Smart Car of America Forum banner

1 - 20 of 62 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello All!


I am one of the lucky few getting my TDI VW bought back. I stumbled upon the smart fortwo yesterday and I think I really dig it. I go back and forth everytime I look at it but I'm liking it more and more.

I drive 70 miles roundtrip for work 5 days a week plus frequent 200+ mile roadtrips. My girlfriend isn't too keen on the idea because she doesn't want the only multi-passenger car with space (She has a Mazda CX-5). I think this is even more reason to get a small car, we don't have kids and wont be having kids for at least 4 more years.

I'm a car fanatic and work on classic cars, moped and motorized projects regularly. I really like the appeal of a super tiny turbo'd motor built by mercedes, in a high class shell.

I'm hoping you guys can read my situation and guide me a bit on whether it sounds like the fortwo could be for me.

I definitely will be tuning it and would prefer the cabrio. The main reason I really like the smart is because of the manual transmission. That is a absolute must for my next car, manual transmission.

The cabrio adds 200 lbs, but that seems negligible in terms of lowering speed, plus if I chip the car.

Now do I lose cargo space with the cabrio up or down?

Additionally do I order a fortwo through mercedes or a smart center. I'm in VT and the only mercedes dealer is 1.5 hours away (Not god-awful) but the closest smart center is three hours away in CT.

Do these cars seem to have a lot of maintinance? Will I be driving 1.5 hours often to get to my dealer over and over?

I definitely want to go fully loaded, the only problem is I think the proxy interior is a bit too feminine for me. Is there any way to get it without that interior (even though it does look super cool).

The main addon I like with the proxy is the wheels and lowered suspension (Aftermarket solutions?). Are there any other reasons to look hard at the proxy over the next step down?

I've been pouring over this forum like crazy and it seems like the 2017 Fortwo Cabrio will be available in manual in a few months? Is this correct?

I know I have more questions but that's it for now! Thanks in advance for helping and I hope I get to join this community.

3 cyl flathead turbo'd HECK YES! Floor it through those twisties all day long!


Oh btw, is it super noisy on the highway?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
I own a 2014 Toyota rav 4 and went through the same thought process.. don't need a second full size car. My fiance drives the rav 4 to work everyday and I take the 453.

If you don't like the proxy interior you could go with a Prime with the sports package.

Can't comment on noise in a cabrio, have not test driven it yet. But I have the sports package and I feel there is quite a bit of road noise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I own a 2014 Toyota rav 4 and went through the same thought process.. don't need a second full size car. My fiance drives the rav 4 to work everyday and I take the 453.

If you don't like the proxy interior you could go with a Prime with the sports package.

Can't comment on noise in a cabrio, have not test driven it yet. But I have the sports package and I feel there is quite a bit of road noise.

I haven't seen a sport package listed anywhere, is that available in the US? And would you say the road noise is attached to the sport package at all? I have roofracks on my jetta and have run studded snows for most of the year so some noise isn't a big issue.....assuming the speakers are good!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,476 Posts
I have a Prime w/sports (standard on Prime trim). I regularly Drive 100 to 400 miles and have found it very comfortable and well-mannered on road trips. No complaint about noise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
Sports Package is an option here in Canada, not sure about the USA. @stevenvillatoro has it on his Prime. My complaint about the noise is directely corrolated with the larger 16 inch rims and the low profile tires. My test drive in a PASSION on 15's was slightly quieter.

The JBL sound upgrade is really nice (240w, 8 speaker), however again, I can't comment on how it would work out in the Cabrio. Would the sub even fit in the trunk with the roof rails in the storage position? You also lose 2 speakers in the B -Pillars in the Cabrio.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Hmmm, so maybe the cabrio isn't the right choice. Ideally I'd love to testdrive both the copue and cabrio. Going to try to get behind the wheel on the week of July 4th. I'll be visiting CT and be able to test drive.


LOVE hearing it is great on roadtrips. Any input about that with two passengers?


ALSO besides cornering lights (which I have on my jetta and find crazily unnecessary) are there any changes between MY2016 and MY2017 in terms of the coupe. They got some amazing deals for those little 2016 fortwo's right now.

Wish the ED had more range. The new ones sound like they would just barely cover my work trip. Problem would be when it hits -20 outside id be going nowhere fast.


Thanks for the input everyone, keep it coming! Helps a ton!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
430 Posts
ALSO besides cornering lights (which I have on my jetta and find crazily unnecessary) are there any changes between MY2016 and MY2017 in terms of the coupe. They got some amazing deals for those little 2016 fortwo's right now.
I think the cornering lamps (foglamps) and paint colors will be the only difference for MY17... oh and they will come with the fuel tank issues already resolved :p (do some research on that)

There is good luggage space; actually more than a Mini.
I can confirm, tons of room for storage in the back of the coupe. I've taken home a Dehumidifier, and some large Plants form home depot on a few different occasions. Ikea trips no sweat with the passenger seat folded flat. But you have the CX-5 for real loads, so w/e :)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,309 Posts
You should be aware that it is a car with a low production volume. You won't find much in the way of aftermarket "tuner" type of equipment out there, and it is a car built as a city car. We hear from all types of owners that want to boost the output and make it into something that just can't be done without a pile of cash. If you want something that will handle and have the high speed of a Ferrari, get a Ferrari.

Nothing wrong with a stock smart. I have had one since 2008 and I get by just fine.
 

