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Not sure why we're even having this discussion. We're all smart owners and (mostly) enthusiasts. A smart is a smart is a smart IMHO - we're all in this together (or so I thought...) :wink:
 

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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.

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.
Well, you certainly thought of a fun way to make friends on here. :D

I think the ICE is fantastic. Yes, it has flaws (as does every car ever built), but it's far from an "abomination" or "step brother you never see".

And since the vehicle's iteration in 1998, well over 1.5 million people most likely agree with me...as well as most members on this forum...

Small size does not automatically equal amazing fuel economy. There's weight, aerodynamics, centre of gravity, transmission, driving style, etc, etc. The Geo Metro will do 50 mpg all day long, but if you crash it into anything larger than a bicycle you're going to have some issues. I'd gladly trade some fuel economy in favour of safety.

The problem lies in the misconception that a smart is an economy car, it is not. It's a city car. It wasn't designed to get a million miles to the gallon, but to make city living a little easier.

And indeed, the original idea for the fortwo was for it to be fully electric, but fortunately/unfortunately, for whatever reason (demand for EVs in the 90's, development costs, technology, etc) VW dropped the idea for their own idea and Mercedes gave it an ICE.

Just because the gas smart can be driven across country doesn't make it better than the ED.
Uhm, for many people, this is the exact reason why the ICE is better than the ED.

I'd love to have an ED myself, but I'll never be able to take one to the the beach and back, to Chicago, on a fun backroad road trip, to autocross/trackday events, Supercar Saturdays, or go to the wonderful rallies that are all part of the SCoA experience. And these are not excuses, it's just how I enjoy my cars. I love driving long distances...as evidenced by my extremely fast climbing odometer. :D

For those reasons, the ICE is better for me.

All that said, I'm not trying to down the EDs.
It's truly an amazing car that I'd buy in a heartbeat. But to throw the ICE under the bus and call it an "abomination" is more than unfair. :)

So, whatever version of the car you have, why not just enjoy it and share the love for all things smart? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Blame it on my Texas heritage for being blunt and ignorant on this subject, but I had to get some clarification. Texas has highways with posted speed limits of 85mph. It's not uncommon to drive 90 or over a 100mph as it is a big, boring, and hot state. The few times I came across these in Texas, myself and everyone on the highway got perturbed when they interrupted the flow of traffic.

Now that I'm living in congested CA, and have discovered the Smart, I get it. It's a fantastic city car, particularly the ED because it can accelerate 0-40mph very quickly.

I just wanted to offer my testimony as someone who's been converted to a Smart car. Until I tried one, I couldn't understand what they are about. This is one of the lowest priced ED's on the market today, so it's reasonable it will attract new owners like myself, who want to try the electric experience before investing in something more expensive, like a Tesla for example.
 

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That makes sense. :)

In fact, all my friends had an initial opinion much like your first post in the thread, now they've all come to respect (and like) the little bugger! :D
 

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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.
Still disagree. The handling in the gas smarts is better because there are 400+ extra pounds at the floor in the EV. The EV car's ability to change direction quickly is somewhat slower than the gas version. The extra weight of the EV is also hard on the shocks when the car hits heavy bumps and causes the suspension more difficulty settling the jostling of the car down. The smart EV can still be tossed around better than most any other car though, but the gas does a quicker and more composed job doing it overall IMO. And of course it can be driven distances.

Everything else about the EV is an improvement though, obviously. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I think it's a very common first impression people have and I don't ever feel defensive about it because I was there myself. My CA neighbors both made chiding comments already like, "do you feel safe in that thing?" and "you paid money for that?".

On the day I brought it home my wife laughed, however it only took one trip for her to realize how great it was.

I offer free test drives to anyone that asks - so far nobody has taken me up on one.

It is incredibly quiet and the seating position has a more commanding view of the road than a typical sedan. Seeing all the cars stuck in traffic this morning with their tailpipes puffing water vapor in the cold air made me smile even more. It made my Monday morning commute feel less hectic.
 

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I think it's a very common first impression people have and I don't ever feel defensive about it because I was there myself. My CA neighbors both made chiding comments already like, "do you feel safe in that thing?" and "you paid money for that?".

I offer free test drives to anyone that asks - so far nobody has taken me up on one.

It is incredibly quiet and the seating position has a more commanding view of the road than a typical sedan.
I get those all the time. I just whip out my 6 or so years worth of research and give them a little lesson. :D

As far as test drives go, people have offered me money to get a test drive in mine. Of course, much of that depends on location. These cars still aren't a common sight out where I live.

Here's something that'll make you laugh. Next time you pull up to cars at a red light, look at the car directly next to you. You'll notice that most of the time (unless you're next to a crossover or larger) that you actually sit up a bit higher in your smart than they do in their cars!
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Here's something that'll make you laugh. Next time you pull up to cars at a red light, look at the car directly next to you. You'll notice that most of the time (unless you're next to a crossover or larger) that you actually sit up a bit higher in your smart than they do in their cars!
I have definitely noticed this! I'm higher eye level than most sedans, that's a very good design on Smart's part. Also love how the passenger seat is staggered slightly, it makes for a very large passenger seat. My wife like's to stretch out and put her feet on the dash and she can do that easily in this car.
 

