Episode 555 – MINI Paceman Concept, 2012 Hyundai Veloster, Honda Civic Concept

January 12th, 2011 at 11:02am

Runtime 5:08

A decade ago MINI relaunched the brand in the North American market and to celebrate the occasion the company showed its MINI Paceman concept at the Detroit Auto Show. Hyundai’s new three-door coupe, the Veloster, makes its world debut in Detroit. A look at the concept version of the Honda Civic. All that and much more in this special edition from the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.


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134 Comments to “Episode 555 – MINI Paceman Concept, 2012 Hyundai Veloster, Honda Civic Concept”

  1. shan Says:

    Love the new Prius family, especially the smaller version C- Concept. Toyota definitely needs to design more cars with a much more sportier look.

  2. Bob in Atlanta Says:

    A “Fordian” slip? The Hyundai Civic!???

  3. Mike K. Says:

    Hey John, didn’t Volkswagon manufacture in Pennsylvania in the 70′s or 80′s?

  4. pedro fernandez Says:

    Wow, a flat paint finish is now in vogue, my Corolla has finally caught up with the times, the graphic said Hyundai Civic, our own smokey must be fuming!!

  5. tj Martin Says:

    The MINI Cooper I love .

    The MINI Clubman I understand , needing extra space yet wanting a MINI .

    The MINI Countryman I get , living in the snow belt as I have and still for the most part still do . Not to mention a Micro SUV is just what we need here to get some of the Behemoths off the road .

    But the MINI Paceman ???? Makes no sense at all . Why would anyone want a Countryman sized MINI with only two doors and less interior space ?

    Now a MINI Cooper , with that trick Haldex AWD set up they’ve had running around the Arctic Circle for the last few years ? Now that I’d buy !

  6. tj Martin Says:

    pedro ;

    Wait until you see the new Lamborhini in its ” Optional ” Satin Black or Grey finish .

    You think you’re in vogue now . You’re about to become down right ” Trendy “

  7. tj Martin Says:

    The Hyundai Civic – Maybe a bit of wishful thinking on behalf of Hyundai ? As in they wish they had a car as good as the Civic .

  8. HtG Says:

    Talk about vogueing, fellas. Twelve years ago I bought a pair of those big sunglasses senior citizens wear over their glasses. Today, I still use them for driving, but now I’m a cool cat.

    ps A chartreuse merc SLS? I should cut to that clip from the Fuhrer’s bunker, but you know what I’m thinking already.

  9. bob Says:

    I will be very surprised if the smaller prius C will actually get any better MPG than the already STELLAR Prius III sedan. If it does, I don’t expect it to be more than a tiny 1-2 MPG more than the sedan.

    The Wagon prius has 60% more room, very impressive, but it had to sacrifice its Cd(it went from 0.25 for the sedan to 0.29 for the wagon) and as a consequence, its MPG plummeted to 42 city and 38 HWY, 20% or so smaller than the Sedan’s.

    This makes the jetta Sportwagen Diesel, with its actual 49 HWY mpg (latest CR test) look really good for families whose driving is mostly highway!

  10. tj Martin Says:

    Bob ;

    The Jetta Diesel IS the ticket for ” Real World” driving if ultimate MPG is your goal . Came out way ahead in all of AW’s tests as well . Too bad its got the stigma of VW-Audi’s abysmal reliability and customer service attached to it .

  11. tj Martin Says:

    HtG ;

    What goes around comes around . The Bolle Maurice Bolle signature sunglasses I received as a gift from Bolle USA ( for some work I’d done for them )in 1989 . That have been passe for the last 20 years . Are now Retro Trendy Cool . You wouldn’t believe what one Urban Wanna Be here offered me for them . Almost took it . Couldn’t bare to part with them though .

  12. bob Says:


    You are wrong. I specifically stated HIGHWAY, this is where the diesel is good. In the city, the PRIUS is UNBEATABLE at 42 MPG for the wagon and 50+++ MPG for the sedan and the C.

    As I wrote, if a family is doing mostly HIGHWAY miles, then the Jetta Diesel is sufficient, but if they do a lot of around town driving, and many families do, picking up and delivering kids and stuff to all kinds of suburban destinations, the prius us UNBEATABLE in MPG.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I just drove my Prius about 125 miles to the north in Fl. on I95 against a 20 mph headwind. Even with the low cd of the Prius, I took a major hit in gas mileage, getting only about 40. I normally get about 45 at the 75 mph I was going. For this type of driving, a Prius body with a VW TDI power train would be great.

    While the upcoming Prius wagon will have more cargo volume than the current hatch, the present car has what I need, floor length in the cargo bay.

  14. HtG Says:

    off topic here tjM. But is Albert’s really a big deal there in KC? Driving across country years ago, I stopped there for lunch before going for a walk around Independence, if you know what I mean.

  15. bob Says:

    You should note that you have a prius II, not the current III which is more fuel efficient. I got 47 Highway from LA to San Diego and back in the prius II in April 09.

    For those that do not need the extra space, or even the adequate space of the prius III sedan, the C prius will be ideal, both less expensive AND higher (by how much?) MPG than even the Prius III sedan.

  16. Kit Gerhart Says:

    tj , Bob, et.al.
    I don’t get 50++ in my city driving with my Prius, but I do get avery good 45 average. A VW diesel does very well in this type of driving, but not as well as a Prius.

  17. bob Says:

    In FL, you should easily get 50 MPG city unless you drive cold starts and very short distances like I do here. In the snowbelt, you will get less.

    Also I got 62 and 69 MPG driving around in a Prius II at Palos Verdes in June 09, leisurly 40-45 MPH country drives

  18. bob Says:

    A VW diesel in the city should barely get 30 MPG vs the 45-50+ of the prius.

    I don’t have the latest CR test when the jetta Diesel got 49 Hwy, if you do, can you find what it got in the city?

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My Prius is a 2010 gen 3, trim level II.

  20. bob Says:

    Sorry, thought it was a II. My MPGs were in the previous gen prius 2. The 3 should get better MPG than the 2.

  21. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Satin paint finish; maybe in my house (not in my car).

  22. tj Martin Says:

    Bob ;

    I said REAL WORLD Driving . Which means , if that term has escaped your automotive vocabulary , a Combination of City Highway Town Backroads Mountains Flat Land driving . REAL WORLD !

    Not City Only or Highway Only . Read before you scream and contradict .

