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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to start a thread here on my experiences with our first electric car and in particular the Smart ForTwo. We just picked up our new car today and I have to admit it was a bit sad to see my Mazda 3 go away. Of course once I got my new Smart the smile came back. And it came back again, again and again. I can't help but just giggle every time I get out of the car and look back at it, it's so small and good looking. Here are some photos.


Lovely weather on the first day home.


Booty!


Top down.

One of the reasons we picked up the car was it's size. Not just for city parking but for parking at home. I have two motorcycles and needed to sell one before winter to be able to fit my old car back in the garage.





That's no longer a problem. I could theoretically fit a third motorcycle in that bay but we'll leave it at two for now.

I drove it for about 26 miles after I got it home to get a feel for it. One observation was that people tend to pull out in front of me more. Here are a list of my immediate likes and dislikes.

Likes -
Turning radius, if I didn't get dizzy so easy I would just keep going in circles for hours.
Style, I love the offbeat style and while the black/green combo wasn't an immediate hit with me it's starting to grow on me.
The cabin is quite roomy, it's almost the first thing I tell everybody because of all the jokes they give me about the size of the car.
Fit and finish is better than I originally thought but not great, some things are done for cost saving and others for weight but it's got a decent feel inside.

Dislikes -
So far my main complaint is the doors. They sound kinda cheap when you close them. Too much shuddering maybe. It's missing that real nice solid sound a good car door makes.
Rides rough on rough roads, yea, I knew that but it got tedious in 25 miles.

So those are my early impressions. From this point I think I will really like the car but I don't know that I will love it.


It's about the same length as my Ninja!

I had a real good but interesting experience with the dealer and securing my car. I'm a bit rushed today so I will save that story for another time. I will continue to add my impressions and life with an electric car to this thread. And of course, please join in if you have any insight or stories you wish to share.
 

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I think you are correct about people pulling out in front of you. My speculation is that it might be related to the width of the car and how we perceive distance. The car may appear further off because it is narrower than most cars. I have nothing to base this off of other than my observations. I installed some LED running lights in the lower grill since mine didn't have DRLs. Does your 453 have those awesome LED strips around the headlights?

At any rate, I feel like people don't pull out in front of me as much since I installed the LEDs.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I think you are correct about people pulling out in front of you. My speculation is that it might be related to the width of the car and how we perceive distance. The car may appear further off because it is narrower than most cars. I have nothing to base this off of other than my observations.
You could be right. It's a common complaint among motorcycle riders about cars pulling out in front of them. Often it is attributed to depth perception and the size of motorcycles. Didn't even occur to me and it happens to me all the time on my bike.


I installed some LED running lights in the lower grill since mine didn't have DRLs. Does your 453 have those awesome LED strips around the headlights?
Yep, the LED strips are standard on the Prime model. Honestly I didn't even know what I was looking at with the different options between the cars at first but I'm happy with what we got.
 

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I have a 451, not a 453, but on my car it is hard to close the doors with the windows all the way up. These little cars are fairly air tight and you almost have to slam the doors to get them to close properly. Put the window down a couple of inches before shutting the door and it should sound a lot more solid with that "thunk" we all like to hear.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Very nice looking ride! And it matches the Ninja! Any feeling for the range yet?
Not really, haven't gone through the initial charge quite yet. I'm around 40 miles traveled and have 58% SOC approximately. My driving has been almost exclusively on local roads with a mix of conservative and aggressive driving.
 

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Congrats on a beautiful car. I am very jealous! I am hoping for upgrading my '08 pure to a used 451 ED eventually, as the car's at +105000 miles and a struggling clutch. And I have always had issues with the rough ride on rough roads. My takeaway is that with the forever increase of larger and more SUV's and pickups, the less people complain about the quality of the roads to their town or city, since these enormous vehicles tend to absorb any potholes or torn up streets quite easily. And since most towns and cities are so strapped for cash, road repair and resurfacing gets lowest priority.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
One of the compelling reasons of getting an electric car are the rebates and tax credits. When we picked up our car on Wednesday last week the Massachusetts rebate pool was down to 17% for the year or roughly 340 car purchases left (best guess). My salesman encouraged me to send in my state rebate documents right away. For MA you need purchase agreement, rebate doc, personal drivers license and registration. It's all done online which is great. I got home, scanned my docs around 2pm and hoped I filled out all forms correctly as I did not want to miss out on my rebate.

