5 out of 5 stars
1 - 10 of 23 reviews
Almost Perfect...with one serious problem.
from New York NY
on November 9, 2012
My 2012 Smart fortwo is essentially perfect. It's solid black with a black leather interior and has a full package of nice options (heated seats, ambient lighting, clear roof panel, extra wide tires, stainless steel rear bumper). It's a handsome little car and is the easiest car to get into and out of because the seat and driving position are higher than most small cars. Visibility on the road is excellent, and the paddle shift feature on the steering column is a huge advantage in terms of responsiveness. It's a quick, tight little car. Further, being engineered in Germany and built in France, it makes an overall impression of very sound engineering. It is, however, quite stiff on the road, and you do feel the road surfaces features quite sharply, yet I prefer that to a "springy" or "bouncy" sensation from some other small cars on the road. Because the chassis is one solid metal form, the ride is quite stiff and the short wheelbase often causes the small car to "toss" a bit on imperfect road surfaces. Yet the overall sensation is one of control, and very good comfort. The interior is handsome, with two generously proportioned leather seats and an optional armrest that cleverly "dials" to the exact comfortable height to support the driver's right elbow (a huge advantage on longer drives). There is also an indentation in the door panels that creates a "cradle" for your left elbow, and the driving position is very comfortable. I'm six feet tall and weight 212 pounds, and fit comfortably in both the driver and passenger seats of my Smart fortwo. The air conditioner is a bit noisy, yet cools the car quite capably, even on extremely warm days. The vents allow you to channel the cooled and heated air from the car's air conditioning and heating systems, yet the range of air direction is limited (the vents do not allow you to guide the air below your shoulder level). Still, the cabin is extremely well sorted and inviting.
For storage, I find the space behind the seats ample for four shopping bags, my hockey bag, and many other bulky objects. The top rear glass "hatch" is generally easy to operate. The bottom portion opens with two electrically assisted levers, and when folded down, supports 200 pounds of weight (for loading heavy items, it's ideal). Cleverly, there is a secret compartment for storage inside the back hatch. There is also a small "loop" on the rear of the passenger seat to hang your jacket. A small container that swings out from under the center instrument stack, to hold chargers and cables.
The brakes and steering are both quite communicative and precise. This car is an awful lot of fun to drive and to be inside of, particularly in the City. In summer my commute was a pleasure because I avoided the hot, noisy subway for the cool and comfortable cabin of my Smart. Also, in NYC, many valet garages discount your monthly parking rate by 75% for Smart Cars, a huge savings. For mileage, I get perhaps 40 MPG, and can drive to my cabin in Maine on less than one tank of fuel. The Smart car, to me, feels like a well made diving watch. It has everything I need and nothing that I do not need in a commuter car. The one serious problem that I am struggling with is a transmission and starter electrical issue. In my first 7 months of ownership, the Smart car has failed to start easily on seven occasions. Once started, the car ran fine, and the dealer has made several attempts to diagnose and fix the issue by reprogramming the clutch software. In summary, it's not a car for everyone, but it's an overall wonderful car for a guy like me, in a City like New York. It's a Smart concept.
29 out of 29 people found this review helpful. Did you?
5 out of 5 stars
One of the most fun cars ever!!!!
from Des Moines, Ia
on February 10, 2013
I have been in the car business for 33 years and have owned hundreds of cars this is one of my very favorites ever!!! It's rear wheel drive, rear engine makes it good in snow and quiet for a small inexpensive car. the plastic exterior panels are tough and rust resistant like a Saturn. It has large doors and sits high so it's very easy to enter and exit even for large people. It's transmission is an automated manual 5 speed that will shift itself or you can shift it with the steering wheel paddle shifters. It feels weird at first but once I understood how it works it's really cool!!! I was surprised how it will run all day long 80-90 mph on the highway without even feeling like it is really working hard. It's not a rocket taking off but it will always keep up with traffic and once up to speed it will surprise you how well it maintains fairly high speeds for such a tiny micro car. I would never have even thought of buying one due to all the negative I have read and heard but my wife has been wanting one for years because she thought they were so cute.so I finally gave in and bought her one for Christmas. I liked it so much I bought a second one for myself. Maybe I have lost my mind but I really enjoy & look forward to driving them. They are so easy to park too. I can park two in one garage space easy!! They also have a high safety rating and 8 airbags!! I ride a motorcycle so safety in any car is going to be good to me. I did hit a fairly large deer last week at about 30 mph and the damage to my little Smart was minimal. Parts are way reasonably priced too. If I had one complaint it would be how the wind will rock the little car on the highway but I never really feel like I'm fighting the wheel because the steering is really quick like a go-cart. It's good, cheap, fun transportation. Love it!!!