  23. tj Martin Says:

    HtG ‘

    Seeing how I’ve only been here for three years , What is Albert’s ?
    That one hasn’t crossed my radar as of yet , so maybe its not such a big deal . Either that or I’m missing out on something .

  24. tj Martin Says:

    Kit ;

    I average no less than 40 mpg in my MINI in spite of a fair amount of spirited driving ( like getting into it on a nice local set of corners with an E30 M3 )

  25. bob Says:

    TJ: Unlike YOU, I use words ACCURATELY.

    Your numbers are aq MISHMASH. I speak accurately and separately about HIGHWAY miles, where the Jetta Diesel is great and gets ACTUAL 49 MPG in the CR test (NOT the pessimistic and NOT REAL WORLD EPA MPG!!!), and CITY, where the prius is UNBEATABLE (How many times do you want me to tell you this until you understand it?), REALLY UNbeatable and far superior than even the jetta Diesel, which gets barely 30 MPG around town, if not worse.


  26. bob Says:

    “tj Martin Says:
    January 12th, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Kit ;

    I average no less than 40 mpg in my MINI”

    The MINI gets great MPG, but the only way you would get 40 MPG would be if you drive it 100% highway or at speeds well below 55 MPG along empty country roads.

    A MINI with AVERAGE driving profile should get LESS than 33 or so MPG COMBINED city, stop-go and highway.

    Not only is the Mini not a Diesel and not a Hybrid, it does not even have the START-STOP feature they have over in Europe, with which you MIGHT be able to reach 40 MPG AVERAGE.

  27. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Bob, 50K for a Subcompact car like Accent in America is the equivalent of say 150K+ for a C-segment compact car like Civic. It’s the Hyundai Elantra and KIA Forte that need work with sales.

    50K is excellent for the B Segment subcompact car class. The average in that segment is 25-30K a year.

    Like I said, Honda Toyota may rule Compacts, but Hyundai/KIA OWN Subcompacts, and the company who rules subcompacts will be at the vanguard of the small car revolution that’s creeping up in America.

    The D-Car buyers will move down to compacts, and the compact buyers are going to move down to subcompacts eventually.

    In 10 years B Cars like Accent will have Civic sales, while C cars like Civic will have Accord sales.

    By that time the A cars like KIA Picanto and Chevy Spark from Europe will have came to America to replace subcompacts in size and perception.

    The Accords of the world will start falling away into irrelevance.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’ll check the CR web site when I get home and check mileage on the vw diesels. I think they may still have data on the older 1.9 tdi which, with manual transmission, did better than the current 2 liter tdi.

  29. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Subcompacts are the only segment Hyundai/KIA OWNs, and that is off the radar of most people. They look at the Compacts like Civic, D cars like Camry, and are still 5 years behind in paying attention to B-Cars.

    The Accent/Rio/Soul/Veloster combo is the Camry/Corolla of small B Cars, as in those are the most preferred by buyers.

    As far as Im concerned, B cars are a lot more important that C or D cars.

    BTW, with MINI around Ford is going to have a hard time pushing Premium Fiestas at those prices. MINI has a cult- JUST LIKE THE HYUNDAI/KIA SMALL CARS.

    Why do you think the discriminatory media advertises the Honda Fit everytime gas rpices go up, using it as the only example of a small car? They in the Media hate the fact that Hyundai/KIA owns that segment. They also hate the fact that Nissan has a good foothold in that segment too.

    Many in the Media are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s and remember that Civic they had in college, and are dumbfounded as to why this generation prefers Hyundai/KIA subcompacts.


  30. HtG Says:

    sorry tj, it’s Arthur Bryant’s I meant. Brooklyn Ave, in MO.

    Bid deal, or just one jewel in the crown?

  31. ckernzie Says:

    I think Toyota better be careful with the expansion of the Prius line. Sure right now they are the darlings of the ‘look @ me’ green crowd but with EV’s and a myriad of other hybrids coming into the market they have to be careful with the Prius name (Is it a brand now?) The wagon is a no brainer but the newly unveiled Prius C sporty car could be a dubious stretch and now Autoblog is reporting a rumour that Toyota is considering producing the ridgeline clone A-BAT hybrid pickup and calling it a Prius. Once Toyota moves beyond the universally recognized Prius package the ‘brand’ may become ‘just another hybrid’ and that will destroy is dominance that it has achieved so far in the marketplace. I wish them well, I’m just sayin’ they better manage it well.

  32. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Please, a Honda better than a Hyundai Toe Jam? On what planet?

    This is an Accent Planet now, GET OVER IT!!


  33. tj Martin Says:

    Bob ;

    Sorry to have to burst your inaccurate and uninformed bubble again there . But ahhh ……. I DO Average AT LEAST 40 mpg in my MINI Cooper . And I DO drive it rather spiritedly on more than a fair occasion .

    Not to burst the old bubble twice in one post . But once again ;

    Real World Driving = A COMBINATION of City Highway ETC driving .

    And Bob . Have a little look see at Autoweeks heads up comparison between the Jetta Diesel and the Prius , Then talk to me about my numbers being a Mishmosh .

  34. tj Martin Says:

    HtG ;

    Arthur Bryant’s – the tradition here and not bad .

    But ….

    Oklahoma Joe’s That is THE place for KC BBQ . Unbeatable .

  35. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Veloster Turbo VS Clubman S let’s go!!!

  36. tj Martin Says:

    Hmmnn . I see the enutile HS is once again addressing the non existent moniker Toe Jam along with once again regaling us with another First Church of the Holy Order of Hyundai/KIA sermon on the Bull ( bleep )mountain .

    Kind of sad watching another youth waste his/her life on drugs and another religious cult .

  37. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    BTW, we declare war on MINI.

  38. tj Martin Says:

    ckernzie ;

    What’s scary about Toyota thinking expanding the Prius line up being a good idea is the drastic drop in Hybrid sales worldwide along with Congress dropping the Hybrid Tax Credit which WILL kill Prius sales even further .

    Bad move if you ask me .

  39. ckernzie Says:

    Note for Smokey: Autoline Daily is one part of an intelligent journalistic endeavour where informed industry observers come to comment on the latest news and views. Normally posters here are true car people who have owned several brands and may have their favourites but understand the ebb and flow of auto manufacturing and give credit where credit is due and criticize even their own favourite brand when it deserves it. I take exception to people that shamelessly promote one brand. Your fan-boy dribble does not belong here, please take your love of Korean cars to the fan-boy or buff book sites.