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It's actually a safety element. :)
In the event of a side impact, your head (and some important body bits) will most likely be higher than the hardest hit areas. This is especially true with some smaller crossovers. You'll notice your head sits just higher than the front tip of their front bonnet. The short wheelbase also benefits you in a crash as well. The wheels and their axles are designed to absorb crash forces. They're your first line of defense in a side collision.

Then, there's that whole suite of airbags.

Feet on the dash? Oh my I'll be going nuts! :eek: My car has more rules than an elementary school. No food, you gotta be clean (don't bring any mud, dirt, or snow in), and no luggage that'll damage the interior.
 
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For long distance, i get rental car, that only happens few times per year.

The biggest problem with smart is its ride, it has the worst ride ever on broken pavement & bad roads of urban center. So much for idea of city car, it cannot handle typical bad city roads. But if you live in nice suburb, you will never notice how bad the ride is. I got little better used to the ride now, when I first got the smart, i was getting little motion sickness!

One last saving grace, has anyone else take smart ED to twisty mountain road? OMG, it handles amazing, it eats tight winding road like nothing. all that torque and silence makes driving canyon roads a joy! Best handling car for the tight twisty stuff, Better than any bmw s2000 any sport cars.
 

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samsf - I found that getting wider tyres really makes a HUGE difference in how the car handles broken roads. With wide rubber, my smart (ICE) handles broken roads much more like a regular hatchback.

The stock pizza cutters that the cars come with are quite possibly the thing that hinders them the most. Hurts ride quality, hurts cornering ability, and impacts tracking in high crosswinds.
 
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the only concern i have is that, i read somewhere saying the skinny tires up front were there for reason. when smart first came out, it has roll over problem in emergency turn-in because narrow wheel base and tall square center of gravity, the wider rear tires supposed to help reduce roll over problem?
 

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Yes, the original W450 city coupe didn't pass the Elk Test, so they made the front tyres skinny to combat this. They induce heavy understeer...

I can't speak for the W450, but after about 20,000 miles of driving with 4 equally large tyres in my W451, I think I can confirm that the rollover issue is not present in the current fortwo.

Out of all the reported US crashes, I can't think of one that was caused by rolling over from cornering.

Also, the Electric Drive has an added benefit of a lower centre of gravity than the petrol versions. So, if anything, EDs are better candidates for wider rubber than the petrol models.
 

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For long distance, i get rental car, that only happens few times per year.

The biggest problem with smart is its ride, it has the worst ride ever on broken pavement & bad roads of urban center. So much for idea of city car, it cannot handle typical bad city roads. But if you live in nice suburb, you will never notice how bad the ride is. I got little better used to the ride now, when I first got the smart, i was getting little motion sickness!

One last saving grace, has anyone else take smart ED to twisty mountain road? OMG, it handles amazing, it eats tight winding road like nothing. all that torque and silence makes driving canyon roads a joy! Best handling car for the tight twisty stuff, Better than any bmw s2000 any sport cars.
Unlike most cars, my smart can pretty easily avoid potholes even on small city streets. :D

I don't really mind that part. There is only a small handful of streets that bother me due to poor condition. Then again, I'm in a fantastic city that takes care of just about everything. I live near the urban core.
 

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How many of you when you open your tool box, find only one tool? I thought so......different tools for different tasks. Based on what I have read here, I must now think my screwdriver is in someway better than my open end wrench..........
 

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How many of you when you open your tool box, find only one tool? I thought so......different tools for different tasks. Based on what I have read here, I must now think my screwdriver is in someway better than my open end wrench..........
LOL, there is a proverb about that "The man who only has a hammer in his tool box treats everything like it is a nail..."
 

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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.
Perhaps. But the EV's extra ~400+ pounds takes its toll on the springs and shocks and how the car handles road imperfections and body rebounding. The car still does extremely well, but it's not as quick during sudden maneuvers as the gas. It might corner a little better, but it doesn't shift left-right as quickly which I view as a positive (for the gas version).

I believe the transmission of the ICE interferes with perception of many ICE drivers. As such, many people are afraid of getting caught in the middle of a gear change during sudden handling maneuvers, and they therefore don't try them nearly as aggressively as they try the EV's. The EV's are simply easier to drive because the transmission is easier to use, which I believe translates into this perception that the 400 pound battery makes the car handle better.
 

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Perhaps. But the EV's extra ~400+ pounds takes its toll on the springs and shocks and how the car handles road imperfections and body rebounding. The car still does extremely well, but it's not as quick during sudden maneuvers as the gas. It might corner a little better, but it doesn't shift left-right as quickly which I view as a positive (for the gas version).

I believe the transmission of the ICE interferes with perception of many ICE drivers. As such, many people are afraid of getting caught in the middle of a gear change during sudden handling maneuvers, and they therefore don't try them nearly as aggressively as they try the EV's. The EV's are simply easier to drive because the transmission is easier to use, which I believe translates into this perception that the 400 pound battery makes the car handle better.

EV transmission easier to use PSSHHHH....get ouuda here!!!

Give me an ICE, paddle shifters, a rev counter and I'll rule the road!


:p
 

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For me, add "windows down and sun shining".

That exhaust tone of my Genius is addictive. :)
 
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