Smart Car of America Forum banner

1 - 20 of 206 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm a member of another automobile forum where I read about Steven Villatoro's excellent purchase of an ED Cabrio. I've done a bunch of reading here already and and hopeful I can follow in his footsteps and get a good deal on one of the remaining new 2015 EDs that are still available.

The ED would be a third car for my wife and I, and also serve as an emergency use vehicle for both of our young adult kids if one of their cars goes down for any reason. I currently have a 1995 Miata that serves as my daily driver and has the best theft deterrent device according to my family - a clutch pedal. The hope is that we're going to be pretty close to money neutral in selling the Miata, taking the $7500 tax credit, and getting into a 2015 ED. To get it for "free" like Steve - well, I'd take that deal in an instant!

My wife retired at the end of last year, and I'm following suit this September. The Miata has been my daily driver but I won't need that for much longer. Our plans are to use the ED as our daily urban runabout, probably running up 6-8000 miles a year, and our other two vehicles only if the ED isn't available or if one of those is better for whatever we're using it for. We've looked at replacing the Miata with a newer Miata or something sportier like an FRS/BRZ, but my wife just doesn't like the low seating position. My wife didn't want me giving up the fun of driving a convertible to get into something more mundane like a Honda Fit. But the Smart ED satisfies both of us. It's really the first vehicle we're both enthusiastic about.

As far as cost, I'm hoping this is going to be fairly money neutral. We'd get the $7500 tax credit, and I can get $4k for my Miata, so $11.5k is totally money neutral. We can also get a gently used, low mileage local example for probably $6k or so. If I'm spending $2k on top of what I can get for the Miata, why not add that to the $11.5k and buy new and get a warranty?

So, here come the first of many questions. I appreciate all of the help and advice!

In the "If anyone is looking for an ED" thread, there was mention of incentives expiring, which would then lower the cost the dealer would likely sell at. How does this work and how can I tell when incentives have expired?

There are still a handful of new 2015 ED's advertised for between $16-18k. How realistic do you think it would be to get these for between $11-12k when outright purchasing the battery?

We're heading out this weekend to test drive a lightly used ED that is nearby. Our first time in a Smart and the first time driving a fully electric vehicle. Hopefully we will both like it as much as we think we will.

Thanks again for any advice you can give me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
471 Posts
Like you, my ED is our third family vehicle. It's my daily driver. I passed my Insight on to my son but we trade when I have a day that I need to drive further.

That said, I can happily say that I would do it all again. My ED was my first electric also.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
It's good that it seems everyone who has one really likes it, and that they seemingly hold up very well. I posted about my interest in a Smart ED in another forum and now there's someone else also interested. Maybe we can use the leverage of buying two to get them both for a better price.

I've been trying to read up about dealer incentives but I can't understand how a dealer would be willing to sell it for less if an incentive expires. It seems like they'd be more willing to try and sell it while an incentive exists.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,476 Posts
When an OEM incentive expires on an outgoing version, dealers need to cut prices on existing inventory so that buyers would have a reason to consider the older one.

Dealers do try to move inventory quickly, but sometimes get caught by surprise. That was the case with my car, which languished on the sales lot when the entire dealership was being sold to Auto Nation. By the time the dealership sale was finalized, all of the 2014 OEM deals had dried up, and people only wanted 2015s at far more attractive prices.

Like so many things in life, timing is everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Steven, thanks for that explanation and I understand. If anything, shouldn't I now be in a very strong position because the newer generation Smart ED is out so these leftover 2015s are both two years old AND the previous generation?

In Washington state, it appears we get exempted from state motor vehicle sales tax but no other monetary incentives exist. We don't even get to use the HOV lanes! But without an income tax, we have one of the highest sales tax rates in the nation so the exemption from that is quite significant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,476 Posts
Steven, thanks for that explanation and I understand. If anything, shouldn't I now be in a very strong position because the newer generation Smart ED is out so these leftover 2015s are both two years old AND the previous generation?

In theory, you are correct. But in the real world, things don't always happen in a predictable manner. Look how long it took my selling dealer to face the reality that they'd need to discount a 2014 by nearly TWO-THIRDS of its original value to entice a buyer. My point is that – yes, it can be done – but a lot of circumstances need to line up just right. You'd need a lot of persistence and patience, or just plain luck (as was the case for me). But… nothing ventured, nothing gained. I really hope it works for you; just make sure first that it's a car that you seriously want. We who love smarts have a unique brand of logic; be careful what you wish for!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
The missus and I went to test drive a 2013 ED with 24.5k miles on it. It has held up pretty well, with just one rattle but otherwise feeling solid and well put together. The seating position is comfortable for my wife, and it is surprisingly roomy. Her main complaints were having to get used to the throttle pedal, which is heavy, and that the regen creates more off-throttle slowing than she likes. She didn't mind the brake pedal but I found it a bit weird to have it pivot from the bottom. That only took a couple of minutes to get used to.

So it's on! Time to find an ED for ourselves!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,476 Posts
Time to find an ED for ourselves!


Wow, that's great. The "feely" things like throttle and brake action will quickly come to seem normal.

Are you considering 1-2 year old new and slightly-loved now? With BAP, or not? Coupe, Cabrio, or whichever?

