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Discussion Starter #5
This blog page is to celebrate my 3 trips cross country in my Smart Car. Additionally I made a side trip to California with my son to follow the tour of California bike race. All were from Vegas to Arkansas, Texas or California or Colorado, to see my mom, friends and son. All trips were made without stopping except to gas up, eat and yes, to pee.
It all began a little over two years ago I sold my two normal cars (a Honda Element and a Jeep Cherokee) and bought a Smart Car. I didn’t have any particular reason other than I just wanted a change and felt that I needed to do something about being more energy efficient.
I am single, haven’t even a dog and seem to be able to pack pretty compactly, so it’s small size didn’t scare me. Odd that most often beyond the normal question about “how many miles to the gallon do I get” other questions seem to focus on “is it legal to drive on the freeway?” and “is it safe”. I did do a little research about safety and found the Smart was positioned as one of the top 25 safest cars on the road and found out that there was only one SUV on that list. When in town, I do manage to make the grocery store in one trip and when I’m driving anyone around, well, it’s just room for two, no golf clubs and certainly no cargo to speak of, although there was the time I put six 50 lb bags of soil in the trunk and front seat to the surprise of the attendant at Lowe’s.
My specific Smart Car is a special addition, “BRABUS” car, having an upgraded wheel package, (smaller front, bigger rear) paddle shifters when using the manual mode, better suspension, I chose the convertible option in silver, heated leather seats, dual exhausts and some trick body work that makes it look like it’s on steroids. All this brought my drive out price to near $20K. As you’d expect, a car designed and made my Mercedes is pretty well engineered and put together. Mercedes services it and have been quite good with little issues, none that were not fully covered by warrantee.
My best MPG was accomplished in the summer of 2010 on the route from Fredericksburg Texas to Tucson, getting 52.4 MPG. The worst was my route from Steamboat Springs to Wichita Kansas last April, 2011, most in a major snow storm resulting in being rescued by a snow plow. During that drive I gave up keeping track of my mileage and certainly my speed and was just lucky to be alive. Total mileage on these four trips was 15,500 miles. That trip mileage added to my in town mileage makes the little Smart Car’s two year total mileage at 24,500.
My speed most of the time seems to be adequate, keeping current with the Interstate speed limits, some in the 80 mph range. It all works as long as you do a little drafting behind trucks and manage to shift at the correct time to keep the revs up to match the speed that you want. Most people can’t believe I can either keep up with their big V8 muscle cars either going up a hill and certainly coming down the hill. Whatever, it just takes understanding how to drive it and accepting that you are going to have some fun in driving, most of which seems to be dropped from my experiences in driving the modern day sports car.

Issues I have with the car? Actually they are few and to the point of being net picky.
A spare tire? Don’t worry, it doesn’t have one, it doesn’t even have a jack, just a pump and a can of sealer (that does say if you use it, it will void the tire warrantee). Anyhow, I assume it saves weight and space, what I’d do on the road, especially where I tend to go, is another question I hope I need not to ponder.
Cruse control? Speed? is a thing of the past, sure it goes pretty fast downhill, but flat and uphill sections are a challenge, but once you understand you need to down shift and get the RPMs up, then your okay, sort of like driving my first VW beetle.
Front bumper or spoiler? I’ve had two new ones installed, first mishap was when I hit a truck tire retread on the feeder road on the way to San Diego and the second was caused by hitting a possum in Arkansas in the middle of a tornado. Unfortunately the possum lost but nearly took me out.

Tires? Low profile look great and certainly do corner well, but put them on a rocky dirt road and it just isn’t a good fit.
Positive things I like about the car?
Drive train? I love the ability to shift in a manual or an automatic mode, and the paddle shifters work as well as any Ferrari or Porsche I’ve ever driven, put a 4 wheel drive into it like the old Renault 5 had, and it would simply kick butt, of course with either a turbo or aHayabusa engine in it.
Looks? It is a show stopper or head turner, I’ve had about every make of performance car and this car just gets your attention, to the point of being a problem.
Questions?
Would I buy another Smart Car? Absolutely
Is it well engineered and put together? Absolutely
What other car’s would I possible rather have? A Porsche that gets 50 miles to the gallon and cost $20k or less.
Do I feel safe in it? Absolutely
Most loved feature? I can close my garage door, turn it around and drive out heading forward (neighbors love that).
Least loved feature? Running over things (the car is very low and the front bumper spoiler just catches everything)
What’s the next planned trip? When I was 15 my family took a trip to Alaska, I’d like to do it in the Smart Car. It’s either that or doing it with my son in his restored Vespa, actually both are very similar in power and performance.
My speed most of the time seems to be adequate, keeping current with the Interstate speed limits, some in the 80 mph range. It all works as long as you do a little drafting behind trucks and manage to shift at the correct time to keep the revs up to match the speed that you want. Most people can’t believe I can either keep up with their big V8 muscle cars either going up a hill and certainly coming down the hill. Whatever, it just takes understanding how to drive it and accepting that you are going to have some fun in driving, most of which seems to be dropped from my experiences in driving the modern day sports car.
 

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The BRABUS doesn't have paddle shifters, and smaller front and bigger rear wheels unique to that trim. Might want to edit that in the blog page.

Otherwise, excellent blog post! Thank you for your contribution! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Interesting, this is the second Brabus I've owned, both silver cabs and they've both have what I call paddle shifters, at least thats what everybody calls them. The different sized wheels are standard equipment for that model or at least thats what the dealer told me. Whatever, your knowledge about Smart Cars is well beyond mine, I just drive it and do love it.
 

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Interesting, this is the second Brabus I've owned, both silver cabs and they've both have what I call paddle shifters, at least thats what everybody calls them. The different sized wheels are standard equipment for that model or at least thats what the dealer told me. Whatever, your knowledge about Smart Cars is well beyond mine, I just drive it and do love it.
The Brabus and Passion both have paddle shifters and the Brabus rims are 17 inches, but like the passion wheels, they are staggered.

I'm glad you love your smart! You joined the right forum! Welcome to SCoA! :D
 

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Nice blog, however I would point out that I've had both a Porsche and a smart, and the smart's no Porsche! Also, I wouldn't have tried that snow with the wide tires -- maybe snow tires, but it's unlikely my 'baby' will see that kind of inclement weather! Keep up the good work!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Gee, my first post and I got some pros and cons and interest, whatever, I enjoyed the feedback.

Guess, now that I have an understanding of how to do this, I'll begin putting together a short story on what happened to my first Brabus (totalled), interesting what a small piece of of truck tire rethread can do to a little Smart Car, even at 30mph.
 

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Seems if you have a cabrio you could take golf clubs along with a passenger. Just stand them up sticking out the top in the back.
 
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