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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am 328 miles away from ANY trim level smart fortwo that is 2016 MY or newer and is not electric. I am here in the USA.

So that said. I found a 2016 prime w/ 42k miles on it & want to buy it. I am flying out to test drive it Saturday after putting a deposit down today.

here are my questions:
-Anything I should look out for? I've read about: popping bucking noise? door seal window issues? Am I missing anything? Does the glass roof have crazing issues like the 451 had?

-How do I know if the fortwo has JBL speaker option?
-How do I know if it has the climate package?
-How do I know if it has proximity warning package? or rear park assist?

-I am 6ft 2" any tall drivers in this forum that believe I'll fit?

-Could I install the same size tires that are on the rear & put same size on the front wheel? Any issues with the SDC unit? (stability dynamic control unit) Any issues with the ABS in changing tire size up front to a taller diameter?

-I am prepared for the ride to be loud compared to my BMW i3 I currently own (Electric Vehicle) and I am prepared for the ride to be stiff and bumpy due to SWB (short wheel base) but is it as bad as my old 2002 Jeep Wrangler? That vehicle kicked my butt over pot holes or undulations in the road.
I presume some of you have lowered the tire pressure to help with bumpy roads? Or perhaps prime owners have switched out the 16" wheel to a 15" wheel off a pure or base to help? (That's what we do over on the BMW i3 forums) We move to a 19" wheel from the rough riding 20" wheel. It helps a little.

-Where is the best place to order an armrest?

Thank you all for the help. I am eager to become an official Smart owner soon :) Cheers
 

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I am 328 miles away from ANY trim level smart fortwo that is 2016 MY or newer and is not electric. I am here in the USA.

So that said. I found a 2016 prime w/ 42k miles on it & want to buy it. I am flying out to test drive it Saturday after putting a deposit down today.

here are my questions:
-Anything I should look out for? I've read about: popping bucking noise? door seal window issues? Am I missing anything? Does the glass roof have crazing issues like the 451 had?

-How do I know if the fortwo has JBL speaker option?
-How do I know if it has the climate package?
-How do I know if it has proximity warning package? or rear park assist?

-I am 6ft 2" any tall drivers in this forum that believe I'll fit?

-Could I install the same size tires that are on the rear & put same size on the front wheel? Any issues with the SDC unit? (stability dynamic control unit) Any issues with the ABS in changing tire size up front to a taller diameter?

-I am prepared for the ride to be loud compared to my BMW i3 I currently own (Electric Vehicle) and I am prepared for the ride to be stiff and bumpy due to SWB (short wheel base) but is it as bad as my old 2002 Jeep Wrangler? That vehicle kicked my butt over pot holes or undulations in the road.
I presume some of you have lowered the tire pressure to help with bumpy roads? Or perhaps prime owners have switched out the 16" wheel to a 15" wheel off a pure or base to help? (That's what we do over on the BMW i3 forums) We move to a 19" wheel from the rough riding 20" wheel. It helps a little.

-Where is the best place to order an armrest?

Thank you all for the help. I am eager to become an official Smart owner soon :) Cheers

CC,


I have a 2016 Edition #1 I daily drive. About 15K miles on it now; it had the official MB 10k mile service.


Here are some dealer documents that show the line items (options):
https://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f208/pure-passion-edition1-proxy-152826/


One thing you could do is take the VIN to a MB dealership and their system will tell you what maintenance has been done. 42k miles should have had 10k, 20k, 30k, and 40k mile service done.


Checking the VIN with the dealer will also give you the 'in service' date - for me 4 years after that date is an important date to make as the Smart brand warranty support is ending as well.


The JBL sound system should have tweeters in the plastic trim in the bottom corners of the windows and a sub box in the rear cargo area.


Climate package? - Wut? :)


Proximity warning and rear park assist sound like an aftermarket alarm; or possibly a high end head unit with backup sensors.


I am 6' 1" and I fit in fine with a cotton bucket hat on. The driver's seat isn't fully back either.


Rear tires in front should work depending on the rim widths that are on the car.
My car came with the Sport 8Y rims, 16x6 front, 16x6.5 rear with 185/50/16 (23.3" dia.) front, 205/45/16 (23.2" dia.) rear - and the 205/45/16 can mount to a 5.5 to 7" wide rim.


The tire shop I use recommended not exceeding 0.1" diameter difference front to rear to not have any issues with ABS/Traction control systems so mounting the same size rear tire makes your worry moot. However, do match the tires traction rating front to rear as well.


