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Discussion Starter #1
I have owned 3 smart cars. Yesterday, I picked up my new 453. I'm really liking it a lot. It's a brand new experience.

The one thing I am HATING, however, is how huge the protruding ledge has gotten next to the brake pedal. There is no room to extend my left leg while driving. The ledge was always a pain in my previous two smarts, but it has grown to enormity.

Does anybody else hate this?
 

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That ledge is supposed to be footrest. Try moving the seat further back. Among the common bad driving habits of American drivers is driving with the sear too far forward. Your legs should be extended when pushing the throttle, brake or clutch pedals. You should be essentially be flexing only your right foot, not your knee to operate the throttle and brake. Arms should be fairly straight - elbows bent just a bit when hands are on the steering wheel. This enhances both handling and safety in a crash and airbag deployment.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My seat is moved back as far as it will go. I find this "foot rest" enormously uncomfortable.
 

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You should be essentially be flexing only your right foot, not your knee to operate the throttle and brake. Arms should be fairly straight - elbows bent just a bit when hands are on the steering wheel. This enhances both handling and safety in a crash and airbag deployment.
I'm still driving the old 451. But yeah, I agree. I'm a short guy at 66" tall and I sit with my 451 seat all the way to the rear. You don't plan on a collision but you never know ... and you want to have some space between yourself and that explosive device in the center of your steering wheel, with room for it to expand. And, as you said, it just gives you better control.

EDIT: Post #3 made while I was typing. Sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well...I do not disagree with any of that airbag stuff...however, there is simply not enough room next to the brake pedal for my left foot.
 

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Six,

That's actually called the "dead pedal" :)

Is the problem your foot or you knee ??

I have an 36" inseam and my knee bothers me in my 451. I found that putting a small pillow, between the door and my knee helps a LOT :)

It might help you too.

I have also found that if I remove my shoes, I can stick my foot between the brake pedal and the throttle for about 4 extra inches of leg room :D
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Six,

That's actually called the "dead pedal" :)

Is the problem your foot or you knee ??

I have an 36" inseam and my knee bothers me in my 451. I found that putting a small pillow, between the door and my knee helps a LOT :)

It might help you too.

I have also found that if I remove my shoes, I can stick my foot between the brake pedal and the throttle for about 4 extra inches of leg room :D

The issue for me is the bend in my left leg. The ledge makes that bend much more significant than that in my right leg, making my left hip become sore over long distances. I was hoping smart would reduce or eliminate this shelf in the 453, but they've made it much bigger. It'll take a lot of getting used to. Thanks for the tip about shoes!
 

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OK. I climbed aboard my trusty 453; tape measure (and level) in hand.

I carefully marked the centerpoint of the driver's seat at the leading edge and at the rear cushion. Then, I marked the dead pedal and accelerator using a level at their midpoints. Finally, I measured the distances from the seat points to each of the left/right pedals. And guess what – they're identical.

Not wanting to give up so easily, I decided to make a real-world test. So I got in the driver's seat, centered myself in the seat, and placed my size-11 shoes on each of the pedals in question; my heels resting on the floor of the cabin. I felt balanced from left to right sides, and quite comfortable the lengths to my left and right heels, as well as my left and right toes. Guess what – identical measurements twice more.

My final test was to measure from my knees to the dashboard on the left and right sides. Probably by now you can guess that the results were... identical.

Having a well-placed dead pedal that matches the leg length and foot angle from left to right sides is critical to driving comfort. I find the 453 to be ideal, and can't imagine how it could be made more agreeable. If a driver has equal-length legs and feet, then anyone should have the same result, regardless of seat position, reasonable body height or weight, etc.

Placing a dead pedal farther away, or at an inconsistent angle would have been a big blunder. The 453 engineers, by my calculations, seem to have gotten it exactly right. And anecdotally, we know that those guys spent a lot of effort on this matter, while rethinking the floor-mounted accelerator pedal, specifically to improve body mechanics (balance) and general driving comfort.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK. I climbed aboard my trusty 453; tape measure (and level) in hand.

I carefully marked the centerpoint of the driver's seat at the leading edge and at the rear cushion. Then, I marked the dead pedal and accelerator using a level at their midpoints. Finally, I measured the distances from the seat points to each of the left/right pedals. And guess what – they're identical.

