126 MPG, and no, we can’t buy or drive it in the USA. WTF?

308 HDi

I’m talking about the Peugeot 308 HDi.

Yes, I know that Peugeot has not been available for decades here in the USA, but my point is the self-defeating regulations that have been put in place that limit the American car buying market. We’ve erected trade barriers in the guise of safety and emissions that have excluded the very technologies we need the most. The EURO/NCAP safety regs are adequate for our roads as much as theirs. California’s emissions laws are the tail that wags the dog here in the USA. The result? we get Smart cars that average 37 MPG instead of the 70 MPG they enjoy in Europe. We get mid-sized sedans that strain to reach 20 MPG, whereas they have ones that enjoy 35 to 40 MPG.

Why not just scrap all these regs, adopt the European standards and open our market to these imports? Do we really think we’re protecting a domestic industry anymore?

5 thoughts on “126 MPG, and no, we can’t buy or drive it in the USA. WTF?”

  1. I don’t understand why anyone in the US would buy a SmartCar. Buy a Honda Civic and get the same gas mileage and much more interior room. I guess folks are buying them to make a statement – of what I’m not sure.

    I’d love to have a selection of high MPG diesels to choose from in the US. I’d buy a diesel Honda Element tomorrow if it was available.

  2. Certainly not the US-spec Smart, NO! But if you could buy the one that gets 70 MPG?

    What I want is a 2-seater commuter car with a convertible top, that I can run on homebrew biodiesel.


  3. Certainly small cars are in vogue now, look at all the Scions, Matrix (Matrices?), Fits, Yaris, etc. Not mention the Prius and other smaller hybrids. I can’t believe they wouldn’t have decent sales if you could buy any one of them in diesel form with 70+MPG.

  4. Mark, I was one of those who *was* going to buy a smartcar…til they made it Not-smartcar, for the US.

    As is typical, the smartcar imported for the US is *not* the smartcar I first test-drove back in 2006. THAT smartcar had the original turboed M-B engine that got 60+ mpg.

    Not satisfied with that, along with Chuck’s oft-mentioned idiocy at CARB, Mercedes made it bigger, heaveir and put a non-turboed Mitsubishi engine it. It’s a dog, it’s 12 grand as a stripper, and my $6500 Hyundai gets 3-5 mpg less than it, AND has a trunk.

    I got my deposit back..;(

    I’m with you and with Chuck: Were CARB to pull its collective head out of its singular ass and allow in these really nifty European diesels, I’d buy one in a heartbeat.

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