Pros cute. gas mileage but there are other much better cars that are just as good on gas mileage.
Cons No power ANYTHING.
Dead steering feel - no feedback. Also hard to turn the wheel at slow speeds.
Loose steering - turn the wheel left and right 3" each way and the car barely responded.
Brake pedal pivots from floor.
Brakes strength was just "ok"
Summary I can't believe someone would actually buy this car when there are other sub $15k cars that are MUCH better.For the people who are quoting the crash tests as proving how "safe" it is - those crash tests represent what would happen if another vehicle of the same size/weight hit it. So yes, it's safe if another smart car hits you. If another normal sized vehicle hits you, you will be toast - no actually you'll be the strawberry jam on the toast. Do a search on youtube for top gears crash test of the smart and for another top gear video showing the handling - or non-existence of.
Updated on Oct 2, 2011
Pros Fuel economy, low price, operating costs, space efficiency, easy-to-drive, fun--go-kart-like driving
Cons Slow transmission, rough ride over poor road conditions
Summary I wondered if the "little old lady from Pasadena" reviewed this car. I have never heard anyone complain that the steering and brakes are difficult. In fact, search online and many owners will tell you that power steering isn't even necessary in this car.
This review is otherwise mostly spot-on. The biggest drawbacks of this car are the slow-shifting transmission and the unforgiving suspension. If the transmission was a dual-clutch, this car would easily drop 2 seconds on it's 0-60 time, which would probably be abou 8.5 seconds. Even though the engine makes only 70 hp, the car is light and the gear ratios are well-matched. The engine has sufficient power for the car--the transmission is masking some of it.
The suspension offers little compliance over rough roads. You'll want to make a conscious effort to avoid the potholes. This could possibly be cured with higher-cost suspension components, but that might price this car out of it's sweet spot. In general, ride quality is not an issue. Sure, it's not Cadillac-smooth, but no car this size, weight and price point would do much better. Unless your roads look like a typical war-zone, the suspension won't be a problem on your daily drive.
We use our smart as the primary car. Whoever needs to drive the farthest drives it. We get 2-2.5x the gas mileage of our other vehicles. The cargo area holds enough for a Costco run and the passenger seat folds down if space is needed for very long objects. 95% or more of our driving (and probably yours, too) is either alone or with one other person. The smart may not be suitable as an only car for a family, but it would certainly work as an additional car. With a very low operating cost (fuel economy, 10,000 mile oil change intervals, low insurance rates), it's a practical addition and a great car to turn over to a college-bound teen.
Pros 6'2", 240 lbs. Head and leg space, and power are a non-issue. Limited trunk space but enough for a family of two weekly groceries. Local 40-43 mpg. Trip 50-52 mpg. Ride is okay. Top easy up/down. Air bags all the way round.
Cons Stiff ride on bumpy roads. Occasional sluggish auto shift on the 2008 car. Seat adjustment levers suck!
No cruise control. No Steering wheel adjustment. Servicing can be a problem and takes some research unless you go to a Smart dealer.
Summary Great second car and for just gadding around here and there. Economical, fun to drive....attention getting....Smart looking! My covered motorcycle! I like driving his car if I want to get somewhere quickly and economically and without the hassle of getting my Harley out, helmet, boots, etc. Jump in the Smart car and away we go. No rain gear needed. Top down or up! Some storage but you must plan on what you buy and whether it will fit in the car to bring it home. Great gas mileage even on the ethanol 10% mix. 40-43 local MPG. 50-53 MPG trip mileage. Power is great for a 1000cc motor. Short wheel base makes the ride choppy on bumpy roads. Tires are low profile and should be regular tires in my opinion to soften the bumps. Low profile - not enough air to cushion the blow of the bump. Needs a cruise control option and adjustable steering wheel for big guy entry knees under the steering wheel. Need snow tires all the way round for this vehicle and you are good to go. Engine in the rear and good traction but small wheel base gives you quick spin of you are slow in reacting to it. I like the car and am happy my wife bought it despite my protest. 8 gallon fill-up versus 20 on my truck! Not to mention the mileage differences!
"Great commuter car"on by kemojc
Pros Improved transmission over previous years: dual clutch as opposed to single
More options than previous years
Great gas mileage (stick to non ethanol blends and you can easily get 50 mpg)
Easy to park (it is a city car after all)
Cons Cramped width wise
Low profile tires and short suspension don't add up to adequately smooth riding on bumpy roads
People tend to smile at you every chance they get....
Summary I have a 2009 smart for two passion fully loaded with every option save the gps stereo. Only one repair needed (for a shorted out fan, unique as i have never heard of anyone else needing this repair). I use it as a daily driver and love it. The gas mileage is better than the rating gives it credit for, however it is 100% dependent on how you drive it. The plastic body is great for northern climates where they use salt on the roads. The entire underside is covered with plastic.
It really is a better car then most people are willing to give it credit for, its not a car for everyone, but those who do end up buying it always end up loving it.
However i must say one last thing, please for the love of god, stop going out of your way to get my attention and then smile at me... its creepy.... i wonder if beetle owners have the same problem.
Pros Fun, quality, comfort, safety, performance
Cons Had to put on an Area 451 after-market cruise control (which is a great product!)
Summary I have 20K on a 2008 Passion coupe. It has turned out to be a better car than I expected. It is very comfy and works well in my winter climate. It is great for long trips. I am 6'7" and fit very comfortably in it. It drives like a Miata or an MGB. The paddle shifters, engine performance, and handling make it a true little sports car.
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