Smart Car of America Forum banner

41 - 60 of 227 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
Somebody cheaped out the electronics for the transmission, and it shows.

It needs a few more bits of A/D resolution.
It needs a few more dimensions on the lookup tables/maps.
Processor needs to be faster.

As it is, you will find yourself lurching through corners, because the processor cannot comprehend the steering wheel is being turned.

You can, however, put one foot on the brake and one foot on the acclerator and 'wind up' the transaxle. :eek:

And the processor cannot comprehend you may be trying to back-up a hill. Kinda scary, rolling down a hill when you are trying to back into a driveway (on a blind turn) :eek:

What Getrag needs to do is open source the code, and tolerate someone hacking an solid state clutch pedal.

The paddle shifters need to be fixed, not rotating with the steering wheel.

All in all, the drivetrain is culturally biased, and I suspect that the German engineers would smirk and say "Americans don't know how to drive".

Maybe not, but I DO know how to back up a hill, and the Getrag tranny in the SmartCar does not.

And even my aunt that lurched a Chrysler TorqueFlite could make it around a corner (without lurching).

What's the use of having an 'idiot-proof' tranny (to reduce warranty work) when nobody wants to be a return customer?

Put a clutch-by-wire in the damned thing, and cost it as 'customer loyalty'.

And the dealers are not being entirely honest with the true cost of a replacment key. Here in Indy, World Wide Motors played dumb and refused to disclose the cost of a key being the $170 key and the $110 programming charge.

I have done customer service, and I call BS on not having a scripted response for "How much to have a replacement key made?".

I'll keep the damned thing, at least for 100,000 miles. But my Chevy Metro never pissed me off like this SmartCar is doing.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,442 Posts
Well, welcome to SCoA. :) I'll ask the obligatory "did you test drive before buying?" question. If so, the car's operation should not have been a surprise. These cars are what they are - nothing more, nothing less. And hoping for changes in the current version when a new model is a couple of years away is not realistic IMHO. If it really bugs you, just sell it. Life is too short... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,964 Posts
After driving a 6 speed CRZ, and a new 5 speed Fiat 500 manual. The smart shifts just like any manual transmission car, with out a clutch pedal. Same shifting feel. NO delay, NO jerky jerky!!! Let the monkey in the rear push in the clutch. After 3 years driving it, it's NO big deal ................................
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,944 Posts
yeah, just IMAGINE that you are shifting a manual and all is right with the world. The problem is preping the customer to accept and even expect the transmission behavior. IF you tell them it's an automatic they expect it to behave like one. Tell them it's a manual transmission, but the car will shift it for you and then it will make more sense in their mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
128 Posts
As it is, you will find yourself lurching through corners, because the processor cannot comprehend the steering wheel is being turned.
About 1/3 of my daily 140-mile commute in my '08 cabrio takes me through winding canyon roads where I average about 50mph. The car loves to turn, with nary a lurch!

The paddle shifters need to be fixed, not rotating with the steering wheel.
A big part of the enjoyment of buzzing through said canyons is manually shifting while keeping my hands on the wheel. How I would do that with paddles not rotating with the wheel is hard to imagine.

All in all, the drivetrain is culturally biased...
It certainly seems biased towards folks who appreciate big things in small packages.

What's the use of having an 'idiot-proof' tranny...
Apparently not idiot-proof enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I just sold my F-150 lariat Super Crew Cab 5.4 V8. I have always drove a big truck. I got a 08 Passion, and I really thought I would not get use to driving such a small car. I truly enjoy driving my Smart, it scoots along just fine and shifting is no issue as long as you let up off the gas just as you would a manual transmission. Heck, the fact that I washed and waxed the entire car in 30 minutes was aswesome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Maybe

Big Tuna, there are ups and downs to buying a smart. First, I would recommend buying a smart only if you will have another car available. Make sure you can afford extra insurance in you're in college. My smart car insurance is a lot less than some other cars, especially the hybrids! Second, the car is a joy to drive but there are some drawbacks, such as bouncy on windy days and clunky transmission; however, if you know all this going in then they are acceptable. I drive a motorcycle that has a fairing so being bounced a little at high speed isn't such a concern for me. My other cars are Lexus', a Honda, and a big GMC SUV and I drive the smart to work the most. I bought mine (Cabrio) about 2 weeks ago and have no regrets. Conceptually, I drive mine as a second, safer, motorcycle. As you can see, ownership is a matter of perception and use. I get smiles and laughs when I pick up my daughter from school. My commute is 80 miles a day round trip and the smart can keep up with traffic, much to the surprise of other commuters. When you have other people to haul around then you can take your Mustang.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,040 Posts
For mostly highways I would have to say no, I love mine but sometimes it's just to windy and I like to enjoy the ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,188 Posts
When I drive my smart to work, it's 32 miles round trip on a highway. Although I generally take the train on most days to save on pollution, I would have no problem driving the smart every workday for 160+ miles per week. It's easy on the freeways (especially with cruise control), wind doesn't bother it any more than it does my minivan, and it's a blast to drive with the top down. Hands down, it makes a great commuter car, IMO.

