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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 07:22 AM Thread Starter
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2016 smart fortwo First Drive




Quote:
Little runabout finally ditches that awful transmission.

Daimler’s smart car is a tiny runabout that was designed to offer generous fuel efficiency, youthful quirk and easier maneuverability than a shopping cart.

In theory, it should have been a great success with motorists residing in big cities around the globe, places where tailpipe emissions and limited parking are major issues. Unfortunately, it never really seemed to catch on.

At least in America, the car was largely panned by critics, and for good reason. Driving it the length of a parking space was all it took to realize the smart was a special kind of repugnant. Its half-baked automated manual transmission was rougher than using 60-grit sandpaper in lieu of Charmin. This blunder ruined the vehicle, transforming a potentially useful car into something to be avoided.

But for 2016, Daimler has totally redesigned this vehicle. Company representatives say it offers more space, refinement and standard equipment, all in a package that’s even more maneuverable than it was before. That all sounds promising, but did they actually get the execution right this time?
Same Length, Broader Shoulders

In spite of its brand new styling inside and out, the 2016 fortwo is exactly the same length as its predecessor, a truncated 8.8 feet. But to increase space for occupants and cargo, the car has been widened by nearly four inches.
Read the complete 2016 Smart fortwo first drive at AutoGuide.com
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-17-2015, 05:51 PM
 
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After reading a number of different reviews on the 2016 smart fortwo, I think that when my current '08 model finally dies, it will probably be replaced with a fully-loaded Chevy Sonic, in the same price range as the smart. I still LOVE my smart, even with all it's quirks, except for the noise & bumpy ride, especially over rough roads & freeway expansion joints, or lanes that the trucks have turned into washboards. Even my wife's Chevy Aveo rides smoother than my smart. As I get older, I need a smoother ride and a little more luxury. As an avid RVer, I also need my next ride to be towable 4-down, 'cause I'll never go back to using a tow dolly.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-17-2015, 07:54 PM
 
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Good luck.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-18-2015, 04:56 PM
 
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Hmm...engine compartment cooling fan. Most interesting. Will that keep the head from overheating when it gets a bubble in it or did they fix the design flaw to keep the engine full of coolant so far from the recovery tank? I have some 12V muffin fans but wouldn't this fan fill the engine compartment with dirt from the road under it?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 07:15 AM
 
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To me, an engine compartment cooling fan is just a patch for poor design or engineering. Obviously the engine compartment was getting too hot, so they added a fan, which is okay, but a better solution would have been to design it properly in the first place. That fan is just one more thing to eventually need repair. Just my two cents.

As for the "awful transmission" my 2015 451 shifts fine. Once in a great while it'll seem to get a bit confused, because it seems to want to keep the RPMs too low (probably for fuel economy). I've found if you shift it manually the car is more fun to drive anyway. My 2008 transmission did seem more quirky than the 2015 transmission. I think every review of the car and every transmission complaint from journalists stem from the 2008 models. Yeah, lets jump on the smart car transmission issues, that's an easy criticism. It's not a perfect transmission, but I don't have any complaints about it and it does seem durable from what I've read about it on the net.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-19-2015, 08:33 AM
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"Driving it the length of a parking space was all it took to realize the smart was a special kind of repugnant." I stopped reading after that.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 11:29 AM
 
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"Like its predecessor, the 2016 smart fortwo is powered by a rear-mounted three-cylinder gasoline engine that sends torque to the rear wheels, just like a Porsche 911." Thats where i stopped reading......
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 01:33 PM
 
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Technically, it's a mid engine, as there is more of it in front of the rear axle than behind it. Also, i disagree with criticism of the 451 transmission. The car shifts it's manual gearbox at the same speed I would shift a manual gearbox. Try this when driving a 451: When the car is about to shift gears, pantomime clutching with your left foot and moving an imaginary shift lever with your right hand. You may then agree that the shifting speed is appropriate. People who compare this setup to an old-school automatic miss the point.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by larryw4csc View Post
Hmm...engine compartment cooling fan. Most interesting. Will that keep the head from overheating when it gets a bubble in it or did they fix the design flaw to keep the engine full of coolant so far from the recovery tank? I have some 12V muffin fans but wouldn't this fan fill the engine compartment with dirt from the road under it?
An air bubble can cause overheating in any engine. This is an unnecessary and irrelevant point because it is as likely to occur in a smart car engine as it is to occur in any other engine on the road.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-19-2015, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by misfitsailor View Post
Technically, it's a mid engine, as there is more of it in front of the rear axle than behind it. Also, i disagree with criticism of the 451 transmission. The car shifts it's manual gearbox at the same speed I would shift a manual gearbox. Try this when driving a 451: When the car is about to shift gears, pantomime clutching with your left foot and moving an imaginary shift lever with your right hand. You may then agree that the shifting speed is appropriate. People who compare this setup to an old-school automatic miss the point.
Agreed. It is not an "awful" transmission by any stretch of the imagination. It might be "awful" for sales figures, but not for performance by a driver who knows how to properly use it.
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