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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. New to the forum. Actually, new to the idea of a Smart, although I've always been intrigued by them. I appreciate uncommon cars... my first car, at 15, was a SAAB 96 two-stroke. It was the only one in the parking lot of my rural Ohio high school, for sure. I now drive a 4WD truck for my business, and I keep an SLK230 in the glovebox for the weekends.

I have a conundrum, and welcome comments.

Should I consider a Smart fortwo for my elderly mom? She's a saint, by the way. Cute as a button... and I rather like her. She's 4'10" in the morning and with a good updraft, and drives short treks to church, grocery, and bank... rural and suburban surface streets only. She's small and frail, but a mental giant. She's had a few small fender benders over the last several years, and needs a new car, but is flirting with just giving up her keys. Might be the right thing, but I hate to see such a vibrant lady give up her independence... and I am thinking she just needs something smaller, easier to handle, and easier to see out of.

The Smart would be a good "fit" for her, literally, and I think she would be less likely to have an accident in a Smart... but I want her to be comfortable, and safe in the event of a collision.

Has anyone on this forum been in a similar situation? Comments are appreciated.

Also, are they ok on wet roads?

Dave


ps... why are Asian women hitting on me on a Smart car site? Not that I mind...
 

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:welcome: to SCoA!

"ps... why are Asian women hitting on me on a Smart car site? Not that I mind... " :confused:
 

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Welcome to SCOA!

I'm a middle aged 4'10" grandma with a smart. I don't know your mom's age, but if she's anything like me, she'd drive the smart like she stole it! Drives like a go cart on crack! Just about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on. All the cliche's are true!

The car is about as safe as your mom can get, but the transmission takes some getting used to...and if she bumps the shift paddles on the steering wheel by accident, she'll need to be educated on what to do to get herself back where she needs to be.

Additionally, the ride on a smart is ROUGH, so if she has any hip or back issues, it might be a bad choice. Otherwise, go for it!
 

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As a motorcycle rider I prefer not to be "bumped" into by anything on the road. No problem with the smart, but maybe the responsible thing to do is retire the keys and find another way for her to get around. I know its a tough decision, but her safety is not the only thing at risk here.
 

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DrKillerBee
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Look into getting a '13 or newer as they ride a lot smoother. Have her take a test drive and let her say whether or not she likes it.
You can even tell her you are thinking about getting one and have her drive it and tell you what she thinks. If she likes it then suggest it for her and be prepared to answer all the questions she may have. If she doesn't like it then your question is moot. (I love to say that.)
It is a fun car to drive, it is easy to get in and out of, easy to park, and people will know she is coming their way. (get a bright color)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the smart replies. All are helpful. I'm actually thinking about a '14 lease. $99/month with about $1500 down, she would use about 1/10 of the 30,000 miles allowed, and in three years I suspect it will be time to retire her keys. And, I get an extra grand off the out-of-pocket for having a 13 year old MB in my fleet.

I suspect one can disable the paddle-shifters somehow... either electronically by the dealer, or with the handyman's secret weapon, etc. But that is a good point... I could see her gettin all confused by those. Heck... she can hardly remember which peddle does what.

... kidding... :eek:) ... although I know it is no laughing matter, but if you're not into funnin' around, I figure you are probably not on this forum.

Hear the one about the two ol' fellas out for a cruise in the caddy? Ed couldn't help noticing that they kept blowing right thorugh stop signs! After the forth one Ed says, "Hey Phil... you know you're scaring the crap out of me, driving like a madman. Phil says... "Ed, I'm not driving... you are...".
 

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If you think she'll get confused by the paddles, opt for one with cruise control on the wheel. I think she would be more confused if the car kicks in to manual mode than with how to turn cruise on and off. Cruise will take the place of paddles.

Additionally, if you want to opt for safety (and a little insurance discount) opt for LED daytime running lights instead of fog lights. It'll be one less button on the center dash to worry about, and will make her a little more visible in the daytime. Those suckers are bright! Plus, they're just on unless she turns the headlights on. There will always be some sort of front lights on - that's nice on a dark, cloudy day when it's noon and it's not dark enough to mentally remember to flick on the lights.

If she goes for a Pure model, she will also have that solid roof to keep the car cool. Hot leather isn't pleasant either, but I doubt leather and a panoramic roof aren't really on her wish list!

I somehow have a lot of experience picking out vehicle features that won't confuse people. I offer a lot of advice in that regard. No one in my family likes gizmos and options cluttering up a car, but they all seem to turn to me when it comes time to ask what would be nice to have, what's a useful / safe feature to get, and what's just a toy.

I wish you and your Mama well no matter what the choice is! Let us know how it goes either way.
 

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From an old guy, probably around your moms age, and over 6 years of smart ownership. Here are my impressions.

The car is a "godsend" for those who can no longer leap in and out of their autos. The doors are extra wide and the car is high, so one just turns on the seat and slides out.

Parking is a breeze, and you can find it easily in a parking lot as it is most likely the only Smart there.

Air and heat work well and have simple controls.

Best brakes of any car I have ever driven.

Plenty of cargo space for one persons shopping.

Down sides: Can't see the panel (LCD'S). Back up visibility is poor (a cam would be good here). Car feels very safe on the road most times, but can get touchy on the freeway in high winds. A2Jack
 

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Don't worry about the paddle shifters. The $99 lease deal is for a Pure. They don't have the paddles. For an older woman a Pure is the way to go anyway. Simple and easy. My 87 yo MIL likes my Pure. But we just recently took her keys.

After owning my Pure for a year and a half my feelings are this: If you don't need a truck or have to have 4 seats then the Smart is a great, fun, easy to live with little car. Everyone should have one! Except then they would be common and I'd have to look for something different.
 

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"The car is a "godsend" for those who can no longer leap in and out of their autos. The doors are extra wide and the car is high, so one just turns on the seat and slides out".

a2jack is correct.

Me...44 years old dude. The ol' getaway sticks are starting to hurt.
 
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