to turn a sure hit into a miss... try that in a cumbersome SUV... you're a sitting duck.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By AlphaVirus on 4/17/2008 4:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Have you noticed how concrete medians are now taller? That is because of the popularity of SUV's.

How did you come to this conclusion? Perhaps it could be to help flooding, or engineers decided it was structurally stronger than shorter styles, or even just for cosmetics.

Also the higher walls on freeways in America are used to cancel road noise that annoys nearby residentials. Some walls are as high as 9ft.

Don't assume just because we have big cars, everything else dealing with mass transit must be big. I see plenty of 18-wheelers drive down narrow 2-way streets.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By AlexWade on 4/18/2008 9:53:28 AM , Rating: 2
How did I come to that conclusion? I read an article in which the NCDOT said the center medians were getting taller because of the popularity of SUV's. A few months after that, when my DOT was expanding I-40, the median went from a shorter one on the already expanded part to a taller one on the new part. The next time I'm in the area, I take a picture for you. I didn't reach that conclusion on my own. Engineers said so.

And I wasn't talking about noise walls. I was talking about center medians. They are now taller because SUV's were jumping the shorter ones during wrecks. I didn't say it, the NCDOT said it.


By AlphaVirus on 4/18/2008 1:31:26 PM , Rating: 2
Oh ok. Do you have a link to this article, or a recommended google search?

I do this quite often in both cars and trucks, whenever there is a problem I jump the curb and drive on. No reason to be stuck in traffic if you can just jump around it.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By bpurkapi on 4/17/2008 12:22:36 PM , Rating: 2
On the subject of manhood and crash ratings, I ask any of you to ride a bike. The bike has great fuel economy(20 miles/ pizza), but lacks the sexiness of any car and if you do get hit at any speed over 25 mph you are mostly toast. So being that I mostly commute by bike, I think cars like the Up are great!


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Hiawa23 on 4/17/08, Rating: -1
RE: German engineering strikes again..
By fic2 on 4/17/2008 1:54:04 PM , Rating: 5
Uh, the post you quoted was about bicycle commuting. Unless someone has modified a motorcycle recently to take a pizza as fuel.


By StormEffect on 4/17/2008 3:57:48 PM , Rating: 3
OWNED! (By our friends at Domino's)


By mindless1 on 4/17/2008 2:21:16 PM , Rating: 2
That's not a workable solution. Most of society is not fit enough to bike around and never will be even if they tried to, many do need to haul people or gear.

A small number of bikes is sustainable but beyond that there would need be concurrent travelways to segregate automobiles and bikes.

How is 20 miles/pizza good? Any smaller car gets over 20 mpg which costs less than the pizza. If you have fun and it keeps you fit and/or save money, by all means enjoy it while you can but be careful and remember - most people, cyclists included, didn't think they were about to get into a tragic accident when they woke up that morning. A litte caution on the side of safety is always better than assuming everyone around you is responsible, alert, has a well maintained vehicle driving at safe speeds on ideal road conditions. Shit happens.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By OxBow on 4/17/2008 2:50:33 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks;
I also use my bike to get to work, the rec center, etc. I've got a mini-van when I need it, but it's healthier and simpler for me to live close to work and just ride my bike.

Granted, not everyone can live within a mile of work (it's 1.2 miles one way for me), but if you can, then what's stoping you?

If you do have to drive a long ways to work, then something like this makes good sense. As for safety vs. American SUV's. I think that people who post comments like that are completely ignorant fools. They don't think that Europe doesn't have safety ratings for it's vehicles. For crying out loud, this thing has to meet their safety ratings for the Audobahn where there's no inside lane speed limit. Not only is German engineering excellent, but they value life and health more than we do, also. This thing will be safe if driven safely. If you can't drive safely, you need a little talk with the highway patrol.


By Spuke on 4/17/2008 3:56:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not only is German engineering excellent, but they value life and health more than we do, also.
Really? You have some statistics to back that up?


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By pomaikai on 4/17/2008 2:50:54 PM , Rating: 1
So do I pack my 4 year old on the handle bars and my wife on the back pegs for my 26 mile trip to work? We both work and son goes to daycare within 1 mile of each other. Kinda hard to bike-pool 26 miles. I would never buy the Smart ForTwo. It only gets 33/40mpg. I would have to drive 2 cars to get 3 people to the same location. This would double the gas and if I did that it is cheaper to drive my full size truck to and from work which gets about 17MPG average per tank.

For 90MPG and 4 seats I would really consider this as a daily commuter car. I have been in 2 accidents in 11 years and the first was a small fender bender and the second one left 2 small marks from my license plate on the other car and did nothing at all to my truck, didnt even disturb the dirt on my bumber.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Spuke on 4/17/2008 3:59:37 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
So do I pack my 4 year old on the handle bars and my wife on the back pegs for my 26 mile trip to work?
Funny how these pro-eco-save-the-world types have a hard time seeing past their own noses. I mean, it works for me why shouldn't it work for everyone?


By Spuke on 4/18/2008 10:16:40 AM , Rating: 2
The truth hurts, apparently.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By jeff834 on 4/17/2008 12:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
I understand the main hurdles for safety come from it being so small, but if anyone can make it safe it's VW. I have a VW GTI and for a small car (compact hatchback) it has about 1000 standard safety features. Getting into an accident in that thing is like being in a giant pillow. As far as safety is concerned I'd feel much more safe in general if there weren't as many people driving SUVs. I'm not saying outlaw the things, but if you need a 4 ton car you should have to take 3 extra driving tests to be licensed for it. I see Escalades and Navigators all over the place and I don't think I've ever seen one with more than one person in it, and never someone who needs such an enormous vehicle. Don't even get me started on Hummers. Is there some sort of military invasion plan for Iran involving soccer moms I'm not aware of? Ah well, keep UP the good work VW.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Spuke on 4/17/2008 12:24:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Don't even get me started on Hummers.
Don't get ME started on SUV haters. In America, people are FREE (I know, novel concept) to drive whatever they want to drive and that includes SUV's. I am NOT an SUV person at all and NEVER would own one. But I do see how others could use one. Most people use these (and trucks) as all purpose vehicles. For commuting, vacationing, hauling, and towing. Renting trucks and SUV's is expensive and cumbersome. It's just much cheaper and a more efficient use of personal time to buy them.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 12:32:29 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Don't get ME started on SUV haters. In America, people are FREE (I know, novel concept) to drive whatever they want to drive and that includes SUV's. I am NOT an SUV person at all and NEVER would own one. But I do see how others could use one. Most people use these (and trucks) as all purpose vehicles. For commuting, vacationing, hauling, and towing. Renting trucks and SUV's is expensive and cumbersome. It's just much cheaper and a more efficient use of personal time to buy them.