I believe 16" rims are standard on the Prime and Edition #1 . The 15" rim with proper tire sizes will be a softer ride with the taller sidewall. 205/50/15 is 23.1" diameter though so your speedometer will read different.


Tire noise. The stock Conti's are Loud.
I changed out the stock rims pretty quickly with softer 300 QTOG Yokohamas; now I notice with the windows down I hear the tires from the Tesla next to me :)


If I kept the stock (16") rims, I would mount quieter tires on them.
I went for the look and put on a 16/17" combo.





Armrest - I don't use one. Primes have the shift paddles so you kinda need both hands on the wheel.
In Auto mode, I put the fries in the cupholder there and snack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@Mailman

I am beginning to wonder if this one I want to buy is even a prime. I don't see shift paddles on the steering wheel. Then again the pictures on the dealer website and autotrader don't get very big. I will ask them to send me video.
I see black leather heated seats and JBL tweeters in the door. But I don't see paddle shifters at all and the real head scratcher. The side mirrors are white to match the body of the car but the grill is Black and the tridium cell is white too. I could have sworn it was all suppose to be white if the tritium cell is white then the grill should be white?

Thank you for the link to that line item. It, sadly, looks like it's for the fortwo's outside of the USA. I have been having a VERY hard time finding the options/package list for the USA prime (not the standard features it came with)

Yours having a glass roof, do you know if crazing was an issue for the 453 like it was for the 451?

It's been very hard finding true USA options/package list for our market for 2016 MY (model year)

Excellent news on the tires and your height! I am certainly worried that my arms won't reach the steering wheel since I am all legs and the smart for2 has no adjustable steering wheel that telescopes. Super worried about that.

Yes, great idea on asking MB dealership for service records. It is on my list of things to call on tomorrow before Saturday flight. Car fax shows the car had 25k miles on the odometer before it's first oil change but I am hoping that the MB service will have more detailed info than carfax.

Your smart wheels and tires are beautiful! Thank you for your keen insight. Cheers
 

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The Prime, IIRC, already has a beefed up suspension and wider tires front and back. I wouldn’t make any fast moves on installing same width at front until you spend some time with the car. May bring an improvement but may not be worth the expense. My neighbor has kept the original tire configuration on his Prime. He also owns a Porsche, a Mercedes SUV and a Jaguar so is familiar with good handling.
 

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here are my questions:
-Anything I should look out for? I've read about: popping bucking noise? door seal window issues? Am I missing anything? Does the glass roof have crazing issues like the 451 had?

-How do I know if the fortwo has JBL speaker option?
-How do I know if it has the climate package?
-How do I know if it has proximity warning package? or rear park assist?

-I am 6ft 2" any tall drivers in this forum that believe I'll fit?

-Could I install the same size tires that are on the rear & put same size on the front wheel? Any issues with the SDC unit? (stability dynamic control unit) Any issues with the ABS in changing tire size up front to a taller diameter?

-I am prepared for the ride to be loud compared to my BMW i3 I currently own (Electric Vehicle) and I am prepared for the ride to be stiff and bumpy due to SWB (short wheel base) but is it as bad as my old 2002 Jeep Wrangler? That vehicle kicked my butt over pot holes or undulations in the road.
I presume some of you have lowered the tire pressure to help with bumpy roads? Or perhaps prime owners have switched out the 16" wheel to a 15" wheel off a pure or base to help? (That's what we do over on the BMW i3 forums) We move to a 19" wheel from the rough riding 20" wheel. It helps a little.

-Where is the best place to order an armrest?

Thank you all for the help. I am eager to become an official Smart owner soon :) Cheers
Hiya!! So yeah, apparently some 453s will pop and some have whistling window seals.

I think the window seal one can be fixed by having the door latches adjusted inward, though I haven't had that done to my car yet so mine still whistles.

- Mailman is on point about the JBL system. Look for the subwoofer just chilling out in the cargo area.

- The polycarbonate roof can craze like the 451 did, though it should take longer to happen. The only smarts with glass roofs are the 450s and the first gen forfours. Half of the forfour roof is glass, the other half polycarbonate.

- Climate package is additional insulation and a heated steering wheel.

- The smarts with proximity warning systems will have a black radar dome in the front grille where the smart badge would normally be. So instead of a 3D smart logo, you get a 2D one inside a dome of black plastic. IMO, since the US spec smarts do not have auto braking, it's a useless feature to have.

