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Discussion Starter #1
How far do the seats lean back in the 453 (if you take the package tray and subwoofer out....)

I was a little disappointed when I learned that the 451 seats were limited...makes sleeping in the car on road trips less comfortable....
 

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I was a little disappointed when I learned that the 451 seats were limited...makes sleeping in the car on road trips less comfortable....
Seat recline on both the 451 & 453 are limited in the interest of SAFETY.

In a small city car the engineers apparently saw sleeping as secondary. Foremost was occupant safety and that required limits on the recline angle keeping the airbags properly aligned.

The seat reclining mechanism is rather basic and some 451 owners have (at their own risk) modified the pawl.

Evilution - Smart Car Encyclopaedia offers this disclaimer...

“Never drive the car with the seat reclined back further than it does as standard.

There has already been a death from driving a fortwo with an over-reclined seat.

Only use it if you are parked up and away from traffic.”

...AND details on how to modify the 451 mechanism.
 

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When on our many road trip, in the smart. My wife always complained about, the seats don’t recline back farther. I told her it’s a safety issue. If you were rear ended. The seats don’t have any lumbar support, either.

When we go on longer trips now. We‘ll take the 500 Abarth, the Honda Fit, or the Kia Soul. Much more comfortable, then the smart car. Their front seats, fold back, close to flat. The smart car, isn’t a sleepy car, to travel in.
 

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I have a Prime trimmed out 453. I can lean the seats against the tonneau cover. The rear has a jack to move the pivot point up and down. I'm 5'6" so it looks like a low rider if I slam it too much. My first 451 was owner by a 6'2" gentleman with no concerns.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. I took my 451 on a ~2k road trip the first month I had it....best I found to sleep was to lean the passenger seat forward and lean sideways from the drivers seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just drove my 2017 Proxy back to Colorado from the Seattle area....~1500 miles. SUCH a great highway car. I did pull over to sleep several times, thankfully brought my 0' sleeping bag, and a winter coat because it was in the teens. Works ok to sleep a couple hours leaning sideways, but that's about it.
65184
 

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Just drove my 2017 Proxy back to Colorado from the Seattle area....~1500 miles. SUCH a great highway car. I did pull over to sleep several times, thankfully brought my 0' sleeping bag, and a winter coat because it was in the teens. Works ok to sleep a couple hours leaning sideways, but that's about it. View attachment 65184
I agree, the 453 is a much better highway car than most think. Have made numerous Interstate trips both short and long and always am amazed at its performance, handling and highway comfort.
 

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Love them hoops! Merry Christmas! You forgot about the cross wind technology the 451 didn't have.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Love them hoops! Merry Christmas! You forgot about the cross wind technology the 451 didn't have.
Through pretty much all of Wyoming (I80) the wind was substantial, pushed the MPG below 40, but the car did so well, when I could clearly see other vehicles struggling. It felt like there was no wind at all....other than some whistling through the top seals.
Attached is a photo of a truck that had been blown over, on Elk Mountain in Wyoming.... even on the slush, packed snow and ice, the Smart tracked very well (although I was going ~35 mph). I would not have wanted to take my 451 on that drive.....
65187
 
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