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Can you identify this car?
Old 05-15-2009, 11:09 AM   #1
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Can you identify this car?

I see this car pass by everyday. It's small and plain and really cute. It has a Kia nameplate but nothing on it shows what model it is. I've looked at the Kia site and wikipedia and I don't think it's anything current, may be an older model of something. It's a 4 door hatchback, compact, not one of their SUVs.

Here are some pictures, my cell phone camera isn't high quality, but maybe someone can solve this mystery for me.




In that last one there is a minivan in the background behind the roofline of the mystery car.
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:12 AM   #2
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Kia Rondo?
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:13 AM   #3
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Sportage?
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Old 05-15-2009, 11:28 AM   #4
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I don't think it's either of those. I see a lot of Sportages and this is smaller. Also, this has the rear license plate mounted on the bumper, not on the hatch.

The Rondo looks more curved than this. And larger.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:06 PM   #5
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Is it a Smart Car? I don't exactly remember what they look like, but I know they are very tiny and get my attention.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:19 PM   #6
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This is the Smart Car. Now, I love small cars, but this one might be too small! There's a black and yellow one in our area, looks like a large bumblebee.

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Old 05-15-2009, 12:22 PM   #7
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This is the Smart Car. Now, I love small cars, but this one might be too small! There's a black and yellow one in our area, looks like a large bumblebee.

Yes, that's it! Usually when I see one I am so surprised at how tiny they are. You're right - - for me this one might be too small. Guess it's not the car that you saw, though. That one looks big compared with this Smart Car.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:32 PM   #8
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Looks like an older Sportage to me. The first models were kinda boxy and small, like the first rav$'s..........

Kia Sportage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:41 PM   #9
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Usually when I see one I am so surprised at how tiny they are. You're right - - for me this one might be too small. Guess it's not the car that you saw, though. That one looks big compared with this Smart Car.
I passed a Smart Car on I-35 while driving our motor home and it was shocking how tiny it was. Can't imagine driving one of those things on anything other than residential streets...
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:43 PM   #10
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I passed a Smart Car on I-35 while driving our motor home and it was shocking how tiny it was. Can't imagine driving one of those things on anything other than residential streets...
I see them on the Autobahn....always in the right lane.
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Old 05-15-2009, 12:58 PM   #11
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Looks like an older Sportage to me. The first models were kinda boxy and small, like the first rav$'s..........

Kia Sportage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yep, I agree. Does the car in question look like this (this is a '95 Sportage)?

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Old 05-15-2009, 01:09 PM   #12
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I passed a Smart Car on I-35 while driving our motor home and it was shocking how tiny it was. Can't imagine driving one of those things on anything other than residential streets...
They will be popular until there are enough Youtube videos showing crashes between them and a dump truck.........
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:16 PM   #13
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They will be popular until there are enough Youtube videos showing crashes between them and a dump truck.........
Crash test video: HowStuffWorks Videos "Smart Car Crash Test Results"
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:23 PM   #14
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Every time I see one of those Smart Cars, I am reminded of the following limerick:

There once was a man from Boston,
who had a little Austin.
There was room for his a--
and a gallon of gas,
but his ba--s hung out and he lost 'em
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Old 05-15-2009, 01:35 PM   #15
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I passed a Smart Car on I-35 while driving our motor home and it was shocking how tiny it was. Can't imagine driving one of those things on anything other than residential streets...
I'd really hate to be in a head-on collision with an SUV in one of these things when both were doing 60 MPH on a two-lane road...

Seems like these (and those "neighborhood electric vehicles") would be good for getting around in a small town like mine where I can get anywhere in town by using only streets posted at or below 35 MPH, but I can't imagine doing a lot of driving on the Interstate or an open high-speed country road with these things.
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Old 05-15-2009, 03:05 PM   #16
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The thing I don't get about the smart cars is that their mileage isn't really all that great considering their size. We do better in town with our diesel Bug than they are rated for on the highway. And I'm sure there are other small cars (real cars) that get mileage not that far off from the smart car. Do they have some kind of draw for people other than the mileage?
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Old 05-15-2009, 03:26 PM   #17
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I don't see them ever being popular in the US, but in Europe they're big sellers not necessarily because of fuel consumption. Parking is a big problem in many European cities but you can fit a Smart car just about anywhere. Also, their small engine makes them cheap to insure and keeps the annual car tax down in places that have that. They're generally a city commuter car over here.
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Old 05-15-2009, 04:07 PM   #18
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I rented a Smart for about 7 years ago and drove it from Paris to and around the Loire Valley. Its a really great city car, but not much power at all - the highways were no fun, especially with the AC on.

I agree their mileage is disappointing given their size. Their real advantage is in parking.
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Old 05-15-2009, 04:25 PM   #19
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I rented a Smart for about 7 years ago and drove it from Paris to and around the Loire Valley. Its a really great city car, but not much power at all - the highways were no fun, especially with the AC on.

I agree their mileage is disappointing given their size. Their real advantage is in parking.
I saw Smart Cars in Paris in 1992. They were able to reverse into half a parking space. Perfect for zipping between le boulangerie, le charcuterie, l"office, et chez vous!
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Old 05-15-2009, 04:31 PM   #20
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I tried to rent a Smart Car (looked easy to park) in Brussels a few years ago; when the rental agent overheard that I was going to Bruges, she snatched the keys back, and exclaimed "you can't take this on the motorway; it is too dangerous" and gave me a Renault...
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