Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: North Bethesda, Maryland (DC)
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Visit to Smart Center Germantown/Drive
So I got in from a visit to SCG a while ago, and I have to say, I am really glad they are my assigned dealer. On to that later.
I got there, walked in, and put my name down a list for a test drive. SCG has one tester, a Blue Passion coupe with the Comfort Package, and there were a couple of people ahead of me for drives - I didn't mind. In their showroom, they currently have a Passion Cabrio, a Passion Coupe, and a Pure coupe in its most true form - no options at all.
While waiting on my drive, I talked to one of the gentlemen working there, as well as Sean, the manager. Some customers came in to take delivery of a Passion coupe. Right about this time, a torrential downpour with winds came through. Sean mentioned to me that you are now able to pick which dealer you want to deliver through, which might be worthwhile to think about. SCG's doc fees are $99, and from what I have read, Tysons and Alexandria's fees are like $250. Besides that, they have a hell of a complex up there and what looks to be a great service department.
When it came time to drive, I took the tester down some side roads, and out onto I-270. The rain had mostly stopped, but the winds were up. I have not had a fortwo on the highway yet, so this was rather important to me (I drive the DC beltway very frequently). Coming down the ramp, I stood on the pedal to see how it would do, and promptly shot up to about 70, where I let up on it. You could feel the wind pushing the car, but it really wasn't any worse than my Saturn VUE, and in fact, other than that, the ride was pleasant and surprisingly quiet. The thing sounds very nice, as well - I quite enjoy the noises it makes around town, and really like the growl when you stand on the pedal. I got off of 270, looped back around, and went back up to where I got on. Some tool in a Civic tried to pass me on the ramp, and couldn't muster enough forward thrust to blow around my (not even floored) smart. A quick zip down some side streets, and I was back at the dealer.
All in all, any qualms I might have had about having one on the highway were solved, and the wind was no bother.
The automatic wipers are great. I did find the rear wiper mildly annoying in how easy it is to activate, but oh well. Oh! and the front washer is great - when you use it, the nozzles sort of spin the stream, rather than just shooting a stream. Kudos to smart for these features.