Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Cleveland Heights, OH
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I have the divider/cover and keep it in place most of the time. It is sometimes easier to lower the bottom half of the hatch to load things because the lip of the cover sticks out and it's a little stiff. It functions just fine. It has the net pockets, so you can keep some simple items handy on the driver side.
The net is anchored with heavy loop and hook (Velcro) at the bottom, so it can be removed completely if you need to do so. The top bar with the spring-loaded (left) element is easy enough to take in and out. The net narrows the space in the back, which is not a problem most of the time since the part that would be open is from the ledge to the back of the seats, and that drops down to the floor level. I will remove the bar and lower it to give me more space for something large.
For example, we recently went on vacation for a week and took the Smart to the airport. We had a large rolling bag (check size, not carry on) and a large duffel, along with a couple of other bags - five in total. Dropping the bar down allowed me to put in the big bag and duffel and let them extend over the space between the seats and the ledge since there was nothing to drop into that gap. I stacked two of the other bags on top right behind the seats, leaving a gap in the middle and I had a full view out the back. My wife put the small backpack at her feet.
It only took seconds to lift the bar and put it back in place once we were back and the bags were not an issue. It's a pretty versatile solution and it gives you a little privacy for the items you might be hauling in the back - something I sorely missed with my Toyota Rav4. It's a pain not having a space that is not visible from outside the car where you can keep a couple of things. The Smart draws attention, so you know people will be looking inside, even if they don't have any malicious intent. And seeing someone looking into one doesn't look suspicious because it is unusual, so the malefactors don't raise an alarm if they're checking out that new DVD player you just bought at Target and put in the car before running in for an item at the drug store.