  40. tj Martin Says:

    HyundaiStopSmokinItWillYou ;

    I’ll tell you what there junior . Lets make the race interesting .

    Me in my MINI Cooper ( non Turbo ) on a tight track against you in the VeloToaster Turbo ( assuming they ever build one )

    Still not much of a contest for me , but at least that way it’ll be fun . Almost . Well ……. not really .

    FYI little one . FIAT ( with their 500 ) and Audi ( with their A1 ) have already done the ” Declare War on the MINI ” thing in the EU/UK . Both are losing out miserably .

    In light of Hyundai/KIA’s lack of any viable sporting credibility and their ongoing reputation for less than average handling I doubt MINI or BMW will be losing sleep anytime soon .

    But Hyundai/KIA is ! Guaranteed !

  41. tj Martin Says:

    ckernzie ;

    Thats what got HyundaiSmoke kicked off of CAR and a few other UK sites . Not sure why AutolineDetroit puts up with the little Hyundai Shill . Which all the UK sites have proven he is . They don’t boot you unless they have the proof .

  42. pedro fernandez Says:

    That new MIni looks like its got horrible rear visibility, but I’m, sure they have managed to put in rear cameras or proximity sensors or some other electronic crap to make driving more like playing a video game and to keep your local Mini service dept busy.

  43. pedro fernandez Says:

    Tj, I’m curious, are those Acura/Hondas that park in your lot mostly new or older models?

  44. tj Martin Says:

    pedro ;

    As I said earlier . Nothing about the MINI Paceman makes a darn bit of sense to me . FYI no back up camera in the Countryman ( and it could use one ) available. So I’m betting none planned for the PacMan ( oops Paceman ) either .

    For all the hits MINI has tossed out there lately I don’t think the Paceman will be one of them .

  45. tj Martin Says:

    pedro ;

    Upscale Urban Townhouse complex . All but one is new ( 2 years or newer ) Why do you ask ?

  46. pedro fernandez Says:

    Because here in Miami there are a LOT of older 15 to 20 yr Civics and Accords still in use, up for sale and a target for thieves. It just speaks volumes of their longevity and their owner’s passion for them that they won’t let them go even as they get older. But you’re right, in the better neighborhoods you see a lot of new ones also (and not one freaking Fiesta)

  47. tj Martin Says:

    Phew ! No awards for the Velotoaster at the Detroit Auto Show . Some common sense prevails . (NYTimes )

    The Porsche 918 RSR ( which to me makes no sense along with being irrelevant ) cleaned up on the prizes .

  48. tj Martin Says:

    pedro ;

    Like I said yesterday . I have no clue how or why , but Honda/Acura is the prevailing brand of choice in KC proper as well as the suburbs .

    I agree they’re great cars ( had an 88 Civic and an 82 Accord which ran like a top and kept most of their value when I sold them ) But why they are the choice over any other brands here is beyond me .

    Lots of Elements Accords Acura SUV/SAV’s etc. Probably more Elements on the road here than I’ve seen in any of my travels .

  49. HtG Says:

    I wonder tj, if you feel the same way about your Mini now as when you first got it? Do they look correct in the midwest? My parents had one in the 60′s, so I’m partial. I just prefer the simpler looking ones to those that have been kitted out with all the ornaments.

  50. shan Says:

    I don’t think most Americans will dig diesel usage for cars…ever, being it’s still smelly and expensive at the pump. It averages 30 cents more per gallon than gasoline, so it makes no sense really. There’s no diesel engines being offered in domestic passenger cars, so your left with VW. VW diesels tend to be more pricey than it’s domestic counterpart and has had problems with its reliability. I think it’s ironic that as engine technology evolves and cars can get better gas mileage, the price of gas goes up. There has to be a correlation there!

  51. pedro fernandez Says:

    Two points, VW did build compacts here in Pa during the 70′s or 80′s. The Velocrapper took the third door idea from Saturn and just did not make it suicide type. But it’s gotta be cramped in there, Poor John bumped his head getting in. Agree with shan, I have yet to see a BMW 3 diesel around these parts even though it has gotten excellent reviews.

  52. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    ckernzie, yeah you car agnostics annoy me.

    Ive done that and tried that, but guess what I’ve decided after trying a few brands to stick to the Hyundai/KIA camp.

    Cars aren’t Buffalo Wings, dude. The brand does matter, A LOT!!

    You need to know what to expect ANYTIME, EVERYTIME when getting a car, THAT’S WHY CAR AGNOSTICISM IS A FALLACY.

    Changing from BMW to Chevy the next time, then to Honda, then MINI?

    That’s just too much for me. I need to be certain my product is going to work everyday and makes me feel good.

  53. HtG Says:

    A reason for diesel being more expensive is that it contains 15% more energy than gas. Gas is a synthetic that has fewer carbon atoms per unit volume than diesel. That’s at least one reason diesel costs more. I heard something about the way we here in the states process oil that might also add to the cost base; but I can’t recall well enough to say. I already embarrassed myself enough with the bbq question.

  54. tj Martin Says:

    HtG ;

    Good question . First off I also prefer the unadorned MINI’s new or old ( mine Sparkling Silver Black Roof Bridge Spoke Wheels no decals etc. )

    Does it fit here in the MidWest ? Considering the amount of MINI’s sold and on the street here ( the local MINI dealer is flush with sales ) I guess the answer is yes .

    Now that I’ve had it for three years thought the real question is ;

    Does it fit me ?

    At this point I’m having some very serious doubts and am actively considering trading the little beast in . Is there anything wrong with it ? Nope . Runs like a top and is a blast to drive . So why am I considering letting go of it ?

    At my age and height ( 6’4″ ) comfort and losing my appetite for shifting ( manual ) and zipping around .

  55. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    I still like American cars over Japanese or German cars though. Even though American cars have this obese look.

    I guess I like the Koreans because they have more guts than any of you will ever know.

    Turning Hyundai from the Most Ghetto Brand ever, to a wanna be Honda, to a Honda contender, and now into a Premium Brand F-ING GENIUS!!!


    The Koreans have plenty of it, and for that they get my dollar.

  56. tj Martin Says:


    An honest mistake on the BBQ question . And Oklahoma Joe’s is a bit of an” Insiders ” secrete in KC . None of the local concierges press etc. will tell you about it . But the joint is packed from opening to closing . Not being a local though and always willing to share my ” Finds ” I’m not much for the insiders secrete thing .

