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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, as my other post mentioned, I'm a new Smart ED owner in the Bay Area who moved here from Texas.

I want to get this off my chest to see what others have to say; before the electric version of the Fortwo came along, I felt that the Smart car was an abomination for being so small and not getting better gas mileage. Anyplace other than the city, they look like a fish out of water. I would have never imagined myself driving one of these.

That said, I couldn't be having more fun than driving the Fortwo electric. My question for others, what;s your opinion of the ICE Smart? Do you consider them family or more like a step brother you never see?

Personally, I'm not a fan of the ICE Smart. I feel this size car was meant to be electric.
 

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I have 2 ICE smarts and my wife & I love driving them. We bought the first in Sept '09 and the second 7 months later. The fortwos aren't for everybody but are perfect for our lifestyle, more than I can say than for an electric (hybrid maybe). Parking is a breeze. I like the mpgs I get (41 mpg avg). Electrics, even the smart ED just don't have the range I need. So what if they're small, that's what we bought them for. Gas or electric they fill a niche, the two niches overlap. If all we did was local driving we might go for an electric but with the wife visiting her mother (200 miles one way) & both of us, sometimes only one of us, visiting the kids/grandkids we'd have to charge at the closest kid's house while we visit and charge halfway to the other kid's house and then charge wile we visit, 3 o 4 charges in one day. ED? I don't think so.

The smart ED is small because it's predecessor is small. Is there an ICE model of the Chevy Volt or any of the other electrics? I don't know but I don't think I've seen one. An electric IQ?
 

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I think the fact that it is so different is why I like my stupid little Smart. It's not like all the other cars out there, electric or not. It is a weird car.

But that is part of what makes it so fun.
 

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I deliberately held off a purchase of a 2008 used ICE fortwo (despite low miles and a great price), because I wanted the ED. The main reason for my hold out was that I wanted something that my wife would be cool with driving as well. (she did not like how the ICE drove).

However, I would get an ICE Fortwo if it came with a manual transmission, like the 2015 is supposed to have. Except for the supposed rumor that it may never come to the US.

I find the diminutive size of the Smart Fortwo one of the most awesome features of the vehicle. (this coming from a person who is almost 2m tall)
 

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Love my ED. I HATED driving the ICE model. I was given a brand new ICE Passion to drive as a loaner while the ED was in the shop for two weeks. It was nothing like the ED. We almost parked the loaner and just drove our Volvo for the two weeks but the Smart got better gas mileage and we thought, why put extra mileage on the Volvo if we don't have to. I know some people like the ICE and that is great, but I personally do not like them. I would never own one.

This is just my personal opinion from my experiences. Not a personal attack on those that own and like the ICE. Just so you know there are a ton of cars that I would never own :-D
 

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The original Smart (“Swatch” + “Mercedes” + “Art”) was conceived as an electric vehicle, and after Mercedes decided to go with a traditional drivetrain Swatch pulled out. So you’re absolutely right in your feeling that the ED is the form it was originally meant to be.

Sure, Switzerland is different than the US, we have different driving habits, so I can’t really comment on your needs.
I’ve driven ICE Smarts for the last ten year. First an anemic pure (which bettered after I had it chipped). Three years ago I bought a used ‘Nightrun’, which is a pure with the Brabus block plus the Brabus transmission modifications. It’s a different beast, normal smallish BMW have no chance at the red-light!
What the ICE Smart teaches you is a totally different driving style. You have to plan ahead, when you’ll need power, when you need what gear. When you’ve mastered that, it’s a lot of fun. And it’s extremely convenient when you need a parking space in the city (remember, Switzerland… not a lot of space for huge lots ;)
 

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I would love to have an electric drive, right up to the point it ran out of range and I had to get out and carry my bags to the intended destination. The ED works for some and that's great but it won't work for everyone and that's OK, too. IMHO there's no such thing as a "bad" smart model (although I'm on the fence about the original forfour...) :)
 

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Is there an ICE model of the Chevy Volt or any of the other electrics? I don't know but I don't think I've seen one. An electric IQ?

the Volt is a extended range electric vehicle 43 miles electric and then it will switch over to its onboard gas powered electric generator for another 300 miles
Its my long range electric vehicle...My Vegas car....
My Volt is also my Emergency back up generator when you need power from a black out...or camping.....I have a kit I installed from the Volt Forum for this...
An added bonus...So the Volt is more then just an electric car....

regarding the Smart...right now I own both the gas and the electric...

The gas well..it can go longer distances...but the Electric is unreal....all over driving experience is greatly improved over the ICE version..but again it has limits....if it meets your needs regarding range.....all I can say is wow.

The ICE version is part of our family no matter what....just the site of these cars coming and going always brings a smile to my face...I feel bad for all those who have not experienced these cars in either version

i also do remember that there are over 1.4 million Smarts Sold in the world so there is a rather large group that likes these cars....
 

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I have a 2006 450 cdi remapped to 100+ lbs-ft and it is a convertible....I've driven it across the continent, with a couple of 800 mile days, and to Alberta twice. It would not have been possible to do that in an ED. Average MPG is 59 US, it is 100% brilliant.

