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post #1 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-20-2007, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
 
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Actual Experience Driving the New Models?

For those of us who have to wait quite a long time for the tour to arrive anywhere close, please let us know how your "test drive" went. We've all heard lots of the marketing now (which is quite exciting), but I want to hear from folks who have actually given them a drive.

I'm especially interested to hear comments from someone who was already very familiar with the driving experience with the existing smart models. I.e., how do the old and new compare? What is different with the car itself? Interior, exterior?

And did the drive feel any different? What about the not-so-smooth shifting in the old models? Did they remedy that in the new ones?
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post #2 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-28-2007, 07:33 PM
 
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Test drive today in Arizona

I took the day off today to head for the Chandler, AZ Mercedes dealer. It was 111 degrees here and I dreaded waiting in line in a parking lot and thought maybe I wouldn't stay. Luckily, they had considered the heat and planned the first indoor event. I had RSVP'd that I would be there at noon and it wasn't bad. They were making room for more parking and I walked right in the dealership and took pictures of the safety cell and the Smart that was on the showroom floor then stood in line behind about twenty people. There were four demo cars, I'd say it was less than a five minute route each person got to drive.

I really like the car! I'm used to a 5-speed, so right off the bat I told the Smart Guy with me that I thought the automatic shifting was rough. He showed me how to let off the accelerator when I felt like shifting and that made it so much smoother. He did not offer to let me use the paddle shifters right behind the steering wheel. The car did not feel tiny and it was spunky! I opened it up on a six lane street and I was flying at what I thought was 60mph. I was told later that was metric and I was really going about 35. Oh. The seats are comfy, the doors are big and close soundly. And the air conditioning was more than sufficient with the outdoor temp blazing hot. I even liked the sound of the engine/exhaust behind me. The package shelf is big enough for my groceries. Under that you lift up carpet and a panel to the engine.

I drove the convertible with the top up because of the heat. The man who drove the same car before me insisted on putting the top down and I saw him push the button and watched the top fold back smoothly. The Smart Guy complained to me about having to ride with the top down in the heat!

It was a little rough riding over slow down bumps at the dealership but I wasn't just idling along, either. The only thing I had any complaint about was the steering, which felt a little hard during a tight turn. That could probably improved with different tires and it's nothing I couldn't get used to. I still want one, darn it!! Glenda
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post #3 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-28-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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Hi Glenda

I am taking off work tomorrow for my Chandler tour. I can't wait. I saw someone driving a Fortwo several months ago in Tucson and it seems like a great car to get around in. Thanks for the info and I will check out the steering.

Teapots
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post #4 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-29-2007, 04:07 AM
 
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After seeing a couple of Smarts parked out side a building north of Ft. Worth I decided to stop and investigate, turns out the owner was in the process of becoming a dealer for the americanized version. The dealer and I hit it off quite well and he allowed me take the demo for the long Thanksgiving weekend, (died & gone to heaven).


PROS
Styling (I smiled everytime I looked at it)
Very Comfortable
Engine/Exhaust noise (Crotch rocket like sound)
Effortless freeway speeds 75+ MPH
Thumbs up from a guy driving a new Corvette
Attention getter (You cant stop without answering several questions)

NEUTRAL
Ride and handling (choppy and a little twitchy, again not bad but 1000% better than my Samurai!!!)
Shifting (Strange, but great when you get used to it)
Key placement (between the seats)

CONS
Fuel economy (My 300+ mile weekend avg 37 MPG. more than likely due to items 3 & 4 of PROS)
Cant be flat towed by a motorhome, must be trailered
Attention getter (You cant stop without answering several questions)


I will buy one if they sell reasonably close the $12000 estimates

Chuck
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post #5 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-30-2007, 11:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclewaldo View Post
Cant be flat towed by a motorhome, must be trailered
Yeah, but couldn't you just go buy a 5' x 8' utility trailer at your local hardware store? LOL
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post #6 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-30-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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Chandler test drive

