I just would love to own a Smart Fortwo, but I do not like the fact I would be paying $4500 more for the same model (or similar) : Coupe Passion. Compare www.thesmart.ca and www.smartusa.com to see. On the other hand, the Canadian warranty is for 4 years, while USA's is only 2 (is this why we pay more, even if our dollars are at par?).
Last and not least, cost of ownership is very high (or so it was with Canadian's diesel) : regular maintenance checkups were quoted as $300 and $450 alternately!!! Way more than any other affordable car... I am a taker, but not at all cost!
I've been interested in the Smart coupe, and there are several in our town now. My concerns, however, are the advantages of the Smart.
The website claims 33mpg highway for the Smart, which is 3mpg LESS than the Ford Focus, Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and similar much larger, more powerful and more comfortable cars.
There also seems to be no price difference between the Smart and larger subcompact or compact cars.
I asked one local man who owns one what his fuel mileage was and he said between 28 and 32. My current 6 passenger sedan gets 30. I guess what I'm asking is, why should I look at a Smart? Are there any advantages? I assumed they got really great mileage, but it appears they don't.
I do think they are cute, but I'm not sure cute is a very good reason to look at one.
I wrote the comment above yours and researched your question:
EPA (US environment protection agency) has come up with new ways of calculating vehicle's consumption: they come into effect for the year 2008 and beyond.
On smartusa.com, the ratings are 33/41 MPG for 2008, but were 40/45 with the old standards. Make sure the other car's figures were EPA 2008.
Thank you commenter 23:50. I appreciate the information. I also noticed that in your previous comment that the U.S. warranty is only TWO YEARS!! I hadn't caught that. Since the fuel mileage is very little better than a standard compact, the price is higher, and the warranty AWFUL (that's the shortest in the car business that I know of!) I think I'll pass on the Smart.
Drive a Smart and if you really like it and think it is fun to drive then you will probably enjoy having one. The fuel economy is just a bonus. The highest economy right now can only be found in VW diesels and the expensive Prius. Buy a Smart because you like it for no other reason than it's fun to use. Practicality-look else where. Car ownership is expensive no matter what you look at driving. Good luck.
I believe the smart CDI diesel would not pass the Cali emissions, and so the 3cyl gas engine was made the NA standard. This is unfortunate as Canada has now lost the diesel engine that made the smart an affordable car.
The fuel savings over my previous car were significant. I don't know what the numbers would be for the '08 gas model. The major advantage of the smart is city driving and parking. They are the undisputed king of impossible parking spots.
Not so smart. I remember back in the 90s I drove a 1990 Geo Metro 1 liter, 3 cylinder, 5 speed manual for the hospital emergency stats. The Geo got 50 mpg freeway and 45 mpg city and easy to park and went over 160,000 miles with regular oil change and maintenance. My nephew drives a 2002 Toyota Echo that gets 40mpg freeway and 35mpg city and it's an automatic with a 1.5 liter engine with bullet proof reliability. The smart is a 2 seater meaning you get half the car and you pay twice as much for parts. The Smart price should be around $7000-$8000.
16:32 is right on. I've looked at the Smart. It has the worst warranty of any car built (two years), costs more than a Ford Fusion, and gets poor mileage for what is, for all purposes and intents a 4-wheeled motor scooter. It is slow (DANGEROUSLY slow) and its near-square wheelbase and high center of gravity make it an accident waiting to happen. I'll take a used 90's Metro any day. Any new GM or Ford subcompact offers more car, better performance, greater safety and nearly equal fuel mileage at far less cost.
This car only has appeal to people who want to scream " look at me I am green!!!" with the car they drive. Poor warranty verses the completion and pricier than cars with more features and utility make it hard to justify buying this. The fuel economy is good, but for two or three mpg less people can get a far better equipped and safer car. If this car was sold at $8,000 to $9,000, it would make more sense.
I don't personally own a smart 451. I do love the look of the car, as well as the fact that it has a lot of character when compared to most of the new cars that are currently available on the market today.
When you compare this car with a lot of other cars like the Yaris or the Honda Jazz, or even the Hyundai Getz, you are completely missing the point of this car!
It is not designed for the average car buyer. It is mainly designed for anyone who wants a unique car to break away from the usual molds that most cars seem to come off.
The reality is that the fact it basically made by Mercedes, plus the fact that the car is so unusual, and with these factors involved, you are going to pay a higher price for the car as a result.
I am not saying that anyone who buys a normal practical car is in any way dull or boring. I am mainly saying that this car is made for anyone wants something different to the normal car, like the VW Beetle.
I understand anyone who says that this car is overpriced or expensive for service and parts. A simple matter to this fact is that no one is forcing you to buy a smart 451.
As I have stated earlier on, this car is made anyone who wants to be different. It is not for everyone.
Have been meaning to look at one of these. I am in a situation where there are 17 bus services to get me where I need to go in most cases without having to change services in the city centre. A good car they are, but rather overpriced for what they are. No longer the bargain they used to be in Australia, and for five grand less you can get a Suzuki Alto. If looking at a car in the same price class as a smart, I recommend going to check out a Nissan Micra, Toyota Yaris, Mazda2 or Ford Fiesta. I am currently driving a Tiida, which is fun and safe, but a girls car.
Safety is actually quite good. Review real crash stories at safeandsmart dot com.
As for comparing it to a Fit or Versa... It's a very different car. That said, compare the active and passive safety equipment. Neither of those cars can match the smart. Also compare what you can get on a loaded smart. Again no comparison.
That said, the warranty bites.