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when renting a car in europe, please consider a 698cc Smart car

when renting a car in europe, please consider a 698cc Smart car

Old Aug 5th, 2005, 09:49 AM
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when renting a car in europe, please consider a 698cc Smart car

check out whatcar.co.uk. the figures for small engined cars speak for themselves.
if you need more seats there are the 1000cc toyota argo, peugeot 107, citroen c1.
smaller engined cars are more fuel efficient, give less exhaust and easy to navigate those medival alleys and fit in the tinyest of parking spaces.
forget the hype about those large engined hybrids ( http://www.rightnation.us/forums/lof...hp/t82805.html
) . unless you plan on racing with teenagers at the traffic lights!
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 10:00 AM
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You are single minded, but it's a lost cause for the following reasons:

1. When I rented cars this spring (in Hungary and France), I could not get a car smaller than a Peugeot 206 or equivalent.

2. Smaller cars work beset with standard shift, and many U.S. drivers who rent cars in Europe do not know how to shift.

3. Many U.S. drivers might feel uncomfortable with small cars, and the last thing they might want to do is adapt to a really small car while on vacation.

4. The cars you mention probably do not have enough trunk space for anyone who is touring, unless that person is going solo.

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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 10:31 AM
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I think real small cars are not good for long distances as they can be uncomfortable, and certainly no trunk space. But why all the remarks about US drivers, which doesn't have anything in particular to do with the original post? I don't know about your figures on US drivers who rent cars in Europe, but I always drive a small car at home and am never comfortable driving even a medium-size car (which many US rental companies want to give you). Most of my friends drive small cars, also, as we live in a big city and they are more economical.

I don't know about them working best with standard shift--my personal small car has AT and works just fine and I've never needed a single repair to the transmission in 10 years, whereas my friends with manual shifts have had major clutch, etc. repairs. A lot of people with manual shifts don't drive very well from what I've observed, and cause a lot of traffic holdups because they don't go as soon as the light turns green and don't know how to deal with hills. These are people who drive one regularly, also.
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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I have always driven a small car with a manual shift so that's not a problem for me. My only problem with the Smart Car would be the lack of luggage space. We were in the UK a couple of months ago and we had a chance to take a good look at a Smart Car, just in case we ever wanted to rent one. There's no way we could have fit our luggage into the little trunk. We would have had to put at least one suitcase in the back seat. My only problem with that is I make it a rule never to leave anything visible in the car. That rule was born several years ago when we got robbed in Canada. We had left stuff in the back seat, so a thief broke into the car. Anyway, getting back to the original subject, if the Smart Car had a bigger trunk I would consider it. But as it is, it doesn't suit my needs.
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 11:22 AM
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back seat in a smart car? Maybe I am missing something here.
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 01:37 PM
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Hey wait a minute--that's right!! It would have to be in the front seat. UGH!! No Smart Car for me.
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 01:42 PM
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I am almost certain that Smart Cars, along with "Mini's", are
a. more expensive to rent
b. usually not available
(but I could be wrong )
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 01:53 PM
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The opposite is true, thanks to www.sixti.com
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 01:59 PM
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My car of choice is a Renault Laguna diesel.
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 02:03 PM
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Luggage in the back seat? What the roofs are for?
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 02:08 PM
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soft top cabriolet, GREAT! just have the person in the passengers seat stack everything on his head.
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 03:26 PM
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smart cars have softip automated transmission - you dont need to use a clutch to change gears. they also come with hill start assist, to help you hill start out of a parking, quite a common need in hilly european towns.

The smart engine already complies with exhaust gas standard EU 4 which will not become law until 2006.

so there - little excuse not to rent one. it will surely enhance your european experience
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 08:57 PM
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Hi
Can you imagine driving a Smart Car on the motorways in Europe? It's a good city car, good for commuting but not fast enough for the morotways. I have never raced a teenager at a light in Europe.I'm not putting down small cars, I drive a Mini at home, but it has the power to go on the freeway and the speed, just can't get that from a Smart Car. Read some of the auto tech articles on line and they will explain it.
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Old Aug 5th, 2005, 09:12 PM
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The Smartcars are adorable, I've always liked them but haven't driven one. Thanks for the info about the softip automated transmission. I can see where the hill assist would be a great advantage.
Yet, most of the objections raised here about about luggage room. I see that the Smart Forfour has a backseat and some luggage room but most of the Smarts I've seen on the street seem like they were two seaters with no luggage room. Is the forfour new?

