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Very small new car - maybe?
Old 04-10-2014, 08:12 PM   #1
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Very small new car - maybe?

Here's something that might help future folks balance their FIRE budget a bit easier. Then again, I think I would rather work another six months and buy a Prius. But, I have seen several such vehicles in Europe so they are not just pie-in-the-sky.

Elio three-wheeler claims 672 miles on one tank of fuel - Autoweek
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:24 PM   #2
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Read something about this car online somewhere. Sounds like it would make a good commuting car....but not much room inside. We currently have a Subaru Forester.....which works great for us. But.....we wouldn't have bought the Forester if we drove very much (only one car). I had a Honda Jazz (Fit in the US) while I was in the UK.....liked it. Living in Europe for 20+ years made me enjoy the small cars a lot. The Jazz you could stick a lot of stuff in.
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:54 PM   #3
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IMHO, many of these cars find their usefulness not in fuel economy, but in being able to find a parking space in congested cities.
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:08 PM   #4
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The company (Elio) is supposed to build those cars here where I live, Shreveport/Bossier City, LA. They were/are planning to use the abandoned former GM plant, but my wife told me this afternoon that some other big company has announced it wants to occupy that same facility, and will need most or all of it. Elio only needs a part of the plant so the city is talking about relocating them someplace else. I don't know how far along they are in production...I don't think I've seen any of them running around here yet.

*
Ok, I see now that the first Elio is due off the line in a couple of months. I'm not thinking it would be my cup of tea, but I'm all for anything that employs folks and adds to the economy.
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
Here's something that might help future folks balance their FIRE budget a bit easier. Then again, I think I would rather work another six months and buy a Prius. But, I have seen several such vehicles in Europe so they are not just pie-in-the-sky.

Elio three-wheeler claims 672 miles on one tank of fuel - Autoweek
If we're going to talk range...

The Mercedes E 250 diesel out does this "car" by far. It has the same 21 gal fuel tank as the gas powered E 350, but get an EPA Highway 45 mpg.

In real life the best I've yet pushed it was 723 miles before refueling with 19.0 gal of diesel yielding 38.1 mpg. Mostly highway driving at ~80 mph on a trip.

Certainly not helpful in stretching a budget, but definitely a fine way to tour the country enjoying FIRE!
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Old 04-10-2014, 11:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chuckanut View Post
Here's something that might help future folks balance their FIRE budget a bit easier. Then again, I think I would rather work another six months and buy a Prius. But, I have seen several such vehicles in Europe so they are not just pie-in-the-sky.

Elio three-wheeler claims 672 miles on one tank of fuel - Autoweek
And when one gets nailed by an F150 how far will this beercan travel on no gas at all?
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Old 04-11-2014, 06:16 AM   #7
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Um, not the right shape for use as wheelchuck for my suburban. I'll pass.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:45 AM   #8
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Our son bought a Toyota Scion iQ 2 years ago and loves it. (It's his only car) It is a little larger than a Smart car but not much. He only has a 1 mile commute to work and rarely leaves the town we live in. He picked me up to go play tennis the other day and I noticed that he still only has about 4k miles on the clock.
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Old 04-11-2014, 08:56 AM   #9
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And when one gets nailed by an F150 how far will this beercan travel on no gas at all?
Around here, an F150 is a small vehicle.

Luckily, my Prius has not had a run-in with one yet, but I drive assuming everyone WILL do something stupid, eventually...
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:06 AM   #10
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I like cute little cars, but only when driving in Europe. Here, as earlier posters have noted, I have to mingle with jerks and jerkettes in their gargantuan SUVs and trucks who overspeed and run red lights.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:14 AM   #11
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Here, as earlier posters have noted, I have to mingle with jerks and jerkettes in their gargantuan SUVs and trucks who overspeed and run red lights.
Plus ginormous lumbering RV's driven by old geezers who aren't in a hurry and impede the flow of traffic...
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:18 AM   #12
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Just drive around them, for crying out loud...
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:36 AM   #13
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Of course, when cars get small enough, this becomes a potential problem:

Flipping Trend Worrying Some Columbus Smart Car Owners
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:45 AM   #14
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Of course, when cars get small enough, this becomes a potential problem:

Flipping Trend Worrying Some Columbus Smart Car Owners
Oh, I thought you were talking about the old VW bug trick: a bunch of guys drink a lot of beer, thump their chests and pick up a beetle and flip it over, or if they are feeling kind, just move it to some unlikely place that it could never be driven to, or out of.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:47 AM   #15
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My junior high art teacher had an Isetta. He found it in some vary strange places from time to time. This isn't really something new.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:47 AM   #16
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Seems like an awesome idea!!

The biggest drawback seems to be the tandem seating for a couple.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:12 AM   #17
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I think it is a terrible idea and you are asking to be killed. You cannot defeat physics. Any collision with another vehicle will crumple this up like a squashed can. Especially as the mass difference is greater, such as with a full size truck or SUV. Although many minivans and sedans are in the 4000-5000 lbs range.

I know someone will argue crumple zones, and they do help. I'll drive a bigger vehicle and take the hit on extra fuel costs for the benefits of increased room, ride comfort and safety. Life is about risk, you decide what you are comfortable with.

However, we live in a free country (for the most part....) and everyone can make their personal choice for transportation. So if this car gets you excited, go ahead and buy one.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:40 AM   #18
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I find that even in retirement I don't put many miles on my V-6 Venza at all. My spending on gasoline is almost trivial. Consequently I find that better gas mileage on a tiny car doesn't appeal to me much.

Still, some of these small cars are pretty cute and sure would be easy to park. Whatever car I buy next, large or small, will be BOTTOM of the line. So many cars these days are "nanny cars" that are loaded up with electronics and do everything for you, and I don't like that.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:56 AM   #19
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You know I used to ride motorcycles and scooters for fun when I was younger. (not so much now at 72 ) Now that gas prices are up, I often look at people on bikes sometimes (usually scooters) and wonder if they are riding them out of necessity as cheap transportation or mainly for pleasure.

If the former, I then think to myself. Well, they will certainly get you far on little gas, but what about your grocery shopping when it is nasty outside. Seems like they should be able to build something enclosed from the elements and a little room to put your groceries for not such an outrageous price. And so, here it is. Agreed not the safest form of transportation, but probably better than a motorcycle, and does serve a purpose.

Would be ideal for the elderly in those "enclosed" residential retirement areas that have all amenities within the community. (like the Villages in Florida) that have grocery stores, banks, theaters, etc. all withing the community. Also area like NYC might be a good option.
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Old 04-11-2014, 12:59 PM   #20
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I think it is a terrible idea and you are asking to be killed. You cannot defeat physics. Any collision with another vehicle will crumple this up like a squashed can. Especially as the mass difference is greater, such as with a full size truck or SUV. Although many minivans and sedans are in the 4000-5000 lbs range.
Note that no matter what size personal vehicle one drives, there is always something bigger on the road. Sometimes much bigger.



SUVs can be in non-survivable collisions as well.
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