Took the test drive in Chandler, I was very impressed. It was everything that I had heard it was and more. I think it's a lilttle better quality than I was expecting. Just like everyone else that has drove it has said, it is a little slow to shift but I think that is just the character of the beast. I think for what it is it's great, a comuter just to run around town. I thought the sterring was fine, no problems with it at all, pretty tight little car. If they were taking the money today I wouldn't hesitate.
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post #7 of 62 (permalink) Old 06-30-2007, 04:08 PM
 
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Experience In Driving and Other Tidbits

Hi Everyone

I received my invitation and went for my test drive in Chandler, Arizona on Friday. Check out my post under News & Rumors - Making Reservations...to or not too - Hopefully some good information for all that has reserved so far.

This was my first time at driving a Fortwo. Not bad. Steering was OK. I found that it shifted a little hard. I am an automatic person and when it was in automatic I was OK. Rep & I decided to also switch it to standard and I used the little paddles. That was when I could really feel the shifting, but it could have just been me I was told later by someone that was experience at driving the Fortwo that if I would drive it for about 20 minutes, I would get the hang of it.

I was in the convertable and the Rep put down the top with ease and I had her put the top back up since it was already about 110 degrees. Air was excellent and we tested out the radio...no problems in hearing it.

Cupholders...how many times have you bought a car and took your first drink Iinto your car and found out that the cup was too large for the cupholder? No problem there. One cup holder could handle one of those very,very, large drinks and the other looked like a regular or large drink.

Other things that I found out:

1. There is no spare tire. The car comes with a tire repair kit and a compressor. (Does anyone know if Auto Club would come out to fix a tire like this????)

2. After receiving your car and you want to change the color, you can buy different color panels. It is part of the accessories that the dealer will carry. It takes about 1 1/2 hours to change the panels. No cost was available.

3. The dealership that I went to has not been named yet as a Smart Car Dealership. They are awaiting word. But I did ask about "trade-ins". The Smart Car Rep had me talk to the Dealer Rep and I was told that "trade-ins" would be welcomed.

4. Speaking of dealerships, I was told that the Fortwo is very low maintenance but I would have to take the Fortwo to an "authorized" dealer for service. That means, right now for me, I may have to go 100 miles for my Fortwo to be servced.

It will be my first car without a spare and the servicing issue could b a problem (but I could see my granddaugher that lives in the same area)...
YES I STILL WANT ONE !!!

Teapots
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post #8 of 62 (permalink) Old 07-10-2007, 11:33 AM
smart happens here!
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My wife and I took the test drive last Friday in Indianapolis. She got to drive the cabrio and I had the hardtop. I'd have to agree with most of what has been said so far. The seats feel comfy (and looking at the trident safety cell model we know they are supportive!) and the interior was as roomy, if not more, then my MINI Cooper. Again, A/C felt ample for the hot 90 midday sun (although I had no idea what it was set on - full blast?) I did not like the shifting, but as mentioned above and as the other rep told my wife - if you let up on the gas as you approach the shift, it will be a lot smoother. Didn't get to try the manual mode however. Except when shifting, the car's ride was smooth, and everything did feel pretty solid.

All and all, I was impressed!
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post #9 of 62 (permalink) Old 07-10-2007, 07:29 PM
 
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No Spare

I've had three cars in a row without a spare tire and none had run flats. You get a compressor and a can of goo. So far three flats, two on the first car, none on the second and one on the third (yesterday). All were caught before totally flat and managed to get repaired after filling at a local convenience store in order to make it to the tire place. Never used the goo. I carry an old fashion plug kit too. All had road-side assistance, but I've never called them. But, it stills bothers me that there isn't a spare. A paradigm shift is slow in arriving in my mind.
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post #10 of 62 (permalink) Old 07-10-2007, 08:19 PM
 
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Question

Do the seats fully recline? I nap during lunch break!
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