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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm in Tidewater, Virginia... 37 miles from the Tysinger Smart Center.

My wife is French, and we've both traveled extensively world wide -- I think that's informed my interest in the Smart and why the car keeps coming back to me as a possibility.

And then in October we spent a week in Paris (and Environs) with a rental Fortwo Cabrio MHD. We liked the car a lot. I pretty much knew what we were in for with the transmission, and didn't have a hard time or any big dislike for it. We loved the retractable roof -- and we went on several longer trips (e.g., out to Chartres) via the interstate -- and didn't have a problem with keeping up, etc. Also, I grew up in a family of VW Beetle drivers, so it's possible that my sense of what makes a fast car or a safe car is skewed. :)

And now used 2008-2009 Cabrio's and Coupes are becoming readily available at prices way under $10K... with circa 20,000 miles.

I've been wading through posts here, and now my concern is the cars aren't reliable enough. I have a 22 mile daily commute.

I know that forums can be "that place" where everyone complains, where all grievances are aired, and where all problems are on display. I need some help getting this into perspective. As the closest Smart dealer will be 37 miles away, will any MB dealer work on the Smart now, or was that just a rumor?

Specifically, I'm looking at a 2008 Cabrio, private seller, with all maintenance records (haven't looked to see what they contain). I know to check for the transmission update. Question: does that update bring the transmission essentially up to the same software that would come in, say, a 2011 model?

What do you think?
 

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My 2008 drove just as well when I bought it as the 2013 that I test drove at the dealer.

As for reliability ... Go to TrueDelta -- Real Car Owners Driving Real Car Information, select "Reliability", select the make and model, and report back with what it tells you. Lazy and don't feel like it? It's better than average.

No question they have made the odd lemon over the years. No question, someone who buys one of these cars and does not take care of it is going to get in trouble. No question, there are certain quirks and certain weak points.

This website is good for figuring out how to deal with the quirks and weak points ...

One concern that I would have with a very low-mileage used car is that it may have seen only short-trip driving, and that's not good. Figure on changing the oil, changing the spark plugs, putting in a new air filter, and use some sort of injector-cleaner (a lot of folks swear by Seafoam) in the first few fill-ups.

Your decent-length commute will be better for the car.
 

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:welcome: to SCoA!

One of your local TV weather guys is a long time smart owner - maybe he'll chime in here.

Go for it - the prices on used smarts are great and if you get a 2012/13 it will probably have some warranty left. As for the update, there have been several since the one for the 2008s. :)
 

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Hi, I purchased my 2008 last May with 51,833 miles on it. I've been very happy and lucky with it. It's been to date very reliable for us, even in this cold hard winter we're having here in PA/NJ.


And I use it for my 120+ mile daily work commute. I've put 21,898 miles on it since I bought it. All without any issues.


Hope this helps,


This reply I just made is not written all that often because, well imagine how boring that would be. :D
 

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I am one of those who finds very little perceptual difference between transmissions with/without updates. And I'm also one of those who happens to like the transmission very much, whether it's quirky or not.

If you like the 2008, buy it!


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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Can't speak for the early ones. But as of tomorrow I will have had my '13 Pure for one year. That will make it the 1st car of the last 4 that HAS NOT seen the dealer for some problem during the 1st year of ownership! :)

Personally the transmission is a non issue for me. But I've driven manuals all my life. The Smart is constantly coming up with new way to impress me. Like being very comfortable for an 1800 miles 4 day trip! 1 leg was 13 straight hours behind the wheel with no numb butt.

Good luck and happy searching for the one you want.
 

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it depends on how reliable you need your car to be. smarts are above average that is true, but things can go south, and they can be expensive if they do. I you have the resources that if that happened it won't be a financial hardship on you then they are lots of fun. If, however, you would be stretched to the limit, then I would recommend something more reliable like a Honda or Toyota. Statistically you would be at lower risk.
 

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Buy a late model '12 thru '13 Smart that's still within the 4year/50,000 mile warranty period!

A vehicle in warranty will provide no surprises...I personally would never own a Smart that was not in warranty!

I've owned a '09...a '11...and now a '13...the '13 drives tighter & shifts smoother!

The market for preowned Smart's is very depressed...and actual selling priced are substantially below book value...if you're a careful shopper..you can buy a low mileage '12 thru '13 for $8,000 to $11,000!