And in terms of driving it like a go-cart, that is one of the mostly unspoken (in the media) joys of driving the smart. They actually corner very nicely, even in stock configuration. It's not quite at the level of my brother's former Toyota MR2 (1st gen :D), but the smart is a fun little car in its own right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,944 Posts
Big Tuna, there are ups and downs to buying a smart. First, I would recommend buying a smart only if you will have another car available. Make sure you can afford extra insurance in you're in college. My smart car insurance is a lot less than some other cars, especially the hybrids! Second, the car is a joy to drive but there are some drawbacks, such as bouncy on windy days and clunky transmission; however, if you know all this going in then they are acceptable. I drive a motorcycle that has a fairing so being bounced a little at high speed isn't such a concern for me. My other cars are Lexus', a Honda, and a big GMC SUV and I drive the smart to work the most. I bought mine (Cabrio) about 2 weeks ago and have no regrets. Conceptually, I drive mine as a second, safer, motorcycle. As you can see, ownership is a matter of perception and use. I get smiles and laughs when I pick up my daughter from school. My commute is 80 miles a day round trip and the smart can keep up with traffic, much to the surprise of other commuters. When you have other people to haul around then you can take your Mustang.
+1 -- make sure you test drive one first; AND, do it on a really crappy day!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,588 Posts
Out Of Context Reply's.

All of my reply's were made to specific posters and were not intended to be an overall endorsement of Smart for new comers. :(

In fact if non car freak friend asked if he/she should buy one I would say NO!

The car is a "special interest" vehicle and not at all for everyone. A2Jack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,614 Posts
All of my reply's were made to specific posters and were not intended to be an overall endorsement of Smart for new comers. :(

In fact if non car freak friend asked if he/she should buy one I would say NO!

The car is a "special interest" vehicle and not at all for everyone. A2Jack
Trust me, nobody interpreted anything you said as positive or an endorsement. I would almost ask Larry for his opinion first. Not quite, but almost.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,588 Posts
Toolman. Well let's just ask Larry for his opinion on this cherry picked farce (sticky) :D

Larry, are you out there ? A2Jack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
I just have to put in my two cents here. I am selling my smart must state that up front - no job no money and few prospects for work. Bought my smart to do 40-mile one way trips commuting to work - i highly prefer the mileage and maneuverability of the smart car and the price i paid was sooooo much less than a similarly sized toyota or honda. The car is actually easy as hell to maintain yourself (i check oil and fluids) and you will like the hatchback as much as any trunk. But with a smart - there is one thing you must really watch out for: Big potholes and big bumps - the suspension was not designed to handle those. You can certainly buy a better car that will get the same mileage as a smart car but not for anywhere near the same price. I personally wish the car had been devised as a one-seater with the seat dead in the middle so that one person could actually ride around in luxury which would be defined as my left knee having that extra 5 or 6 inches from the door panel! I really try to keep my distance from other vehicles, as i do in my truck - for safety. I don't know how the car being a smart car would change that. The extremely low smart sales are a real mystery to me i would think thousands of people would want to get a car like this for commuting - but they just want a beemer or mercedes or lexus for the luxury - they have a lot more $$$$ than me bottom line. And lastly, even though i really don't enjoy driving the smart in the city (san francisco) in traffic i love the part where i need a parking spot and i can always take that tiny spot no one else can use, always nice. And the cheap prices they sell for (compared to anything else) make them damn good deals. If you commute to work alone like so many people this is the car you should consider.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
This is to anyone considering buying a Smart Car. I bought one because it was cute but I love it. I have had it a little over a year and I am getting 50 miles per gallon. I commute 1 hour to work and back and this car does great. Big trucks do not sway it and it rides great. I have a convertible Passion Cabriolet. I love being the center of attention everywhere I go. Smoothness in shifting and gas mileage improve greatly after driving for a few months. I love my Smart Car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
If we were rich we'd have bought a second (for meeee!)

That said, sounds like you're more of a motorcycle man. Get a used bike and take that around. Get most of the perks of the Smart, but at the same time losing a lot of the luxuries (e.g. cabin). And you can get one a lot cheaper.
 
41 - 60 of 227 Posts
Top