Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

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Squint
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Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

Postby Squint » Tue May 24, 2011 10:24 am

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My sister-in-law and her husband own one that he uses for in town work commute. I drove it for a couple of errands around town, getting up to 50 or so mph on some roads. So no interstate review, though that'd prob just be scary loud.

Performance: 2/10
Having a 1.0L, 70 HP, 3 Cylinder engine, I was not expecting much from the speed or acceleration of this car. I was pleasantly surprised by the handling, which is comfortable and fairly nimble. However, that's about all the good of the performance. My biggest gripe was with the automated manual transmission (auto or paddle-shifters if desired). It literally takes between a half second and a second to shift gears, whether you're pushing the throttle hard or very slowly accelerating. The other super odd thing was the brakes. The pedal was very stiff, yet once you pushed it to the point where the brakes engaged, it was SUPER twitchy. If they fixed those two things, it actually would be a decently fun car to drive if you wanted a city commuter.

Comfort: 6/10
It is tiny on the outside, but the two seats in the car are fairly comfortable. The spacing of the interior is nice, though there is not much storage space (obviously...). There is nothing extra beyond a basic car: no navigation, no plush leathers, no metal vents, etc... It is a basic small car, and does that fairly well. The ride is average, not too rough, but not smooth like a luxury sedan either. The biggest annoyance comfort-wise is the road noise. It is loud, nothing else to say about it. Though my Civic is just as loud, so it's not that different for me. About the only thing that was weird was the key was not inserted into the steering wheel column, but rather between the seats next to the e-brake. Don't know if that's comfort, but it bothered me slightly. :lol: My brother-in-law-in-law (BILIL?) said it took several months for him to get used to that.

Reliability: 8/10
I don't know, but it's a super simple car, with replaceable exterior panels and no frills. So even if it does break, it should be fairly easy to fix. Also, I haven't seen one broken down ever, so that makes it more reliable that quite a few cars. At least in my mind.

Design: 9/10
For what it was designed to do, it is fantastic. A city cruiser with room for groceries, a sports bag, or other daily stuff. The space inside, the at-least-average ride comfort, and the decent handling show they paid at least a little attention to other small cars while designing it. Simple, practical, good gas mileage. The exterior panels can be switched out, to completely change your car color whenever you want. My BILIL said that the dealer would only charge you $800 or so to get a completely different color, but there are also websites where people apparently exchange panels every now and then just because they get bored with their current color.

FoSE: 2/10
Maybe just other Smart Car drivers?
Unless the woman in question believes in theory that the size of a man's junk is inversely proportional to the size of the car that he drives... in that case, it's 10/10.

Overall: 6/10
It would be a 7 or 8 overall, except for the transmission and brakes. It is something that you could get used to, so it's not the end of the world. But I still would rather have a smoother transmission and brakes that don't require a brick foot to start, then a feather touch to control.

EDIT: I forgot something... added.
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Re: Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

Postby Tups » Tue May 24, 2011 10:46 am

It really sucks that you can't get the Smart with manual transmission. They have also ruined the roadster with it.
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Re: Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

Postby Shadow » Tue May 24, 2011 6:04 pm

I think more and more people are realizing that there's nothing very smart about the smart. A co-worker of mine bought one and I found it to have many more negatives than positives. It rides like a go-kart (very little suspension compliance), the transmission absolutely sucks, and from what he tells me, it's not even all that fuel efficient. IMO, a Toyota Yaris is a much better choice if you're looking for an economical little car for those short trips around town.
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Re: Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

Postby theholycow » Tue May 24, 2011 7:01 pm

It's not that they don't get decent fuel economy, but that they should do much better than they do (on fuel economy and total cost of ownership) for all the sacrifices.
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Re: Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

Postby Squint » Tue May 24, 2011 7:12 pm

My brother-in law-in law said that he gets upper 30s in city. That's not bad for a non-hybrid. Especially for all city driving. But, I agree, the transmission and brakes could be far better for it. The other thing that one might take into consideration is the price. The Smart is like $10-14k, while the Yaris starts at $13,100 (for not as good gas mileage, though probably better comfort), and the Prius starts at $23k. With the Smart, you are buying an economical and CHEAP car.
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Re: Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

Postby watkins » Tue May 24, 2011 7:41 pm

Squint wrote:About the only thing that was weird was the key was not inserted into the steering wheel column, but rather between the seats next to the e-brake. Don't know if that's comfort, but it bothered me slightly. :lol: My brother-in-law-in-law (BILIL?) said it took several months for him to get used to that.

In old Saabs thats a safety feature. Im not so sure about the Smart.
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Re: Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

Postby Shadow » Tue May 24, 2011 8:19 pm

theholycow wrote:It's not that they don't get decent fuel economy, but that they should do much better than they do (on fuel economy and total cost of ownership) for all the sacrifices.


I agree. "Decent" economy is relative. For their tiny size and light weight, I'd expect better fuel economy numbers. Plus it's just such a small vehicle that I'd never really want to be involved in a collision with any other vehicle except maybe a motorcycle.
Last edited by Shadow on Tue May 24, 2011 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

Postby Shadow » Tue May 24, 2011 8:29 pm

Squint wrote:My brother-in law-in law said that he gets upper 30s in city. That's not bad for a non-hybrid. Especially for all city driving. But, I agree, the transmission and brakes could be far better for it. The other thing that one might take into consideration is the price. The Smart is like $10-14k, while the Yaris starts at $13,100 (for not as good gas mileage, though probably better comfort), and the Prius starts at $23k. With the Smart, you are buying an economical and CHEAP car.