Well said. People aren't in " love " with SUV's. They are simply the most PRACTICAL choice for their lifestyle. Is something wrong with that ? Why does it offend people so much ?


By therealnickdanger on 4/17/2008 1:15:51 PM , Rating: 2
"GAS IS MURDER!"
- Aging hippie liberal douche


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By ElFenix on 4/17/2008 1:54:35 PM , Rating: 2
i'd say minivan is 95% of the time more practical for the soccer moms/commuters i see driving SUVs


By bhieb on 4/17/2008 2:37:26 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, but more like 99.9% of the time. Unless you have something to tow a minivan is MUCH more practical. Just try to let your 4 year old throw open the door on your $70K escalate squeezed in between 2 other $70K escalades. Not too mention it is just easier to drive and get in and out of. Too bad they have such a bad stigma. My wife won't drive one so I get to lift out the 50lb back seats anytime I need to fit something in the back row (providing we actually planned ahead enough to know we needed room). Would be nice if they damn things were on a spring that folded neatly into the floor anytime anywhere.


By kmmatney on 4/17/2008 2:47:52 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed - if you are not towing, then a minivan is better. We have an all-wheel drive Grand Caravan, and it can go just about anywhere an SUV can, and is great for Colorado snow. It has much more cargo room and better gas mileage than an SUV. It's too bad than Dodge got rid of the AWD option and replaced it with the Stow-and-Go seating. Toyota makes an AWD minivan.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 3:28:50 PM , Rating: 2
> "i'd say minivan is 95% of the time more practical for the soccer moms/commuters "

That's not really true...as anyone who's been faced with the decision knows. Minivans are certainly the vehicle of choice for those who need to haul around 6+ people at a time.

But if you have fewer people, and more cargo, an SUV's easier loading/unloading more than compensates for the 15-20% dip in mileage. The higher base means moving things in and out like car seats or a week's groceries is easier for those soccer moms...and for the dads, it's a lot easier to load things like mulch, without folding or removing seats, or messing up your interior.

I won't even get into the towing or offroad/marginal road handling. Those are smaller factors for most SUV buyers (though they certainly exist).

There are certainly people who buy SUVs simply because they prefer the look, especially in what I'll politely call the "young urban set". But most SUV buyers have certainly weighed the pros and cons, and made the best decision for them personally.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By clovell on 4/17/2008 3:37:31 PM , Rating: 2
I find minivans are nicer for loading and unloading, especially in a garage - sliding doors have their advantages.


By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 4:19:24 PM , Rating: 2
Depends on what you're loading. For people-- sure. For loading heavy bags (groceries, luggage, lawn supplies, etc), the high, uncluttered bed of an SUV beats a van hands down.


By Houdani on 4/18/2008 9:59:59 AM , Rating: 2
My wife plays the harp, so I bought a GMC Yukon XL because it has a higher loading deck and panel doors on the back (2003 was the last year for panel doors). The minivan option, or even SUVs with lift gates, is a good way to bash the top of the harp when you're (un)loading. And when the musical instrument costs more than most cars, it's a good idea to invest in proper shipping and handling.

So like masher says, while it wasn't the most economical choice for gas or general cost, it was still the most sensible choice for my particular situation.


By Spuke on 4/17/2008 4:06:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
i'd say minivan is 95% of the time more practical for the soccer moms/commuters i see driving SUVs
I agree, minivans are more practical and, in my experience, do offer more people and storage room. They also have better acceleration and gas mileage than most SUV's. I wouldn't buy either but I never needed the storage space or people hauling capacity even when my kids were at home.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Strunf on 4/18/2008 4:23:09 PM , Rating: 1
Is that a joke? I see people driving them to work and back... the SUV is nothing more than a social status thing.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/18/2008 6:16:59 PM , Rating: 2
> "I see people driving them to work and back... "

You think that means they never haul things on the weekend, or drive a bunch of kids around after work?

It'd be nice if everyone could afford to buy a car strictly for commuting. It'd be even nicer if insurance companies were sane, and realized that your purchase of a $6K clunker car meant you were driving your $60K car LESS, and thus your total risk went down...but unfortunately an extra car means extra insurance too, even if you aren't driving any more.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Strunf on 4/19/2008 6:19:02 AM , Rating: 1
Bunch of kids ? Haul things on weekends? I still see them on the weekend inside the city...

I can fetch 5 people in my car EASY, I can take ALL the baggage they may need for a weekend... and I drive a Golf (Rabbit), if I needed more space I would buy a station-wagon.


By Spuke on 4/19/2008 3:44:08 PM , Rating: 2
I wanted a Volvo wagon when my kids were at home but my wife wouldn't be caught dead in one. She rather have a SUV and she dislikes those too. If we had bought a SUV, you would've seen her driving it by herself too. And on weekends, I can't always go with her so she would've shopped by herself, picked up hay by herself, and shuttled the kids and their friends around by herself. Just because you see a single driver with no passengers in a SUV doesn't mean it's always that way. I was in the large SUV demographic and my family members and friends that owned all used them to haul people and their stuff. I didn't know not one person that owned them and didn't use them for their intended purpose.

Like I stated in another post, my wife and I had two sedans (one eventually traded for a truck...my wife is a horse person). We ended up using both cars a lot and we tried NOT to use both cars. Didn't work most of the time. When kids are small (before teen), driving the same car as a single person works fine. We had a Hyundai Scoupe at one time. It worked well other than it being a POS. But when they got to be teens, they needed more room for themselves. And we all needed more space for luggage and groceries. Teens have friends too and want to hang out with them and they're too young to drive themselves. They also like after school activities like cheerleading, baseball, soccer, and other stuff. All that stuff, friends, and people don't fit in a Scoupe or a Golf. Hence a need for a SUV. We never bought one and probably should've. Life would have been MUCH easier. I would've never bought the truck or the other cars (and it would've been paid off by now and could've sold it and got a RV and a better commuter for my wife).

SUV's don't work for you but they work other people. Think outside of yourself for a minute.


By masher2 (blog) on 4/19/2008 10:09:59 PM , Rating: 2
> "I can take ALL the baggage they may need for a weekend... "

You haven't met my wife. She has a single suitcase alone that wouldn't fit into the back of a VW Golf.

Seriously, are you trying to argue that SUVs aren't larger? Their increased size is primary reason they get worse mileage...most aren't 4WD, and the higher frame only has a moderate impact on highway aerodynamics.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By mikefarinha on 4/17/2008 12:48:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In America, people are FREE to drive whatever they want to drive and that includes SUV's.


