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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
My name is Rohn and I just joined this forum. I'm purchasing a 2009 Passion from my father who lives in Florida. I've been wanting to get this car from him for a year now and I am finally able to do it! On July 25th, I am flying to Florida to take delivery and driving the car back to Michigan with my daughter.

I'd like to hear from others on the forum about their driving experiences. Has anyone else done a North/South cross country trip? If so, do you have any tips for the road?

I purchased a spare tire and wheel from Smart Car Madness out of California and had it delivered to Florida already. I'm picking up a scissor jack and wrench while I'm in Florida before we start driving back. We are taking a route through Alabama mainly because I haven't seen much of that state and I really don't like driving through Atlanta, GA.

Anywho, thanks for reading my brief intro! I look forward to hearing from others on the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi jwight. Thanks for your encouragement. I'm planning on driving 400-450 miles each day spread over three days. How does the Smart handle on the highway at higher speeds? I've read they get a little "light and loose" around 70 mph but I was planning on taking it easier and driving around 60-65. No need to rush through scenery!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the feedback gentlemen. I've driven it around town on Interstate 19 in Florida and was able to get up to speed. The car handled great and a bit of "pep" to it once you got going. I was concerned a bit about the lag between shifts at first. That's when I started using the paddle shifter and found it to be more responsive.
These cars are not drag racers and I don't intend to drive it like one. It's just nice knowing they can get up and out of the way when required to do so. I remember getting a lot of looks driving the little car around! Especially from the folks that drive around in the F250's and other big trucks.

Did any of you carry a spare tire with you on your trips? I have one and planned on just putting it in the back. I'm not too worried about having space, but it would be nice to get a hitch mounted tire carrier. I really doubt however that I will have much use for the spare once the trip it completed. Always nice to have on hand though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, I think it'll be a nice piece of insurance to have on hand. I doubt a light car like these will ever have a blowout, probably more like a slow leak. In any case, I'll feel better with it as I have my youngest daughter along with me for the trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, thanks for all of your feedback, I really appreciate it.
Dad just had it serviced at the dealer he bought it from in the Tampa area. It's not a Smart dealer but they service all makes and models. He assured me they are very familiar with the Smart cars.
I am a bit familiar with the car. I've driven it around town in Florida when I've gone down for a visit last year. I'm not real familiar with the shift paddles, but I think I can figure them out. I've tried them a couple of times but not much.
The car is the Passion model so it does have the AUX port in the glove box. My daughter will appreciate that! We will have a GPS with us. I'm taking my Garmin down with me and I have the cord that allows for traffic info, speed traps, etc. I believe it uses the Waze network for the info it displays. Otherwise, I have my phone.
For hotels, I am planning on reserving a couple ahead of time. I'm an IHG member and get discounts at Holiday Inn Express hotels. Others as well but the Expresses are my go to.
The other thing I bought is a camera that will go on the windshield to record video of our trip. I probably won't have the entire trip on it, but enough to watch sometime.

Thanks again twcom!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
dhlairbusb4 and golfboy,
I was looking at taking 19 up the Gulf coast. Going the 75 route may make sense too. It would be a little quicker than going up 19 for sure. I'll let you know what I decide and maybe the three of us can stop and have a coffee.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Snowball, if your starting at the Tampa area, then you are already north of my location. Maybe I could drive up and meet some place, and if Golfboy could join us, and anyone else who is in the area... we could call it a Convention!!!
Anybody else want to join in... ?
I'm afraid I must politely decline. Not snobbish or anything, just don't get to hang with the old man very often and we have the timing to worry about.

I'm starting out from New Port Richey. I appreciate the responses of you guys getting together. I'm only going to be in Florida for one day visiting my dad and preparing for the journey. I am under tight timing as I have to be back home in Michigan by Sunday afternoon. We're planning on making a few stops along the way to "see the sights" but not staying long in any one location. I'll post more of the trip under a separate posting.
 
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