Just for laughs, I looked up the fuel economy numbers (www.fueleconomy.gov is an excellent resource for this information). The smart fortwo coupe is rated a combined 4 mpg higher than the Yaris (with an actual manual transmission)...so yes, the smart is a bit more economical. But you also have to consider that the Yaris is tuned for 87 octane fuel, while the smart is tuned for the more expensive high octane fuel. Personally, if I owned a smart, I'd just put 87 octane in it all the time, just sayin'....

Price-wise, it seems about even. A 2011 smart starts at about $12,500 and a 2011 Yaris starts at about $13,100.

I guess none of this really matters much because I'd never buy either car... heck, I'd buy a Corolla before I'd even think about something as tiny as the smart or Yaris. Now that I think about it, I'd never even buy a Corolla, even though the newer ones have been growing in size.
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Re: Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

Postby Tups » Tue May 24, 2011 11:25 pm

Is the Yaris the smallest Toyota you have in the States? No Aygo or iQ?

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Peugeot and Citroën are also producing cars based on the Aygo platform (107 and C1, respectively), but they're obviously not available in the States. Still, I could consider getting one of them if the fuel prices keep going up. Each of them will do 50+ MPG (US) in combined driving.

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edit: Apparently there was a Scion iQ Concept in which "the air bags will be recalibrated for unbelted and out-of-position occupants and the bumpers will be slightly extended". Why? You don't use seat belts in the States?
Last edited by Tups on Tue May 24, 2011 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

Postby watkins » Tue May 24, 2011 11:28 pm

We dont get the small cars here. Our people are too big.
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Re: Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

Postby 94Corolla5Speed » Tue May 24, 2011 11:34 pm

Plus I'd imagine we have many more idiotic drivers in larger cars that would just crush a smaller car like that. make no mistake, I would love to drive the smallest, most fuel efficient car I could, but I am deathly afraid of the American populace.

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Re: Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

Postby theholycow » Wed May 25, 2011 7:05 am

Tups wrote:Is the Yaris the smallest Toyota you have in the States? No Aygo or iQ?
Yup.

edit: Apparently there was a Scion iQ Concept in which "the air bags will be recalibrated for unbelted and out-of-position occupants and the bumpers will be slightly extended". Why? You don't use seat belts in the States?
I don't know anyone who always doesn't wear their seat belt. My father sometimes forgets, and occasionally resents the reminder chime when he's stressed out and busy (which is when he needs that seat belt the most, IMO).

Recently a co-worker read a statistic that 52% of deaths in crashes are those who were unbelted. She felt like that means that you only get a few percent advantage by wearing your seat belt. I tried to explain to her that those 52% of deaths come from a much smaller pool of people since a lot more than 50% wear their setbelts but she thinks it's a pretty significant portion of the population, maybe 30%. I seriously doubt that.
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Re: Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

Postby FDSpirit » Wed May 25, 2011 7:47 am

http://thin-edge.org/2009/03/12/new-sma ... mpg-in-uk/
Too bad we don't have better diesel over here :( . I still wouldn't drive one, though. I do enjoy smaller cars, but that car just scares me. @Shadow. My mom was looking for a new car. The new 10th gen Corollas seem to have less interior space compared to the previous generation. At least IMO. My mom didn't even like it, and she's like 5'4 :lol: .
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Re: Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

Postby IMBoring25 » Wed May 25, 2011 7:51 am

Long story short, the government decided a long time ago they had to protect people from themselves. The first iteration of the law was a "Passive Restraint" law that cars had to be equipped such that they would restrain a 200# man without any action on his part. This had two effects:

1) Automatic seatbelts that were nearly universally despised.

2) First-generation air bags that killed children and small women.

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Re: Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe

Postby Rope-Pusher » Wed May 25, 2011 8:21 am

IMBoring25 wrote:Long story short, the government decided a long time ago they had to protect people from themselves. The first iteration of the law was a "Passive Restraint" law that cars had to be equipped such that they would restrain a 200# man without any action on his part. This had two effects:

1) Automatic seatbelts that were nearly universally despised.

2) First-generation air bags that killed children and small women.


...but those women and children were just barely killed, right?

Or, was it more like the airbags deployed the same, no matter what size person they were protecting. Airbag deployment strategy is a study in risk management. The question is whether deploying the airbag would be more likely to harm or protect a person. It is for this reason that airbags are not deployed below a certain threshold speed - say, 16 mph ("Sixteen Miles Per Hour" - there, I said it.) The biggest problem of airbags causing injuries was with people who, because of their stature or personal preference, sat with their seats in the full-forward position. An airbag that was designed to protect a larger person sitting with the seat at the rear of the seat track was more powerful than that needed to protect a smaller person sitting further forward. This resulted in some injuries and deaths, though far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far fewer than the number of lives that were saved, Newer vehicles have airbag systems that can adjust their bag deployments to accommodate a range of users sizes and seating positions, reducing the risks for smaller people, shorter people, and people who want to get there sooner than the rest of the people in the vehicle.
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