I imagine few will agree with me, but here's my impression of the stock tires on the Passion and Brabus as well as the LM-18 winter tires.
Well, I ended up buying the Bridgestone LM-18 Blizzaks since they were on closeouts and since I'm driving the Passion. I rationalized that I will be selling the Passion at the end of Winter, so I figured I couldn't lose by getting the closeout Blizzaks LM-18s. Also the idea that 145 narrow front snow tire in snow is better than the wider Hakka 5 (though narrower isn't always king over design but this is a light car, so I don't know...haven't tried the alternative)
For those of you on the fence between the closeout deal and the new version of the Blizzaks, I would recommend spending the extra money on the other version which has millions of miles of reviews. These LM-18s aren't reviewed for the most part and while people here seem to like them, I'm disappointed in them, i.e. they slip and slide more than I'm use to but then again I've never driven a car this light before in snow, so my review is extremely biased since I have nothing to compare them to...I have a Lexus with Blizzaks WS60s and well it's more than twice as heavy so that's apples and oranges in comparison.
IMO, the LM-18 is basically a mediocre siped all-season tire in the tread design, because the sipes aren't very deep (about 40-50% deep), so after a third of the tread is gone they'll be on the brink. The WS60s that I have on a Lexus are siped about 80% or so deep...a much better aggresive tread design, too. I'm glad to just have the LM-18s for one season before I give them away with the car otherwise if I were keeping this car then it would have seems like a waste of money over multiple winters.
I'm driving heavy this winter from the Northeast to the Midwest, a few thousand miles a month so I'll report on the wear, mostly Interstate.
As far as the stock tires, I was VERY impressed with how the Smart handled in heavy downpours at Interstate speeds however after about 12,000 miles on the conti-contact stock tires these low road resistance tires feel loose on the Interstate with regard to standing water at high speeds...keep in mind some of the states I'm going through have 70mph Interstate speed limits.
I also went through about a thousand miles of winds between 45 to 100mph gusts (according to the forecast) on dry and wet pavement and I will never own low-resistance tires on a Smart again. It's not worth being blown all over the road. That's one thing I like about the wider front and rear tires during the 3 seasons is it grips the road. I don't really notice much difference in gas mileage either with quad 17s on the Smart, i.e. if there is a difference, it's minimal. Also the larger tires absorb the road impacts much better and cornering/braking is a delight.
So basically here's my opinion thus far:
Avoid the LM-18s, spend extra money and buy any of the other options out there. For those who do slow city driving then the LM-18s are probably fine but if you're doing a lot of higher speeds then spend the extra dollars on the other version.
Avoid the stock Passion tires for the other seasons, they're mediocre tires and likely only reason Smart/Honda/Nissan etc use that particular tire is for gas mileage. Safety/Handling is more important to me than low road/tire resistance and the 400 tread life that they are rated is high meaning it's a hard rubber. A higher tread life doesn't mean the tire lasts longer in terms of handling, just in total lifetime miles. If that makes sense.
The Brabus stocks are pretty good for the 3 seasons, but I think 35 is too low profile for pot holes and larger profiles will get you run-flats.
I wish they'd make run-flats in stock Smart sizes since there's no spare
Next winter I'll likely get the Hakka 5s for the Brabus unless something else comes along that seems better.