13 out of 13 people found this review helpful. Did you?
4 out of 5 stars
Less is more
on December 8, 2013
Title says it all, if single or just a couple its all you need. This is my fourth Smart and they are a reliable economical fun to drive minimalist form of transport. Think outside the box when approaching this car since it is totally unique and can't be compared to a normal vehicle, you wouldn't compare a Harley to a car and the same is true with the Smart.
It excels around town and always gives more than is expected cross country which leaves one satisfied.
It can be faulted in ride over terrible roads, not as economical as some expect for its size but is probably the most highly developed small car ever with outstanding safety ratings. One lasting impression of the Smart is every feature of the design was done for a reason and was not part of the evolutionary process that other cars have been through. The rule book for normal cars does not apply so it has to be approached with an open mind and studied at length to dispel prejudices to fully appreciate the concept.
7 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you?
5 out of 5 stars
from Rochester, WA
on February 11, 2016
This is a Great Car for people who know what they're buying!!! I had a Mitsubishi Lancer Rally Edition before this. If you're looking for; an SUV, a V8 or Rally-Like handling... This is not for You. This is for a Smart, Common-Sense Style driver who knows how to; Look Ahead, Enjoy Comfort and Great Mileage. I own the coupe and have been incredibly happy with it's ride and performance. I have no issue reaching 60 by the end of an On-Ramp to the Freeway and after that it's quite snappy. It is light weight and very low to the ground, but still easy to get in and out of ( I have a torn disc and several herniated). The shifting and automated wipers take something to get used to... But Once you do, You'll Love It as Much as I do.
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?
5 out of 5 stars
from Fort Myers , Florida
on January 6, 2012
This car is a blast and one of the best small cars on the market! Seating for two hence its name Fortwo and Mercedes Benz craftsmanship lead to a winning combination! Now with 5/50,000 mile warranty! This car is a magnet for people wherever i go! This is my 2nd smart and i am looking now for my 3rd!
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?
4 out of 5 stars
Excellent Gas Miles
from Temple, TX
on December 19, 2012
It is a nice little car for running around town. Just have to get used to gear changes and sometimes jerky movements. The best feature is the gas miles - I monitored it twice and I got 37 and 38 miles to the gallon so it is paying off during these high gas prices. Of course you cant carry much in it and I also hear the 10,000 maintenance one has to take it into a Smartcar dealer and it will cost about 200.00. I am also told that cost is just not O&L but they check the little car out thoroughly so I will wait and see what that is all about when my 10,000 miles comes up. Many asked me if I am safe in the car? I told them that it has 8 airbags and that I dont put myself in situation where I would get into a severe wrecks. I enjoy driving it and hope to use it for a long long!
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?
5 out of 5 stars
It goes with my Truck!
from Ocala FL
on March 17, 2017
I am not picky. That being said I normally drive a good old Ford truck and love it. But it does eat the fuel and I drive quite a bit every day. By having both vehicles I have all my bases covered. A lil zippy thing that handles great and holds just enough, and compliments my old workhorse Ford that can move anything. Love them both!!
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?
5 out of 5 stars
The Car Guy & His Smart -- 4 Years In
from Kailua, HI (Windward Oahu)
on May 26, 2018
Prior to purchasing my used Smart ForTwo Cabrio convertible I street drove (and drag raced at tracks located up & down the West Coast) a built-up 750 HP 1987 Buick Grand National for 17 years. I also owned a 2004 Pontiac GTO LS1 that I tweaked. After my move to Oahu I needed something MUCH smaller as the roads and parking spaces here are dinky! Being an all-out performance-oriented "Car Guy", getting a Smart was a HUGE change. I should note it has the Brabus performance wheel & tire package but not the suspension, as for some reason the original owner ordered it this way.
I have owned my Smart 4 years now-- here is my "Short Take"
(1) When driven using the paddle shifters, it's a lot quicker that it looks.
(2) The looks on people's faces when you pass them at 105 MPH...in a Smart.
(3) The stock suspension offers spry handling on curvy roads such as my commute route around the South Shore of Oahu (Kalanianaole Highway)
(4) Excellent fuel economy
(5) Super reliable..all I've done is give it gas, oil change/filter change every 10K miles, air filter every 20K, and tires-- that's it. I also detail it once a month.
