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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I jumped into Smart when they first came into the US, acquiring a 2008 Cab, and then a 2009 Cab. Drove them each for 50+K miles, then traded for other cars. I lived in the San Francisco area during that ownership. Relocated to Tucson, AZ 2.5 years ago. Now have a yen for a cabriolet, preferably a 2017 (453) ICE. My driving needs preclude an electric (I currently have a Chevrolet Bolt). The nearest Smart Center is in Chandler (Phoenix suburb), about 100 miles away.

There are several pre-owned 2017 ICE cabs on Auto-Trader, and it looks like a good way to get into an economical cab. Given the distance from a Smart Center, the discontinued sales of ICE models, and the complete Smart pull out from the US, is this an insane move? And, I realize I'm asking the question of the Smart forum - no bias here at all.

Ron
 

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Just work the seller on the simple truth - values are declining on this NICHE vehicle as there is no dealer support.

If you can buy a MY17 453 ICE cabrio "right" (under $12k ish?) fold the top back and try to keep from smiling ear to ear!
 

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Honestly, I think you'd be better off with a Miata or some other convertible.
I jumped into Smart when they first came into the US, acquiring a 2008 Cab, and then a 2009 Cab. Drove them each for 50+K miles, then traded for other cars. I lived in the San Francisco area during that ownership. Relocated to Tucson, AZ 2.5 years ago. Now have a yen for a cabriolet, preferably a 2017 (453) ICE. My driving needs preclude an electric (I currently have a Chevrolet Bolt). The nearest Smart Center is in Chandler (Phoenix suburb), about 100 miles away.

There are several pre-owned 2017 ICE cabs on Auto-Trader, and it looks like a good way to get into an economical cab. Given the distance from a Smart Center, the discontinued sales of ICE models, and the complete Smart pull out from the US, is this an insane move? And, I realize I'm asking the question of the Smart forum - no bias here at all.

Ron
 

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If you enjoyed your 451 that much and can find a 453 cabrio for the right price I’d say do it! The 453 is a delight and if equipped with mild performance module will be an even better performer. I’ve had one on mine for more than a year and would sorely miss it if removed!
 

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Only dealers which previously sold the smart brand, and agreed to keep servicing them for x years, are allowed access to parts and service info (WIS)
 

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Is USA dealer support really that dire? At least in Canada, every dealer will service and sell parts to this defunct model, even my 13 year old diesel.
Not here. There are less than 24 dealers left in the country that service smarts (I believe some states have 2) seems real thin.
 

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Mercedes USA should be ashamed of themselves. What's the next model they're going to gleefully abandon? Their illegal diesels?
 

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Mercedes USA, even the dealers that still sell and service Smarts won't touch any 450...

Time to hire a container and ship it from Germany to the US full of smart car parts.


One can even create a business and do this, because there is no competition from dealers who no longer want the smart parts business.


Service might be tougher but only for the vehicles which need firmware fixes.


So, any takers for parts? Or do I buy them myself and sell them all on Ebay?


I did this for Citroen parts in a previous life.
 

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I jumped into Smart when they first came into the US, acquiring a 2008 Cab, and then a 2009 Cab. Drove them each for 50+K miles, then traded for other cars. I lived in the San Francisco area during that ownership. Relocated to Tucson, AZ 2.5 years ago. Now have a yen for a cabriolet, preferably a 2017 (453) ICE. My driving needs preclude an electric (I currently have a Chevrolet Bolt). The nearest Smart Center is in Chandler (Phoenix suburb), about 100 miles away.
Ron
I recently had my 2016 Smart serviced at the Mercedes dealership in San Jose, CA, but I was informed they'll discontinue service for all Smart cars at the end of the year. That means San Francisco will be the only authorized service center in the Bay Area. I suspect Phoenix is your best bet. Regardless, if you want a Smartie, go for it! The 453 is a blast to drive and they ain't gonna get any newer with the passage of time. I'm at 20K miles and no issues so far. I also own a vintage sports car, so repair issues don't intimidate me, but they occasionally make my wallet quiver... ;-)
 

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As a previous 450 and 451 and now a 453 owner, all I can say is the 453 is by far the best.
It took me years to decide on a 453 as I did not like the 'big' hood sticking out on the car :D

Realizing that the 453 gas version finishes production at the end of this year, I jumped at buying a 453 cabrio.

Reasons that it is so good...
1...Suspension is soft for a change, the 450 and 451 was like awful, it was so hard a ride, if you hit a pothole you nearly lost your teeth >:D Only downside is they over did the softness, and if you go onto a dirt track with the car, it starts rocking like a boat LOL.

2....The width, as the 453 is 4 inches wider than the previous 451, and makes the cabin much more roomier

3..The Renault engines and transmissions are much smoother, both the 6 speed auto and the 5 speed manual stick versions, I actually went for the manual version with a clutch pedal, and really like it with the direct gearing, change is so smooth. Though if i had the money I would buy an auto as well LOL.

4..It is a far better car to drive, and being wider I do not get so many cars tailgating up the back of me, and it is no longer considered a small car, which others seem desperate to overtake.

5..Steering wheel buttons has cruise control, limiter and bluetooth, all easy to get at.

Downside...
1..Start stop rubbish technology imposed on us...hate it, it destroys the battery life, wears out the engine, saves very little fuel, a pure danger as engine switches off at the most dangerous locations like junctions and traffic lights where you want to move quickly if you have to.. I press the start stop off button every journey.

2.. TPMS sensors in the tires, what a load of complicated rubbish, Whats the matter with a tire gauge to check. pressures.

3..They took away the two dash pod gauges (rev counter and clock)..these were ionic on the 451 and 450.