And in America people are free to question and make a stink about the the fact that some people 'freely' choose to drive large lumbering SUV's.

Once government gets involved then you can start crying 1st amendment.


By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 1:15:06 PM , Rating: 4
> "Once government gets involved then you can start crying 1st amendment."

The government got involved long ago, in acts such as the 'Gas Guzzler' tax, and many others.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Spuke on 4/17/2008 4:15:51 PM , Rating: 2
Never said you can't question it. But I think if it were left up to people like you, SUV's would be illegal irregardless of our freedoms. You can call it whatever you want (you are FREE to do so) but I value my freedom and don't want even an inkling of it taken away.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By lco45 on 4/18/2008 4:01:30 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know why people get so passionate about SUVs, and start quoting the constitution and such.

Cars are cars, people, pick the one that suits you. Nothing wrong with SUVs, they are just another type of car. Guy who drives 200 miles a week in a Prius is using more fuel that a guy who drives 50 miles a weekend in his SUV.

If you have to drive 200-300 miles a week you're probably going to save a bunch of money getting a car that has better mileage, which I'm sure any SUV owner has considered very carefully, but weighed up the pros and cons and made their decision for the time being.


By Spuke on 4/18/2008 10:20:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't know why people get so passionate about SUVs, and start quoting the constitution and such.
Because if one of these nut cases was given the power to take away YOUR right to drive whatever you want, they would do so in a heartbeat. They ONLY see their own needs and wants and don't recognize the needs and wants of the next man. So we bring up the Constitution because these nut cases need to be reminded that we are indeed living in a free country and regardless of how they feel about SUV's, WE have the RIGHT to buy them all day, everyday.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Strunf on 4/18/2008 4:31:09 PM , Rating: 2
"Guy who drives 200 miles a week in a Prius is using more fuel that a guy who drives 50 miles a weekend in his SUV."

Depends on the driver and the SUV, I don't doubt the Prius could be 4x more efficient than many SUV.

SUV owners don't care about MPG if they did they would NEVER get a SUV, let's face it there's no reason what so ever to get a SUV if you live in a city.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Spuke on 4/19/2008 1:10:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
let's face it there's no reason what so ever to get a SUV if you live in a city.
How so? Do city people have less kids? Or do their kids have less friends? Do you they go on less vacations? Do they tow less? Do they require less cargo capacity? I'd really like to know your answer.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Strunf on 4/19/2008 6:41:58 AM , Rating: 2
On most cars you can put 5 people inside, the average kids per family is slightly over 2, so 5 is enough.
The SUV have 5 seats just most other vehicles. So an SUV doesn't have any advantage on this matter.

I don't buy my car based on vacations but on what it will be doing 99% of the time.

An SUV has higher cargo capacity but is it really worth it 99% of the time?...

Ya the SUV may have some advantages over a compact car but they would be moot versus a station-wagon.


By Spuke on 4/19/2008 5:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
On most cars you can put 5 people inside, the average kids per family is slightly over 2, so 5 is enough.
But as a parent, you're not taking just your two kids around. Kids, especially teens, have friends and they want them around too a LOT. I had two sedans (we refused to buy a SUV and my wife abhors wagons) and we drove them BOTH a LOT. We also have family in Phoenix and we drove out there to visit (4 airline tickets=too expensive for a short weekend visit) quite a bit. We ended up renting a large sedan for those trips (mother-in-law usually came with us). We the money we spent in rentals we should've just bought a SUV. I am not a special case. There are tons of people in similar circumstances.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/19/2008 10:17:53 PM , Rating: 2
> The SUV have 5 seats just most other vehicles. So an SUV doesn't have any advantage on this matter."

Err, small SUVs seat 5. Large ones can seat 8. And in a pinch, you can always throw that extra kid or two in the back of a small SUV...but I wouldn't advise stuffing them in the trunk of your subcompact.

In any case, you're making the mistake of thinking an SUV is nothing but a large "people mover". It's a vehicle designed for utility...if you just need to haul a lot of people, you buy a van.

> " don't buy my car based on vacations but on what it will be doing 99% of the time."

Most people buy a car that fits **all** their needs. They'd rather not rent a different car everytime they want to take a weekend trip, carry home mulch from the garden store, or carry an extra kid or two home from soccer practice.


By Spuke on 4/19/2008 11:41:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Most people buy a car that fits **all** their needs.
This is something that my wife and I did not do and ended up spending more money in the long run. Won't make that mistake again.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Hiawa23 on 4/17/2008 1:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
Don't get ME started on SUV haters. In America, people are FREE (I know, novel concept) to drive whatever they want to drive and that includes SUV's. I am NOT an SUV person at all and NEVER would own one. But I do see how others could use one. Most people use these (and trucks) as all purpose vehicles. For commuting, vacationing, hauling, and towing. Renting trucks and SUV's is expensive and cumbersome. It's just much cheaper and a more efficient use of personal time to buy them.

you are right. I have nothing against SUVs, but what gets me, is that these are the same people crying foul when gas prices out outragious like now. You have to know when you buy one of these lumbering vehicles that gas may go up, & if you feel you can't hack it then get a smaller vehicle. I respect everyone's right to buy whatever they want, it's just funny to see the SUV & Hummer people on the news crying about gas when they get 10-18 miles to the gallon.


By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 1:36:39 PM , Rating: 2
> "it's just funny to see the SUV & Hummer people on the news crying about gas "

I think most of the Hummer and Escalade owners are crying a lot less than the average person driving a budget car.

Compared to the cost of purchasing, insuring, and maintaining a $60K+ vehicle, gas really isn't a big concern.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 2:24:44 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see the majority of SUV owners crying about gas. In fact, I don't see anyone crying about it really. Except, like you say, on the news. Big shock there. /shrug.

Gas prices aren't really high enough for the average driver to be forced into one of these neutered euro boxes. I'm sure the sales of the UP! and the Smart car in Europe , where gas is like 10 dollars US a gallon, will dominate the sales in America. Maybe not, because tiny cars have been par for the course in Europe for a long time now.


By Spuke on 4/18/2008 4:04:41 PM , Rating: 2
I did some number crunching and discovered that if we bought an Up! for about $9800 out the door and parked the truck we'd still come out of pocket about $20 a month. That's not including maintenance just the car payment and fuel costs. Yeah, we'd save big time on gas but would add a third car payment which negates the savings. It would work better if our truck was paid off but since we plan on buying another one, gas will have to get more expensive than now to justify a third car.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 12:46:56 PM , Rating: 4
> "but if you need a 4 ton car you should have to take 3 extra driving tests to be licensed for it."

