Bought in Nov 99 My smart Passion has covered 52,000 trouble free miles, averages 57mpg and has never let me down. Appart fror regular servicing it has got through one set of brake pads (44,000 miles) two side light bulbs and a rear stop light bulb. I cannot fault the car. On the consumption front, yes the average is 57 but the worst was 39 and the best 65. I drive a steady 33 miles to work and back, but if you clog it I can drop to the low 50's. I have fitted Sportiva wheels which reduces the consumption further, but well worth the effort. I have a deposite down for the Roadster when it arrives. Roll on 2003. The smart is the best fun you can have on four wheels.
I first bought and I got it home and the indicators didn't work that cost 30 pounds to fix it and then the starter motor connection came loose. The car wouldn't start in the middle of the night when I needed to get to work the dealer told me to have the spark plugs replaced.
I have had lots of problems with the car, but it's rather good for the money. It's my first car as well, and I've just past my driving test.
I have owned my SMART from new since April 2002 - no mechanical problems. Would agree with the drift in even light wind, but I think that adds to the fun. I do 16 miles a day in "town" traffic and am averaging 55MPG which I'm happy with.
I would warn AGAINST buying it from the internet (even their own website) as the support was awful - really wished I had gone straight to the MK SMARTCENTRE!
I think that 50-65 MPG is very poor for a 600cc diesel. We have a 1.0 Nissan Micra which is just as quick and we regularly get 50-55 MPG. I have a Toyota Yaris 1.4 D4D which is far quicker than the smart and has 5 seats and I get 60-70 MPG on my 30 mile trip to work. The previous car I owned was a 2.0 Nissan Primera petrol which I could get 35-45 MPG from, which when considering this is 1.4 litres more and only 10 MPG less and does 0-60 in around 8.5 seconds means the smart is poor on fuel. I would expect 80 MPG+ from something like this, you are better off buying a second hand Honda Insight which has two seats a 1.0 hybrid engine 0-60 in 13 seconds and does 90MPG+, or a Toyota Prius if you want 5 seats these can do well over 60 to the gallon. I do like the principle of the smart however, but I think a little more development is required.
To reply to the previous post: it's not a 600cc diesel engine, but either a 600cc PETROL engine or a 800cc diesel. My diesel returned 57 MPG on a recent trip from Munich to Strasbourg (driving at 60-70 MPH). I think it's not that bad. It could be better if the car had better aerodynamics. But in city traffic this is not a problem!
People should stop moaning about its aerodynamics and fuel economy. To be honest it's a 'chick' fashion car. Like a Gucci watch it does its job at a price as it looks nice, but does not excel as a drivers car. The engine is a turbo so the harder you rag the engine, you will get poor MPG. Treat the throttle lightly you'll find a high MPG around 60.
These cars are pricey and weren't designed to be a drivers car, more to be practical. If you want a drivers car get a mini cooper s. If you don't like the performance, chip the engine and raise the boost.
I have not had any problems with either of my two smarts. I am picking up my third on saturday. My fuel economy dramatically increased after about 10,000miles. I regularly get over 60mpg, at any speed. I think the engine has to loosen up first to maximise mpg... maybe it is just me. either way if anyone has any doubts, then hire one for a week (£5 per day) and take a test drive.
I have never regretted buying my smart, and I am sorry for those who have encountered problems.
I am the owner of one of the very few Smart Diesels (800cc turbo) in the UK, and I have rediscovered driving for fun. I truly look forward to getting out of bed each day just so I can drive my super little (big) car. Given that I have spent my entire life driving trucks further east than Moscow and Istanbul and I am now very nearly 50 years old, that is saying something.
Sadly, though, my little car fell ill a couple of days ago and I fear that the big end may be knocking. I purchased the car second-hand over a year ago (with high mileage then) and have driven her 100 miles everyday on the M25 at top speed, so it is not her fault. Does anyone know where I can get the engine rebuilt, or where I can source a replacement diesel engine? I don't want my little car to die!
Smarts are fun. I used to enjoy driving my car, but also liked parking it (get it in just right), and parking the car tightly into my drive that usually ONLY accommodates one car! I like to watch it from my window parked up. It was if though the car was alive!
"..if you want a driver's car, but a Mini Cooper S..."?
I suggest you actually try the 2 together, you will realise how wrong you are. Don't allow yourself to be tricked by its looks. The Smart packs the same launch traction control, yaw control, body roll control, cornering traction control as the most expensive "sports" car. It even has a fully active diff which actually works, unlike the dangerous item fitted to the hopeless Focus RS.
I've never driven a car that's anything like a Smart, and that's a compliment.
I have owned a Smart car for just over a year and I drive around in London and do about 20,000 miles. I have to say after the first 10,000 miles the engine really loosened up and it does give better economy and performance. I tried to drive a Merc to and from work and apart from the obvious fuel economy issues i.e. the smart was giving 55 mpg in London traffic and the larger Merc gave 22.5 mpg. I much rather prefer the Smart. If your ego does not require you to drive a large car and your don't do too many motor way miles, the smart is the future of personal transport. I have uprated the stereo, bluetooth car kit fitted and Sat Nav, now I can't live with out it.