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post #1 of 219 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 01:57 AM Thread Starter
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Questions! Please be honest! (Should I buy a smart?)

Hi, I just joined and wanted to get your gals/guys take on the matter...

I'm looking at possibly getting a new car in the next few months and I am considering a used Smart Car as one of the choices. It will be a completely different pace as I am currently driving a 450whp Mustang Cobra. I probably would keep the Mustang but being in Cali there seems to be a cop on every block just waiting to milk the taxpayers for all they got, and it's certainly not easy to keep my foot out of the throttle! I'm also a student so the last thing I need is a speeding ticket or something along those lines. I do a TON of freeway driving and most the reviews I've seen say the Smart Car is more of a city type car which seems to make sense with having such a short wheel base and not the best coefficient of drag. I too make the occasional Vegas trip, for the typical reasons (gambling addiction, hookers, binge drinking, and other activities which I should probably not mention), in which 80mph is not out of the question, and perhaps is rather slow compared to most of the vehicles on that long stretch of beautiful scenery.

Anyways, I apologize for the long read. Here's what I am after... I'm also considering one of the new 2011-2012 cars like the Focus, Elantra, and or the Cruze. The mileage is about the same as a Smart Car but they do not require the Premium fuel. They too have at least double the HP, luggage room is probably tripled, and lastly they seat 4 which is kind of nice.The only reason I'm considering a Smart Car is because I think it would bring me enjoyment to drive as I would think I was in a grown ups Go- Kart! It also would be nice if I was planning on doing some parking lot racing with a couple buddies which I convince to get Smart Cars as well. In all seriousness a used Passion could probably be had for just above $10k which is about half that of one of the new 2011-2012's I mentioned earlier.

Obviously, I'm on a Smart Car website so the results should be swayed but here's my response... I'm just asking you to be honest! Would a Smart Car (Passion) be a good car for someone who does a lot of freeway driving (100+ miles a week) and is in college. Yes, I'm aware I can only give rides to one beautiful babe at a time, but I need to cut some of them out anyways because their affecting my GPA...

Thank you, to those of you who read my entire post!
No thank you to the people who did not read it, and then chose to give advice on something I did not ask about!
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post #2 of 219 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 02:47 AM
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The only reason I'm considering a Smart Car is because I think it would bring me enjoyment to drive as I would think I was in a grown ups Go- Kart!
Don't get the Smart if that is your reasoning, You won't be happy, you say your a student and don't need no speeding tickets, so thats telling me your on a fixed income, I say keep your money in your pocket and keep a light foot on the pedal in your 450 hp Cobra...
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post #3 of 219 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 03:08 AM
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Welcome to SCoA!

Greetings and Salutations

We are glad you came here to ask your questions.

Below are a few links; see of they will help with some of your decision making and they make create new questions. This is your thread, so ask and we'll try to help.

Let us know what you find as you do your search.
good luck on your search and welcome again!
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post #4 of 219 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 03:49 AM
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If you do a ton of freeway driving, the smart may not be the best choice. The smart is great around town and tooling along back roads. It would not be my first choice as a highway cruiser. I love my smart, but my wife's next car will likely be a four door with a wheelbase that makes Interstate runs a little more comfortable and we'll start using her car for long trips.
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post #5 of 219 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 03:58 AM
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I went from a sporty 2-seater BMW Z4 roadster. For many months I had both cars in the garage and I rarely took the "other car" out. When I did, the feel of the accelerator was nice to revisit. I'm almost always the first one off a stoplight in my smart, easily accelerating to where there's a gap between me and those behind me, but it doesn't compare the feel you get from the heavy horsepower.

But I'm happy with my smart and don't think I'd enjoy having something else anywhere near as much.

The handling is only "go cart" in the sense that it's maneuverable; there's no parking-lot races for me. I avoided an "encounter" with someone making a U-turn right in front of me by not just swerving left to avoid them, but effectively making a left turn on the 5 lanes of pavement (no cars coming the other way, hense the U-turn) and coming back into the proper lane beyond the stopped-dead middle of the road oops driver. My passenger repeated a few times with wide eyes: "I can't believe you just did that."