I have the proximity sensor in my car, it doesn't even warn you to stop until it's way too late.

As for parking sensors, that became available in the US after the petrols were discontinued.

- I've easily fit a nearly 7 ft tall person and a 400+ lb person in mine. These cars are amazingly spacious!

- I don't see why you can't put rears on the front. I did that with my 451 and may do with the 453 one day. Just don't go crazy with the tyre sizes and the computers should be fine.

- IMO, the ride quality in 453s is far better than the 451. It takes bumps only slightly worse than a normal car would. My 453 has the sport package (16" wheels, lowered suspension) and it does great. So I'd say it's far better than TJ Wrangler. :)
 
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6’2” here , I have my seat forward about a quarter way from the rear most setting , so unless you have super long legs , it’s a non-issue . I’m running 17” wheels same size all around ( 205-40-17) at 27 psi front / 29 psi rear ) ( LORINSER recommended 28 all around ) it rides super nice and smooth . The JBL option I believe has a removable subwoofer behind the driver seat side of the trunk area . The other questions you have I don’t have answers for , but I’m sure a forum member will chime in .
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Hiya!! So yeah, apparently some 453s will pop and some have whistling window seals.

I think the window seal one can be fixed by having the door latches adjusted inward, though I haven't had that done to my car yet so mine still whistles.

- Mailman is on point about the JBL system. Look for the subwoofer just chilling out in the cargo area.

- The polycarbonate roof can craze like the 451 did, though it should take longer to happen. The only smarts with glass roofs are the 450s and the first gen forfours. Half of the forfour roof is glass, the other half polycarbonate.

- Climate package is additional insulation and a heated steering wheel.

- The smarts with proximity warning systems will have a black radar dome in the front grille where the smart badge would normally be. So instead of a 3D smart logo, you get a 2D one inside a dome of black plastic. IMO, since the US spec smarts do not have auto braking, it's a useless feature to have.

I have the proximity sensor in my car, it doesn't even warn you to stop until it's way too late.

As for parking sensors, that isn't available in the US.

- I've easily fit a nearly 7 ft tall person and a 400+ lb person in mine. These cars are amazingly spacious!

- I don't see why you can't put rears on the front. I did that with my 451 and may do with the 453 one day. Just don't go crazy with the tyre sizes and the computers should be fine.

- IMO, the ride quality in 453s is far better than the 451. It takes bumps only slightly worse than a normal car would. My 453 has the sport package (16" wheels, lowered suspension) and it does great. So I'd say it's far better than TJ Wrangler. :)
Was really waiting for you to chime in.
Was the climate package (heated steering wheel & insulation) available here in the states? I can't for the life of me find a USA brochure that lists all options and packages available for the prime for model year 2016.

I am also wondering if this is the right prime for me. They want $7k for the car, 42k miles, but I noticed it has a white tridium safety cell, white side mirrors, but a black front grill. I don't care about the color but the front grill being black tells me something has happened to it cause isn't the grill suppose to match the tridium cell on these primes?

It also has only had 3 oil changes in those 42k miles. I called mercedes.
Once at 10k miles
2nd was at 25k miles :(
3rd at 39k miles :(
I admit the owner could have gone to an indy shop for more oil changes or did one at their house. But it's normally a red flag for it to not show a dealer when they've been going to the dealer from the beginning.
Thank you for your wealth of info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
6’2” here , I have my seat forward about a quarter way from the rear most setting , so unless you have super long legs , it’s a non-issue . I’m running 17” wheels same size all around ( 205-40-17) at 27 psi front / 29 psi rear ) ( LORINSER recommended 28 all around ) it rides super nice and smooth . The JBL option I believe has a removable subwoofer behind the driver seat side of the trunk area . The other questions you have I don’t have answers for , but I’m sure a forum member will chime in .
Thanks for the info :)
 

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Backtracking a little, I needed to be fact checked. Admittedly I've stopped paying attention after the petrols were discontinued.

- Newer 453s DO have rear parking sensors as an option. I'm not sure how many (if any) petrols have them, but they are available on the EQs.

- The Climate Package has additional insulation for climate system efficiency, the system itself isn't more efficient.

- The front radar remains an option, unsure if auto braking has or has not been added to it or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Backtracking a little, MB DNA fact checked me and essentially made me update my knowledge on 453 packages. Admittedly I've stopped paying attention after the petrols were discontinued.

