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With the imminent premiere of the 453, we'll finally get a smart in the US that was designed this time with inclusive forethought to the needs of our unique market.

Initial buzz from the media and public will be very interesting to observe... to judge the reaction as to whether Mercedes has addressed US concerns that have stigmatized the smart brand.

Given how the media and public love bashing our favorite underdog:.. might the 453 be such a brilliant departure from the 451 – in terms of design and performance – that we could actually get some positive reviews and a little respect?

After the debut, feel free to post new media reactions and publicized comments here – favorable or unfavorable – as well as your own thoughts about whether Mercedes has taken the right steps to turn around a few long-standing public perceptions (or misperceptions).

Personally, I think that Mercedes has studied hard and done their homework, and this time will get much broader US acceptance. I'm hoping that it's comeback time for smart, as the next round officially begins!
 

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Ditto! I haven't seem any negative press about the 453 yet. Even Jalopnik is salivating over the new car!!
 

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With the imminent premiere of the 453, we'll finally get a smart in the US that was designed this time with inclusive forethought to the needs of our unique market.
Can you elaborate on what's unique to the US market and how you believe the 453 serves it better than the 451?

Personally, I think that Mercedes has studied hard and done their homework, and this time will get much broader US acceptance. I'm hoping that it's comeback time for smart, as the next round officially begins!
Again, can you elaborate on why you think it will get broader US acceptance?

To me the 453 does not constitute a significant enough departure from the 451 that I think will make any difference in the perception of the mainstream US consumer. But then, I don't think it is trying to anyway.

The only difference between the 453 and 451 that will get noticed - if at all - is the fully manual transmission and/or the new supposed "smoother" automatic transmission. All other parameters are practically the same.

In my opinion the lack of acceptance in the US market is simply a cultural one.

Driving a Smart is just not mainstream enough. Just as much as I (as a German expat) wouldn't be caught dead in an F150, the average American can't see himself owning a Smart.
 

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The double clutch transmission and the TURBO engine might bring enough fun factor that once tried could be addictive. I'm hoping they will bring that combination here this time in the Brabus edition when it is available. I doubt it. Too small a niche market to warrant the cost, would be my guess.
 

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While the supposed improvements might well be better received here in the U.S., Mercedes has a much larger market for the smart elsewhere in the world to be concerned about pleasing than ours. I have followed the smart since it was first proposed in the late '80s but was not really ready for one until last year. The 451 meets my needs nicely but if improvements in ride, handling and performance and gas mileage to the 453 bring the car up to the level needed to compete in today's market I will upgrade to one. I'm at the half way point on my lease and will follow news about the 453 closely over the next year or so. Like many other smart owners, I get a lot of inquiries about my car and folks wanting to know where they car buy one. There are now five 451s in my general neighborhood - quite a good adoption rate for this area of pickup loving "good ole boys"!
 

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Too soon to make any judgments. Haven't heard any negative comments about the new model. There isn't anything to judge. Most the reviews comments, were on getting rid of the old transmission. Their happy about that. I'm waiting on the 4 door version, here. I'll compare it too the new Fit, or 500X.
 
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