2006 smart fortwo - city coupe Pulse 0.8 from North America


Should have got a Yaris..


Wow, this car is a nightmare, and it is for the other people I know who have one as well.

Water seeped into the roof and started to mold. Obviously a defective roof. The dealership said it was my fault because and I quote "You left it outside in heavy rain"

They quoted me $800 to fix... I told them to go pound themselves.

Transmission stopped working. $1200 to fix. Even though I had a 4 year bumper to bumper. They said it was my fault again because I "drove the car to hard and was shifting aggressively"

The only thing is... you CAN'T shift aggressively... it's all electronic and anyone who has driven a Smart knows how long the lag time between shifts is.

I had 4 count them 4 tires just randomly blow on the rear. The fronts are fine but the rears are not designed well. Of course the dealership would not even talk to me about compensation as I must have been driving over glass and nails, even though the tires were damaged from the inside.

Also they are custom, so you have to order them special, which costs lots of $$$. $150 a tire...

The block heater stopped working one month into the winter. This car is NOT properly tested for cold weather, so if you live in Canada or northern states, don't get one.

BOTH the TRACTION CONTROL and ABS cut out after it hits -20C... which is exactly when you need them... again the Germans didn't cold weather test this car.

Where I live, you have to take it to the dealership because you need a special tool to suck the oil out of the car. So they rape you on oil changes.

I got the oil changed and the dealership people forgot to reset the sensors. I didn't go back for a couple months because I knew the oil had been changed... this car will SIMULATE problems that are dangerous.

LIKE - not idling past 3000 - not going anywhere when you press the gas - I was at a steep intersection and almost got killed by oncoming traffic because some idiot designed this car to SIMULATE problems if you don't take it in for service.

I got the sensor reset as it should have been in the first place and everything was fine.

General Comments:

If you're looking for a cute car that's unique, and you don't care about safety or reliability, then buy this car.

I was finishing up University when I bought this car, because I needed something with a warranty that was good on gas.

50% of my complaints are towards my local dealership. These people are scum. They will smile and take your money, but if there are ANY service issues, their policy is to make it seem like it's your fault and to get you to pay. I know a bunch of the mechanics who work there, and they are trained in a certain way to talk to customers and make them think its their fault.

What goes around comes around; I have turned SO many of my friends away from buying new cars from there.

The other 50% is of course against the reliability. I honestly did not need these hassles when I was in my last year of University, which is why I am so annoyed at the service and the car. The last thing a student needs is the added stress of not being able to get to school, because your brand new car doesn't work, and on top of that your warranty doesn't count for crap and you have to pay.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th July, 2008

16th Oct 2008, 06:29

You say that when you got the car had 215km, it seems that it wasn't brand new. I believe you were cheated from the beginning.

13th Dec 2008, 14:42

You say you knew a bunch of the mechanics that work at the dealership you took it to and that they have a way of glossing over problems when they talk to customers. You didn't ask them first before you bought the car?

The smart trans shifts OK if you are at the proper rpm for the next upshift. Maybe part of the problem is you? Before you ask, yes, I do own one and it is a capable microcar. The blockheater has worked fine for two winters now (occasional -30C)

The first service I had done was a B inspection and it is the more expensive of the two. Until I did the math I thought I was getting screwed too. Try to follow...

My old car was a '92 Corsica 3.1L engine. It cost me about $200 a month in gas (a tank a week) not including the many repairs on a 15+ year old car. The smart cost me $50 a month on gas and I have had absolutely zero problems with it. That is a savings of $150/month and it takes me about 7 months to travel the 8000km between services. That is $1050 in my pocket over the Corsica. So, yeah, when you get a $400 service it hurts until you realise you have saved $650 over the course of 7 months.

This car (and any other car) cannot simulate problems.

There is no problem with ABS or the ESP (M-B traction control) on my smart so I'll describe how it works. When my right foot is too heavy on ice or snow, the orange ESP light flashes and cuts power to the engine no matter where my foot is on the accelerator. After a delay of maybe 2 seconds, it allows more power to be applied. It allows me to accelerate far faster than just pinning the throttle and letting the front wheels spin to absurd speeds while moving the car nowhere. Your lack of understanding comes partly from the dealership, and partly from not sitting down in a comfortable chair with your owners manual and reading about your car.

I love mine for around the city, and find it to be a capable and reliable vehicle. I also have a good dealership.

2006 smart fortwo - city coupe Pulse 700 turbo from Australia and New Zealand


Perfect small car with charisma..


Nothing has gone wrong with my Smart. First service is at 15000 km and after a year of driving it every day, I am still not there yet.

General Comments:

When I started a new job around a year ago, my employers gave me the carrot on a stick of choosing my own work car. As the company already had a bunch of vans, a truck and a couple of station wagons, I thought a Smart would be a good choice.

When it first arrived, everyone thought I was mad. That was, until they drove it. It is a great fun little beast. With the 6 speed sequential clutchless manual gearbox, it takes a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it's great. One thing you have to do though is physically change gear a bit before you actually want the car to. By the time the computer and engine do the change, it can be a second or so. I think this is why there are so many negative reviews about the gearbox - reviewers simply don't have enough time to get the hang of the new way of driving over the review period.

The car revs happily to redline through all the gears and when you floor it from standstill, it seems to go into some sort of high-boost mode - it really leaps!

Every day I drive around 20km each way to my workplace, pretty much all of it motorway speed. The car is extremely happy at these speeds - spinning at only 2600rpm at 100kph in top gear. It is also very quiet at these speeds.

The ride is quite stiff and the short wheelbase makes the car sensitive to pitch, but the handling is pretty predictable. As with most modern cars, when pushed it under steers, but no more than any other small front wheel drive that I've driven. The good thing is that because of it's light weight, it never gets unrecoverable. Just button off a bit and it's back into line. It also has electronic stability control courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, that I have managed to invoke a few times, mainly over speed humps and strange surfaces.

The car fits more cargo than you would think considering it's external size. The passenger seat folds forward so that you can happily store long cargo up to about 2 metres long. The rear hatch opens with the top half (glass) upwards, and the rest downward to make a very strong loading shelf. From first hand experience, it is strong enough to picnic on, with the glass above keeping out the weather...

Visibility is great and the driving position is higher than in most passenger cars. The triangle rear view mirror is a little useless, but the external mirrors are good.

The standard stereo is good, but not great and the air conditioning is brilliant in the summer to counter the heat from the glass roof. The seats are very comfortable and I really like the way that they are steel backed and powder coated to keep the cargo where it belongs.

My only design complaint is that the car is air-tight. When all the windows are up, the door can bounce off the internal air and fail to close properly. Often I leave the window down a bit so that the doors can close without effort.

Another great thing about the smart is that it is really easy to clean! It only takes a couple of minutes and it's sparkling again.

Sometimes it gets a bit tiring driving around with people staring and pointing at the car. It is impossible to disappear in a Smart Fortwo.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th January, 2007

24th Oct 2007, 15:36

Wow! I'm so glad I found these comments. My sons have been trying to put me off buying one of these cars. But after reading your review... that's it I'm sold.

Regards Debbie.

5th Feb 2012, 06:08

Did you read the first comment on top? He had nothing but problems.