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edmunds.com 1/29/2007 said:
First, not to put too fine a point on it, but the transmission sucks. It's not a letdown. It's not a disappointment. It sucks. I should explain that it uses an electrohydraulic clutch, which means no torque converter and no third pedal. But, if you think the SMG transmission in the last M3 (a similar design) had hesitation issues during each shift, this transmission needs a few weeks advanced notice if you want the shifts to arrive on time.

But, believe it or not, that's not the worst part. No, the worst part is the "engagement" (I use that term lightly) between the engine and the transmission. Essentially, every time you come to a stop it seems the engine might stall, because the clutch waits until the last possible moment to let go of the flywheel. Pulling away from a stop results in a similarly "lurchy" experience.

So, it's at its worst whenever you stop and/or start.

And don't forget -- IT'S A "CITY CAR!"
Ouch, and he's shorting Penske stock. Guess he doesn't figure in the 30,000 cars presold.

BTW, I drove the US spec 451 around the block in Venice, CA last week. Transmission was much smother than he reports in the stop/starts. And much better than the Euro spec cars 450 and 451s I have driven previously.
 

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I wonder if they test drove the new version or the old?? I was hoping the transmission shifting issue was somewhat resolved.

I guess I don't understand why the fuel mileage rating is so low either?? Although I do understand that the criteria and testing on the fuel mileage for new cars is different then it was in the past, and all cars are generally getting a lesser rating based on this.
 

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I wonder if they test drove the new version or the old?? I was hoping the transmission shifting issue was somewhat resolved.
Based on his description of the drive (Los Angeles, PCH, Santa Ana Winds) which happened in the past couple of weeks, and the arrival of the US spec smarts at the smart House in Venice and at the LA Auto Show two weeks ago, most likely he was driving a US spec car.

If you drive the pedal heavy without letting up on the shifts it does lurch. Driving it more like a manual with a modulated pedal cuts down the bunny hope greatly.

I didn't feel the grabbing at stops.
 

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The gearchange on the euro-spec car that I drove when the road show came through Seattle was by far the worst thing about the car.

The smart rep was about halfway through his script on what an amazing gearbox the smart has when I asked him if they all shift so slowly. He probably figured out that I was trouble when I tried to toss it around the third corner on the drive. Felt kinda bad for him.

Since the drive was just around the block (lame), I was just starting to get a feel for how to shift and apply power for best effect when the drive was over.

alan

P.S. this #1262 is not giving up his spot.
 

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Ah, he obviously is just used to driving super smooth automatics all or most of this driving life and/or shifting with a clutch once in awhile. I expect my own learning curve will initially reveal my thought that it is not like an automatic shifting, but I am sure with alittle time getting used to it, handling the cars shifts will become second nature and the shift delay will all but disappear. When I drove the car last summer, it only took me half way round the block to develop a technique to enhance the shift ....I am not worried about it at all.
Just another over-reacting columnist who happens to comment on the cars he drives with no thought given to a different method of linking the engine to the transmission controllably. He'll get over it.....:D BTW...I didn't feel any grabbing at the stops, either. Maybe he's a 2 footed driver.....:(
 

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I think the fact is that people need to learn how to drive this car like a stick. Pretend to use a clutch and I think it will work out just fine at first. If its the first time driving the car, than you will have problems. I personally sick of these ignorant reviews on the transmission. I do think however Smart needs to categorize the transmission correctly and emphasize that it is a MANUAL.
 

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Carnut:
I have number 1367. So...forget it. I want my Smart!!!!! I'm sure it will summer or longer but it's worth the wait.

I also have an Audi TT and it was worth the wait until I could get the one I wanted.

Good things take time.
 

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understanding after the fact that it was a manual, shifted by an electric motor, instead of your foot, and it still has to move thru the manual type shifting of gears, helped to moderate the concern.
 

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There's a post here that suggests the paddle shifters are the best and once you're familiar with them they rock! For me the Pure will be fine. I don't intend to use the auto mode. I don't shift that much and I'm used to a clutch so it's just a matter of getting used to the manual setting on my car. :D
 

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There's a post here that suggests the paddle shifters are the best and once you're familiar with them they rock! For me the Pure will be fine. I don't intend to use the auto mode. I don't shift that much and I'm used to a clutch so it's just a matter of getting used to the manual setting on my car. :D
I,m like SmartBob in regards to the transmission.