FYI...I just purchased a wonderful '13 Passion (with leather & navigation) and only 8,000 miles for a friend...we paid $10,200...they were originally asking $12,800...it took 2 weeks for me to successfully negotiated the price...the seller indicated I was the only person that expressed any true interest in purchasing the vehicle!

Your sources for locating used Smart's....and comparing prices are...

New Cars, Used Cars, Car Reviews | Cars.com (Cars.com)

New Cars, Used Cars - Find Cars for Sale and Reviews at AutoTrader.com (Autotrader.com)

New & used cars, trucks, motorcycles, parts, accessories ? eBay Motors (eBay Motors)
 

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I had an '08 for four years without problems, traded it in for a '12 a couple years ago and am planning on getting a 453 in 2016. if your budget allows, buy a new or recent one with the warranty intact. you get all the improvements and few worries.

(all my cars since 1977 have been built in France; no regrets)
 

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I've got an '08 and '09 smart passion, the '08 has had the fuel pump changed and one axle seal changed. The '09 nothing mechanical, although the clear coat is peeling, something common to a certain lot of the reds in that year. I happen to live in the Tidewater area as well. Tysinger is the only Mercedes dealer with the smart car franchise in this area. For me it's not bad, I can be there from home in 10 minutes.

When I bought the '08 used from Car Max I got an extended warranty from my credit union with the loan, I haven't paid a cent for any repairs yet.

BTW, want to get together & plan an event, a ride, get together or something with your new smart?
 

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All I can say is I have two. One has 122, 000 miles and has never left me stranded in any way. The other has around 60k miles and also has never left me stranded. The biggest issues have been from the newer one and they were not major or "stop on side of road" issues. Both are 08's.
I developed a crack in the flex joint of the muffler on the newer one. Bought a replacement on Ebay for $125 and had it replace the cracked one for $110.00 at Flow Volkswagen where I bought the newer one. No warranty work-that's what they said they'd charge and they did. The other issue was yesterday when my left rear turn signal went out. I'd bought for $25 dollars on ebay a box of replacement lights (two each) and
from this forum saw how to replace it. Took me 3 minutes-no joke.
The one with 122k runs with no problems at all. It was a car used by a towing company that ran and ran and ran before I got it. It's never let me down in any way. I did go to the smart dealership when I first got it and had it upgraded with the latest software ($105) and it runs soooo smoothly. I have to say in light of my experiences with not one but two smarts to go for it. You'll love it.
Bruce:laugh:
 

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I'm a 21 year old young kid that joined this board as a 15 year old wee little lad.

At first, I just wanted a smart. Then I started loving them. Then, well now it's my dream car. :D
 

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Huh. I have heard lots of colourful descriptions of smart cars but unreliable wasn't one of them. I'm actually curious myself now. Personally I have had Fords, Chyslers, GM's and a triumph and NONE were anywhere near as reliable as our smart cars but we don't rack up as many miles as some. Other than a door handle and a set of air conditioning hoses we haven't done anything to ours except once a year maintenance and ours are 9 years old.

I would still look at a little newer model with a year left on the warranty or so.

Bonne chance avec votre quête.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I guess I can't yet send private emails because I'm a new member?

Houstonsmart, could you PM me please?
 

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I guess I can't yet send private emails because I'm a new member?

Houstonsmart, could you PM me please?
You should be able to send PMs. :)

Check out "Edit Options" under your User CP - make sure the PM function is enabled:

If you do not want to send or receive private messages, you may disable the private messaging system.
x Enable Private Messaging
 

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I bought a used 2010 in September last year to use for commuting to and from work, a 30 mile round trip 3 days a week. The only issues I've had were either operator error or bad gas - neither of which is the car's fault. The only thing I'd warn you about is that you may find yourself driving it more than you planned - I originally figured it was strictly a commuter car for me, so I was planning on around 300 miles per month. Instead, I'm driving it about 1200 miles per month because it's more fun than the other possibilities. My truck has only been used 4 times since I got the Smart, and as soon as I get a trailer hitch and a trailer, I'm planning on selling the truck.
 

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I just picked up my second Smart. My first was a 09 Brabus, the new one is a 13 Pure. The pure is an all around better driving car than the 09 Brabus. It drives like a completely different car. Don't get me wrong, I bet a new Brabus would blow away my little pure. How is a software update responsible for improved transmission, there's got to be more to it than that.

Point being, get a 12 on up, it drives better and your butt is covered by the b2b warranty.
 
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