Last post on Dec 08, 2007 at 4:03 PM
You are in the Smart Car
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smart fortwo, Hatchback
#1 of 42 Smart Tour USA Report
May 23, 2007 (8:30 pm)
Today I went to the Mercedes dealership in Covina, Los Angeles, for the private invitation only Smart USA preview. I was told that they were showing the same cars used in the public event last weekend at Irvine. There were a total of 8 smart fortwo's there: blue/yellow/black cabrio and 2black/red/white/silver passion/pure. It was hard to tell which one was passion and which one was pure. They all got alloy wheels, so they all looked like the passion model.
The one that I test drove was the blue cabrio with black tridion cell. For me, it is the most attractive looking of the bunch. The yellow cabrio with silver tridion cell came a close second. I am partial to the black color tridion cell, so maybe if the yellow one got black tridion, it would have a chance against the blue one. I was hoping there would be a red cabrio with black tridion but they only had a red passion with silver tridion. I didn't really like the shade of the red. I was hoping it would be darker like the one they show on the website.
The interior of the car is very simple, nothing fancy. There are plenty of room for seating but not much storage space. The trunk area is small for passion and smaller for the cabrio. It is big enough for a trip to the supermarket, but a trip to Costco may not be a good idea. One interesting thing about the trunk gate release is that you need to pull both levers on the 2 sides to release it. It would be hard to do if you holding something in one hand. The rear view mirror has a funny V shape. At first glance, I thought it was just for the look, but after seating at the driver seat, I found out the reason. The rear view was blocked by the backs of the 2 seats on the sides, so the only visible back view is already covered by the V shape mirror.
Anyway, the test drive was short, but it was expected as there was a very long line. It took a little getting used to the automated manual transmission. The test drive was done in automatic mode, and the gear shifting was a little rough. I was told that it would get a lot better in manual mode. Other than the transmission, it was fun to drive and the car handled well.
At first I thought the private invitations were only sent to the people who put down the $99 reservation fee. Later I found out that most of the people there were invited because they were customers of the dealership. I talked to person behind me in the line for the test drive, and he just happened to be a writer for edmunds inside line. I guess we will be reading a new article on this smart tour event soon.
I took some pictures. Just remove nospam from the URL below to see them.
#2 of 42 Thanks for the report!
May 27, 2007 (8:19 pm)
Thanks for the report and the great pictures!
I look forward to seeing it and driving it as well.
They won't be here in Atlanta until October, but I'm from Houston, and they're going to be there and in San Antonio in July; I'm going to try to go over then.
#3 of 42 Smart Tour
Jun 05, 2007 (7:32 am)
Has anyone in the Midwest heard anything about the tour? I put down my $99 and was told the closest event to me was Denver or Salt Lake (I live in Iowa).
#4 of 42 Re: Smart Tour [74apollo]
Jun 07, 2007 (6:25 pm)
The tour will hit Minneapolis June 16-20, Chicago June 23-27 and Kansas City in October. Check out smartusa.com for the details.
#5 of 42 Re: Smart Tour [poeti18]
Jun 15, 2007 (3:46 am)
Thanks for the report.... it will be October before
they will be in my neck of the woods...
#6 of 42 A Statement Car....
Jun 17, 2007 (7:47 am)
Living in San Francisco, and having a 100 mile per day commute.....I ordered this car back in February. For $14K you can't go wrong with a statement car that obtains over 50MPG. It gets two guys equaling over 500lbs in weight to a speed of over 80 mph on the freeway. It's relatively quiet, handles well....What more do you want?
I don't see them doing as well in the burbs....but definitely an urban blockbuster. Someone environmentally conscious who can't quite justify plunking down that extra $8K for a Prius.
They are a bit soft in the UK and considered pricy for what they are....But what do we have here like this in the land of the fuel sucking Dinosaurs. The Yaris...Cute, but doesn't quite have the personality of the Smart car. Not to mention a similarly equipped Yaris is actually more in price. The FIT...More in price and has those hideous two extra doors....Korean Cars: Let's not even go there....Safety is adequate...as it is in all of the rest...
A well engineered and well equipped urban dream that will get you up to the Sierra's for a quick weekend get away.
#8 of 42 Extremely Disappointed!
Jul 12, 2007 (3:55 pm)
Missed the Chicago debut, so I took a day off and drove down to Indianapolis to see the smarts. VERY cute. Looked even smaller in person. Not that it makes the slightest bit of difference, but during the half-hour wait in the air-conditioned trailer I felt very much like a little kid at the pony rides, having picked out the one I wanted to drive- the blue or black.
I got my last choice- the yellow- oh well. I gotta say, the inside looked... DORKY. Sticking up, on the passenger side dash, is a "v" with with two 2" round tachometer and... an analog clock! (Was there really a demand for this?) It looks tacky, it blocks part of the windshield and if it were mine, the first thing I would do is take a hacksaw to it.
That was irritating, but fixable. However, this cute little car that's supposed to fit EVERYBODY doesn't have a height adjustment on the seat! I couldn't believe it! The last three cars I've owned had this feature, I won't buy a car without it. Many of you may be thinking, so what, use a seat cushion, no big deal. But if you are a short person and/or have back problems, trying to "retrofit" the seat are unsuitable and impossible to keep in place.
I spent hundreds of dollars and countless hours trying to construct something that worked reliability and they would never last. THEN- on my next car, a Honda Civic, I went for a test drive, got in, adjusted the seat and it was PERFECT. Never had a moment's problem after that.
I can't believe that a car company smart enough to design such as... well, smart car, could be so STUPID as to not have what I- and most Americans- consider to be a standard feature- an adjustable seat!
It was a deal-breaker for me.
#9 of 42 Hartford, CT Stop
Jul 12, 2007 (5:34 pm)
Dropped by the Hartford Connecticut stop today and took one for a drive. My daily commute is just shy of 100 miles round trip and I could easily see myself having one of these as a third car and my daily commuter car. It felt like a full size car to me! The two issues I have with the car are the price and rear wheel drive.
Jul 15, 2007 (9:24 am)
Great shots.... thanks!!