<<<<<other than because smart enginneers didn't want to go with the typical automatic because ?).>>>>>

The reason the Smart engineers went with the Getrag trans as opposed to straight automatic was stated in the article...the automatic trans would yield 4-5 mpg LESS....:(
so that's enough to convince anyone selling a fuel sipping car NOT to use an automatic. Since there are so many people in the US that DON'T know how to drive standard, they also felt that fact would be a detriment to maximum sales potential. I think, as time goes on, the issue with the transmission will and the fact that using it has a *learning curve* will make it a non-issue.

JMHO
 

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Transmission

I REALLY THINK THEY SHOULD HAVE GONE WITH A CVT TRANSMISSION
I OWN TWO CARS THAT HAVE CVT'S AND THEY ARE VERY SMOOTH AND
IT HELPS OUT ON GAS MPG.

RLEEN:cool:
 

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I want to reply to Mr. Cash's post, but I hardly know where to begin. :rolleyes:

Mr. Cash, the problem isn't with the car, it's with how some people see it. If you don't like it, vote with your wallet and refuse to buy it.

And NASCAR? Where did that come from?

This transmission thing has been beaten to death on other threads. Let it go. Please.
 

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our poll here, says about 50% of those ordering the smart, would preferred a standard extra petal manual 5 speed. that is enough, to offer one, i would think. 59 people voted in the poll; hardly enough to be statistically significant.

1) why did the smart engineers go this tranny route, that they must have known novice americans are going to think its a cheapo bucket of loose bolts?
Who knows what novice Americans are going to think?
2) what are its advantages over a standard 5 speed manual, and over a typical usa automatic? Better fuel economy than full automatic. Novice Americans don't like full manual transmissions.

3) what are the names of those super expensive cars, that use this type of tranny? and why did they decide to use them? and are their trannys as simialrly cheapo feeling as the smarts to those un accustomed to this new tranny technology? None do; they use other types of fully automatic transmissions that can be shifted through the gears using computer control.

4) do nascars use this tranny? do those nascar trannys feel as similar cheapo as the smart tranny? what are the differences, if any? why does nascar use them, if they do? (those guys know how to shift a normal standard 5 speed clutch, dont they? so, there must be some reason.) NASCAR does not; Formula One cars use electronically controlled manual transmissions with twin clutches so there's virtually no lag between shifts. Extremely expensive.

5) what are the average expected longevities of the new smart auto-manual, vs. standard clutch manual, and vs. typical usa automatic? what are the average times to first maintence or repair costing over $100 of each of the three? and how much is the average maintenance or repair bill when its over $100 ? Who knows; no maintenance history yet.

6) anything else that can be added, that may cause the new smart owner to feel better, about this new smart strange feeling tranny technology?

7) any company info reply/solution to the possible convertible roof seal leaks and thief risk, on the rear window side, and rear side to the tridion, a concern posted several weeks ago? Not transmission related.

8) if an owner wants to 'coast' downhill, or to a red light in the distance, to save fuel, how does he do so, without creating excess wear or stress on the tranny and/or engine? shift into 'N" neutral? Yes. or shift to the fifth gear, then release the accelerator, and semi-coast to the red light? or ? i.e., how can free disengaged clutch coasting be done, with the least wear on the engine &/or tranny?
 

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There are going to be tricks to drive this car. It is a 3 cylinder $15,000 Novelty car with a two year warranty. This little car will not have end of life battery disposal issues as hybrids do. If members live in a hilly urban geography, extending the warranty will be wise. The learning curve of this transmission will be short. I am looking forward to tagging on to threads on hypermiling and programing my smart (ie day light running lights, i dont need a sensor, just turn the lights on when on the road). I am so looking forward to buzzing around I-5 clogs on surface streets with my smart. I just now need a good GPS. Garmin 680 or Tomtom 920T???hmmmm
 

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I've driven the new US spec smart. The closest review to the way I found driving the tranny was Jay Leno's. Its much smoother than the Euro road show cars or the 450. It's like complaining about the tranny in a hot sports car because its different. Hey folks, it works, and works great.
 
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