(6) You can actually use it to do a Costco run, as the front passenger seat folds completely flat.
(1) The designer(s) who came up with the idea of using an overly complex, electrically operated/pushbutton tailgate release mechanism Instead of a simple manually operated handle should be strung up and flogged with the lifeless body of their direct supervisor who approved it. I cannot begin to count the number of times I haven't been able to get the tailgate open and the "Emergency Tailgate Procedure" spelled out in the Owner's Manual calls for-- get this-- drilling two xxxxx in the tailgate interior panel, then using two screwdrivers ** simultaneously ** to undo the latches that are on each side. Invariably I end up swearing and pulling the crap out of the tailgate until it gives. On one occasion I had someone push the release button while I kicked the tailgate open from the inside.
(2) The Cabrio's removable roof rails, which are skinned in metal-- are susceptible to RUST-- really?? On a car where you can change out all the exterior plastic body panels in a couple of hours?? And, good luck trying to find replacements.
(3) The car's OEM rear springs should be 1" shorter to get rid of the "stinkbug" look. Lowering springs are available from the aftermarket, but still....
(4) Everyone asks if they can borrow it, as it is a perfect island runner.
Like a can of SPAM Classic (not Teriyaki, Jalapeno or Chorizo SPAM), it's an acquired taste at first. But, if you cook it just right you are forever hooked.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you?
5 out of 5 stars
Smart car is Smart choice!!
from Red Lion, PA
on February 12, 2012
After owning my 2012 Smart car for about a month, I can say it's a great value for a small car. In my 44 years of driving experience, and after owning everything from Triumph Spitfires, Corvettes & Porsche 911s, I have to rate the Smart car as a blast to drive!!
It gets So MUCH attention from passerbys asking about milage, who makes it, etc that I'm just amazed. The short wheel base makes for a somewhat choppy ride which is to be expected but not really unpleasant. The 'Automated Manual' transmission (as Smart calls it) is fun to drive using the paddles on the steering wheel or the floor shifter.
When in the automated mode, there is a hesitation in the shift which can be minimized by letting up on the gas pedal. This is much like the 'automatic stickshift' VW Beetle I owned in the 70's.
My car is the 'Passion' model which features heated seats, panoramic roof, leather interior and much more for the money. The luggage area behind the seats offers enough room for a weeks worth of groceries or a days worth of shopping at the mall.
I've been averaging between 40.9 to 45.7 MPG in mixed highway/town driving. There's enough acceleration to meet highway speeds when merging and quite often I find myself cruising above the posted speed limits here in Pennsylvania (65MPH) and I have to let off the gas a tad.
Overall, I give the Smart Passion high marks for fit and finish of the interior as well as the exterior. It's a well designed machine and I would recommend it to anyone who's looking for a small, gas sipping vehicle.
16 out of 17 people found this review helpful. Did you?
1 out of 5 stars
WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT BUY THIS CAR!!
from Kansas City, MO
on June 28, 2012
After switching from a V8 powered SUV to a smart car, I thought I had made the right choice. What sold me on this car was the great gas mileage. After purchasing the vehicle, I was happy with it for the first week or so. Then I changed my mind. I have the convertible model, if you can call it a convertible. 5 days after my purchase, it was raining and I was driving to work as usual. I hadn't been driving more than a minute or two when I noticed water was dripping in through some cracks in the top, along the edges where the roof should seal. This was just the beginning of a long list of critical problems I have had with this car. I took it to the dealer and they agreed to replace my top. The next day, I didn't have the leak problem anymore, but that would have been the least of my concerns. On the freeway, I began to notice an alarming popping noise in my front suspension. Every time I would go over the slightest rut in the road, it would pop even louder than the last pop. Then I got a warning light on my dash warning me that the braking system was having some major problems. By then, I had had enough. I pulled off the side of the road and called a tow truck. I arrived at the dealer 2 hours later. They inspected the car, and came to the conclusion that my car had suffered a complete mechanical breakdown while I was driving it. The suspension was shot, the engine was damaged so bad, I would have to have it replaced. The transmission was damaged and the brakes were going to have to be replaced. Basically, I was looking at replacing everything in the car. The bill was going to be astronomical. Never should have bought this car. I previously owned a Land Rover LR3 that never needed more than an oil change and some tire rotations. But this, no. Six days of driving and it crapped out. Don't get this car, it isn't worth the money.
10 out of 19 people found this review helpful. Did you?