Cars, Efficiency, and Americans

I have been on a quest for almost a year now. i have been searching for how to get a "smart" car here in the USA. for those of you that do not know, a SMART car is basically an economy 2 seater built by mercedes that get's almsot 60MPG without silly "hybrid" technology. This car makes the Honda insight look like a complete joke. (although coupling honda's tech into the smart would possibly yield the first 100MPG car). They have been selling them in Canada for over a year now for the equilivant of $7800USD but it is a federal crime to bring one into the USA because of useless laws bought by the American Car makers to protect their market. recently I found that ZAP is importing SMART cars and converting them. which is a start in the right direction, but they will not be available for another 8-12 months and will cost around $20,000US to start with. This is insane... Why can a person that want's a fuel efficient car not allowed to buy one? The hybrids are a joke, they all get less gas mileage than a volkswagon TDI and all cost as much as a mid size luxury sedan.

well, I discovered that a car DID exist for a long time that was soild for dirt here in the USA and get's insane gas mileage... The Geo Metro. I bought a used one with 109,000 miles on it for $200US they can be found with far less miles and in awesome shape for around $2000US The 2 door 900CC version will get almost 60MPG typically 50MPG and the 4 door high powered 1300CC version will get 38-45MPG. HIGHER than the Honda Insight in real world driving. (Typically the Insight will get around 40mpg in reality. they almost NEVER get the 50mpg rating the EPA said it would.)

if you disable the Daytime running lights, replace the steel rims with aluminum and put very low rolling resistance tires on the Geo Metro as well as give the front end a -1 or 0 camber adjustment you get almost a 10MPG boost! unfortunately the handling goes to pot fast if you adjust the front end camber that way (same as the insight! they handle like crap!) and breaking is significantly diminished with low rolling resistance tires... they are slippery when squealing compared to a more "sticky" tire.

So I'm going with used Geo Metros. I figure that for the next 5 years I can buy another used one every 2 years for dirt, drive the hell out of them saving 5 times the gast the moron in the Escalade or other SUV is and doing something for the environment that I wanted to do to begin with.

the fact that my gasoline bill for the week went from $55.00US to $20.00US switching from my minivan that was getting 28MPG typically to the GEO saves me more money than any investment or stock portfolio could ever make me.


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