We have 2 Smart Cars. We get 35-40 MPG. I think this is miserable for a car like this. We trade houses with people in Europe. Recently we had a 4 passenger Octavia(VW) mid size diesel car. Mileage exceeded 50 MPG and the car was twice the size of our Smarts. Something is very wrong. A car this size should get 60 MPG plus if well designed. They are fun but....

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SATO

I think you provided some good insight but I don't think it is obvious and it needs some clarification. There is no "European" Gallon. Only Brittan uses the imperial gallon for some few remaining measurements. All gasoline is sold by the liter not the gallon. But my Octavia in addition to reporting liters/100 miles as is the standard European mileage measure also reported Miles / Gallon, and I am sure that you are right - that would be their imperial gallon measure and so give a number 20% better than ours.

As to the bumper weights and catalytic converters, the European Union Environmental standards are very similar to ours and I don't think this would be a significant factor.
Also higher octane fuel is not "better" and octane has nothing to do with fuel economy only on preignition depending on compression ratio.
I do not see what your complaining about. I get exactly what the EPA says you should get - 36MPG. My driving is about 1/3 city and 2/3 highway (stop and go highway). Its a 15 mile round trip. My old 2001 chev metro 4 cylinder 1.3 liter, got only 28-29MPG for the same trip.
Jim you are right it's not EU gallon it's imperial and US. so 1 US gallon is 3.785411784 liters but..... 1 Imperial gallon is 4.5 liters so again there could be a loss in "translation".... well "conversion" to which gallon? is more appropriately the question.

The issue of bumpers and safety apparatus in general is quite relevant. One of the reasons Canada had smarts before the US was that their safety requirements are more similar to European standards.. And that also is why you have a very hard time registering a Canadian vehicle here. Our smarts are heavier than those across the border and the European models as well because of that very fact. Did you know that the side air bags are optional in Europe?
I've had very in depth discussions about Octane ratings and RON ratings with my retired step father. I think He could shed some light on the matter after being with ESSO Canada and EXXON USA and EXXON MOBIL Central America and the Caribbean all his working life. Oh I've drilled him on these matters many a times believe me!
and the higher the rating (octane or Ron) the less fuel the vehicle needs to ratio with air to achieve the compression and burn the engine is programed to be happy with. While you can put any rating in any car and the computer will adjust the fuel to air ratio so there is no blow out (back fire... pinging) the tradeoff is the consumption of more fuel. Performance (feel) aside your MPG or MPL will suffer.
Jim Parsons said:
SATO

I think you provided some good insight but I don't think it is obvious and it needs some clarification. There is no "European" Gallon. Only Brittan uses the imperial gallon for some few remaining measurements. All gasoline is sold by the liter not the gallon. But my Octavia in addition to reporting liters/100 miles as is the standard European mileage measure also reported Miles / Gallon, and I am sure that you are right - that would be their imperial gallon measure and so give a number 20% better than ours.

As to the bumper weights and catalytic converters, the European Union Environmental standards are very similar to ours and I don't think this would be a significant factor.
Also higher octane fuel is not "better" and octane has nothing to do with fuel economy only on preignition depending on compression ratio.

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