·
Premium Member
MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
Joined
·
7,754 Posts
Welcome to SCoA aka the Asylum - or more recently, password Hell.

Don't fall in love before you test drive (not just around the block) a 451 vs. a 453 as the redesign was far reaching.

M-B dealer will not touch a smart, must be handled by that CT smart Center three hours away.

Tuning a diminutive 3-cylinder will be limited and quantum leaps in HP will require deep pockets!

Been an owner since 2008 and a couple years ago added an ED. Think of it as a "climatized" go-kart with safety features, you may find it impossible to wipe that smile off your face?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I'm a vintage moped enthusiast so I know what the big ole grin from a tiny low powered vehicle can be like.

In terms of tuning I meant to just get whatever I can out of the motor. I wouldn't buy it expecting to go faster, just that it may be possible to. Ecu upgrade and that go stop ignition thingy (21st century tech is crazy).

Guess servicing in CT wont be terrible. Does anybody here do their own maintenance? Do these cars seem to have good reliability.

Like I said I'm a classic car builder so I'm down to do my own work.

My tdi sel was 32500 about and 445 per payment. My goal is to find a manual car with all the features I want. Well so far the smart is the only car to hit that mark and significantly lower my payments. Every other car I raise them (I dont want to invest in a car I dont actually want so I generally estimate with a fully loaded car).

Plus the matte grey, with black tridion and red top is damn sexy.


Now another important step here is really showing my girlfriend that they are safe and a responsible, reasonable and appropriate vehicle.

She is like many others weary of safety, space and just longevity. I found one old crash test video but does anyone have any other references they'd recommend?

Thanks for the welcomes! And even moreso thanks for the help!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
665 Posts
Also a welcome here from Canada.

The best choice for you would be the 453 coupe. The cabby won't be out for a month or two more and demand will likely be high at first with supply being limited. The ED will not give you the mileage you need and the new 453 ED won't be out until the new year. Even then the range is likely only going to be marginally improved.

So that leaves the Coupe and the 17's are on their way I believe and some known issues will be resolved - gas tank, Bluetooth etc. However that also means you could get a great deal on a 16 and as has been mentioned, a Prime with the Sports package would suit you well and I suspect you will find more of them rather than a Proxy.

Good planning and welcome aboard?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Also a welcome here from Canada.

The best choice for you would be the 453 coupe. The cabby won't be out for a month or two more and demand will likely be high at first with supply being limited. The ED will not give you the mileage you need and the new 453 ED won't be out until the new year. Even then the range is likely only going to be marginally improved.

So that leaves the Coupe and the 17's are on their way I believe and some known issues will be resolved - gas tank, Bluetooth etc. However that also means you could get a great deal on a 16 and as has been mentioned, a Prime with the Sports package would suit you well and I suspect you will find more of them rather than a Proxy.

Good planning and welcome aboard?
Thanks for the welcome! If I were to get a coupe id probably go for a 2016 since there haven't really been many changes and super good deals are available.

Now out of curiosity why did you recommend the coupe over the cabrio for me? Just cause of the timeline and availability?

Thanks!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
665 Posts
Thanks for the welcome! If I were to get a coupe id probably go for a 2016 since there haven't really been many changes and super good deals are available.

Now out of curiosity why did you recommend the coupe over the cabrio for me? Just cause of the timeline and availability?

Thanks!!!
:D Timing and availability mean you will be better off with the Coupe. And the 16 is the right route to go for both those reasons and price! Better deals for you. I also believe you will find more Primes than Proxy and a Prime with the sports package gives you the rims and the suspension you likely want.
 

·
Premium Member
MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
Joined
·
7,754 Posts
We have an ICE cabrio and thought we'd "try" an ED coupe - only regret is finding that the ED would have made the perfect cabrio...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
We have an ICE cabrio and thought we'd "try" an ED coupe - only regret is finding that the ED would have made the perfect cabrio...
The main problem with the ED is that even if it had the range, once it got to being winter it wouldn't come close. One of the few things I would give up manual for is a peppy electric car. Too bad if I ordered a model 3 I wouldn't get it til 2018 now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,476 Posts
The main problem with the ED is that even if it had the range, once it got to being winter it wouldn't come close.


You're speaking about the 451 ED? We don't yet have facts about the 453 ED's range or charging.

I'm pretty sure I'll be going the ED route, expecting much better charging and at least a modest increase in range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
You're speaking about the 451 ED? We don't yet have facts about the 453 ED's range or charging.

I'm pretty sure I'll be going the ED route, expecting much better charging and at least a modest increase in range.

Was using the 451 ED as reference. From what I understand in frigid temps like we get in VT, consistent subzeroes, battery range can be halved. So I would need a max range of probably 160 to feel comfortable using it for work. Is it reasonable to expect that much of an increase from the previous ED? That'd be awesome!!


Oh additionally, and correct me if I'm wrong, with snow tires these cars are pretty darn capable in snow?
 

·
Premium Member
MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
Joined
·
7,754 Posts
So I would need a max range of probably 160 to feel comfortable using it for work. Is it reasonable to expect that much of an increase from the previous ED?
Doubling the range, doubtful. ED is viewed by Daimler as a "City Car" and not a road warrior with some design limits imposed by the small well (short wheelbase) for the battery pack.

And weather impact (hot but especially cold) on EV's can be the elephant in the room...
 
1 - 20 of 62 Posts
Top