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Discussion Starter #1
I'm about as eager to drive (and buy) a Smart Car as anyone, but the road tour stop in Buffalo was about as disappointing an experience as I could imagine.

All they had set up outside the Mercedes dealership was the Smart tractor trailer and a small canopy supposedly to promote Sirius Satellite Radio. Then there was the safety cell and an open Smart car to look at. But no one was out to welcome you in, to tell you about the cars, to get you excited, or to even tell you where to go. Eventually we wandered into the dealership where they had a few baskets of chips and a bin of water along one wall, a table set up for Sirius, and a table with two Smart girls where you sign up for the test drive. There was no excitement, no interest, no energy in the room. (Even the Sirius guy sat away from his table and didn't talk to anyone, even those who looked at his display.)

So I signed up for a test drive and waited in line in the air conditioned trailer. There weren't many others there, but two Mercedes guys were in line behind me. If I had to wait in line, as a reservation holder, behind two guys who were obviously just bored and wanted a test drive, I would have been upset. The guy who rode with me in the car couldn't have been less interested in his job and told me practically nothing about the car. The drive itself was no more than 5 minutes, with time waiting at lights, and was essentially around the block. After you got out, you filled out a little survey about the car (not the dealership or the experience), and that was it. Nothing else to do, so go on home. The whole thing was about 1/2 hour, with line time.

That being said, the drive itself exceeded my expectations. The car handled great, and the paddle shifting was very easy and smooth! The car felt much bigger on the inside than it should have, and it was fun to see everyone staring when we stopped at a light.

In short, the car is great, and I'd love one. But the whole experience was terribly disappointing and an obviously wasted opportunity. Why not get people excited, especially reservation holders? Ah well...
 

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Don't be broken, Kid! You set out to drive the Smart, see how it handled and to get an overall feel for the CAR, not to be smoozed by the presenters. I had a similar experience in Albany, sort of.....my rider answered all the questions I had for him adequately. I experienced everything I set out to and got what I was expecting and that is all I needed to convince me that I still want one. Maybe you should look at your driving experience the same way and not to focus on the presentation but rather the reason you went there in the first place. Sounds like you got excited and got what you were really expecting insofar as the car is concerned as well. Fuggedabout all the other fluffy stuff....that really means nothing after the sale anyway.
I am a very early reservation holder (March 20th)and had to wait about 45 minutes for my test drive....waiting in a line of other people ...who knows if they were reservation holders or not....no matter.....I got my drive and that is just what I set out to have. Once you have your own Smart to drive, those negatives you experienced will be long forgotten.
 

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smart happens here!
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Yes, the presentation aspect of the tour was rather limited, and I imagine the enthusiasm of the "Smart people" will only wane as the tour gets longer. Those cities getting the tour in sept and oct are going to see a tired bunch.
(I'm assuming of course, the same group travels city to city -its going to be a loooong summer/fall for them!)
 

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The drive itself was no more than 5 minutes, with time waiting at lights, and was essentially around the block.
I spent ten years in Buffalo, and have been back in Metro Detroit for the past 5 years. (My drive experience was no different than yours. It did convince me that putting my $99 down was the smartest C-Note I've spent in a long time.) Just curious, what was the route you took on your test drive.

tnt0604
 

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Smart A**
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When I RSVP'd my invitation for the reservations only event at the Germantown, MD dealer, they put me in touch with the new SmartCar sales Manager who seemed real excited. He was saying how 55 people had already RSVP'd within 24 hours of the announcement and was giving all the reasons why he had already placed his own $99 reservation. He stayed on the phone for over 15 minutes chatting me up even though he knew he didn't need to sell me on the car. He sounded young over the phone and obviously the right demographic himself for the car. I'm guessing the typical jaded Benz salesman isn't going to be able to kick it up a notch.

I'll let you know what the excitement level is at that invitation only event on the 21st.
 
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