  57. tj Martin Says:

    HyundaiSmoke ;

    Being of the “Religious ” sort have you ever come across the writings of G.K. Chesterton ?

    Know what his definition of Blind Patriotism in spite of the facts ( towards country brand or team ) is ?

    A Sight Impaired FOOL !

  58. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    That Sonic looks sweet now, but that design will age, and in 2 years it’s going to be quite bland. No, in 12-18 months it’s going to on the bland side.

    Well, to my tastes.

    I want different than the pack, and the Sonic is not for those who want to be different from the pack. It looks good for a Yaris though. A Yaris, as in a small car that is primed for the masses and stood out on day one, but by year 2 YAWN.

    Yaris used spank Accent in sales the first 18 months, but the more unorthodox looking Accent exentually beat it, because people want different even if that means buying a car others hate.

  59. HtG Says:

    A couple weeks ago in DC I saw a Cruze drive by, and the strange thing is, I can’t get its image out of my head. Something about the creases in the bodywork fit very well with mid-sized office buildings. It’s movement just made a novel impression on me. Maybe it’s because there wasn’t even a hint of the decontenting we’ve witnessed for years.

    This was just north of the National Portrait Gallery. See? I got culture!

  60. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Why is my patriotism to Korean or even American cars blind?

    Many people in this country are smart enough to see past the Japanese or German car propaganda.

  61. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Yeah, the Sonic is better than any Yaris you Toyota Tea Partiers can conjure up Toe Jam.

  62. jesse Says:

    TJMARTIN,Hyundai has many cars as good or better then the over priced Civic.When you get into the 21st century,let us know and you will be enlightened to the new world order.:)
    The tree huggers must be loving the PRY-US WAGON..

  63. HtG Says:

    My beef with the Koreans is their industrial policy. Did you hear Kravchik talking about how H/K have their own foundry making bespoke steel? Their country is competing in a mercantilist fashion, they resist foreign makers, and they manipulate their currency. They are entitled to do whatever they want as long as they don’t cross the WTO. But even if Kravchik is an appealing personality, it’s hard to root for them.

    Yes, I know there is no free market. yada yada

  64. tj Martin Says:


    I never doubted it ( you having culture )

    Damnedest thing though I’ve yet to set eyes on one solitary Chevy Cruze here . You’d think , being the Mid West and all the city would be flush with them .

  65. tj Martin Says:

    Oh goodie . HyundaiQuitSmokinThatWouldYou has a Buddy in the [ jesse] moniker .

    Kind of odd though . Same grammar . Same sentence structure . Same errors in punctuation . Could it be HS in some vain attempt at disguise and subterfuge ?

    Or is it that all members of the Cult of Hyundai/KIA are brainwashed into a singular and indefinable homogenized ooze ?

  66. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    HtG I think it’s sweet they compete in that manner.

    Too bad 3 companies from a certain failing superpower with 310 Million people don’t get the hint, as to how to run a 2st century car business.

  67. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    tj, BTW the only UK site I’ve ever been kicked off from was Autocar, and that was for being naughty in a good way. :D

  68. tj Martin Says:


    My problem with Hyundai/KIA is that they ” Claim ” they’re selling you a $40K car for $28K all options included .

    Whereas in reality the numbers do not add up . Korean labor costs are expensive as all get out . Their need to import all the raw materials needed to manufacture cars is equally if not more expensive .

    So how is it they can sell you that $40K car for $28K when in fact their manufacturing costs are equal or greater than their competitors ?

    Simple . Park say a 3 year old Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla next to a brand new off the lot Hyundai/KIA ( any model ) Check out the quality of paint on the HK . The thinness of the metal on the body . The quality and manufacturing of the interior . Then have a look at say a three year old HK and the amount of excessive wear and tear it’ll have in comparison to ANY Japanese Brand with Greater milage .

    So how does HK do it ? Substandard construction and materials which will make their presence all too well known in short order .

  69. tj Martin Says:

    HyundaiSmoke ;

    Afraid not there little one .

    You were kicked off of AutoCar for … being a Hyundai PAID shill . As well as CAR ( Remember Trocadero ? He’s the one who blew the whistle on you ) and EVO .

    From what i was told by AutoCar you’ve been banned for life

  70. HtG Says:

    Smoke, the people working in the US auto industry also design and build the defense equipment that stabilize the Korean peninsula. But please, I just pray the Koreans don’t stop buying our funny papers. My point is that US consumers are getting much more value than they pay for on a Korean car, among others.

    One last shot H/K? The car companies got speared by the collapse of finance. No more short term paper or credit lines. Sept 2008 nuked civilization as you know it. Even if you don’t know it. Many more companies than the automakers were saved by the Fed and US treasury, and ECB, and IMF, etc. These days, preening is just naive.

  71. dcars Says:

    The current Civic is kind of ugly, a good car, but along with most other Hondas and Acuras they just don’t look good. As John notes the next Civic has got to be a homerun or things could get very bad for them in the US. I just looked at some pictures of the new model from every angle and it looks a little odd. They have really lost it.

  72. dcars Says:

    Argue all you want, but please keep the “buffalo wings” out of it. Their much better with plenty of hot sauce and a big glass of beer.

  73. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Im not paid by Hyundai, Toe Jam.

    However, they do take my ideas under suggestion and some of them END UP IN AND ON THEIR CARS!!!

    LIKE THE VELOSTER MONIKER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HATCH!!! I wanted Hyundai to do that to all of it’s cars, but I guess not. Oh well, I do give them a lot of tips and ideas.

    I’m a revolutionary first, organizer second, businessman third. One day I will probably get a reward, but I’m not qutting my day job over it. The business part of it will be revolutionary also, and that is a surprise that will take awhile to come to fruition.

    The cars are more important than that. I’m sick and tired of this company getting laughed at by people who drive crap I wouldnt even bother to test drive, and for what stereotypes and labels.

    You may not consider me a true car enthusiast because, “Oh my God he loves a Hyundai.” Who cares though.

    LMAO HtG, yeah they will buy those funny papers.

    By the way Mr Mac Elroy, Veloster is a heel and toe car. Im quite sure that’s up your alley, sir.

  74. ckernzie Says:

    HtG. Haven’t seen the Cruze in the flesh yet which is strange because they are selling well. I totally agree though, the car seems to have a surprising stylistic presence. The Canadian ad that they are running heavy with is fantastic. Great imagery, well shot showing the car in different colours/situations, some racing cred, good catchy tune, creates the feeling that the car is already internationally tried, tested & true. It’s refreshing to see Chevy get the necessary launch marketing dollars for a product. They used to see it pared off to Saturn, Pontiac & Olds et.al. It’s also amazing to see a Chevy car ad that is actually well done. For GM’s sake I hope the Cruze is the successful product in the N.AM. market they need it to be.