The ED is good to drive, but would only work for my local driving needs if the range was at least double what it is. Nominal range is weak but real-world range can be half that. So we had to pass and bought a loaded Fiesta instead, for our fourth car.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Okay, I sense there's a mutual respect between ICE and ED drivers, which is nice to see. I hadn't considered that, by getting this car, I was getting two clubs - electric car club and the Smart car club. Both offer new experiences. I'm probably underestimating how much joy the Smart aspect is giving me and only focusing on the electric side.

So if an ICE and an ED approach an intersection at the same time, who has the right of way?
 

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ICE > EV.

Yes, the EV is quiet. It's smoother. It has WAY more acceleration power. But the gas car can be driven cross country. It is lighter, and contrary to popular opinion, it handles better because it is lighter. Popular opinion is afraid of wind gusts and therefore claims the EV handles "better" because it is "heavier."

I disagree. Due to the long distance ability of the gasoline powered smart, and it's better handling... it is better IMO.
 

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I grew up in DFW, specifically went to Arlington High.


I can see the mentality of why someone would not buy a car there. People don't know this, ESPECIALLY Texans, but Texas is an oasis in the USA. It is the 3rd least expensive place to live, yet you can still make a solid living. Texans simply...have more free income to spend.

Cars, are a status symbol to most sheep...err I mean people in the USA and 1st world countries. The smart was designed to fit a need. Good mileage (BTW, it is actually the highest MPG ICE of any car sold in north America...not a single other ICE car gets as good of mileage city or highway), easy to park, and easy to maneuver in a city scenario.

Texans...in fact like things big. Autos are no different AND Texans have the extra money to spend on the car that someone in CA might not. In CA all your money goes to mortgage or rent, leaving little for a nice car or even nice decorated homes. Texans are not plagued with this issue.

So, the smart makes a lot of sense and is popular here because:
A. It is an inexpensive car.
B. Parking in SoCal sucks.
C. It gets good mileage, which helps save money.

So. you really have to first study the environment in Texas, vs the environment in CA. Texans have no reason to really own such a small car, they have extra income, tons and tons and tons of parking...parking is only a MINOR issue if you are in Downtown Austin, Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Denton, San Antonio etc etc.

Also, some people are just ignorant and think small = unsafe...unless of course its a motorcycle...for some reason they are immune to being made fun of. /facepalm
 

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ICE > EV.

Yes, the EV is quiet. It's smoother. It has WAY more acceleration power. But the gas car can be driven cross country. It is lighter, and contrary to popular opinion, it handles better because it is lighter. Popular opinion is afraid of wind gusts and therefore claims the EV handles "better" because it is "heavier."

I disagree. Due to the long distance ability of the gasoline powered smart, and it's better handling... it is better IMO.
It would seem a natural understanding that the ICE is the only one that works for people who need longer range...that makes it a better car in the same vein as an F150 is a better car if you haul a boat. It's all about what your vehicle is used for. IMO, the EV version makes a much better commuter car if your commute is 30 miles or less one way. If you need to go cross country, it is not on the list of vehicles to consider. That doesn't make it a better, or worse car, just a car that works better in specific situations.

And after driving both, I think the EV does handle better, not because it is heavier but because of WHERE it is heavier. Due to the location of the batteries, it has a low-and-very-middle-of-the-car center of gravity. Extremely low!

Low COG makes all the difference in the world when it comes to handling.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I drove 8 miles on the freeway today and didn't like the ride. Don't get me wrong, it's an impressive engineering feat the car can travel at 80mph and I don't get much wind noise, but road fatigue increases the smaller the car. I'm 42 years old, I need more comfort in my long trips, I could not imagine driving this thing cross country. Now when I was younger and in college I drove a Chevy Spectrum across country and at the time it was the best car I ever owned.

So age and environment play a big factor. It's certainly a capable car anyway you slice it. But for short trips, it is better than my Acura TL.
 

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That's a good point Putty. I think even if my EV was capable of cross-country driving, I'd still take the Sequoia. It would be a lot more expensive in terms of fuel, but it's a joy to drive on the freeway and can haul everything I want to take.

I do drive my EV mostly freeway, but 25 miles, most of that in some slow traffic.
 

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ICE > EV.

Yes, the EV is quiet. It's smoother. It has WAY more acceleration power. But the gas car can be driven cross country. It is lighter, and contrary to popular opinion, it handles better because it is lighter. Popular opinion is afraid of wind gusts and therefore claims the EV handles "better" because it is "heavier."

I disagree. Due to the long distance ability of the gasoline powered smart, and it's better handling... it is better IMO.


Just because the gas smart can be driven across country doesn't make it better than the ED. The ED is better than the gas smart in every way except for range. Smart finally backtracked and put out what they wanted to put out in the very beginning. The ED is the best smart yet.


I definitely do not need to drive across country, heck the most miles i've driven myself in one day is only around 50, and i certainly wouldn't take a smart across country as i would need more than 2 seats and more cargo room.
 
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