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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Six month ownership update

Just passed my 6 mos. of happy ownership and have about 8500 km's on my '09 Passion. Thought I would share my major observations:

Biggest surprise: how good the car is on the highway. No problems at any speed I have tried (100km max in this area) up to 150 kph. Amazingly stable and surprisingly quiet. I guess I shouldn't be surprised...it is a baby Benz!

Second biggest surprise: there really is enough power! When manually shifted, I am constantly surprised how easily I can merge with traffic and just how the little beast will pull in 3rd and 4th gear way past any legal speed. All from 1.0L and 70 HP....who knew!

Third biggest surprise: how much room there is in this well designed car. I can do my regular Costco shopping run and get everything in the back (have not yet had to recline the passenger seat back). I have had a number of folks watch me load the car and come over to express amazement.

Biggest Like: the engine/transmission! I thoroughly enjoy the wail of this flat three which to me, is similar to a Porsche flat six. MUSIC to my ears. As well, I MANUALLY shift 100% of the time and find the tranny very smooth and responsive. It is just like a full manual (without having to use the clutch) so you really do get the same engagement and involvement as a regular stick. To me, this is the BEST part of the car.

What I would change: While I have gotten used to the lack of suspension compliance and I do appreciate the excellent handling and cornering (see Winding Road Issue 52 for an excellent description and comparison to a Honda Fit), I would prefer a better comfort/performance trade-off. Just a little more comfort and a little less performance would be a better copmpromise IMO.

Fuel economy is cumulative 7.2L/100Kms. This is not great BUT...I am not driving for economy and live in an area with many hills. By comparison, my wife's Passat TDI consumes cum. 10.2L/100kms so I think the "hill factor" is playing a major role. Over all, I am well satisfied with the driving economy.

Bottom line: two months after delivery, I was so convinced I sold my '08 A4SE (6spd stick Quattro 2.0L) and the smart is THE car. Look forward to driving it every day....it is simply a hoot!

It is just a shame that the average N.American consumer cannot appreciate the engineering content and excellence in this car. Once you understand and accept the major design philosophy; LESS is more, then it all makes sense. So far, this little car has ruined me for anything else! Nothing else on the road today is of any interest at all.

OMG...I think I'm in love!!
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 07-30-2010, 01:17 PM
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Great write up - thanks for sharing!

You might find that extra bit of ride comfort by swapping rims/tires which will also improve handling. I'm running 15x6 wheels with 195/50 (nearly identical diameter to stock) tires all the way around and the ride does soften up a bit with the larger tires. Or, keep the staggered setup, but bump the fronts up to something like the stock rears, 175/55 and take the rears to 195/50.

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