  75. dcars Says:

    The Cruze does look good, very “muscular” for a small car.

  76. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    BTW, HtG you realize that the world is going to evolve into 10-12 car companies and then China’s hodge podge of Cheap in China makes for the masses right?

    Most if not all of these brands will become out of reach for the ordinary person.

    Hyundai/KIA (they will buy someone or 2 one day)
    Nissan-Renault (all models in all countries)
    PSA (they will buy someone)
    BMW/MINI (they should buy Honda as BMWs look like Hondas anyway)
    VWAG (They will buy someone else)
    FIAT (they will buy somebody)
    Toyota (will repeat every last one of GMs mistakes-JUST LOOK AT THEM)

    But that’s after the Automotive World War, which is a long time away as we are in the process of an Automitve Revolution right now.

    There will be a hodge podge of Kit car brands such as Caterham still too.

    These companies and brands are too small (except Chrysler) to go it alone:

    Mazda will fall to the wayside-or get bought
    Honda will fall to the wayside-or get bought
    Suzuki will fall to the wayside-or get bought
    Chrysler still might fade away
    Mitsubishi will fall to the wayside-or get bought
    Volvo will fall to the wayside
    SAAB will fall to the wayside
    Scion will fall to the wayside

    If QE #2 (Quantitative Easing) fails, which it might=Another Crash. Another Crash= bye a lot of companies Mitsu, SAAB, and Volvo would be goners for sure

    There are the new Isuzus here, they dont have what it takes to go another 10 or 15 years in this century. Honda is an American Company, if they blow it in America that company is done. They try the China approach, but that’s not really working for them.

    Unlike in America, in the rest of the World HONDA IS ACURA. A quasi-premium brand that is losing relevance, and only old people who remember the good old days of Honda are still driving them. If they continue this course this will happen in America too, and if it does that company is a goner.

    Then again, did any of you guys spot that New Isuzu truck they have out testing?

  77. dcars Says:

    Is Saab still alive, I haven’t heard a thing from them in months. I will be surprised if Mazda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki stay independent for very long, to many other companies are passing them by. I’ve wondered about Honda, the cars are good but the styling is not so good. It also makes you wonder where the Chinese cars will fit into the equation.

  78. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Some CR gas mileage numbers, city/highway and then “overall.” I don’t know the details of how they test, but I’m sure the highway test is fairly slow since it returns very good numbers for most cars. On the other hand, their city test must be rather “severe” to return only 32 for a 2010 Prius.

    Car tested city/hwy overall

    2010 Prius 32/55 44
    2004 Prius 35/50 44
    2010 Jetta Wagon TDI manual 25/49 36
    2009 Jetta Sedan TDI DSG 23/47 33
    2010 Golf TDI manual 27/49 38
    2008 MINI Cooper manual 24/41 33
    2007 MINI Cooper S manual 22/38 30

  79. Kit Gerhart Says:

    As far as MINI mileage, the only time I get over 40 mpg is when driving under very near “ideal” conditions, like steady speed at not over around 60 mph. At 75 on the super slab, I get about 35 mpg. In “mixed” driving with lots of cold starts and short trips, but mixed in with some steady moderate speed, I get in the low 30′s with my MINI. Under similar conditions, I get mid-40′s with the Prius.

    This is actual mileage calculated from fill ups. The trip computers on both cars are a little “optimistic,” the MINI more so than the Prius.

  80. pedro fernandez Says:

    Smoke, why are you picking on Yaris? It is just an economy car that is cheap to maintain and has good resale value. Nothing fancy, no electronic gizmos and just like its predecessors the Echo and the Tercel ( I still see a lot of them around) they offer real good value.

  81. tj Martin Says:


    Oh I’m afraid AutoCar was VERY specific stating and I quote ;

    ” HyundaiSmoke is a known paid internet promoter for the Hyundai Automotive manufacture which has been acknowledged by Hyundai UK and is therefore been banned from the site “

  82. tj Martin Says:

    Kit ;

    Never use the trip computers yet I still get 40 mpg .

  83. pedro fernandez Says:

    TJ what is your RPM when you’re doing your normal highway speed and are, I assume, in 5th gear? is there much of a diff between a slush box mini vs stick?

  84. HtG Says:

    Hey John, if what tjM writes is true about H/S then we on this board should at least know it. You must know the PR people at HyundaiKia, so you can find out. H/S truly imposes his agenda on this board, forcing the conversation his way. A paid troll is something different than a soloist, let Kravchik buy ads if he wants to be heard.

  85. cwolf Says:

    You fellas are off the wall today, so I can’t resist! There is nothing to squabble about the milage the VW diesel or Prius gets; there both great cars. The diesel will last almost forever and can be rebuilt,yet the reliability of the car and cost of repairs is the down fall. I believe last week something was mensioned about a Prius with 200K miles,but that battery will cost a pretty penny to replace it. Plus the weight of the battery unit may case faster tire wear and wear on things like ball joints. Only a guess!Just put the diesel in an American car and send the Mini C (3 door)to China. They can only have one kid.
    Jeopardy questions of the forum: How many occupants of these scooter sized cars get hemroids? How many got them from having a scooter? And, how many with roids will ever want to buy one?

  86. HtG Says:

    Oh, and here’s a trick. If H/S is not being paid, but is earning some kind of points from H/K, then when you ask if he is a paid poster, they can answer in the negative. He acknowledges some kind of relationship with the company. What is its extent? Is he earning points toward a new car, or maybe service, or special meetings with H/K employees?

    It’s really getting annoying, to the point it only makes sense if it’s some PR shit.

  87. cwolf Says:

    HtG: H/S is the dull base for the paint before the satin as applied.

  88. cwolf Says:

    Just reviewd Twinkie Leaks secret document files on H/K to verify comment#87. No mension of H/S used, but lable on can of can of dull base used cautions one to never come in contact with without rubber gloves and to always wear a mask when opened. Second thought… maybe the Koreans are using Bull SH*T!!! That has to be H/S!!!!!

  89. pedro fernandez Says:

    HtG: do you really think HS is gonna convince anyone here to buy a Hyundai or Kia? specially with his almost psycho ramblings about things that are not even relevant to this forum. If anyone buys one of those cars is because they think they’re making the right choice not because of the smokemeister.

