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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a 2013 fortwo ED cabrio, but before deciding on that I seriously considered the newer 2017-2019 EQ models (hope I have the terminology right). I was able test drive the older ED models but never got to sit in the newer EQ, except briefly in a gas version. It seemed to me from specs. alone that the older models were clearly superior in the ways that matter:

  • Longer EPA range, 68 vs 58 for the newer model.
  • Better styling, personal choice I guess, but this is the one in the Museum of Modern Art :)
  • In mine, the charger fits in the tailgate.
  • Good sized glovebox.
  • Amazing turning radius.
  • Exciting performance.
  • Price used around $10k plus or minus
From what I can gather from on-line reviews and specs, the newer models offer this:

  • Shorter range.
  • Bigger tires.
  • More horsepower.
  • Tiny glovebox, no cuddies by the steering wheel.
  • 4" wider, wide enough for a real armrest?
  • More stable at high speed in the wind on the interstate.
  • Price from used at $15k to $22k virtually new.
  • Tighter turning radius.
In my book the key features are: range, enough performance, storage, style... and the newer models loses range at the expense of extra performance which I don't imagine is enough to matter.

But like I said, I never got to test drive the newer model. What do you guys think about all this? Am I missing something?
 

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The shorter range on the 453 (EQ) compared to the 451 (ED) is strictly an artifact of changes to the EPA test method. The EQ has a slightly larger battery (one more cell?) and most people report it gets at least slightly better range than the ED.
 

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Fewer dealers have the equipment for the 453 EQ - the MB dealer I went to for getting my pack updated only works on the 451.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses!

I found this article 2017 Smart ED Loses 10 Miles Range Compared To Older Model: 58 Miles on Inside EVs which has a different take on the range. Seems like a bit of a mystery.

And as for DealMeIn's comment, here are some sales numbers:

2017-2019 .... 2443 EQ cars sold in the US
2013-2016 .... 5461 ED cars sold in the US

So maybe other dealers saw these numbers and decided not to bother with the 453 or perhaps by then some smart dealers had already thrown in the towel and were just doing maintenance. My local dealer seems to try hard at supporting everything, but I've heard that other dealers are not so helpful.

Of course, many more gas models were sold, but they too had tapered off during the last 3 years of availability:

2018 ...1276 sold (all models)
2017 ... 3917 sold
2016 ... 6211 sold

The peak year for all models was 2008, with 24,622 sold. This is for the US. I test drove one of those back when they first hit town in 2008. It was not a pleasant driving experience.
 

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I had a 2008 gas 451 for 8 or 9 years, and now have a 2017 453 ED. The 453 model looks better, handles better, takes the bumps and potholes better and I love the tighter turn radius. On the interior, I like the looks of 453 better, the cubbies are gone as you said, but the net, drawer, and door pockets more than make up for it. I don't like the small cup holders on the 453, but have found workarounds. I almost bought a used 451 ED, but with it's battery bricking issues I opted to pay more for a used 453 ED, which still has a bit of warranty for a while for peace of mind. Either way I'll never ever ever go back to gas again. Ever!
 
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