As far as I'm concerned, pretty much all Americans should have to take 3 extra driving tests...no matter what you drive.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By darkpaw on 4/17/2008 2:09:55 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, and people driving those damn 30ft motorhomes should have to get a mini CDL or something.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By koomo on 4/17/2008 2:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
Fortunately, this poll shows Americans have been "ready for change" for a long time!

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/38644

I hope all of you will buy smaller cars so that I can fully open my truck's doors once again.


By Spuke on 4/17/2008 6:03:25 PM , Rating: 2
You're showing a poll from theonion.com? I'm sure that's good representation of all Americans.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By smitty3268 on 4/17/2008 12:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
Real world crash data consistently shows that tiny cars like this are safer than people instinctively think - larger vehicles have a much greater chance of flipping over which is very dangerous to the people inside. Still, I'd probably agree that it's not the thing to drive if you're concerned about high speed accidents.

Lot's of people aren't very worried about those kind of accidents, though.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 1:31:32 PM , Rating: 3
> "larger vehicles have a much greater chance of flipping over."

Larger vehicles don't have a greater chance...vehicles based on a truck platform (large or small) do, based on their higher center of mass.

Incidentally, the danger during a rollover is primarily due to ejection risk...which one can pretty much negate by wearing your seatbelt.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By smitty3268 on 4/17/2008 5:48:39 PM , Rating: 2
Well, yes. One can pretty much completely reduce your danger by simply driving carefully. I was specifically referring to real world crash stats, where some people are stupid and don't wear seat belts.


By masher2 (blog) on 4/18/2008 12:36:10 AM , Rating: 1
In the real-world, a person who wouldn't possibly consider a smart car because of safety, is also a person likely to wear their seat belt in an SUV.


By ZombieRitual on 4/17/2008 1:23:42 PM , Rating: 4
You know what really keeps you safe? Not driving like a jackass in a big car. Driving a little car + not getting into accidents > driving a big car + getting into accidents.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By kamra on 4/17/2008 1:39:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This thing is a death trap/organ donor. The only thing more unsafe on the roads than this UP, Yaris, Smartcar, stuff is a motorcycle.


It's ignorant statements like this that make the world laugh at American folly. If the VW UP! is similar to the Smart Four-two, then it should have a curb weight of almost 2,000 lbs., which, if you remember cars from the 80's & 90's, is about the same weight as older compact sedans.

VW & Mercedez (makers of the UP! & Smart cars) are well-known for the safety of their vehicles, so if you can combine expert vehicle safety with a car that is no where near the lightness of a 500 lbs. motorcycle... sounds like it might be a lot safer than you seem to dare to realize.


By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 1:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
> "If the VW UP! is similar to the Smart Four-two, then it should have a curb weight of almost 2,000 lbs"

The FourTwo weighs 1600 lbs, about half what a compact sedan weighs today, and about a quarter of what a large SUV weighs. In any sort of real collision between it and a larger vehicle, it's going to lose, and badly.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By fic2 on 4/17/2008 1:48:10 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
The only thing more unsafe on the roads than this


is soccer moms driving HUGE SUVs while yapping on their phones.

fixed it for ya....


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Lightning III on 4/17/2008 2:47:11 PM , Rating: 2

But it's getting safer by the day as excursions and suburbans become hanger queens and we hit 5 dollars a gallon by the end of summer.


By Spuke on 4/17/2008 6:20:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But it's getting safer by the day as excursions and suburbans become hanger queens and we hit 5 dollars a gallon by the end of summer.
The sales numbers on trucks have been down in 07 compared to 06 nationally. Don't know about the numbers of SUV's, nationally, except the CR-V has increased in sales. There has been a increase in mid-size SUV sales in CA. Don't know about other states.


By timmiser on 4/24/2008 4:13:51 AM , Rating: 1
I would rather get into a freeway level accident in a smart car that has airbags than a 1980's era mid-size car that does not have air bags.

Just my .02.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 11:49:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not everyone needs are huge shiney car to feel like a man.


NO, but a big backseat helps. *wink*


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Vanilla Thunder on 4/17/2008 12:56:50 PM , Rating: 2
If you're 16.

V


By Spuke on 4/17/2008 9:09:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you're 16.
Not married or in a relationship are you? Such is the spice of life.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Some1ne on 4/17/2008 2:31:31 PM , Rating: 2
Needing to feel like a man has nothing to do with it. I want a car that:

1. Has good acceleration.
2. Has a top speed that is well beyond what I will ever need in practice.
3. Won't be struggling every time I try to drive uphill.
4. Is suitable for long roadtrips (> 200 miles) involving lots of people and/or cargo.
5. Has good fuel economy.

This new car only fulfills #5, and is therefore completely useless to me. Given its design and performance characteristics, I think the car is intended to be marketed primarily to people living in large urban areas, where things like its small size become more of an asset (it's easier to park), and its other flaws become less important (acceleration and top speed don't really matter if you're in stop-and-go traffic on roads with a 25 mph speed limit). However, if you live in a large urban area, and you aren't using the public transportation system at least 90% of the time, then you're already an asshole, and this car won't help change that.

What we really need are solutions that deliver better fuel economy without sacrificing performance in every other major category like this one does. The Prius is actually a decent example of this, it delivers excellent fuel economy without sacrificing much in terms of size/comfort or performance.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 3:17:59 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
However, if you live in a large urban area, and you aren't using the public transportation system at least 90% of the time, then you're already an asshole


I have a big problem with statements like this. I don't really feel like getting into it right now though, but I think your the asshole.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 3:35:10 PM , Rating: 2
> "you live in a large urban area, and you aren't using the public transportation system at least 90% of the time, then you're already an asshole"

Cribbing from another poster-- I prefer a half-hour of driving to a 90-minute trip that involves 2 buses, a train, a lot of walking, and waiting outside in the cold and rain.

Plus, the extra bonus of not having to sit next to a pool of homeless man urine or vomit.


By Spuke on 4/17/2008 9:12:41 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Plus, the extra bonus of not having to sit next to a pool of homeless man urine or vomit.
Hear hear!!!