  90. tj Martin Says:

    pedro ;

    In truth I’d bet HS turns more folks away from H/K with his aggressiveness and blatant promotion of the Brand . Added to his complete and utter ignorance of any countries History ( you should of seen some of the cars he claimed we drive here on the UK sites that have never been imported to the US ) as well as a distinct lack of ESL skills . Yes he’s not one of us or a Brit .

    But here he is and the AutolineDetroit folks put up with him .

    @cwolf ; Two thumbs up !

  91. HtG Says:

    pedro, it’s just that so much energy goes into dealing with HS. We could talk about other things than Hyundai. And if watching conflict online is attractive to Schmuckee’s demographic target, then he is serving his chaebol masters well.

    I don’t want to make any threats, but it’s not too hard to start whaling on Korean corporate structure and their military complex. Making fun of Kravchik is also possible, but in bad form.

  92. tj Martin Says:


    CAR & AutoCar came to the conclusion ( AutoCar did some serious investigation on him and passed that info on to CAR and others in the UK ) that HyundaiSmoke is in fact a Hyundai paid shill .

    Seriously if by chance AutoCar is wrong and HS isn’t getting paid for all the time he puts into the Forums he raids , he is one very deranged little individual . Damn close to a Psychopath if I were to make a guess .

    I’ve told the moderators here about it several times and they keep letting him slide .

    Your guess is as good as mine why

  93. tj Martin Says:


    We could try ignoring him but history says that won’t work .

  94. HtG Says:

    tit for tat tj.

    HK can make their cars for those prices because of the industrial organization of the Korean state. Hyundai itself is a mega-corporation that does everything from electronics to super size tankers. There is no arm’s length distance between HK and its suppliers or financiers. I won’t start blabbering about the role of the military in governing the country sub rosa; I don’t know enough about it.

    But just one of the things that so hurt US manufacturing was the Cold War necessity of building up the economies of Japan and Korea. It was never a level playing field. It still isn’t. For this little bag of hair and semi-digested Happy Meals to gleefully brag about those cars is just repellent.

    He loves drawing you out especially. Well, I can take the bait too.

  95. Kit Gerhart Says:

    pedro fernandez Says:
    January 12th, 2011 at 6:18 pm
    “TJ what is your RPM when you’re doing your normal highway speed and are, I assume, in 5th gear?”

    I’m not tj, but it’s about 2500 rpm at 60 mph and 2900 at 70 mph in top gear, which is 6th. in my ’08 base Mini. The ’02 to ’06 non-S Minis had a 5-speed, and were geared “shorter” in top gear.

    Automatic Minis get probably 10-15% worse gas mileage than the manuals, because they are still torque converter autoboxes.

  96. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Pedro, because the Yaris could be really something, but Toyota is just out for the botom dollar.

    Pedro, I really believe these small B segment cars will dominate one day, and the Yaris could be one of them.

    BTW, you guys are a Riot.

  97. HyundaiSmoke Says:


  98. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    The Yaris is that small car that looks like the car that people should say “It’s that Cute Car,” when refering to it. The Yaris should be as cute as a button for the female demographic, iconic cute actually. Autoshow roaring applause cute.

    Sonic, like the New Rio coming looks masculine, yet simple. New Rio will graivate to Girls, while Sonic will gravitate to a mixture.

    Fiesta, like Accent and Polo are more for the Male Buyer.

    The MINI is a mixture car.

    When is VW going to debut Polo for the US? It’s still coming the last I heard.

  99. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Will Sonic be GMs MINI? That’s the question.

  100. pedro fernandez Says:

    Thanks, Kit. I now realize just how bad my 3 speed archaic transmission really is and why I only get 24 mpg at highway speeds.

  101. pedro fernandez Says:

    HS the Yaris is an affordable, well-built basic transport for those that don’t want to buy used. For the same money as a new Yaris, you have lots of 2 yr old more upscale models to choose from. If you read Edmund’s consumer reviews on the Yaris you find almost 100% approval rating. Not many cars can claim that!

  102. bob Says:

    “# Kit Gerhart Says:
    January 12th, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Some CR gas mileage numbers, city/highway and then “overall.” I don’t know the details of how they test, ”

    These are key to understand how they got only 32 and 35 CITY with the two priuses. Makes no sense, even if the cars idled for hours, since the gas engine would shut off, wouldn’t it?

    “but I’m sure the highway test is fairly slow since it returns very good numbers for most cars.”

    That does make sense, and the Prius beats even the Jetta DIESEL (55 vs 49 HWY).

    ” On the other hand, their city test must be rather “severe” to return only 32 for a 2010 Prius.”

    Not just severe, almost impossible. I bet there is some small print somewhere that defines what are the conditions of the CR city test.

    Car tested city/hwy overall

    “2010 Prius 32/55 44
    2004 Prius 35/50 44″

    I see these as pessimistic, and the city nos as VERY VERY Pessimistic. Most drivers get actual averages close to 50 MPG in warm areas. Did CR test the Prius in the middle of the winter? It might make a difference.

    “2010 Jetta Wagon TDI manual 25/49 36
    2009 Jetta Sedan TDI DSG 23/47 33″

    Why is the sedan worse than the bigger, heavier Wagon? Must be the 09 vs 10 diff?

    2010 Golf TDI manual 27/49 38″

    Very good. If you do mostly highway, that’s great. if mostly city, get a Prius.

    “2008 MINI Cooper manual 24/41 33″

    My estimate was 100% BULLS EYE regardless what LIES TJ MArtin blurts about it. 33 MPG!!!! And Martin’s FISHING STORIES about 40 MPG AVERAGE in the MINI were debunked not only by the above but by MINI Owner’s Kit’s actual experience which is almost IDENTICAL to the above and to my estimates.

  103. bob Says:

    “# pedro fernandez Says:
    January 13th, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Thanks, Kit. I now realize just how bad my 3 speed archaic transmission really is and why I only get 24 mpg at highway speeds.”


    You have got your money’s worth 3 times over from your COrolla, at 310k or so miles and all these years. I did not know that it did not even have a 4 speed auto, much less the 5 speed manual that would be much better still.

    Are you sentimentally attached to that car? I doubt it.

    Don’t you have $10k to get a used Prius 2?

    If not, why not just shell out $2k and get a CIVIC 5 speed manual or even 4 speed auto, hatch or coupe or sedan, with half the miles your corolla has?

