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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Driving Long Distances in a Smart...

Next Sunday I will be in Spain where I will be renting a Smart and I will be taking this rather Long journey from Spain to France to Switzerland to Italy and back to Spain... Is it too crazy to do it on a Smart??? Please tell me the truth. How does it perform on the highway? Will it hold on for so manyyyyyy miles? Is going to be over 16 hours of driving at times.... Of course I could have rented any other car but I am thinking about buying one here at home so what better way to test drive it..... Thanks... For your responses. :)
 

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Wow, what a killer test drive you've got planned! :)

I've taken a few drives over 1,000 miles and one of about 2,700 miles.

Stand by for others to chime in who make my drives look like a trip to the corner store, heh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow 2700? Thats Impressive. My longest drive will be Rome-Madrid about 1223 miles according to Google maps...
 

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We also did sustained 80mph-90mph for a few hours at a time. You'll be fine.

FWIW. The shifter will be a little different on the model you drive over there and you will use the parking brake at all times instead of shoving it in P.
 

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We routinely do long days with no issues in our CDI's.

I wonder if you wouldn't mind sharing your expected rental costs as we will be in Europe for a while next summer.

Thanks in advance.

John and Angela
 

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Wow 2700? Thats Impressive. My longest drive will be Rome-Madrid about 1223 miles according to Google maps...
Oh, I didn't mention that I took five days or so to cover that distance. I'm an old fart who really doesn't like traveling unfamiliar roads after dark. So, that of course limits my miles per day. But, no problems ... except for that horrendous Louisiana Highway 23 on the Mississippi Delta. It remains the worst paved road I've ever driven on.
 

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smart car on long trips:

No problem as far as the car is concerned. Many here on this forum have driven their smarts on long distance trips without incident. I have driven mine from LA to Las Vegas and from LA to Pismo Beach. Next year I plan on driving mine from LA to Denver for the smart Nationals.
 

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Shouldn't be a problem based on my experience. I have several 1,000-1,500 mile trips and a few 1,500 - 2,000 mile trips. Probably my longest was WV to Indy to Montgomery, AL and then back to WV via Atlanta. WV to Orlando and back was a pretty good distance as well and covered in a short period of time. I've made a few trips from central WV to the DE shore through the mountains as well. Just be quick on the downshift when climbing grades.

Cruise control is a nice option to have. :)
 

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...I watched tha sun rise over Tampa Bay Fl and the sun set over BowlingGreen Ky on a 15hr trip....what can I say.., fun...

Jetfuel...take lots of pictures...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We also did sustained 80mph-90mph for a few hours at a time. You'll be fine.

FWIW. The shifter will be a little different on the model you drive over there and you will use the parking brake at all times instead of shoving it in P.
The 1 am renting is automatic, i had to get it so my Gf can drive it too. Even on the automatic transmission you get the parking brake at all times?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
We routinely do long days with no issues in our CDI's.

I wonder if you wouldn't mind sharing your expected rental costs as we will be in Europe for a while next summer.

Thanks in advance.

John and Angela
I booked with Sixt Rent-A-Car and I think I got a rather great rate: 211 Euros. As of today is $262 for a 9 day rental. And is an Automatic if you choose a manual one it will be cheaper! Unlimited miles and 3th party insurance.Also this includes all taxes and Airport fee of 4 euros per day (what a joke)
 

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They all have the same transmission. The US version is sort of dumbed down for us Americans, it is done into a way that is familiar to us. The transmission is a "manumatic". Essentially it is an manual transmission with a computer operated clutch, think of it as a little pet robot that is pressing the clutch for you instead of you having to do it. It will be a different feeling but after a couple of hours most people don't even notice it anymore.

Don't worry about the parking brake, it's a good European habit to get into during your stay.
 

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They all have the same transmission. The US version is sort of dumbed down for us Americans, it is done into a way that is familiar to us. The transmission is a "manumatic". Essentially it is an manual transmission with a computer operated clutch, think of it as a little pet robot that is pressing the clutch for you instead of you having to do it. It will be a different feeling but after a couple of hours most people don't even notice it anymore.

Don't worry about the parking brake, it's a good European habit to get into during your stay.
Beat me to it. I was going to say. I have never heard of an automatic transmission in a smart car....at least in the traditional sense. I guess technically you could consider it an automatic as it clutches and shifts for you
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Beat me to it. I was going to say. I have never heard of an automatic transmission in a smart car....at least in the traditional sense. I guess technically you could consider it an automatic as it clutches and shifts for you
Yeah thats what I meant you dont have to clutch or change shifts that makes it an automatic transmission.
 

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Wow 2700? Thats Impressive. My longest drive will be Rome-Madrid about 1223 miles according to Google maps...
Doing that in one shot will be a challenge, unless you do 24 hours straight with no stops. When we were in Italy a few years ago, we drove through the night to get from southern France to Pompeii. If you take the toll Autostrada/Autoroute/Autopistas, you may average 80 MPH when on the road, if road works are not too bad. Don't speed, there is photo radar everywhere.

I would recommend breaking that journey in Menton or Avignon or around there, and enjoying the coast. Madrid is surrounded by ugly natural desert landscapes so getting there is not fun.

Doing it in a smart is OK though I have done 16 hours at a stretch in mine, I was ready to stop after 10 hours - my back was a mess.

Make sure you use the parking brake when stopped, because the European car does not have a parking pawl that locks the transmission.
 

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Yeah thats what I meant you dont have to clutch or change shifts that makes it an automatic transmission.
If CT were only here...:p

It may not come as a surprise that Europeans routinely take their smarts on the Motorways, Autoroutes, Autostradas and Autobahns - they don't spend all their time driving around the block in Paris or Rome. Big smart gathering in Belgium this August, cars will be coming from all over Europe:


You'll have a blast in the smart on your trip! :)
 

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The transmission is a "manumatic". Essentially it is an manual transmission with a computer operated clutch, think of it as a little pet robot that is pressing the clutch for you instead of you having to do it.
Hmm, thought that last night on LIVE Tech Chat on sUSAi smart Engineer Robert took the mystery out of the "manumatic" clutch and tranny?"

Shifting not by a pet robot but a Commando gerbil?
 
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