By otispunkmeyer on 4/17/2008 3:02:35 PM , Rating: 2
i think he probably ment working reproductive organ in the sense that 3 seats hust wont be enough for his possibly growing family

these little things are quite cool, you can fit two in a standard parking space and park nose on to the curbs... not bad.

they suck at the motorway and theres no escaping the fact that in the smart fortwo your feet are pretty much just behind the front bumper.

any type of hard head on crash and you aint gonna be walking out of there if u do survive.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By natty on 4/17/2008 3:59:46 PM , Rating: 3
okey, beyond silly comments about compensation for lack of penis size or whatever - that car looks **really really** stupid. Its like a toy. Who would ever want to drive something that looks like that? Keep that silly toy car crap in europe where it belongs. Hippies.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 4:26:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
okey, beyond silly comments about compensation for lack of penis size or whatever - that car looks **really really** stupid. Its like a toy. Who would ever want to drive something that looks like that? Keep that silly toy car crap in europe where it belongs. Hippies.


HEHEHE +5 !


By phxfreddy on 4/17/2008 4:02:08 PM , Rating: 2
its not that a big car makes you feel like you have a big dcik but you are certainly a pencil dcik if you drive up in one of these to a girls house!


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By goku on 4/17/2008 11:34:25 AM , Rating: 3
Just seeing the "up!" reminds me of how paltry the MPG for the Smart car truely are. How can a vehicle so small only get 35mpg!? I think the UP! would be a better seller than the smart for two once word of its MPG spreads.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 2:27:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just seeing the "up!" reminds me of how paltry the MPG for the Smart car truely are. How can a vehicle so small only get 35mpg!?


Ah thanks for trying to keep us on topic ! :)

As to the how, well, the Smart car is French. /shrug.


By otispunkmeyer on 4/17/2008 3:08:04 PM , Rating: 2
id just wait for the official numbers

VW have a special version of the Polo here called the blue motion. its got a 1.4 diesel and has nifty aero pieces to reduce the drag co-efficient and they claim a quite massive 74mpg

channel five motoring program fifth gear tested this car and got a not quite 70+mpg of just 48Mpg making it not much better than most other diesels.

usually its the french you have to be careful with because they like to inflate their mpg numbers....


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Gul Westfale on 4/17/2008 11:40:54 AM , Rating: 2
a toyota yaris already blows the smart out of the water in every way and gets pretty close on gas mileage. i also think VW needs to change the name of this thing, UP! sounds like "we are desperately trying to be cool but have no idea what we are doing". and 94MPG... hmm. easy for the marketing people to say that, when not a singe car has actually been built.


By Gul Westfale on 4/17/2008 11:43:42 AM , Rating: 3
ah, while we're on the subject of small cars:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mio5fTKqWgM

you cold probably put that in your locker at work.


By kellehair on 4/17/2008 12:14:02 PM , Rating: 2
Even better is the Nissan Versa. Small, similar MPG and it's cavernous on the inside. Honestly I was shocked to sit in one. It seemingly had more interior space than my full size sedan.


By Hiawa23 on 4/17/2008 11:45:46 AM , Rating: 2
I think it's great the companies are looking at better ways to improve mileage, but damn near all these little cars are usually too small, & just not attractive at all, & the power can't be thst great on them. I think I will stick with my Honda Civic & Mitshu Lancer.


By AntiM on 4/17/2008 12:16:07 PM , Rating: 2
I would say that they would do well to change the name. There are just too many ways to make it into something dirty sounding. "Hey, is that UP! yours!? UP! yours too buddy!


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By johnsonx on 4/17/08, Rating: 0
RE: German engineering strikes again..
By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 12:51:41 PM , Rating: 2
> "..It's working, yet so tiny you need a big powerful car to compensate? "

I'm pretty sure that silly cliche was begun by blue-collar guys jealous over their inability to afford a Porsche or Ferrari.

Big, powerful cars are *fun*. Plain and simple.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By eyebeeemmpawn on 4/17/2008 2:08:57 PM , Rating: 1
I would guess women had come up with that to explain the manchild's endless need for toys. Your comment reeks of elitist douchebag, BTW.

big, powerful cars are fun for sure; but they're for sallies. If you want to feel some power/torque, lose the cage.

Then when you get bored with straight-line acceleration, try dragging some body parts in the corners :D


By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 3:30:44 PM , Rating: 2
> "Your comment reeks of elitist douchebag, BTW"

That's alright, my aftershave usually masks it.


By Spuke on 4/17/2008 9:25:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
big, powerful cars are fun for sure; but they're for sallies. If you want to feel some power/torque, lose the cage.
Some of us don't have a death wish. I am a married man and I'm almost positive my wife would like me to stick around. Besides motorcycles don't make much power/torque. The reason they're so fast is because of the extremely lightweight. How hard is it to make a ~700 lb bike fast? Whoop de freakin doo! How bout a Nissan 200SX (an actual car with weight) that does the 1/4 in the high 10's. And this ain't no trailer queen either. Was daily driven until the owner got tired of rebuilding his tranny all of the time. Now THAT'S impressive!!


By eyebeeemmpawn on 4/17/2008 1:35:36 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I still have a working reproductive organ.


it must be on the small side if your vehicle dictates the functionality of your manhood.


By snownpaint on 4/17/2008 2:07:47 PM , Rating: 1
Did you ever hear the story about the baby chicken stuck in the puddle? Well, when the chick got stuck in the puddle, the Pig went to the farmers house and took the AMG500; rode through the puddle, popped open the door, and picked up the chick.. When the baby chicken got stuck in the puddle for the second time, the horse came to it's rescue. He straddled over the puddle, lowered his large "member" and told the chick to grab on, pulling her from the puddle..

Whats the moral of the story, you don't need an expensive cars to pick up chicks if you have a big "member".


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By 16nm on 4/17/2008 2:20:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I wouldn't buy either of these cars, mostly because I still have a working reproductive organ.


By far the most common reason that a sex organ fails is because of menopause.

Did you know that the male sex organ typically does not fail? It's designed to last a lifetime.

If you are expecting yours to fail then what must we assume?


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By walk2k on 4/17/2008 2:36:09 PM , Rating: 2
Gee I expected a "penis" comment somewhere in this thread, but the very first one??

It's called "compensating" by the way.


RE: German engineering strikes again..
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 2:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Gee I expected a "penis" comment somewhere in this thread, but the very first one??


Hey I didn't say penis !? I could be a woman you know. Well, ok, not really lol.

quote:
It's called "compensating" by the way.


Hardly. I proudly drive a 1994 Mazda Protege. Not exactly a sex wagon. But it still has more sex appeal then one of these ! hehehe.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 2:46:07 PM , Rating: 2
Uhh okay guys. Seriously it was just a joke or an attempt to be witty. Your getting carried away with the sex thing. :P


By 91TTZ on 4/17/2008 9:45:25 PM , Rating: 2
You are comparing a production vehicle to a concept which hasn't done anything yet. These are all projections.