    Also, how much is your LIFE worth? Does your car have ABS and side airbags and ESC? That’s a minimum in today’s market.

    In my case, I don’t like getting 12-15 MPG with my tank 740iL in the middle of the winter here, with my short 2 mile trips each way every day and the 5 mile trips on weekends to shop,

    But a tank lasts me a month, and the rest of the miles (business) are reimbursed at a great $0.5-$0.55 a mile, so why would I care?

    You can get a 2000-01 740IL for peanuts now, 5 years after I got my 98 for $10.5k looking like new inside and out. Today you can get a 2001 for $7-8k probably. And it has ALL these safety systems, full active AND passive safety, the works!

  104. bob Says:

    PS and no 2001 740iL will have 310 k miles, the longest one would be 210k, and typical would be 100-120k miles.

  105. bob Says:

    104 messages, but most of them were “scroll down” back and forth btw MArtin and H/S. Fat chance I will bother to read them, only if I catch a ref in a reply by the others will I comment on them.

  106. tj Martin Says:

    Yes Bob . Do take the ” High Road ” Suits you quite well in light of the lengthy sermons in posts 102 & 103 .

    Added in to the plethora of mis-information and lack of knowledge about anyone else’s car but your own 740iL . Which in light of the milage you do , exactly what other than vain prestige motivated you to buy such a car ? Don’t you know that BMW’s are made for the AutoBahn not hop skip and a jump commutes ?

    For the record Bob . Its not jealousy that motivates the above comment . I COULD afford a Panamera Turbo if I chose to , but in light of my needs and total lack of desire for Vanity induced purchases I CHOSE not to buy one .

    Oh yes good Bob . Do take the High Road . Well …. Maybe more like the Ditch alongside of the High Road suits you better .

  107. tj Martin Says:

    @Bob ;

    And by the way my arrogant Badge motivated conspicuous consumer .

    I APPLAUD pedro fernandez in his decision to keep his aging Corolla . Shows a genuine appreciation for the Value of a Dollar and the Wisdom to spend/invest his hard earned cash on more important things .

    But again FYI . My wife held on to her 92 Corollla till 2007 . She loved the car . Ran like a top . We GAVE it to a friends daughter for her first car and the little gem is still running like its only five years old . The ONLY reason the wife finally relented and bought her Matrix ( also a Corolla ) was because the cost of shipping it when we moved exceeded the value of the car . And yes Bob…. she loves her Matrix as well .

    See some of us have no need to express our success by the Brand and Model of car we drive .

    I’m not sure what gets up my nose more . HyundaiSmokes blatant stupidity and promotion of all things Hyundai/KIA or your Blatant Arrogance and complete lack of verifiable knowledge outside the realm of your own personal opinions when it comes to cars .

  108. bob Says:


    What is it about “I AM NOT READING YOUR BS ANY MORE” that you still cannot understand?

    Note that the ONLY other poster here whose scribblings I do not read is your pal in nonsense-writing Hyundai Smoke.

  109. HtG Says:


  110. HtG Says:

    Am I banned Ben?

    yeah, that’s me playing Kravchik

  111. Kit Gerhart Says:

    “Why is the sedan worse than the bigger, heavier Wagon? Must be the 09 vs 10 diff?”

    The ’09 and ’10 are supposed to be identical. I agree that these results don’t make sense, not so much the wagon vs sedan; they get the same EPA numbers, but the DSG actually gets one mpg better in the EPA highway rating. Maybe their driver is very good at getting mpg with a manual, but I’d think it would be hard to beat the DSG.

    As far as CR’s test procedures, I found that the “highway” is just steady 65 mph. They don’t give many details on the city test, except that it is stop and go driving.

  112. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’d like to see a high speed, like 80-85 mph comparison between a VW TDI and a Prius. Even though the Prius has much lower cd, the drive train is not as efficient at steady, high load as the more “direct” power train of the VW.

    With the Prius, the motor-generator connected to one section of the planetary is going to be operating as a generator, and all of that energy used by the other motor-generator, once the battery is full. Maybe the next generation Prius will have a clutch to “lock” the section of the planetary with the motor-gen above a certain speed. That should make high speed highway mileage even better than it is now.

  113. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Wow, you debate the facts now, because your trusted companies cant compete anymore.

    That’s ok Haters.

    Pedro, my whole point is Toyota should have double the Yaris sales considering the attention the media gives that car.

    You dont see the media reccomending Accents when gas prices spike, but they always reccomend the Yaris.

    Then again this is the same Media that pays more attention to Sarah Palin than Obama.

    American Media is a source of non-trusted misinformation and propaganda for coporatist agendas. They want Palin in so they (Elite) can have a Welfare Check in the form of criminally lower taxes while refusing to add jobs. This would kill tax revenues even more and municipalities would become bankrupt, forcing corporations to take over.

    Like I said before, RoboCop is here.

    I make perfect snese . It’s you old guys who got us into this mess that either are clueless idiots, or purposely sabbotaging society involved in this Hegelian Dialectic that is occuring right now.

    Look it up: Hegelian Dialectic

    That is exactly what’s going on now.

    Create a problem and chaos, then provide a solution-the solution you crafted, and not the People’s solution. You condition the people to accept whatever change that is coming, even if it is to their own detriment.

    The Solutuon in fact is usually a new future problem that will show it’s ugly head in the eventually.

  114. HyundaiSmoke Says:


  115. bob Says:

    “As far as CR’s test procedures, I found that the “highway” is just steady 65 mph.”

    Then 49 HWY with the Jetta Diesel and expecially 55 MPG with the prius 3 is exceptionally good.

    I suspected they tested them at 55 MPH so they can compare them with older tests under the old 55 MPH limit.

    ” They don’t give many details on the city test, except that it is stop and go driving.”

    Even then, the Prius should do extremely well, with the engine shutting off and not idling etc. Unless it was done in the worst winter day with the heat at full blast, and short cold start drives, the 32 and 35 MPG are inexplicable for the prius in the city.

    At first, i wondered if the city and hwy numbers for the prius were reversed, but then 35 HWY would be too low.

  116. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Jobs are a big part of this. They are keeping people purposely unemployed for as long as possible so when change does finally come, they will be forced to accept lower wages that are so low in fact in Normal times people would riot over those wages.

    This isnt Obama or Palin involved in this, because let’s be real that’s who will run against Obama. Obama and Palin are just pawns for their shill game.

