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Justwatching
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PostSubject: Microcars   Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:03 am

Microcar M.Go, Smart ForTwo and Tata Nano...that's about the extent of the microcar scene atm. The former two are over priced and the latter isn't sold in the UK because government says no (because we're all dumbasses that need protecting from our own decisions, apparently).

Would have thought there'd be a strong market for tiny, lightweight, fuel efficient, basic, cheap cars. Or are people too stuck-up for that kind of thing now (much like bangers)?

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edlithgow
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PostSubject: Re: Microcars   Tue Feb 17, 2015 2:09 am

You loose out on practicality (load carrying) and in some cases on build quality as well.

I wouldn't much want a Smart (Roadster might be tempting). Wouldn't mind a Mini or a 2CV (not quite micro?) or here, there are a few old Mitsubishi Towny's which also have a 2-cylinder air cooled engine but are 4-seaters.  

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I suppose what I'm saying is I don't mind small cars, but the Smart is too small, and too new. My first car was a Trojan 200

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Justwatching
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PostSubject: Re: Microcars   Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:42 am

"You loose out on practicality (load carrying)"

Naturally. But how much do you need it? Personally, I rarely need to transport large objects. Also, you gain fuel economy, cheaper servicing (fewer spark plugs, lower fluid volumes, etc.), easier to park, environmental credential (?), cheaper to buy (arguable though, especially second-hand), lower tax.

"Roadster might be tempting"

Very tempting.

"Wouldn't mind a Mini or a 2CV (not quite micro?)"

I'd say the BMC mini was micro, though yeah, the 2CV is a stretch. Fiat cinquecento/seicento?
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PostSubject: Re: Microcars   Sat Feb 21, 2015 11:06 am

I'm not really convinced that the economy and space-saving advantages of a modern micro are that great. My present car (Daihatsu Skywing) is a fairly standard sized hatchback with a small (993 cc IIRC) 3-cylinder engine, and it has fairly good economy, though the performance probably wouldn't satisfy most (hence the turbo Charades)

I never carry rear seat passengers (no belts, and I usually have the seat out anyway), but I quite often carry junk, including flat-moving recently because the GF's Toyota Altis saloon is too shiny and too space-inefficient (standard saloons are pretty stupid, IMO) for such duty.

A shorter car wouldn't be that much lighter, but it'd probably be less aerodynamic. I'd guess my Trojan was pretty good because it was tear-drop shaped and I THINK it had an aluminium body, though I've never confirmed that. The Smart is almost a cube. Most parking spaces are sized for standard cars, so I'd guess you'd only occaisionally be able to exploit end-on opportunities.

The most strikingly space-efficient car I've had was a Honda Acty 550cc TRUCK with a demountable fibreglass Romahome camper-back, which I lived in in London for a while.

Compact and bijou with knobs on, but still livable for me at 6ft 2. However, when I drove it I was acutely aware that my thigh bones were the crumple zone.

The older micro cars I mention above didn't have to meet modern crash and emission regulations, and I guess thats largely why I think they are better. I'll probably go on thinking that until just before impact, when I'll realise I've made a terrible mistake.
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Justwatching
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PostSubject: Re: Microcars   Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:05 pm

"A shorter car wouldn't be that much lighter"

Every kilo counts Thumb

"it'd probably be less aerodynamic."

Only a problem if you're trying to move fast.

Overall, you're probably right . Hatchbacks with small engines have probably absorbed the microcar market - they're more versatile with virtually no difference in running cost.
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