Smart Car of America Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,829 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Your narrator, the man who is about to pass judgment on the transportation module pictured here, never even drove it home from the office, much less on a road trip during which he would encounter useful insights about the electric-powered Smart ED’s handling. And, yes before we go any farther, this car has an “ED” sticker on each flank. Just settle down with your Cialis quips. We’ve heard them (or made them) all already. It stands for “Electric Drive,” okay?

And drive it does, in a manner. It hums to 60 mph in 23.4 seconds, by which point it has already covered more than a quarter-mile of perfectly good pavement. The Smart ED is nearly as quick as a 1981 Chevrolet Chevette diesel (21.2 seconds). And that car had the word “vette” right in its name. The Smart does not. Like the Chevette, though, the Smart ED is rear-wheel drive.

We were mentioning how little we drove the ED, but that’s not really true. Cumulatively, we did cover some miles and used up some of our lives operating this thing. We just did it in spurts, is all. We took it to lunch every day for a week. And yes, people laughed at us. To keep ourselves entertained, we investigated how much of our lunch commute we could perform at absolute full throttle. Turns out, most of it could be handled in this fashion. In fact, if you are not actively on the brakes, you’ll likely have it floored. Another upside: You’ll use the car’s full performance potential (40 horsepower in this case) more often than you will in any other form of transport you’re likely to operate.

Did you know that the new Smart ED was created from a human baby’s first laugh? It’s true.

When a member of our illustrious track-testing team brought the performance-results sheet to our desk, we admit that we snickered until we saw the braking perform*ance number. “Holy cow!” we said. “It stopped in 131 feet?! That’s better than a ZR1. That’s awesome—wait, what?” Turns out, the Smart ED is not actually fast enough to stop. It’s governed to a top speed of 63 mph, and our standard brake test is from 70 mph to standstill. So we did it from 60 mph because, well, it doesn’t actually matter.

The lesson here is that not only is the ED’s range insufficient for those of us with lengthy daily commutes, it also would turn us into a rolling chicane. And we’ve got enough problems already. According to the EPA, the Smart ED’s range is 63 miles, but you can literally watch the charge from the 16.5-kWh, Tesla-sourced lithium-ion battery drain away after a brief, maxed-out expressway stint. Smart promises that in 2012, it will begin selling a version of the ED with batteries developed in a joint venture between Daimler and Bosch.

We took the Smart ED for a couple of terrifying trips on an expressway posting a speed limit higher than the Smart’s. The less said of this, the better. Except we note, with some pride, that we actually managed to pass a ’90s Buick LeSabre. That the Buick driver was possibly not entirely conscious at the time is not our fault.

Oh, another upside: Because the ED’s transmission is a single-speed, direct-drive arrangement, you won’t have to endure the brutal wallops delivered with every shift of the gas version’s automated manual.

So there you have it. With the ED, Smart has finally made its runabout into the golf cart that it has always wanted it to be. Well, except without room for your clubs. What do you think this is? A Nissan Leaf?

It is not a Leaf. A Leaf is quicker, faster, has a longer range, and feels remarkably like an automobile that non-clowns might drive. You can also buy a Leaf; you can only lease a Smart ED. And, oh, at $599 per month (plus $2500 down on a four-year lease), the Smart ED is also more expensive than the Leaf. Smart notes in its press materials that there is not currently a waiting list for the 250 EDs it intends to unload in the U.S.


Source
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
17,384 Posts
While it's the normal smart bashing nonsense it was somewhat comical...

Unfortunately for now I have to agree with the trolls, the ED is pretty much useless in the EV world. It's just too slow, too expensive, and doesn't have enough range.

It costs half as much as a Tesla Roadster and has exactly 1/9th of it's performance. :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
You can make a car perform a lot better -- if you make it lighter... But, given equal engineering resources, crashworthiness will most likely suffer. As an EXTREME tortoise vs. hare comparison, the Porsche 917, of '70's LeMans and '80's CanAm fame, weighed about the same as the Smart (the Smart ED is heavier). In CanAm trim, the 917 had 1100+ HP and was often faster than full F1, even by today's standards. It wasn't too good in a crash, but then that was a secondary consideration in those days. The 917 wasn't a road car, but the point here is that it was very very light. It was all performance -- unbeatable -- and was eventually banned.

