First Friday: The Vehicles

Nissan Leaf at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show (LHD).Image via Wikipedia
Nissan Leaf

Well, First Friday was a gorgeous, cool night. After visiting the Sunsphere we headed toward Market Square, then the Old City and the 100 Block. As usual, there were vehicles that caught my attention. Of course, I was a week behind if I really wanted to see some cool vehicular action: The Nissan Leaf was available for test drives at the World’s Fair Park. I missed it. At 25K for an all-electric vehicle with a range of 75 – 100 miles, it may be the game changer in the automotive industry.

Mecedes Sedan on Market Square, March 2011

But I digress, sort of. On First Friday there were other new vehicles displayed on Market Square. The two at the northern end of the square, parked in the Bill Lyons Pavilion were Mercedes. So, I ask you, you can have a red Mercedes wagon or you can have a classic black sedan, what do you do? Is there a choice? If I’m going to buy a wagon, I’m not paying that much money for ugly. I’ll never be able to afford the sedan, and maybe I wouldn’t buy it if I could, but it is beautiful. And black is the only color.

Mecedes Wagon on Market Square, Knoxville, March 2011

At the other end of the square, coming in at about fifteen pounds was a perfectly intact Smart Car. I featured one the other day on this blog that had gotten the short end of a run in with something. I asked the question then if it was really that smart. I was being a bit facetious, but a anonymous – my most comment-prone reader and a very sharp individual – said, “Smart Cars require PREMIUM gas, and after paying that penalty, you’re only rewarded with 33 mpg in the city???? This car is a joke.”

“Do I carry it in my pocket or ride in it?”

After looking at the numbers, I have to agree. It does get pretty good gas mileage, but I can get that in a Camry and have a lot more room for friends family and stuff. Even better, my Prius gets in the upper 40’s without breaking a sweat, and I have been known to get in the mid 50’s. If I got 33 I would die. I suppose you can get into small spaces with a Smart Car, but I’ve never been unhappy with the spaces I could get into with the Prius.

Then, the Leaf costs about the same as the Smart Car and (really) gets infinite miles per gallon if you don’t count the electricity for charging, so I’m thinking the Smart Car is really back to not being that Smart. You have to give to ole Anonymous, he knows a thing or two about a thing or two.

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