I love this car.
By orbion on Thursday, April 23, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 131,000
overall rating 10 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Easy to park, reliable, peppy, fun, and cheap."
Cons: "Wear on tires; bulky aerodynamic profile."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My Smart is an amazing car. It is solid, nimble, and incredibly reliable. With 130,000 miles and still going strong, it has had no problems whatsoever beyond standard maintenance work.
I love the price of the car. While my friends are saddled with huge monthly car payments, mine is quite affordable and I got a lot of car for less than half the price. I also find it hilarious that the value of the car drops so quickly after you buy it because my property tax bill is even lower. Every dollar I avoid paying the government gives me a lot of satisfaction.
Although it claims to get 41 mpg, I routinely get more than 45 by hypermiling. I have read complaints about the shifting but I moved to this car from a 1985 Honda CRX HF manual transmission and it shifts a lot better than I ever did with a clutch. As it isn't an automatic transmission I forgive that difference in performance anyway. I think this transmission design is more reliable and requires less maintenance than an automatic transmission in the end.
I have driven this car on 14+ hours trips every year and I find it to be delightful on the highway. I don't drive excessively fast, very rarely exceeding the speed limit, but at very high speeds and on windy days the car's blocky profile catches the wind in an occasionally scary way. I wish they had designed the car to have a lower profile that was more aerodynamic (which would improve fuel economy), but on the other hand, compared to the Honda CRX which was invisible to other drivers, despite its small size its profile makes it more readily seen, which I am grateful for.
The engine is perfectly sized for the car, maybe even a little too peppy. I think the car could afford to give up another 20% of its acceleration to get better fuel economy. I'm not driving any Indy 500 races, just commuting to work. I never have to floor the accelerator because I just don't need to accelerate that quickly, even when merging onto the highway. I have never felt like I was holding up traffic since I accelerate just as fast as the cars in the other lanes (muscle cars excepted).
The only cons I can think of after many miles of driving are that the front and rear tires are different sizes so they can't be rotated, and so tire manufacturers only offer half a warranty on the tires, so 80,000 mile tires are guaranteed only for 40,000 miles. And despite getting the car aligned every year, the extreme toe-out angle they use, wears the inner edge of the tires rather quickly."
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