The pokey Smart may not impress the car rag testers, but then they're not testing it the way I would test it... I'd test it by getting hit by an F-150 or T-boned by an SUV. It's a good bet that I'd walk away. I'd much rather be pissed that my air bags deployed than be taken away in a body bag...

Anyway -- all I'm saying is that there's one important test these rags don't do. And, that's crash testing. Yeah, it's fun to be the hare -- zooming about with ease. Until you get hit or you hit something. Then, you'll wish you were the tortoise...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,786 Posts
Classic Car & Driver stuff. Don't think anything they said was incorrect, which is smart's problem, not C&D's. They might have mentioned they were not testing the true production version (due out next year) but at this point I don't think it matters... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,266 Posts
I'm surprised they didn't deride it's transmission...
Would anyone correct them if they did?

Or would everybody else just use them as reference and create fact from thin air?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
523 Posts
Sadly I use to enjoy the car and driver mag. But I think I have had enough of there bashing of the smart car. I think its time to save my money and not resubscribe. It would be nice to see them do some real commentary about the car. It seems like the same old junk that everyone else posts/says.
Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
791 Posts
smart car (ED) RIPPED in auto mag

September 2011 issue of Car and Driver really ripped the smart ED. Its only interesting because its fun reading (page 110). Do Not go out and buy the mag for this story only, its nothing at all like our smarts. Have never before seen an auto magazine rip anything so badly before...
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
17,384 Posts
I'm sorry, but in its current phase the ED is a joke...It's more expensive than the other ED options and it doesn't go as far, as fast, or even seats as many as they do...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,546 Posts
Peugeot had better electric cars 20 years ago, the 106 Electric for example. the next version had better be a BIG improvement and a lot cheaper.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
548 Posts
I can't say that I disagree with that article. Why would you want to buy that car? Unless you live the city and your job was also in the city about 10 miles away, it's not a practical car.

I can just imagine driving that in the cold MN months. Wake up at 7am, ready to go to work. It's 5 degrees out. The car just had a full charge overnight. Have a 30 miles round trip. Go two blocks and the bar just drops down half way :eek:. Turn around, put it back in the garage and get out the SUV. Late for work again.

For that much money, it's literally the worse bang for buck in America.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
548 Posts
Sadly I use to enjoy the car and driver mag. But I think I have had enough of there bashing of the smart car. I think its time to save my money and not resubscribe. It would be nice to see them do some real commentary about the car. It seems like the same old junk that everyone else posts/says.
Tom
Motor Trend had a review of the Smart Car when it first debut a few years ago. The article was very fair. It gave a spot on review on the strong points of the Smart, and also a spot on review on the negative points of the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
791 Posts
Don't know anything about severe cold driving, but I know I'd need full A/C in my neighborhood and wonder how that and a couple of cycles of my power windows would work out. Love my gas guzzling smart...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
576 Posts
The current smart ED costs too much for what it offers. I think the only positive feature that anyone may find is that there is transmission shifting like in the gas version. Of course, that is because of all the people who complain about the transmission on the gas version! One can only hope they make significant improvements to the ED before it is meant to go mainstream.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
477 Posts
Classic Car & Driver stuff. Don't think anything they said was incorrect, which is smart's problem, not C&D's. They might have mentioned they were not testing the true production version (due out next year) but at this point I don't think it matters... :)
:p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
477 Posts
The current smart ED costs too much for what it offers. I think the only positive feature that anyone may find is that there is transmission shifting like in the gas version. Of course, that is because of all the people who complain about the transmission on the gas version! One can only hope they make significant improvements to the ED before it is meant to go mainstream.

I would be surprised if the current version is even available anymore. The test phase cars are probably all accounted for, one way or another. The new version has not been released yet and will need a new evaluation.:)
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top