smart car, anyone have one?

I've a 'smart' today. Gee, what a fun car. CDI technology already, lots of room for two... I've got to try to convince my wife. At the intersection
I let'er 'rip' :-) after getting a 'smile' from the guy in a gulf next to me. It moved out pretty good.... really suprised me. Anyone else been driving one of these? I understand us Cannucks are a bit of a testing ground for the north american market for these.
cheers, guenter
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On Tue, 18 Jul 2006 01:02:51 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@sciborg.uwaterloo.ca (Guenter Scholz) wrote:

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American don't think the same as Europeans when it comes to the cars...
So, Mercedes-Benz of USA is still deluding itself into maintaining the exclusivity while Mercedes-Benz of Canada (as well as its counterpart in Mexico) are more realistic with the market demand.
We're still waiting for B-Class to be introduced along with C-Class Sportcoup which was deleted from the US model range in 2005.
jdoe wrote:

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Do you have the A class in the USA? The B class is not much bigger than the current A class. Its mainly the boot thats bigger. The A class is almost the same size as the current Renault Scenic other than the boot which is bigger. My 1.5 drinks petrol though, brpbably due to the aerodynamics. Its only marginally more economical than my C class.
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No, many Mercedes-Benz sales centres in the USA derided A-Class as too 'Chevrolet' (or 'Opel' to our European newsgroup readers) and refused to sell anything smaller and cheaper than C230 with 'massive' 2,5-litre V6 motor.
B-Class is derived from A-Class but aimed at different market segment as B-Class is bit more 'luxurious'.
Gordon Hudson wrote:

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too bad you don't have any sort of a clue as to what you're babbling about, it has little to do with dealer preferences and more to do with the fact that those cars do not meet US safety spec for sale in the US
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No, B-Class ALREADY meets the US regulations as Canada adopted almost every of US FMVSS. It is matter of changing the labels that the vehicle meets the US regulations, disabling the daytime running lamps, and a few minor changes. Mercedes-Benz of USA had ALREADY announced the sale of B-Class in 2004 only to scupper the whole scheme at last minute.
http://www.mercedes-benz.ca/index.cfm?id )21
I saw one in San Francisco with British Columbia numberplates. It has all of requisite DOT/SAE hieroglyphs on the headlamps and taillamps as well as on the windows, including the side running lamps and retroreflective markers.
And I have read the articles why Mercedes-Benz of USA would not sell A-Class in the USA, why Mercedes-Benz of USA is maintaining its delusional exclusivity (notice that NONE of Mercedes-Benz medium and heavy duty trucks, buses, and like are sold in the USA), and so forth...
In addition, I have asked the dealers and product specialists at the car shows myself why they don't want to sell A-Class. They don't want to see their products 'cheapened' by the 'Chevrolet' equivalent. They don't want to sell the 'hatchback' version of C-class (Sportcoup) because they feel it convey a wrong image even though one sees at least 3 to 4 of Sportcoup a day, especially in large cities. One dealer admitted that the Sportcoup were selling so well that he was surprised when Mercedes-Benz of USA decided to eliminate it from the model range.
Here is the link and read down a bit: http://wheels.carpoint.ninemsn.com.au/portal/tabID__801236/ArticleID__1586382/DesktopDefault.aspx
'as the Yanks felt both A-Class generations were too small and lacking the prestige to satisfy wealthy Americans. As it turns out, the Yanks felt much the same way about the B-Class and vetoed it, too, which must have pleased Mercedes-Benz no end'.
jdoe wrote:

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jdoe wrote:

You are wrong. OM is right. Period.
Juergen
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OM wrote:

As my sister will get her B-Class soon I'm already training not to say what I really think of it, so no further comment from me here... ;-)
But C-Class Sportcoupe: According to today's German car magazine _auto motor und sport_ (issue 16, July 19th, p. 10) there will be a new C-Class Sportcoupe from ca. 2008 on, produced in Brazil in the Juiz de Fora plant.
To achieve a higher profit margin the new CCS ((my abbreviation, NOT official) will NOT be based upon the platform of the new C-Class ((W204, production starts spring 2007)) but on that of the current model ((W203)).
_ams_ also says that in the longer run - somewhere after 2010 - the platform will be from the next A-Class.
And YES, obviously the years given are not very precise as it would make no sense to build that model only for three years or so (2008 - 2011).
Juergen
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Juergen . wrote:
[snip]

Isn't that where some of US-bound C-Class are built?
Yup, I just saw that article to-day.

Nice abbreviation. Let's adopt it when refering to Sportcoup and see if Mercedes-Benz comes round to adopting it.

Ah, front-wheel drive CCS? The current Sportcoup is so much fun because of its RWD...

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OM wrote:

Exactly!
But isn't it CKD only? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CKD
And as I read somewhere else production will start in the first quarter 2007 (exclusive production for all merkets worldwide), production of the Sportcoupe in Sindelfingen will be stopped to make room for the new (W204) C-Class sedans.

Nice suggestion - maybe they pay me 1 US dollar per each vehicle built and you will get a fair share? ;-))
And besides that CCS was a music band http://www.alexgitlin.com/npp/ccs.htm and YES, I AM an old fart as I know the music from the time it was released...

Personally I prefer RWD over FWD, too.
Juergen
Tap Turns On The Water fading in... ;-))
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Seen a few in London. No "wow" factor like the CLS, for example.
DAS
For direct contact replace nospam with schmetterling
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

Sale seems to be good here in Germany as one hears.
A 200CDI with a good load of options can easily reach 40.000 Euro (incl. VAT at 16 percent), IMHO that's waaaay too much.
Juergen
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Exactly.
I sat in a B at a dealer earlier this year. Not bad but not that different to an A.
DAS
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I took a Smart out on a test drive last year. I had been trying to hire one when in Germany but it was never available (except as a large poster behind the Avis desk).
Anyway, I deliberately chose the lowest-power/cheapest model. It was mixed experience. Good seating position also relative to the ground but engine worked very hard.
Not sure I would buy one, even if one could park them at right angles, which is 'dangerous' since door access can easily get blocked.
DAS
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I went to Nice for a long weekend a few years ago and rented a Smart convertible, simply because it's so easy to park and drive when you're in an unfamiliar city, I drove it up to Monaco and drove round the street circuit, that's the most fun I've ever had at 30mph, I think they are fantastic city cars, which is exactly what they are designed for but on the open road, a little tedious, If I ever felt compelled to move back into a city I'd buy one without question, but I prefer living in the middle of nowhere.
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Well, my test drive was in the lanes outside Basingstoke (small town in the Hampshire countryside). In London it would have felt different, I am sure. My neighbour has the Brabus version with softtop. Costs double the basic, I think. His other car is a whacking great big Range Rover.
DAS
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The new ones have body panels that clip on and off so you can change the colour scheme without having to respray. They have weird patterns on them and pictures of things. Sky have some with advertising on them that they park in shopping centres for publicity (I saw one with the Simpsons on it).
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I am not sure that's a new idea. The Smart was supposed to be treated like a fashion accessory. Don't forget the original Swatch concept.
DAS
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