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Hesitation

Thanks for the reassurance! I do love this car, but all the plastic makes it feels a bit fragile. I guess I haven't had time to build up trust in it yet.

Glad to hear the hiccuping and hesitation is typical.

Holly
Hiccuping and hesitation are generally not good or typical. That said, I bought my Smart 3 days ago with 7 miles on the odometer. The first 100 miles had jerking motions mostly because of the jerk behind the wheel not learning the transmission. But I noticed a couple of things improved my performance/smoothness, most notably passing 400 miles of age.


If you suspect the AC has a problem, try driving a few minutes with it off, then turning it on while you're at 30-60mph (safe surroundings assumed).
Don't turn it on and off more than once in 10 minutes (some AC compressors are aged by that, I don't know if the Smart AC has that issue). Do you feel a jerk or something unsafe? If so, take your car in to the dealer for a checkup; it's under warranty and they should check it for free. They really want this brand to succeed in the marketplace, and a good dealer will support it as if it were a golden goose. Seriously, 40-50mpg highway for $11k-16k? Plus the Swatch styling, Mercedes engineering? There are a lot of eyes on the Smart. In just 10 stops across 4 states, I had 20 people ask me questions that suggested genuine interest.

On my own car, I think there's a mileage impact from the AC. I ran AC on for 500 miles, switched AC off for about 70 miles, and one tank got me 44mpg. I noticed going up moderate hills it seemed more powerful if the AC was off. I'd estimate the AC takes 10% of the power; it shouldn't slow you down noticeably or make you feel unsafe.
 

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Agent 86
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I'm sure the pure weights a bit less then passion or cabriolet.
About the glass roof on the passion models being heavier I can't say I know the exact weight difference betwean them but the passion has a thin polycarbonet roof, same type of material used on most prescription glasses, very light compared to tempered glass.
FWIW,

The Passion clear roof is polycarbonate as well, not glass.

Oh yeah, and if mine were hiccuping and hestitating with the AC on, I'd be paying a visit to the dealer. AC does eat up some horsepower. And with a whopping 70 to start with, I experience a little less gusto pulling a hill with the AC on. But when using words like hiccuping and hesitating, I don't think that's what the original poster is talking about.
 

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Hiccuping cured?

FWIW,

Oh yeah, and if mine were hiccuping and hestitating with the AC on, I'd be paying a visit to the dealer. AC does eat up some horsepower. And with a whopping 70 to start with, I experience a little less gusto pulling a hill with the AC on. But when using words like hiccuping and hesitating, I don't think that's what the original poster is talking about.
Original poster here...

I have noticed a lot of improvement over just 4 days in this problem of hesitation and hiccuping. I am beginning to wonder if as I get better at driving it if I was somehow causing it. Can't quite figure out how it could have been operator error, but it is certainly gone now. I'm a feather-foot and have rarely expected Blueberry (yes, we actually named this car) to act like a sports car... Maybe a combination of a bit of break in plus smoother driving did the trick.

Having said that, it is certainly true that the ac takes power away from the engine. No doubt about it. I can feel it and have tested it (as recommended in a recent reply above).

I tend to avoid turning on the blower when I will need to merge into fast moving traffic.

Just one of the sacrifices for great gas mileage from a tiny engine. Happy to make it - still totally in love with this car.
 

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Training

Featherfoot... that might be it. My Smart doesn't like to be treated like a baby. It'll move forward at idle without the brake. A light tap makes it jerk and buck a little. 20-80% pedal gives it command to actually go. I liken it to a manual transmission in any other car; put the clutch on full and if you don't give it enough gas, it'll stall... the Smart doesn't stall because it knows not to. But I'm betting at light throttle, its computer is saying, full clutch or no clutch ** don't burn the clutch by giving it only partial clutch. I have no official source for that, but would welcome any info someone has.

If that's your issue, try running as much as possible with AC off just to rule it out; chances are good that your Smart hasn't trained you quite yet. Mine does have an attitude.

I think a good "D" mode method is to let off brake for 1-2 seconds, then give it about 50-80% pedal at first, reduce slightly after a couple seconds, then reduce it a bit more when it's going to shift (you'll learn the pattern). Anyone agree/disagree?
 
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