    Nothing more than sacrificial lambs for the cause these 2 are.

    Therefore Obama or Palin=the same outcome

  117. pedro fernandez Says:

    tj and Bob, now that we have an empty nest, the wife and I rather spend any available $ to travel by car to see parts of the South which we’ve never been to, I rent a car, which is pretty inexpensive here in FL rather than blow it on a used car with less miles that could possibly leave me stranded on any of those trips, so a rental is a no-brainer. HS: You’re wrong about the Yaris, my friend, the media has been lambasting it since it came out, it is the popular opinion and word of mouth that keeps this car selling well despite the fact that it is already a 4 yr old design and the Edmund’s glowing reports come from the people that have actually bought the car, not the media.

  118. bob Says:

    I am curious what sales numbers the prius V and C will get when they are sold alongside the original prius 3.

    In Dec the prius 3 sold more than 15,000 copies, the best prius Dec ever.

    With the other two available, I would guess 8,000 smaller prius C’s, 12,000 Prius, and maybe 7,000 wagons, for a total of 27,000!

  119. HtG Says:

    you are the slave Smoke. Your master is the Hyundai chaebol. How self-conscious are you of your advocacy for a brand that can use state resources and benefit from an interlocking company structure.

    Try again.

  120. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Ford’s cars are ready for this new world, but their pricing rubric isnt.

  121. bob Says:


    Even if Hyundai does not pay you to write that stuff, if I were Krafcik and read them, I’d pay you anyway as long as you shut the hell up and did not damage Hyundai’s image unnecessarily.

  122. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Yeah, the same state structure that Ford, GM and Chyrsler should have, but no…. “That’s Socialism.”


    Look at GM. Sure those products were in the pipeline, but if it weren’t for government intervention the US Cruze would be as cheap and craptastic as what European reviewers say the Euro Crize is.

  123. HtG Says:

    rubric? Ford also has an econometric model of the price of gas. As Asia rises their demand for fuel rises, pressuring price. Let’s see how Ford’s pricing works out later this year.

    Oh, and did you see how Korea is now fighting domestic inflation? This is the price their consumers must pay for the state policy of weak won.


  124. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    The people who we are looking for to buy Hyundais we assume are smart enough to know what I say already.

    People who drive Hyundais are smart well educated people who are the types that would appreciate some of my social commentary.

    Smart people drive Hyundais, and Id rather be smart than “nice” like they used to say Honda drivers were. Then again in America intelligence is shunned, as the masters don’t want you to be smart.

    They want to to pay rip off prices for a product because of the name, and do various other things that they entice otherwise intelligent people to do that they shoudln’t be doing in the first place.

    You guys have been sooo…. brainwashed.

    I just say the things openly that many Hyundai owners keep their mouthes shut about. Many other owners like to be polite.

    I take a different path.

  125. HtG Says:

    so the Hyundai brand is Smug Loudmouth.

  126. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Even Consumer Reports does not recommend the Yaris, in spite of its excellent results in their reliability survey. They complain about the “extended arms, bent knees” seating position, cheap interior finish, and center mounted displays. They don’t dwell on it, but the Yaris still uses a 4 speed automatic, though it doesn’t seem to hurt mileage a lot.

  127. pedro fernandez Says:

    HS how do you think the Equus is gonna do here in the States where brand recognition is SO important?

  128. Kit Gerhart Says:

    CR’s “highway” mileage for both of my cars seems a little high for 65 mph, but I checked again, and they say they do the test at 65.

  129. pedro fernandez Says:

    Kit, the original beetle was a horrible car to drive, yet it sold like hotcakes. The Yaris is way better than the old beetle ever was and you know what? It’s reliable and frugal and affordable; that’s why owners love them, it was always mentioned as an alternative to the overpriced, unsatisfying Smart POS

  130. HtG Says:

    pedro, one thing they will do is make sure that what the customer puts their hands on is nice and soft. I sat in the Genesis, but was put off by the too soft arm rest. It was like a deliberate attempt to project quality. But it was a cheap deftless effort. Just felt fake and deliberate.

    Also, they will try to share the brand of Apple’s Ipad. They give you an Ipad with your high end car. Guess who made the processor for the Ipad? Samsung. How much do you think Kravcik had to pay to stand close to Steve?

  131. dcars Says:

    The Yaris is good for the money, better than the smart, by far. I had one as a rental (in Florida) and it was terrible, but it was cheaper than the cost of a taxi back to the airport.

  132. pedro fernandez Says:

    Dcars: is the transmission in the Smart as bad as all the reports I’ve read?

  133. Kit Gerhart Says:

    While the Yaris is a much better car than a Beetle, and every other small car from the 50′s-70′s, there are better choices, like the Fit. The Yaris is a bargain, though, and if you don’t mind its shortcomings, its reliability alone makes it a good car.

    I’ve driven a smart, and found the transmission to be as bad as everyone says. It kind of reminded me of a manual transmission car driven by someone who is not very skilled at driving a manual transmission. I liked a couple things about the smart, like the “colorful” interior which you can get in red/black, rather than just grey or tan like most cars. Also, the non-power steering of the car I drove had a nice, direct feel. Even with a decent tranmission, though, smart would be a “toy” best reserved for city driving. I guess some people will drive them anywhere, though. I saw one on I-95 a little north of Daytona yesterday, and it was going 75-80 with the flow of traffic.

  134. bob Says:

    “pedro fernandez Says:
    January 13th, 2011 at 11:17 am

    tj and Bob, now that we have an empty nest, the wife and I rather spend any available $ to travel by car to see parts of the South which we’ve never been to, I rent a car, which is pretty inexpensive here in FL rather than blow it on a used car with less miles that could possibly leave me stranded on any of those trips, so a rental is a no-brainer. ”

    There is no doubt that WEEKEND rentals are unbeatable value, even here, last June i rented a malibu for 3 days for $70 all included (except gas) and if I rented a Hyundai Accent I’d pay $50 for THREE days (!!!)

    But you can’t use rentals in your daily chores around town, and it seems to me that, to have reached 310k miles, you must do many more miles every year than I do, maybe at least 10-15k miles a year not including your long trips. For these miles, you can easily upgrade to a used Civic or More recent corolla with at least a 4 sp auto or a 5 sp manual, AND it will also have two airbags and ABS, and even side airbags, and possibly ESP. And you can get it for a measly $2k! I am sure you spend much more on your trips every year (including gas, food and stay)