The maneuverability is superb if you're ever in a situation that needs it.
The driver and passenger room is outrageously large for a small car.
You'll only be able to take one person with you to Vegas at a time.
Highway driving is a breeze as long as you don't have crappy roads.
The short wheelbase makes the smart bounce a bit more than longer cars.
I moved to VA from OR by way of FL in my smart - I loved the experience.

I love my car because it's all the car that I need; I'm not hauling around an extra ton of metal just so I can fantasize about dating twins or get a couple sheets of plywood once or twice in the life of the vehicle. I'd be happy driving the car if it got 30mpg but maybe not so much at 20. Premium fuel isn't really an issue to me if you consider the TOTAL cost of adding premium fuel to the car (miles driven/mpg*cents_per_gallon) is under $500 TOTAL. If you add the $500 to the price of the smart, you have a direct comparison with the other fuel-efficient cars you're considering.

I like the interior of the smart as well - it doesn't feel cheap. I did get the leather seats and was surprised that they didn't seem that much different in comfort compared to my Z4's leathers.

Being able to sit taller is a big plus as well. Rather than having headlights in my face at most stoplights in truck/SUV heavy Oregon, I end up looking across the roofs of most sedans on the road. From the inside, the smart doesn't FEEL small.

Good luck with your decision. I hope you find a car that you still enjoy driving years from now.
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post #6 of 219 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 05:06 AM
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Only 211 sold last month, More used units seem to be showing up on lots.

Last edited by BARNEY O; 12-15-2010 at 05:17 AM.
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post #7 of 219 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 05:24 AM
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Get a good test drive including some freeway time and see if it will work for you. 5 Min is not enough.

For me I have no problem with the speeds. I do have trouble keeping it under 75 on the open freeways so keeping up with the traffic going to Vegas should not be a problem. And you will always know, even though the thing is not aerodynamic, your still getting better mileage on the freeways than all those other cars.

If your just driving around city streets, then you don't get the full advantage of fuel savings.

I will agree however with primostoy, If your in college and money it tight, don't put an extra car payment burden on yourself. 1 car is plenty for a single person, and this is the right situation for a smart as an only car. At least non of your friends are going to ask you to help them move.

Oh and if money is really tight, DO NOT Visit Smart Madness.

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post #8 of 219 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 05:32 AM
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Lots of different angles...

Mr. Big,

There are a lot of different aspects of car ownership that you may need to consider:

Financial -
Check with your insurance company to see what your premiums would be. This will be an additional expense if you keep both cars and probably a savings if you migrated to just the smart.
The premium gas is about 10% higher than regular gas...but you are using about 1/2 of what you other car uses. You will save $350 to $700 a year easily.

Fun - yes there will be an excitement for a while with the definitely provides more smile per mile that other cars. It is also cute... you will attract the attention of others...the ladies will want to talk to is almost a chick magnet (you also get the looks from retirees of both can chose who you spend the most time talknig to.)

Saftey - the car is built will give its life to protect you.

More fun - with current promotions you can get a cabrio (aka convertible) at a reasonable cost and all of a sudden that ride to Vegas just got better...even the daily commute got better.

...but test drive one at the dealer...and more than just around the block. The ride is stiff at times, the transmission and you have to get to know each other, and potholes can be painful.

Lots of factors to consider...
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post #9 of 219 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 06:08 AM
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In my opinion I wouldn't buy a smart used. You can get a brand new one for about the same price after the rebates and discounts. You could also look at a Yaris hatchback if you want a small fun car that's cheap , similar mpg and reg fuel , space. Toyotas giving free 2 year maintenance also. .. I wouldn't go used on the smart unless it has an extended warranty. Your really just better off to buy a new one , you should go test drive one , I'm sure smart will give a good deal on a new one .
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post #10 of 219 (permalink) Old 12-15-2010, 06:08 AM
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I get a lot of people asking if they should buy a smart and I usually surprise them by saying no. The smart isn't a car you think about and then get, you either NEED one but not sure why or you don't buy one.

The smart doesn't do anything better than other cars available and it's not cheaper than any of the cars that do stuff better.

So, if you didn't immediately have to have a smart the minute you saw one, you shouldn't buy one.
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