: Drove a Smart cabriolet at work, review.



I~LUV~Caddys8792
02-28-11, 12:48 AM
Someone traded this in on a Rogue. The customer was sick and tired of getting stuck in the snow, so before it was prepped and put on the lot, I took it out for a drive to see how bad it really was.

Drivetrain: 3/10.
This thing is extremely slow and gutless. Going WOT at 55 mph to pass someone resulted in what seemed like a 4-5 second timespan before it hit 65. You floor it, can hear the engine scream but it doesn't do anything. In normal driving, if you look down at the tachometer, you'd think to see it in the 1,500-2,500 RPM range, like a normal car, but to get up and moving at a normal pace, you'll see the tachometer in the 4-5,000 rpm range, all the time. The five speed automatic transmission is slow to downshift and shows a big gap between upshifts. It doesn't get very good mileage either for how small the car and it's engine are 33/41 is what it's rated at. The Ford Fiesta is rated at 29/41, and the Elantra (a MUCH larger car) is rated at 29/40 also.

Ride/Handling: 4/10.
It offers a buckboard ride due to the short wheelbase and with it being so narrow and tall, and on such skinny tires, I didn't feel confident trying any sporty evasive maneuvers with it. It's literally like driving a tall rollerskate. The only real benefit this car has is the parallel parking capabilities.

Interior: 4/10.
Aside from being fairly quiet at speed and offering a decent amount of headroom, there wasn't anything worthy of praise here. There was no shoulder room or elbow room, and I'm only 5'6", 145 lbs. The cupholders, being practically hidden under the dashboard, were tiny and way out of reach, the HVAC controls were on the top of the dashboard and hard to decipher, the tach and clock were both situated on top of the dashboard, away from the rest of the gauges in the pod behind the steering wheel.

Again, not something I'd ever consider buying, but I just wanted to drive it to see how bizarre it is. As far as economy cars go, I'd take just about anything over this, and it makes even a Mini Cooper seem like a Suburban by comparison.

Jesda
02-28-11, 01:52 AM
LOL, a smart you can be seen in

ben.gators
02-28-11, 02:09 AM
How are you going to get rid of this this little clown car? Auction?

lacville78
02-28-11, 04:28 AM
They call them smart cars, But to me they look dumb

Jesda
02-28-11, 08:07 AM
I wonder how the salesman pitches it?

"gets better mpg than.... most other two seaters!"

77CDV
03-01-11, 02:52 AM
Chad, you do realize that driving a smart car for whatever reason is grounds for terminating your man card. They are utterly irredeemable.

Aron9000
03-01-11, 03:24 AM
Chad, you do realize that driving a smart car for whatever reason is grounds for terminating your man card. They are utterly irredeemable.

I'd drive a smart with a 192hp 1000cc Kawasaki motorcycle engine in it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDEoMwHHtk0&feature=related

ben.gators
03-01-11, 04:55 AM
^
That little clown car is so unstable....

I~LUV~Caddys8792
03-01-11, 09:37 AM
Chad, you do realize that driving a smart car for whatever reason is grounds for terminating your man card. They are utterly irredeemable.

LOL. I was cruising around with my coworker in it, because he wanted to see how awful it was too, and I made a joke that if we were to ride around in that car together, we should get licence plates that say "not ghay" just so there was no confusion from other motorists. :lol:

ejguillot
03-01-11, 01:49 PM
I'd drive a smart with a 192hp 1000cc Kawasaki motorcycle engine in it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDEoMwHHtk0&feature=related

Agreed - Only way to man up a Smart is with a heart transplant. :lildevil:

cadillac kevin
03-01-11, 02:11 PM
on a van forum I'm on, one of the members bought a wrecked smart cabriolet and made a trail buggy out of it.

http://i52.tinypic.com/24wvsch.jpg
according to the owner
"I started off with a wrecked Smart Roadster, lengthened some Suzuki Jimny main rails and threw in some Jimny axles, a 1.6i tracker engine and auto 'box, hi-lo transfer box and a lot of work. The biggest problem was getting the chassis rails up into the shell enough to look right but still keep the engine under the hood line (Smart engine was in the rear!) Wanted to make it look as 'factory' as possible. Lot of fab work, new trans tunnel, bulkhead, transfer box tunnel, cooling system, cut down dash and heater box, wiring loom, suspension pickups, mounts, winch bumper etc. etc. I won't bore you with the rest. Painted it in my single garage with rattle cans. (good job the panels all come off!)"

Stingroo
03-01-11, 05:08 PM
That's one bitchin' smart.


God damn, I never thought I'd type those words in that order in my entire life.

Aron9000
03-02-11, 03:22 AM
That's one bitchin' smart.


God damn, I never thought I'd type those words in that order in my entire life.

I about fell out of my chair reading that. Thanks:rofl::rofl::rofl:

And I do concour that is the most bitchin smart ever. Way more useful than those crazy fast and totally unstable/dangerous motorcycle engined smarts.

Stingroo
03-02-11, 08:38 AM
You're welcome, Aron. I'm still trying to wash my hands enough to make it seem as if it never happened.

:fetalposition:

77CDV
03-02-11, 02:52 PM
LOL. I was cruising around with my coworker in it, because he wanted to see how awful it was too, and I made a joke that if we were to ride around in that car together, we should get licence plates that say "not ghay" just so there was no confusion from other motorists. :lol:

:rofl: They really are useless little toerags. Parvenuism at it's worst.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
03-02-11, 09:56 PM
I was so jilted from that little test drive that my subconscious had to make up for that the next night. I dreamt that I had just bought a '93 Mustang SVT Cobra. (I've always quietly liked the fox body mustangs)

billc83
03-02-11, 10:41 PM
Smart is a good idea, just not a good execution (and not very smart for the American market).

What the Smart has going for it doesn't outweigh the negatives, in my mind. If it was fun and sporty, you could possibly sell it to that niche, but it's not. The demographic for people looking for a Smart has essentially dried up. Sure, it gets 40 mpg, but so does my coworkers brand new Hyundai Elantra (40 highway) with two extra seats and supposedly more peppiness.

For a smaller country, or even as a second car to zip around the city, the Smart isn't too bad a car. Hell, even Chad's powertrain assessment "slow and gutless" could be overlooked if you used it exclusively for city errands. That's why it was such a, er, hot commodity in Europe. But it doesn't translate well to America - the land of roving highways where the state of California is bigger than the entire country of Japan (not European, I know).

Other than that: Two seats. 40+ mpg. Is there any way to lighten up a Miata?

I~LUV~Caddys8792
03-02-11, 10:48 PM
Yeah, in Europe, these are really popular because of their size in those tiny 1,000 year old towns. Out here in spacious, widespread America, they don't have the need for the tiny Smart car. That's probably why you don't see as many of them as you do other $15,000 econocars.

Playdrv4me
03-03-11, 02:55 AM
That's one bitchin' smart.

http://hq-celebrity.com/images/1479/th/amy%20smart%205_thumb.jpg

Rusty058
03-03-11, 07:12 PM
0-60 in what 15 seconds? Sounds like my late fathers Chevy Chevette,getting on I-95 was quite an adventure.

Nutz
03-03-11, 10:46 PM
I have a customer that has one and she said she has to make trips to the gas station more often than her Accord because of the not-so-smart tiny fuel tank and maybe 30 mpg. She also said when a truck passes her she gets blown around in the draft.