• Jul 11, 2008
The already fuel efficient Smart fortwo will soon become even more stingy with the petrol when start-stop technology is employed fleet-wide beginning in October. The start-stop technology, which is called "micro hybrid" by Smart, works by cutting off the engine during braking when the vehicle speed drops below five mph. According to Smart, the engine restarts immediately when the brake is released and the technology will result in a fuel savings of 8 percent, bringing consumption in the US EPA cycle to about 44 mpg on the highway and 36 mpg in the city. CO2 emissions will also be reduced by 9g/km, now netting 103g/km. The technology will also be available on the CDI Smart when it hits production next year, but as of right now, the diesel fortwo isn't coming Stateside.

[Source: Autocar]


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  • 43 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      With this Start-Stop technology (in hybrids, Smart, etc) wouldn't you degrade the engine oil pretty quickly and thus prone to increased engine wear? I mean one of the reasons for fuel dilution is frequent short trip driving (according to Amsoil):

      http://www.syntheticwarehouse.com/amsoil_technical_service.htm

      ..so that pretty equates to running several start-stop cycles on an Smart engine (and hybrids) in urban driving at least.

      Frankly, I'm not buying into this start-stop feature...I'm for reducing carbon footprint and better fuel efficiency (who isn't nowadays) and stuff, but there's no way for me that engine wear would be compromised...in the name of 8% gain in the case of the Smart.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mild and micro hybrid start-stop systems and even strong hybrids run the engine on initial startup until it achieves operating temperature. It allows the engine oil to reach its optimal viscosity in order to properly maintain lubrication for start-stop procedures. Between stops and starts an engine does not cool down significantly enough to effect things. What Amsoil means by frequent short trips is that engine oil degrades when someone often drives short distances and then parks for long periods of time without first allowing the oil temp to reach its ideal operating point.
      • 6 Years Ago


      Is anyone going to drive these things on the highway. If not, buy a Civic and get the same mileage.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow. That gas mileage is so much better than what I get in my Honda Fit... not.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Still no excuse for this to get under 50 mpg. To sacrifice all the practicality and still be the same or worse than some 4 door cars is just sad.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The Smart ForTwo isn't all about fuel economy. If you don't live in a crowded European city where parking is a nightmare, you're going to miss the point of this car entirely.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would assume it can be called a hybrid because while the engine is not running, the lights, radio, AC, brakes still function because of battery power and reserved vacuum/hydraulic pressure.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have one. I live in the city.. and despite owning an awesome BMW and a pretty new Saab, I have to say, the smart gives you a total rush being so stealth. It's narrow, darts through traffic, takes a u-turn like a Kung Fu master, shaves 20 minutes off any effort to park, holds a 6'5" piece of lumber (or person), has heated leather seats, auto wipers, top-notch safety equipment, nice stereo, power windows, locks, good ride and it's ENGAGING to drive unlike so many small, dull cars.

      ... and yes, the mileage is not good enough. I agree... and that's why MHD is brilliant -especially for the city.However being empowered with a car like this is pretty cool.
      • 6 Years Ago
      do not get your hopes up, the "micro hybrid" ones have been around here for some time. every review confirmed that they actually consume MORE fuel than the standard non-mhd smarts.
        • 6 Years Ago
        made up bs? what is your problem? the mhd-smart cars have been on sale here since october 07.

        but since you demand proof for my "bs", i provide a link, coming from germanys biggest carmagazine.

        http://www.autobild.de/artikel/verbrauchswerte-auf-dem-pruefstand-teil-2_453344.html

        see for yourself and STFU.
        • 6 Years Ago
        bungle, you are correct. i was enraged by evans comment. but check spritmonitor.de. it is based on peoples experience. theres an english version, too.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Jan:

        Looks to me like the micro hybrid uses fewer Liters per 100 km, which is *better* gas mileage than the regular Smart.
        • 6 Years Ago
        how is it anything hybrid? There is no other power source involved?

        like Coupe, there are those who dont understand the meaning of 'hybrid'.
        sheesh. if you dont get cars, dont get into marketing for cars
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Jan...

        Come on now kiddo, you're going to have to provide a link or some sources for that kind of made up BS.

        • 6 Years Ago
        exactly right, that is one of the other main points of criticism and has been a matter of discussion throughout german car-forums.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hybrid? They're small and save gas, but they're no hybrid.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Jan:

        I think you need to go back and read the article. They're saying that the Smart MHD gets worse mileage in testing than the factory rating specifies, which is true of most cars in the world.

        They still concede that it gets better mileage than the Smart without MHD. If you look at the numbers, they're both rated at approximately 50% higher mileage than they actually get, but the Smart MHD still wins out by a considerable margin.
      • 6 Years Ago
      1. I'm sure Mercedes wouldn't add a technology to its cars if it was not 100% reliable.

      2. How could not dumping fuel into the engine when you are idling by shutting off the motor and re-starting it automatically possibly use MORE fuel?

      I say we thank Mercedes for investing in technology that helps cut fuel use and CO2 emissions by a pretty significant margin.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Artie, them things are so un-manly aren't they?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'd rather be seen riding a moped; it'd be easier to park and I'd get better mileage. That's why I'm shocked at the Smart's relatively pedestrian MPG average. For what you have to give up in style and function, you'd expect much better efficiency
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's interesting to see that Mercedes sells the current smart CDI in Mexico but not in the USA or Canada. The main problem with the smart is not really the price or the so-so mileage. The car's 2 main problems lie in : A) the very poor ride characteristics in cities like NYC and San Francisco (plus Detroit) that have very rough streets and B) the very lousy herky jerky transmission. smart idea=dumb car. I'm waiting for the Toyota/Scion IQ-definitely a better idea.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The only thing I'm wondering about is why it gets such terrible mileage for something so pathetically small. They couldn't do any better than that?
      • 6 Years Ago
      If only this car would have come out a few months earlier, I might have ended up with one!
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