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Hi! I'm trying to decide what I should get and would love some opinions

1244 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  smark
Hey there! So I found myself without a car and a family member lent me his 2006 450 cdi cabrio. I've been driving it about 125 miles a day for a few weeks and I've gotten pretty well acquainted with it! I'm trying to narrow down just what I'd like to get for myself and would love some opinions and advice to figure that out.

I'm pretty sure I'd prefer a 451. The interior of the 450 is a little too wild for me, also I really want to do the audio and having the speakers in the door makes a lot more sense. I was thinking an 08 or 09 coupe, but I just read on here that these can be unreliable. I don't mind fixing things but I'd prefer to keep my hands off the engine and transmission for as long as possible.

I saw someone recommend 2012 and up, so that' leaves me 2012-2014. Is there anything I should be aware of in those model years? Is there any big differences between the 2012 and 2013/14 besides the styling changes?

I'd like to stick with the diesel, is it still available in those model years? It seems to be rare at least?

Is Passion the trim level I should look for? I'd like to get one that's fully loaded, and the glass roof looks cool (or is it plastic? Should I avoid that?)

Lastly, is adding cruise to the 451 similar to the 450? I read up on it briefly but it's not my car..

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Waaaay apples to oranges in your decision tree!

Need to first probably let go of diesel as that was only available in the 450?

Beginning with the MY08 smart 451 introduction only gas was available. MY12 brought the exterior/interior “facelift” albeit minor with no changes to the mechanicals.

Reliability is good for a niche world car that now has no smart Center support.

Zero in on fuel and model (450/451?) then find yourself a low mileage with a strong maintenance history and you should be a happy camper!

With a more defined target, this group will be more than happy to help with all of the other details.
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If you just have to have a 451 cdi, you would have to import one from Europe, once it is 15 years old or older.
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To add to what the others have said, it's pretty much the same car 2008 to 2015 and far as I know all parts interchange.
As for cruise, that's aftermarket only.
Actually, factory cruise control was added as an option from 2011 onward - you just couldn't have CC AND paddle shifters at the same time on the passion models.
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Ok, I had read the diesel was in the 451 but that’s only in Europe?

The new interior is nice but the diesel and coupe are more important to me. So I guess I want a 450. That’s solved!

I’ve heard bad things about the 08/09, should I avoid an 07 450? That was the last year I think? This 06 has been great, is that typical?

Thanks again!
You might want to post this on the Canadian forum, Club Smart Car, also - that's where all the Canadian 450 cdi owners hang out.:)

2007 was the first year for the 451 in Europe, so there are no 07 450s in Canada...
The 2007 year actually technically saw two generations. The last 450s are 2007s and the very first 451s are also 2007s.

The 08s and 09s are solid cars even though they can have more issues than a later model. We have quite a number of members with over 200k miles on their 2008s without complaints. However, given they are first/second year models it seems some cars can have some quirks that are less present in later cars. The red, yellow, and blue colour from the early years are now known to peel their clearcoat. They also have a recall for their engine mats (I need to get that recall done on my 2008 because the engine mat is basically sitting on the alternator). On Facebook forums I still occasionally read about odd fuel readings when full and clutch actuator issues. Nothing incredibly major, though.

I recommend 2011+ cars because they have the additional safety of more airbags, more updated tech, a better interior, and thus far appear to take advantage of rolling changes make after the 451 had been in production for a few years. But you still can't go wrong with a 2008-2010.

A 2007 450 would theoretically be one of the best of the 450s, taking advantages of any rolling changes and updates smart made through the 450's run.
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I would definitely love the updated interior and styling, but the little diesel is one of the biggest things I like about this car, that and people asking me about it!

I’ll check out that forum. Thanks for the advice! Wikipedia isn’t very clear on this stuff!
I am fairly certain the plant was not producing 450s and 451s at the same time. Any 450 sold in 2007 was a surplus car built in 2006.

Having owned both a 2005 cdi and a 2011 451. From my experience the 451 is a far better vehicle.
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I think that would be correct. Sales of the 2007 451 started around spring of that year. So any 2007 450 would have been built in late 2006 as a 2007? I've seen 450s for sale in Europe supposedly with the 2007 model year.
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Windy City Motors, in the Chicago area. Was selling Grey market 2005-2006 450 smart cars. Converted to meet US emission standards. They were about $25k, for the coupe, a little higher for the cabrio. This was Before Penske introduce the 451 her, in NA. I thought about buying one from, just couldn’t justified that price. My neighbor, is from Canada, the 2007 451 was available there first. She thought about buying one, and bringing it into the US. The first 451 smart car, I drove, when Penske I was having their introduction here. The Test drive. Was a European ones. A 2007 model.




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In the summer of 2018. Just before our 451 came in for delivery. Beverly Hills motors in downtown San Diego. Was selling used 450’s. They had several of them in stock, in their indoor show room. They also had a couple smart roadsters for sale too. The gaps on the hoods on them were so wide, you could stick you whole hand in them.
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