Question for Europeans/Canadians: Smart Cars

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by mrgreen4242, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    I can't wait until these are released in the States. I have been eyeballing these for over a year now, and it sounds like we will getting them for the 2007 model year (just over a calendar year from now).

    I am absolutely in love with the Roadster. Great looking car, and 55mpg combined city/hwy! The 2 and 4 door models look great, too, and cheap, plus up to 70mpg hwy! I'm thinking about trying to import one from Canada, (I live about 3 hours from Windsor) but from what I can see, they only have deisel models there? Is that incorrect?

    What I wanted to ask is if any of you have one, how do you like it? Do they drive well? Do they get the advertised 50-60mpg? How are they in snow/wet conditions? How about taller drivers? I'm 6'2", not huge, but long legs, and I don't fit will in a Mazda Miata, for example. How is the SmartShift electronic manual trans?

    For price, I checked the UK and Canadian prices, but wondered if sticker prices on UK cars included your guys taxes (VAT?)?

    Also note, that I am not some cranky Yank who is tired of filling up his truck now that gas is over $3/gallon! I have driven a small car for YEARS, and I get 30mpg, which is pretty durn good in the US. I am always looking for ways to save energy, and my next car will be something that gets 50mpg, something I've seen since gas was $2/gallon.
  2. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    We have had them here in Oz for about two or three years now (they've been in Europe for many many years) and they seem reasonably popular around the cities. The guy who owns one of the cafés down the road owns a Smart "forfour" - the four door version, not as striking as the fortwo but still a nice looking car. You don't see many of them on the highway or on the interminable commute from Sydney to the outer west so I'm presuming most of the people who own them are full time city residents.

    The first thing you notice is just how tiny they really are, there are three or four in my "hometown" - a little rural place where either tough-as-nails utes or massive luxury sedans reign supreme depending on the season and they both make the Smart look like something you can just pick up with one hand and throw into the boot of a normal car.

    So yeah, good city car, maybe not too good for long drives but then there are some larger cars that get awesome fuel economy compared with similar sized cars in the past, our Peugeot 407 can see about 4.5 to 5 L/100k's at steady highway speeds and it's a 3 litre V6.
  3. Bakey macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2003
    O Donny Boy
    Are they not already in the US? Crikey, I thought they'd been there for an age by now.

    I maybe wrong but I'm sure I've read somewhere that the Roadster [the finest looking Smart in my opinion] is about to be phased out.

    Overall they're proving very popular over here in the UK; and it's good to see a wide range of ages driving them as well, right from the first time buyers [17/18] upto the 'more mature' driver.

    I remember seeing them in Paris years ago, outside the dealership there were maybe six/seven Smarts in opaque cubes each stacked on top of one another, it really was quite something!!

    A mate of mine spent some time in Toronto a couple of years ago and when in a street bar a Canadian guy stood up and whilst pointing at the little Smart driving down the street said "What the hell's that?!" -- my mate then educated this chap into the ways European car desgin... :D
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    A colleague of mine has one -- I urge you to take a very close look at the costs of servicing and parts before making your mind up.
  5. galstaph macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2002
    The Great White North Eh
    We have the fortwo in Canada only (right now anyway). They are neat, mostly used in the city though. I've looked at one and they seem to be big enough for tall people (I'm only 5'8" and I fit comfortably). The fortwo is diesel. I read somewhere that they are approved for sale in the U, Dailmer Chrysler just decided that they would not sell well enough in the US, (diesels prove to be unpopular in the states), so they pulled the plug (earlier this year, everything was set to go) until they redesign specifically for the US market (an suv thing based on the roadster, and gas engines). You can get the current fortwo from ZAP in California if I recall correctly.
    If your close enough to Windsor you should go and look at one, maybe test drive one, see how it is for you. They are a little on the louder side, kinda sound like a diesel lawn mower :p
  6. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    It was supposed to make its way to the US for 2005/6, but its now on hold. Doesn't look like it will ever get here, and the SMART brand is in some pretty serious trouble anyway.

    I'm not sold on these cars anyway. I mean, the gas mileage is great and they are neat cars, but are also pretty expensive.
  7. mersea macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2005
    They seem to be quite popular up here in Quebec, but on the highway they just look so small. I know it'd freak me out to be driving on the highway in what looks to be a fisher-price car compared to the huge SUVs and trucks.
  8. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    I think they've killed the roadster to keep the ForTwo and ForFour in production.
    I had one, a ForTwo, on loan and liked how I could stick my arm out of the window reaching backwards and touch the wall I was backing up to before the bumper hit!
    Horrid gearbox too.
    And it was the first car with heated seats I'd driven...I thought I'd wet myself! :eek:
  9. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    Interesting... are they amazingly hard to work on then? I figured parts might be a bit costly, as they likely don't share hardware with anything else.

    Bummer about the Roadster, it's a sharp looking little car. The forFour is a pretty decent looking vehicle as well, and I can see them building a mini SUV on that. The forTwo is a bit goofy looking, but I can get past that pretty easily!

    They didn't seem all that costly, well, the Roadster did for its size, but the forFour was listed at 7,300 GBP, so about $11,000 if I am doing that math right. If you guys have the VAT included in the sticker price of your cars then they might make it here for under $10k, which is really cheap for a full sized car in the States.

    Maybe I will have to snag up a reconditioned Insight from Honda, then! :)
  10. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    They are very, very light and therfore have good accelration and fuel economy.

    As a city car they are pretty damn hard to beat, only the Mini can hold a torch to it.

    People will either think your an eco nut or, and this is the good one, don't need a "big car" to prove himself.

    The ladies do say that men with big cars are compensating for something else!! ;)
  11. Cfly macrumors regular

    Dec 8, 2004
    i see them all over the place here in ottawa ontario, weird looking cars thats for sure.
  12. mpw Guest

    Jun 18, 2004
    The miniSUV consept was already done but the project canned along with the Roadster 'cause of the difficulties keeping the For2's&4's in profit.

    The For4 is the same car, bar bodywork, as the Mitsubishi Colt. Shared development is Smart only way forward and that'll probably mean more mainstream cars and no replacement ForTwo.
  13. drake macrumors 6502a


    Jul 5, 2005
    We own a Pure cabriolet, its great. I like driving it passed all the American tourists :p

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