You're getting worked up over a "paper launch".


By WiiKnee on 4/17/2008 1:29:21 PM , Rating: 2
"I wouldn't buy either of these cars, mostly because I still have a working reproductive organ."

"This thing is a death trap/organ donor. The only thing more unsafe on the roads than this UP, Yaris, Smartcar, stuff is a motorcycle"

Sounds like the American car companies and propaganda machine got you right where they want you! I would buy one of these in a heartbeat, if the big auto makers would allow them to be available over here. I am all for reducing our dependency on foreign oil, aren't you?




By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 1:34:17 PM , Rating: 2
> "I would buy one of these in a heartbeat, if the big auto makers would allow them to be available "

Are you seriously invoking a conspiracy theory to explain why American's refuse to buy small, underpowered vehicles?

> "I am all for reducing our dependency on foreign oil, aren't you? "

The teenage kid driving his 50MPG Civic endlessly around the mall parking lot every weekend uses more foreign oil than my Hummer ever did, even before I sold it.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 2:32:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sounds like the American car companies and propaganda machine got you right where they want you!


Oh you got me. Guilty as charged. My first car was a 1986 Nissan Sentra. My second car was a Mitsubishi Mirage. Then I bought a Mitsubishi Eclipse. My last vehicle was a Toyota Tundra. And I'm currently driving, and enjoying, a 1994 Mazda Protege which as far as I'm concerned is acting like it will last forever.

Please. Save it.


By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 2:37:03 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I am all for reducing our dependency on foreign oil, aren't you?


Its a forced dependency, caused by hippies and the lackey senators they paid off who wont allow us to drill and refine the unknown billions of barrels of oil thats beneath our own country and in the ocean.

So yeah, I am for it. Everyone buying matchbox cars wont change that simple fact.


By masher2 (blog) on 4/17/2008 4:22:55 PM , Rating: 2
China and other nations are drilling for oil off the Florida coast....but the US isn't. Truth is stranger than fiction:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,193665,00.html


By TheDoc9 on 4/17/2008 4:48:46 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't be surprised, things like this make me pause and call into question whether these shortages that drive price are real or manufactured. It's funny because the evidence suggests we have plenty of oil but the price certainly doesn't reflect it. I guess when you have something the world absolutely needs then you can do pretty much whatever it is you want and get away with it.


By andrinoaa on 4/18/2008 4:30:59 AM , Rating: 1
were is the evidence of the "billions" of barrels of oil under your feet? Is the earth really infinite in size? lol
I think you guys have been watching too many "roswell" shows on TV - you can't distinguish reality from fiction any more. Face it, your country is very happy to sent 150,000 soldiers and a trillion dollars to Iraq, than invest in the infrustructure of the future ( what ever it may be )
As to which dick will survive a crash better, can some one please study the accident statistics and show us the reality.


By masher2 (blog) on 4/18/2008 10:18:10 AM , Rating: 3
> "were is the evidence of the "billions" of barrels of oil under your feet? ...lol "

In the records of the US Geological Survey. There's 13 billion barrels in Prudhoe Bay, 15 billion barrels off NO in the Gulf Coast, 4 billion in the Bakken fields in Montana/SD, and up to 20 billion in ANWR -- these just to name a few.


By andrinoaa on 4/18/2008 6:10:43 PM , Rating: 1
the fact you can't get to these "fields" commercially is saying more than your figures do! It must be very very expensive to get to. might just as well be on the moon.
more "roswel"


By Spuke on 4/19/2008 1:15:56 AM , Rating: 2
Some of those places are expensive and we're not allowed to drill in the other places (ANWAR). When gas prices get high enough, the expensive places won't be so expensive anymore. This is public info dude.


By HeavyB on 4/17/2008 5:39:08 PM , Rating: 2
You think Larry (Senator wide-stance) and John were engaged in a little "shoe tapping" under the table during the interview there? LOL


Thanks, but no thanks...
By arazok on 4/17/2008 12:28:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...models destined for the European market are expected to start at £7,500 ($14,800 USD).


And this is why it will fail. I can buy a Hyundai Accent in Canada for $9,995 - already an economical car. Why would I spend 50% more for 50% less? (4-cyl vs 2 cyl, larger vs smaller, etc). Sorry 92MPG is nice, but not that nice.

Like the SMART car - I want to buy one of these! It's a great commuter. However, I will not pay more for less.




RE: Thanks, but no thanks...
By HotdogIT on 4/17/2008 12:52:28 PM , Rating: 3
I fully agree. For 15k, there's a LOT of other cars in that range. I mean a lot a lot. I know they need to make money on it, and maybe the "technology" is new enough to warrant it, but it feels counter-intuitive to spend more for so much less.

Bring the "stripped down" model to the US, please! For running around town it'd be great!


RE: Thanks, but no thanks...
By Reclaimer77 on 4/17/2008 2:41:47 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I fully agree. For 15k, there's a LOT of other cars in that range. I mean a lot a lot. I know they need to make money on it, and maybe the "technology" is new enough to warrant it, but it feels counter-intuitive to spend more for so much less.


I agree with the OP and you as well. Does anyone really NEED a new car ? The used car market in this country is better than its ever been. For 15k you can get a hell of a deal on a car.

quote:
Bring the "stripped down" model to the US, please! For running around town it'd be great!


The UP! 7+k 'ish model does seem more appealing than spending 15k if your into this kind of thing. And it comes in at a price where families could realistically consider buying one just for an " around town " car. Because lets be honest, neither the UP! or the Smart fits the bill for an everyday driver.


RE: Thanks, but no thanks...
By Spuke on 4/17/2008 11:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
At the $8000 price of entry, all I'd need would be A/C and a stereo and it would be a very nice commuter, grocery getter car.


RE: Thanks, but no thanks...
By Suomynona on 4/17/2008 1:13:05 PM , Rating: 2
That price does seem pretty ridiculous, they would need to bring that down a ways to make it worthwhile. It seems like there's plenty of room for cost-cutting, though, if they're selling it for $8000 in "developing markets." If they could bring the price down to something more like, say, $13,000, it would be very attractive. It's almost definitely not really going to get 90+ MPG when it's all said and done, but even reducing that to 60 MPG means it would take about 4 years to pay the difference between it (at $13,000) and a $10,000 Accent (~30 MPG).

This is my quickie calculation assuming 15,000 miles/year and $3.00/gallon gas. 12,000 miles a year makes it more like 5 years to pay off, but then gas is costing more than $3/gallon right now.


RE: Thanks, but no thanks...
By AlphaVirus on 4/18/2008 1:36:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Like the SMART car - I want to buy one of these! It's a great commuter. However, I will not pay more for less.