Other than that the 453 is a great car to consider buying. But this will be my last Smart, as Smart is now going 'all electric' which i think with diminish or finish the company, as most of us are not interested in electric cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Jumping back in

I'm now fairly close on a 2017 ICE Cabriolet. Part of my research was to identify an independent shop here in Tucson familiar with Smarties (Group One Motorwerks). Apparently, they maintain a large portion of the Smarts in Tucson.

Getting very excited.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Jumping back in

The deed is done! I located a 2017 453 Passion Cabriolet (ICE) in Houston at a Mercedes Benz dealer (not a Smart Center). It came down to that car or one almost identical except for colors in the San Francisco Bay Area. I looked long and hard at the SF car, as I was going to be in SF for a business meeting and I could do the deal and drive the car home to Tucson.

The difference in price was about $2,000 ($14,000 for the Houston car, $12,000 for the SF car. The Houston car is silver with black tridion and a black/orange interior. That Smart had only $7500 miles. Clean Carfax (originally sold in Hawaii, then to Southern CA, and finally in Houston by the 3rd owner.

The SF car had 22,000 miles, and a history of being stolen and recovered, then sold at auction. The used car dealer in SF had to replace the windshield and have a key made. They knew nothing about Smarts, but said it ran well.

I made the decision to go for the Houston car. I was going to fly from SF to Houston at the end of my meeting, complete the purchase, and then take two days to drive the 1,100 miles home to Tucson. Unfortunately, my wife became ill (not serious and since recovered), and I didn't want to be gone for an entire week. We arranged shipping, and the car arrived last Thursday.

Everything works well. There are a few minor scratches and door edge marks, but overall cosmetically good. The only thing I forgot to ask the dealer was whether there were two keys. Of course, the answer was no. A bit too late to re-negotiate based on having to replace the key. The other discovery was that locksmiths cannot obtain and program keys for the 453. So, on Saturday, off to the Smart Center Chandler, about 85 miles North for me. The key was ordered, and it will be about $325 including programming.

The next challenge was to upgrade the audio. I've become mildly addicted to Sirius, and the Smart radio is not "Sirius Ready". Also, I've not found an installation kit for the 453 to upgrade the head unit. I found the elegant and inexpensive solution. Since we already had two subscriptions for our other cars, I was able to download the Sirius streaming app and it plays very nicely over the bluetooth connection with the standard Smart audio.

Photos to come. I'm excited about our new Smart adventure!!
 

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Congrats and enjoy your 453. They are a fun car. Equip it with a performance module from Smart Madness or CPA Chiptuning and you will be amazed at the increase in power. Mine is just the mildest version with approximately an 18% increase in HP and torque that is very noticeable.
 

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Jumping back in

The deed is done! I located a 2017 453 Passion Cabriolet (ICE) in Houston at a Mercedes Benz dealer (not a Smart Center). It came down to that car or one almost identical except for colors in the San Francisco Bay Area. I looked long and hard at the SF car, as I was going to be in SF for a business meeting and I could do the deal and drive the car home to Tucson.

The difference in price was about $2,000 ($14,000 for the Houston car, $12,000 for the SF car. The Houston car is silver with black tridion and a black/orange interior. That Smart had only $7500 miles. Clean Carfax (originally sold in Hawaii, then to Southern CA, and finally in Houston by the 3rd owner.

The SF car had 22,000 miles, and a history of being stolen and recovered, then sold at auction. The used car dealer in SF had to replace the windshield and have a key made. They knew nothing about Smarts, but said it ran well.

I made the decision to go for the Houston car. I was going to fly from SF to Houston at the end of my meeting, complete the purchase, and then take two days to drive the 1,100 miles home to Tucson. Unfortunately, my wife became ill (not serious and since recovered), and I didn't want to be gone for an entire week. We arranged shipping, and the car arrived last Thursday.

Everything works well. There are a few minor scratches and door edge marks, but overall cosmetically good. The only thing I forgot to ask the dealer was whether there were two keys. Of course, the answer was no. A bit too late to re-negotiate based on having to replace the key. The other discovery was that locksmiths cannot obtain and program keys for the 453. So, on Saturday, off to the Smart Center Chandler, about 85 miles North for me. The key was ordered, and it will be about $325 including programming.

The next challenge was to upgrade the audio. I've become mildly addicted to Sirius, and the Smart radio is not "Sirius Ready". Also, I've not found an installation kit for the 453 to upgrade the head unit. I found the elegant and inexpensive solution. Since we already had two subscriptions for our other cars, I was able to download the Sirius streaming app and it plays very nicely over the bluetooth connection with the standard Smart audio.

Photos to come. I'm excited about our new Smart adventure!!
Congratulations!
How about some pictures??
 

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Congrats and enjoy your 453. They are a fun car. Equip it with a performance module from Smart Madness or CPA Chiptuning and you will be amazed at the increase in power. Mine is just the mildest version with approximately an 18% increase in HP and torque that is very noticeable.
Just curious, Oliver, did you go the Smart Madness or CPA Chiptuning route?
 

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Just curious, Oliver, did you go the Smart Madness or CPA Chiptuning route?
I went with CPA Chiptuning. When I first researched them a couple years ago they didn’t have a U.S. location. About 1.5 years ago I checked on them again and they had just opened a location here. Their price is a good bit lower and was on sale so I gave them a try. Been 1.5 years since install and I haven’t had one issue so far. Went with the lowest model since I only wanted a safe and modest power boost. Makes quite a difference, especially when merging onto the Interstate! Guaranteed for life of ownership too. Will be adding one of their peddle map devices.
 
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