Thanks for the info but the whatcar website should come with a warning bout those annoying little popups.
>-
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 02:38 AM
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>but not fast enough for the morotways.

Maximum speed is 130 kph / 85mph, which is about what is allowed in most countries. No problem at all on the autobahn, in a car race at a light in Europe a smart WILL beat you mini by lenghts and even MUCH bigger cars. The engine is a dream and the car is very lightweight. Once you experience the force pushing you back in your set the moment you push down that pedal, you will want this over and over again. You will always be first at the trafic light! A smart is an expensive car to buy, but definitively worth it!
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 03:36 AM
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To Christina's comment:

"A lot of people with manual shifts don't drive very well from what I've observed"

I say fie!

I have driven a car (and a van) with a manual shift for over 2 decades, have driven solo across the country 3 times, in LA and NY, and in the mountains in Guatemala, time trialing at Brighampton before it closed, and I can promise you that those who drive who a manual shift generally are very good, if not superior drivers.

I just gave up my 1988 Trusty Toyota last year, not because she didn't still run well, but because parking in NYC got too pricey.

I'll be requesting a 2 seater standard shift in Europe too next month.

-guess you pushed a button on my dashboard!
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 04:06 AM
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have fun! Peolpe who don't know how to drive a car (= need to drive with an automatic transmission) should be banned from the streets! I have seen them driving in the rockies, brake lights flashing all the time, not smart enough to simply gear down. Testing how much their brakes can take... Scary!!!
;-)
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 04:46 AM
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Well I've lived in Europe for years with hordes of manual drivers and many do NOT know how to drive. They also don't know (or won't follow) basic road courtesy.
In European cities (including Germany!), there are too many drivers who will do anything to avoid downshifting and if that means almost running over pedestrians, then that's what they'll do. They don't stop fully at stop signs, don't yield properly at intersections and so on.
I can drive both manual and automatic fine. I learned to drive on a manual (both stick shift and gear changing on the steering wheel). But I prefer an automatic. It's a personal preference, NOTHING MORE. The stick shift snobs need to get off their high horses.

Stick shift snobs also like to brag that their cars are more fuel efficient. Ain't so. I did some research comparing mpg (or kpl) on various new cars. The difference between automatic and manual shift was 10 percent or less in most cases and that was ONLY if the manual driver drove absolutely perfectly all the time. ANY sloppy driving and the fuel economy disappears.
When I see a manual driver in Europe smoking, blethering on his handy (mobile) and trying to find the trendiest bit of technopop on the radio all at the same time, well, he's NOT a better driver than anyone who drives an automatic. Actually, he's worse.
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 06:10 AM
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Btilke, I think your complaints about bad drivers in Europe don't just apply to those with clutches. There are bad drivers all over Europe and all over the world, and they all commit the same sins you have assigned to those driving manual-shift cars.

Want to know where some really bad drivers and atrocious lack of driving knowledge can be found? Try Iran, for one example. In Iran (I'll use Teheran as an example because I'm more familiar) the traffic light is considered to be only an advisory. If you get to an intersection and there is no threatening traffic bearing down on you from one of the other directions, you go, regardless of the color of the light.

Another example: In Iran they drive their (mostly) manual shift cars in a lower gear. The reason they give is that it's easier on the engine. I rode once with an Iranian to the airport, and he drove there all the way in second gear (in a four-speed car). That in spite of being on a highway where his engine wound up to about 6000 rpm just to keep up with the traffic.

Another example: Iranians drive at night without headlights. Why? Because they believe that driving with headlights on will cause their batteries to fail.

Enough examples, but they are all true.
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Old Aug 6th, 2005, 06:37 AM
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littiles-- It's call Obssesive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and there have been very promising advances on medication. Give it a go.

Anybody wondering about my response, just look up an ORIGINAL post I submitted on a great EXPERIENCE with a hybrid. Littiess's responses places his/her age at about the 9-years old??? Maybe 7?
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