Ironically I saw one of these Smart cars yesterday on my way home. It had 1 average sized male in it and there was only room for 1 more person. His head was pretty much at the top of the car and he had no "wiggle" room.

We were on the freeway and he was going about 70-75 the entire time. I really couldnt hear the engine because of all the road noise from all the other cars.

All I can say is WAY too small. Realistically it can only fit 2 people and 2 backpacks, or 1 large luggage bag.

I dont care how great the MPG is, if I am not comfortable then I wont get it.


RE: Thanks, but no thanks...
By masher2 (blog) on 4/18/2008 3:45:20 PM , Rating: 2
> "We were on the freeway and he was going about 70-75 the entire time."

That's why I tend to laugh at most of these buyers (a neighbor has a Prius he regularly drives in the 80-85 range). If you really wanted to save gas, driving a bit slower would be far more effective.


RE: Thanks, but no thanks...
By AlphaVirus on 4/22/2008 4:56:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, thats where most gas is wasted on, mashing on the gas. Or constantly braking and accelerating.


Quality
By Desslok on 4/17/2008 11:24:02 AM , Rating: 5
I wish VW would get their production quality back up. I would love a Diesel Jetta wagon, but their quality scares me too much.




RE: Quality
By darkpaw on 4/17/2008 11:37:20 AM , Rating: 2
Yah, I defintely have to agree there. My boss has a new beetle and it's in the shop all the time. My 11 year old Nissan is more reliable then his bug.


RE: Quality
By mdogs444 on 4/17/2008 11:41:57 AM , Rating: 2
I had an Audi A4 Quattro turbo and it was a POS.

Sure, it was peppy, handled great, and drove like a snowmobile in the winter...but mechanically it was a piece of crap, and build quality sucked as the interior buttons & electronics started falling off and going haywire at about 50k. Not to mention how expensive they are to fix.

I would never, ever, ever buy a VW/Audi product again.


RE: Quality
By scorpio1980 on 4/17/2008 12:25:35 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. A friend of mine bought a used 04' Audi A6 turbo. It had 40k miles on it and he got it for about 19k. Within 6 months he had spent another $4,500 in repairs. Lots of little things go wrong with the car all the time. The computer display on the dash just took a nose dive and the Audi dealer quoted him $1,100 to replace it, plus labor ! What a rip off ! I have heard from many people that VW/Audi is a nice car to own new, but once it hits 40k+ miles it's time to get rid of it.


RE: Quality
By lebe0024 on 4/17/2008 12:40:37 PM , Rating: 2
I've had two VWs: 2000 golf and 2001 Jetta VR6. While I never had any drivetrain problems with either, interior "finish" problems where a nightmare, as were engine electronics.


RE: Quality
By 16nm on 4/17/2008 2:38:38 PM , Rating: 2
You're right about VW. I've had two VW cars in the past and something was always broken. Radiators, A/C compressor clutches, water pumps, door handles, door handles and door handles were always broken. As soon as you got back from the dealership, something new was broken. I will however say that they handled great. I've mostly owned Honda since and while not as fun to drive they are much more reliable. I've had similarly bad luck with BMW. Perhaps not as bad as VW, but nothing like Honda.


Imperial gallons
By Synosure on 4/17/2008 4:03:49 PM , Rating: 3
Just wanted to remind everyone that this is 90 mpg on the European scale. Im too lazy to do the math but its alot less than 90 on our scale.




RE: Imperial gallons
By Suomynona on 4/17/2008 5:18:45 PM , Rating: 3
Good point. 94 miles per Imperial gallon works out to 78.27 miles per US gallon. Still impressive, but not quite as good as it sounds at first. I kind of doubt they'll make that number, but even 60-70 mpg would be amazing.


RE: Imperial gallons
By nofranchise on 4/21/2008 6:32:44 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
but even 60-70 mpg would be amazing.


The VW Lupo 3L (the name means 3 liters of gas per 100 kilometers) got above 70 mpg - it was a 1.2 liter diesel, with a sophisticated fuel-saving system. The engine turned off at stop lights, it had special gearing etc.

VW discontinued it in 2005 - I don't know why.

It was a great little car, and there are a lot of them on the road here in Denmark still. I used to drive one for my old company, and I am seriously considering buying a used one. They lose very little value, and a lot of them are fine after 200.000 kilometers.


what some people dont get?
By NullSubroutine on 4/17/2008 11:33:11 PM , Rating: 2
How is driving one of these any more a death trap than a motorcycle?

I would imagine that unless its smushed up against something else the compact size of the vehicle would prevent it from getting serious damage at lower speeds because of its light weight and small size it would more likely get pushed (which may be good or bad).

Seriously, I have considered buying one of these just for city driving (back and forth to work). I live in a town of about 15k people and there isnt a place in town where the speed limit exceeds 25mph. It wouldnt be much different than driving a golf cart or motorcycle around in my opinion. (except motorcycle can potentially avoid a few accidents-and cause more when attempting to as well)




RE: what some people dont get?
By Omega215D on 4/18/2008 2:59:28 AM , Rating: 2
Driving a small car is safer than riding a motorcycle, that is true. The thing is the properly trained motorcyclist can actually avoid many accidents and the use of protective gear can prevent many injuries in one. Many motorcyclists (the majority who are trained, not the squids) are actually better drivers since they are used to scanning the road and looking out for potential hazards.

The stories you hear on the news are about those riding around in t-shirts and regular jeans or shorts with either sneakers or dress shoes. Many don't have a proper helmet on or just wear theirs improperly.

I just wanted to clear some things up since I've been riding since I was 18 (23 now) and I've had a couple of accidents that occurred at speeds higher than 30MPH. No serious injuries and I've been pretty good at avoiding idiots on the road which helps reduce the chances of being in another accident. I now have good habits when driving a car thanks to the experience.

To get back on topic I want one of these to park next to my bike!


By NullSubroutine on 4/18/2008 5:46:03 AM , Rating: 2
Uh, I am 911/radio operator and we have plenty of people driving around in t-shirts and sneakers that are in accidents. I don't hear about accidents on the news, I either recieve and process them or I read the police reports when we aren't busy.

Back on subject, if you notice, I did say that motorcycles could allow a person avoid accidents or obstcales, having someone drive all over the road in order to avoid 1 accident could invariably cause many more accidents.

As stupid as it sounds some accidents would be safer for all drivers if some people didnt try to avoid an accident, as sometimes they cause more traffic hazards than just getting into a fender bender.