Two days later on Friday I received an email that read they received the documents. Later that day they informed that all information I sent was good and the rebate is being processed. It should take about ten days.

My luck with bureaucracies of any kind usually do not end well. I was pleased at how smooth this has gone and how responsive the agency has been. They even gave me email and phone numbers to reach them if I need to pursue any issues.

We are not applying for the Fed tax credits due to the fact that we leased the car. Currently I'm exploring an EVSE rebate, excise tax exemption and annual inspection waiver.
 

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Washington State currently has a sales tax exemption that started at the beginning of 2016 and expires when a certain number of electric vehicles are sold. My understanding is the limit will be reched within the next few months. It was a factor in our decision to rush through the buying process this year.
 

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Congrats on the purchase!

As far as the people pulling out in front of you more... it probably has a lot to do with the mentality people have that Smart cars are slow, and they sure as hell don't want to be "stuck" behind you. Myself, also being from the Northeastern US where people's opinions about the Smart are varied (Was sitting at a light the other day with my windows down, and someone coming from the right making a left turn to cross in front of me yelled out "Love your car"... which made me smile as i said thank you), i've seen plenty of that behavior. Even better is when they pass you on a freeway just to go the same speed as you are. That's when i start playing leap frog.

Turning radius is an absolute blast. My fiance gives me an evil look when i do U-turns with plenty of room where her Chevy Spark would just barely pull it off.

I've always loved the style of the Smart (considering my 453 is my second Smart, too). Fit and finish could be improved... but it doesn't necessarily feel like a "Cheap" car. Not nearly as cheap feeling as some i've driven in.

As for the cabin size... that's always the most shocking attribute no matter WHO you show the car to. They never believe that a car with such a small footprint can feel so roomy inside. Funniest thing i've ever seen, though... was at a car show several years ago when i had my 2009 Smart. There was actually a trailer there FROM Smart, too, with all kinds of information about the car, and video's playing inside the trailer... freakin beautiful trailer it was. Anyway, a couple of us that were there with our own Smart's saw this guy walking past with a GIANT mohawk... i'm talking hair sticking up at LEAST a foot... if not more. We talked him into sitting in a Cabrio that had the top down. I'll have to peruse my folders and see if i still have the pic, but it was hysterical looking.

As for your dislikes.... as someone already pointed out, the doors on the 453 sound noticeably chunkier than they did on the 451... mostly cause they ARE a bit chunkier. But they're also still plastic panels on the inside and outside of the door.

Ride quality.... trust me, it's much nicer than the 451.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Congrats on the ED purchase, the color scheme is actually pretty nice...
Before we went to the dealer I had my heart set on an orange and black or orange and white like in the header for this forum. It was a sad dose of reality that none were available. Our color choices were very limited and I grudgingly picked this black and green Prime model and have to say it's really grown on me.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Washington State currently has a sales tax exemption that started at the beginning of 2016 and expires when a certain number of electric vehicles are sold. My understanding is the limit will be reched within the next few months. It was a factor in our decision to rush through the buying process this year.
Massachusetts will probably add money to the rebate pool next year but who knows for sure. I was motivated to purchase sooner than later too.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I had someone pullout from a stop sign as I was crossing the street. I was about halfway through the intersection and the other driver just pulled out from their stop and turned left in front of me like I wasn't there. I blasted the horn a few times and no reaction. I was able to pull alongside her at the next intersection and blasted her for inattentive driving. As I pulled away I realize how non-threatening I must seem driving away in a whisper quiet clown car.
 

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the sound of a smart car horn doesn't have the same effect as one from a traditional larger car. Change it to the horn from a Cadillac and they will go crazy trying to find the Caddy!!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hit a bit of a snag with my state rebate. Apparently my purchase agreement didn't provide the total price of vehicle. They are giving me ten days to rectify this. Should be easy enough to resolve except for the fact that I'm in Japan right now and won't return home for three more days.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Have to thank SmartCarDan of Flagship Motors in Lynnfield, MA for emailing me my needed documents to complete necessary information for rebate program. Nice to have such responsive help even when I'm on the other side of the world. Hopefully everything is set now.
 
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