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Discussion Starter #1
Just drove my new Smart from Portland to Houston. Talk about a shotgun marriage! 33 hrs on the map and more like 35 with stops. Was going to drive 11-12 hrs/day for 3 days. After the first day, those plans went out the window. 12 hrs of driving is a test of driving endurance unlike any I've encountered. Trip changed to four days: 12 hrs then 8, 8, 8.

Drove through varied terrain with mostly cold temps---down to 10f (east of Amarillo), altitudes up to 7500 feet (between Utah and New Mexico), speed limits up to 80 mpg (northern Utah) and light snow (Idaho).

The car performed beautifully! Had no problem maintaining speed at any time,. although it took a little practice to get the timing and downshift right to keep speed. I was doing most of the passing the whole way home. Kept it about 4-5 mph over the speed limit so that meant 85 in parts of Utah. No problem. I did notice a 5 mph error in the speedo so for 85, I indicated 90.

MPG ranged from 31 to 43 with an overall average of 36.71. About as expected since I was conquering some pretty impressive altitudes with the little car.

The comfort was just fine. I'm 6' 5" and although I have size challenges with almost any car, this one was no more cramped than any other small - mid size car. I was able to move my legs around in a few different positions to keep the blood flowing.

Before leaving the dealership I had to have them move the window crank knob to the 6 o'clock position because my knee was hitting it. After that, no problem. My right leg got a little sore from resting against the shift knob for hours but moving positions helped alleviate the issue.

The only factory option that came with the car was the standard stereo system. I wasn't bumpin' my music down the road but it worked fine for the trip. The drawer below the radio, pulled out halfway, was the perfect prop for my phone. Who needs a stinkin' nav radio?? I would have really liked an armrest but my travel bag on the front seat worked for me to rest my arm on. I'll be getting an armrest in the future.

Driving any car for 35 hours is a grueling endeavor but the Smart car was comfortable and performed great.
 

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Next thing is to add cruise control and get rid of the inside rear view mirror. You can see cross traffic much easier. Also you can make the seatback go back even farther than the stop. Hold the lever in the release position and push back....

Also, using a seatbelt extender (i use a rigid one) will move the belt buckle further up and keep the seatbelt from rubbing on your neck, (and easier to click in and out)

speed difference is always been about 5 mph off, Odometer seems to be accurate though. You will find the adjuster handle on the passenger seat (forward-back) works good as a cup holder for those 24 oz bottles too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Would have LOVED cruise control. Might save up for one, might not.

I noticed the low position of the rear view mirror but probably won't remove it since I need all the help I can get with the crazy, unpredictable drivers in Houston.

Also noticed the seat belt rubbing my neck fairly quick into the drive. I grabbed a 3 dollar faux fleece seat belt protector from Walgreens on one of my stops. Felt really good on my raw neck and worked great the rest of the way. But I like the idea of a rigid extender.

Want to put up a link but need one more post to do so.
 

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:welcome: to the forum

Sounds like quite the trip.

I'll second the cruise control suggestion. On long trips it does help alleviate some of the fatigue and allow you to move your legs to more comfortable positions.
 

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I replaced my rear view mirror with a generic one found at a US auto parts store (O'Reillys? not sure). I installed it such that it is just below the trim panel for the interior light (a couple millimeters of clearance) - quite a bit higher than the stock mirror, and now I can see to the front offside. With my height, you could hide a bus in the blind spot created by the stock mirror. Rear visibility is not as good through the inside mirror when it is raised up like that ... but I'd rather see ahead than behind ...

Another comfort tip for us tall folks is to unbolt the two front attachment points for the driver's seat and slip a couple washers underneath to raise up the front of the seat. If it takes more than a couple of washers, install longer bolts. In my case ...3 washers on each front seat mount, and longer bolts, made a huge difference.
 

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In the 450 cabrio, raising the mirror makes dire rear visibility non existent. I just bob and weave like Muhammad Ali when I need to see around the mirror.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I had to rotate the stock mirror up a little otherwise it was pointing down through the back window instead of horizontally out the rear. Like I had to get my sight out underneath the top of the window frame. So the low mount helps this aspect but man, its low position was one of the first things I noticed when I got ready to drive. I've already started to get used to it and it's waaayy too early for me to undertake any mods except bolt on.
 

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About the 3rd time I left work, I almost hit a kid on a bicycle that was riding across in front of me at a corner. He decided he didn't need to concern himself about the red light and drove on through figuring I'd stop. It was almost his last mistake he ever made. Scared the &)_$## out of me and I ripped off the rear view mirror. It looks good under the seat. With both side mirrors, you really don't need it. IMO
 

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About the 3rd time I left work, I almost hit a kid on a bicycle that was riding across in front of me at a corner. He decided he didn't need to concern himself about the red light and drove on through figuring I'd stop. It was almost his last mistake he ever made. Scared the &)_$## out of me and I ripped off the rear view mirror. It looks good under the seat. With both side mirrors, you really don't need it. IMO
I just have to disagree on the use of side mirrors only. You have to maladjust the side mirrors to give some coverage to the rear. This just opens up a larger blind spot on the sides. Properly adjusted mirrors use all three to give you a full view. But I did mount a smaller rear view mirror and raised it to get better front views.
 
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