Not wanting to give up so easily, I decided to make a real-world test. So I got in the driver's seat, centered myself in the seat, and placed my size-11 shoes on each of the pedals in question; my heels resting on the floor of the cabin. I felt balanced from left to right sides, and quite comfortable the lengths to my left and right heels, as well as my left and right toes. Guess what – identical measurements twice more.

My final test was to measure from my knees to the dashboard on the left and right sides. Probably by now you can guess that the results were... identical.

Having a well-placed dead pedal that matches the leg length and foot angle from left to right sides is critical to driving comfort. I find the 453 to be ideal, and can't imagine how it could be made more agreeable. If a driver has equal-length legs and feet, then anyone should have the same result, regardless of seat position, reasonable body height or weight, etc.

Placing a dead pedal farther away, or at an inconsistent angle would have been a big blunder. The 453 engineers, by my calculations, seem to have gotten it exactly right. And anecdotally, we know that those guys spent a lot of effort on this matter, while rethinking the floor-mounted accelerator pedal, specifically to improve body mechanics (balance) and general driving comfort.

Yes. I'm certain that is all true. However, I don't drive with my left foot on the brake pedal. I prefer to have it to the left of the pedal. I'm finding there is not enough room there because of the shelf. When my foot is on that shelf, it is an extremely uncomfortable position for me. It did not seem this accentuated in my two 451s. I will have to adjust. However, it just feels wrong to me.
 

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??????? Did you test drive the car, before buying? I really don't think there's a solution to you issue. I think you going to have to live with it. You'll get use to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
??????? Did you test drive the car, before buying? I really don't think there's a solution to you issue. I think you going to have to live with it. You'll get use to it.

Yup. I did a test drive. And I noted it during the test drive. I fell in love with the car so I decided to get it anyway. I'm not looking for a fix. I posted this to see if anybody else finds it uncomfortable. Smart keeps making the cars like this so it must be only me. I'm simply curious about the experiences of other smart owners with this particular part of their cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I didn't measure the brake pedal distance, just the accelerator and the dead pedal (left-side footrest).

Sorry you're having trouble getting comfortable, however.

Oh, I'll adjust. I'm a dedicated smart owner. As I said, this is my 3rd. It's great to be back on the forum again.

On the bright side, I pulled away from a parking space in the curb and did a u-turn to go the opposite direction...with a ton of space to spare. The turning radius is INSANE! Love it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I hope so. I felt badly that your first post about your new 453 came off as primarily dissatisfaction.

What are your body stats? Maybe that would give further clues. Anyway, keep trying to make adjustments.

Sorry if it seemed all negative. On the contrary, I love the car.

I'm 6 feet tall. About 225 lbs.

I'll keep tinkering with the seats and my positioning to find the best driving posture.
 

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I just went out to my 453 with the DCT and my foot fits Easley between the dead pedal and the brake pedal. I measured the gap and it is 5.75 inches, I am 6' tall and weigh 260 lbs and have a 11 1/2 D foot.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I suppose my question has been answered. ?
Apparently, nobody finds this "dead pedal" uncomfortable but me.
With my right foot resting on the gas, and my left on this dead pedal, my left knee is higher than my right. My 11 1/2 foot also fits between the brake and the dead pedal, but I have to angle it sideways. I find this positioning fatiguing.
Therefore, my only option is to continue to tinker with the seat height, angle, and my posture to find a long distance driving position that doesn't feel confining for my left leg.
Thanks for the input, fellow smart enthusiasts.
 

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With a clutch pedal the left leg cannot be fully extended while driving and this may make my leg tired on a long trip... during the test drive I took is was mildly annoying but it may not be a big deal. Just a consequence of there only being so much space in a car this small.
 

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you guys are hilarious.. lets sit as far away from the airbag as we can. cause its deadly.. LOL

ever been in a wreck? trust me you wanna be wherever the airbag is.. and guess what. theirs side ones too and curtain ones!... are you gonna sit in the middle of the car to be away from those "explosive devices"

sit how you're supposed to sit.. upright, wrist can touch top of steering wheel and if you still have a problem.. buy a different vehicle
 
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