Back at my home town in Iowa where my Mother and Grandfather are EMTs, there was an accident on the interstate on our towns exit where a person slammed (for unknown reasons) right into the cement pillars for the bridge (100+mph).

Because of this accident they closed down the traffic lanes, later they opened up 1 of the lanes to let traffic through (was backed up for almost 20 miles). During this time two other accidents occured at this location. One of which, my other grandfather (not the one on scene as EMT) was hit by some lady driving to fast while trying to check out the accident.

The amount of accidents that occur when people are trying to see whats going on at an accident is just rediculous.

And, I wouldnt drive this thing on the interstate, only in town.


Gas Saver ?!
By scorpio1980 on 4/17/2008 12:29:51 PM , Rating: 3
Does anybody know why Nissan won't bring the Altima Hybrid to all states ? I really want that car but I live in Illinois and they are not availabe here (only sell them in 5 states so far). It's a decent looking car (for a hybrid especially), and it's gets very good MPG when compared to the Camry - and I hate the look of the Hybrid Camry.

Wake up Nissan !




RE: Gas Saver ?!
By Spuke on 4/18/2008 12:02:16 AM , Rating: 2
My friend has the 2.5L Altima and gets damn near 600 miles on a tank of gas. Granted the car has a 20 gallon tank but still.


Its an organ donor-mobile
By phxfreddy on 4/17/2008 7:41:32 PM , Rating: 2
Silverado hits back of this car. Tombstone and daisies pop up. Automatic organ harvesters pop out of where air bag deployment devices usually are installed. They harvest your transplantable organs and automatically place them in a Coleman Cooler on ice so they are PRONTO ready for helilifting to the waiting hospital transplant team.




RE: Its an organ donor-mobile
By andrinoaa on 4/17/2008 8:49:38 PM , Rating: 3
Make that two sets after my "kenworth" goes through your toy silverado
Stupid logic you espouse! lol lol


man..
By yacoub on 4/17/2008 11:22:57 AM , Rating: 2
VW needs to bring the new Sirocco state-side. (They've said they won't, blaming the exchange rate courtesy of the weak dollar).




RE: man..
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 4/17/2008 11:29:48 AM , Rating: 2
Make it the MKVI GTI for the US and call it a day.


gas mileage with 4 passengers?
By jmunjr on 4/17/2008 4:21:50 PM , Rating: 2
So I wonder what mileage it gets with 600+ lbs of passengers in side.. Heck 4 men will hit 700lbs easily..




By andrinoaa on 4/18/2008 6:38:40 AM , Rating: 2
better than a Kenwoth. lol


For the Doubters.
By szasstam78 on 4/21/2008 11:35:33 AM , Rating: 2
Go to here...watch the crash. Quite impressive, seems safe to me if it can live throug this kind of abuse.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=CJHpUO-S0i8

if link dont work just youtube, smart car crash.
amazing roll cage technology, safe little box.

granted this also can be applied to the baseball effect....
ie Transport truck being the bat, and the little smart car being a ball.. hehe ya might live, assuming you can handle the g forces of being launched lol




RE: For the Doubters.
By Reclaimer77 on 4/22/2008 12:32:32 AM , Rating: 2
The car does indeed hold up well.

And thats the problem. If you had posted the FULL version of this video, you would of seen that their conclusion is that while the car held up, the people INSIDE would of been horribly killed.

The car is just too small. Theres not enough car to protect the people inside. Who cares how good it does in a crash if they end up scooping you out of it with soup ladles ?


Yeeesh
By MKct on 4/17/2008 3:12:50 PM , Rating: 1
I am definitely all for higher MPG and environmental friendliness of vehicles, however I do have to agree that some of these small cars like the Up!, and Smart cars might be too small for the main roads of the United States. I say this because I believe there is some credence to the folks that are protesting the safety of these "micro" cars. If you've ever driven on a busy American highway, such as I-95 with all the big rigs and 18 wheelers, you know that in a collision between a car the size of a Smart and one of those trucks would likely result in the serious injury or death of the people riding in the Smart car. There just isn't enough car surrounding the drivers in a Smart in a collision of that type. Unless some serious modifications were done in terms of a roll cage and strengthening of the frame and doors, the Smarts just don't give people the safety they are looking for, especially at highway speeds here in the US (IMHO). However, I do agree that Smarts and similar cars MAY have a place in the US for use in large cities and urban areas where the chances of high speed accidents with large vehicles are lower.
I agree that there are too many SUVs and trucks on the road here as well, but like it was stated before, it's the right of the driver here to buy a huge SUV for themselves. Until gas prices are so high that most can't afford to fill up an SUV or a drastic change in consumer opinion comes about, we're going to have to live with that. Personally, I'd like to see the continuing push of hybrid technology into larger vehicles such as SUVs that really improves MPG and not just by a few mpg. Hopefully that will become a good segue into full electric vehicles in the future.




RE: Yeeesh
By Runiteshark on 4/17/2008 4:58:17 PM , Rating: 2
One of these with a K series motor and a roll cage would probably be really fun.


10 bucks says
By FITCamaro on 4/17/2008 12:16:25 PM , Rating: 2
You'll see one with a fart pipe and spinners if it ever made it here to the US.

The mpg is impressive but its just too small. Sorry but I don't want to have to fold my seats down to put groceries in it. At least it doesn't look completely retarded like the "Smart".




Bore it out and upgrade the turbo!
By wingless on 4/17/2008 12:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
By the time I got done with it, it would only get 63mpg! I'd soop it up big time. I'd make 110 to the wheels! It would look sexy with an FMIC and 15" AE86 Watanabes too. LOL jk...




I prefer Japanese products
By rcreyes on 4/17/2008 3:36:44 PM , Rating: 2
If people in the West only knew what Japanese consumers have, they wouldn't ooh and aah so much about this German POS. I demand quality and reliability, and the best are always the Japanese (surprise, surprise).

A typical 10-year-old Toyota or Honda is more reliable than a brand new BMW/Mercedes or whatever.




Yeah it isnt big and burly
By Elementalism on 4/17/2008 4:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
My A4 should only last me 2-3 more years. With my daily commute of 60 miles a day. I'd love to have a car that gets 3 times the mileage of my A4. The thing that gets me is the price. Usually these high mileage cars cost a lot of money making them worthless in the TCO. At 14K starting for a new one. This is perfect imo.




And if it comes to the states..
By whirabomber on 4/18/2008 6:02:01 AM , Rating: 2
..it will get 36mpg because someone doesn't have kahuna's to intro a small diesel here in the US - just like the Smart. On the bright side we can now say "VW Up!, yours?" in a sentence without being taken as offensive.




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