Since we both come from a Miata past, I'll share this: Today, I put the top down on the ED and took a drive through local (very scenic) twisty country backroads and hills. The ED's rear/rear powertrain, torque, steering, low center of gravity, and short WB make for an oddly-satisfying substitute for the venerable Miata. The more I drive it, the more I push it. And the more I push it, the more I admire it. You'll find that there's an extra squeeze of "hyperpower" available after you reach what seems like the end of the throttle's range. I was nipping at the proverbial heels of some fine cars on the backroads today which were no match at all for my menacing little ED Miata-wannabe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Wow, that's great. The "feely" things like throttle and brake action will quickly come to seem normal.

Are you considering 1-2 year old new and slightly-loved now? With BAP, or not? Coupe, Cabrio, or whichever?

Since we both come from a Miata past, I'll share this: Today, I put the top down on the ED and took a drive through local (very scenic) twisty country backroads and hills. The ED's rear/rear powertrain, torque, steering, low center of gravity, and short WB make for an oddly-satisfying substitute for the venerable Miata. The more I drive it, the more I push it. And the more I push it, the more I admire it. You'll find that there's an extra squeeze of "hyperpower" available after you reach what seems like the end of the throttle's range. I was nipping at the proverbial heels of some fine cars on the backroads today which were no match at all for my menacing little ED Miata-wannabe.
We're looking at buying new. No reason not to, considering the $7500 tax credit. Dealers are posting them for sale for between $16-18k, and after I posted in the regional forum of miata.net, another person is interested as well. So we can negotiate a two-for deal on a ForTwo! Buying two will give us leverage to ask for a lower price, hopefully.

We drove it pretty hard. The steering ratio seems a bit slower than expected but it definitely handles better than it looks like it should, at least a 7/10ths and still on the 155 fronts. It's way quiet! And way roomy for what we need. I'm really excited to be trading in the Miata for a Smart!

Very thankful that you posted the story on miata.net, and thanks for all of your help and inspiration in going down this path!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
A Smart ED definitely feels like a pretty decent platform just in stock form. I've been poking around the forum a bit but haven't seen much about any aftermarket equipment to benefit handling other than uprated springs and getting a square tire setup. Is there sufficient alignment adjustability built into the suspension, and are there things like aftermarket and higher rate sway bars?

I'll be calling dealer(s) around the lunch hour today and hoping to get a deal done or at least mostly on the way. I think my Miata knows of my plans and was having a tough time starting yesterday, like either the battery is flat or a starter ground is loose. It's probably throwing a fit because it knows I'm planning on replacing it. . .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I talked to a dealer today and they said that the BAP program could be canceled after one year at zero cost. I asked for this in writing if we are able to do the deal, and they said they see no reason why they wouldn't do that, as they have already done this deal with other buyers.

Anyone hear of anything like this?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
28,970 Posts
Not an expert by any means, but my understanding of BAP is you are renting the battery through BAP and buying the car (at reduced cost) separately. Seems to me if you canceled BAP smart USA would want their battery back, leaving you with a sled. :shrug:
 

·
Premium Member
MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
Joined
·
7,756 Posts
. . . they said that the BAP program could be canceled after one year at zero cost.

Anyone hear of anything like this?
NOPE - is this a generic dealer or a M-B/smart Center?

With all due respect - car salespeople say some crazy things to move a car . . .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Not an expert by any means, but my understanding of BAP is you are renting the battery through BAP and buying the car (at reduced cost) separately. Seems to me if you canceled BAP smart USA would want their battery back, leaving you with a sled. :shrug:
That is what I said to the salesperson. I said that we're getting the $5k discount because we're going to accept BAP and pay $80 a month for ten years, so why would they allow cancellation of this after only twelve months and $960? I said that doesn't make sense but the salesperson said that was how it worked and it had been done for previous owners. Just some paperwork to do at that one year mark and we can cancel at no cost to us and we keep the battery pack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
NOPE - is this a generic dealer or a M-B/smart Center?

With all due respect - car salespeople say some crazy things to move a car . . .
This is a large dealership network that sells multiple high end makes and has a separate smart center with at least new 30 Smarts in inventory.. I asked the receptionist specifically for someone in new Smart car sales and got someone who seemed otherwise knowledgeable about them.

It does not sound like they're going to be willing to sell at what we are offering but they may call back and surprise me.
 

·
Premium Member
MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
Joined
·
7,756 Posts
This is a large dealership network that sells multiple high end makes and has a separate smart center with at least new 30 Smarts in inventory..
BUT, you are not dealing directly with a M-B/smart Center employee who can explain the BAP Program to you?

I'd believe little that they are saying especially when it comes to anything contractual with MBFS being easily forgiven after only one year . . .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
922 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I would assume that when I told the receptionist I wanted to buy a new Smart car, that I would have gotten the proper salesperson. In any event, I would not consummate this deal without getting that clause in writing in a manner that is legally binding and reviewed by an attorney.
 

·
Premium Member
MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
Joined
·
7,756 Posts
I would assume that when I told the receptionist I wanted to buy a new Smart car, that I would have gotten the proper salesperson. In any event, I would not consummate this deal without getting that clause in writing in a manner that is legally binding and reviewed by an attorney.
Could be dangerous to assume?

If it were me, I'd ask the "proper" salesperson to explain the BAP Program in detail, especially the part about "the BAP program could be cancelled after one year at zero cost."

If the salesperson needs to leave the room to get that information, pretty good chance someone is blowing smoke . . .
 
1 - 20 of 206 Posts
Top