- Newer 453s DO have rear parking sensors as an option. I'm not sure how many (if any) petrols have them, but they are available on the EQs.

- The Climate Package has additional insulation for climate system efficiency, the system itself isn't more efficient.

- The front radar remains an option, unsure if auto braking has or has not been added to it or not.
Dually noted. Thank you.
@Miss Mercedes, what is your opinion on this 453 prime having a black grill yet white side mirrors, and white safety cell. Isn't the grill suppose to be white? Would this indicate a front end collision or something of the sort? Car fax is clean. But I still scratch my head.
It's also missing a piece of the front bumper. Has a hole on the passenger side front bumper... Tow hook cover? Are those notorious for falling off 453's?
 

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"I noticed it has a white tridium safety cell, white side mirrors, but a black front grill. I don't care about the color but the front grill being black tells me something has happened to it cause isn't the grill suppose to match the tridium cell on these primes?"


That is completely normal for that year in a Prime. I was a Smart Brand Manager from 2012 to 2016. We had cars from the factory come in with all sorts of combinations, it's almost looked like a random mix. However, I also had to order them. There were some combinations they just wouldn't allow, not unlike ordering the Mercedes-Benz product. The 'taste police' just don't allow certain combinations...


So, the White grill does not mean it's damaged, just pay for a CarFax and perhaps save yourself a trip for the wrong car. It will show accident or 'damage' it will also show where the car was serviced and if the 10k miles interval was ignored...
 

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I am a real stickler for doing my maintenance well before the suggested interval. Only three oil changes in 42,000 miles is not taking care of the car in my opinion. From what I have seen lately, I would think you could find a similar car with half the mileage for the same money.

I always like to buy the lowest mileage, best cared for car at the price I want to spend.

Good luck with whatever you decide. I have never driven a 453, but I have loved my 451 for over ten years and have no intention of ever selling it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
"I noticed it has a white tridium safety cell, white side mirrors, but a black front grill. I don't care about the color but the front grill being black tells me something has happened to it cause isn't the grill suppose to match the tridium cell on these primes?"


That is completely normal for that year in a Prime. I was a Smart Brand Manager from 2012 to 2016. We had cars from the factory come in with all sorts of combinations, it's almost looked like a random mix. However, I also had to order them. There were some combinations they just wouldn't allow, not unlike ordering the Mercedes-Benz product. The 'taste police' just don't allow certain combinations...


So, the White grill does not mean it's damaged, just pay for a CarFax and perhaps save yourself a trip for the wrong car. It will show accident or 'damage' it will also show where the car was serviced and if the 10k miles interval was ignored...
That puts my mind at ease. Thank you so much.

I am a real stickler for doing my maintenance well before the suggested interval. Only three oil changes in 42,000 miles is not taking care of the car in my opinion. From what I have seen lately, I would think you could find a similar car with half the mileage for the same money.

I always like to buy the lowest mileage, best cared for car at the price I want to spend.

Good luck with whatever you decide. I have never driven a 453, but I have loved my 451 for over ten years and have no intention of ever selling it.
Me 2. Admittedly finding a white prime that accepts gasoline under $10000 has been proven challenging for me. I found this one wanting $7k w/ JBL option and it caught my eye for sure. I'll let you know if I buy it :)
 

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The Prime, IIRC, already has a beefed up suspension and wider tires front and back. I wouldn’t make any fast moves on installing same width at front until you spend some time with the car. May bring an improvement but may not be worth the expense. My neighbor has kept the original tire configuration on his Prime. He also owns a Porsche, a Mercedes SUV and a Jaguar so is familiar with good handling.
Just like with Porsches and a few other cars, staggered wheel width and negative rear camber are designed to help with off throttle oversteer in rear weight-biased cars, like Smarts and 911s.

Putting looks ahead of handling and safety is a fool’s game IMO.
 

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I drove a smart 17 453 loaner when my 09 was in for service.
You what a difference, between the two. You definitely want a 453. Much better vehicle than the older 451's.
Good luck in your search.
Likewise with me, but I wasn’t impressed enough with the 453 to even consider trading my Passion Cabrio in on one, despite the amazing deal Benzel-Busch offered me on it. Perhaps being stuck with transmission in “granny mode” due to lack of paddles in the loaner skewed my impression.

I’ll admit, looks played a substantial role. I thought to 453 might grow on me. It hasn’t. IMO, the 453 was a “one step back” after two steps forward. 450->451
 
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