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Smart Car Advice


bmzero

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I was hoping to put off buying a Smart for a year or so, but after the rally, I have picked up a case of the Smart car bug.

 

I *think* I would like to have a convertible. I took a test drive in one yesterday and the road noise was not an issue for me. I don't see any down side to the convertible, but I would like to hear some opinions on that.

 

I have a couple of convertibles local to me that are for sale.

 

2008 - 13,500 miles, great condition, loaded out

$8900

http://bham.craigslist.org/cto/4950656687.html

 

00I0I_4dKvvjj7mxM_600x450.jpg

 

 

 

2012 - 21,200 miles, great condition, CPO, 1 year warranty, more warranty available for purchase

$12,000 - and Mercedes will finance for 9%. At that rate, it wouldn't make sense to spend cash on it.

http://www.autoipacket.com/packet-share/?p=3E489377-F126-FBEB-2038810BCBC66278

P558781%20(1)Full.jpg?%7Bts%20%272015-04

 

Both vehicles seem to be nearly identical. I didn't notice any major differences in the car. Is there a benefit of one year over the other?

"Willy Mammoth" - Volvo 730, Sold

Heartland Cyclone 4000 Toy Hauler
T-Minus 26 years and counting to being a full timer.

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We were the 4th couple to put a smart on the back of a HDT. We were the first to have a cabrio (convertible) Ours was one of the original smart's brought into the US and converted to meet US standards it was a 2003. We drove it for almost 4 years and never had a problem with either the car or the convertible top. It was very slick in that you could open or close at any speed. It was a hoot to drive

 

Dennis

USA Master Sergeant Ret.

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"2012 - 21,200 miles, great condition, CPO, 1 year warranty, more warranty available for purchase

$12,000 - and Mercedes will finance for 9%. At that rate, it wouldn't make sense to spend cash on it."

 

You probably meant .9% on that finance rate. If not, pay the cash. But the price is a little high with that mileage.

Rocky & Sheri Rhoades
'01 Volvo 770
2016 DRV Mobile Suites, Houston
HERO Makers Ministry

 

30495168531_143d8fb8d6_m.jpg

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"2012 - 21,200 miles, great condition, CPO, 1 year warranty, more warranty available for purchase

$12,000 - and Mercedes will finance for 9%. At that rate, it wouldn't make sense to spend cash on it."

 

You probably meant .9% on that finance rate. If not, pay the cash. But the price is a little high with that mileage.

 

Ouch, yes, I did mean .9%. 9% wouldn't be a good move.

"Willy Mammoth" - Volvo 730, Sold

Heartland Cyclone 4000 Toy Hauler
T-Minus 26 years and counting to being a full timer.

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I would suggest looking further afield (canada) lower prices and the dollar exchange is very favourable , 25% or more.

We looked at a smart passion - 2013 and it was $7000.00.

 

Wow, that's a significant savings. I have never bought a car from CAN. Are there any hoops to jump through on the import/registration process?

"Willy Mammoth" - Volvo 730, Sold

Heartland Cyclone 4000 Toy Hauler
T-Minus 26 years and counting to being a full timer.

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Wow, that's a significant savings. I have never bought a car from CAN. Are there any hoops to jump through on the import/registration process?

Probably not. When we bought our smart in 2006 I investigated bringing in a diesel (all they had back then) from Canada and it could not be done, especially in a state with emission inspections. The safety issue may be resolved now that the smart is available in the US.

 

When we bought our '05 G&K conversion in '06 we took what we could get, a coupe. I was leery of the cabrio due to carrying it down the road sideways, now proven to be an unfounded concern.

 

When we bought the '11 smart late in 2011 (8k miles, $13k) we test drove a cabrio, the DW was very unhappy with the large blind spot in the cabrio.

 

I should point out that my first car was a convertible and since then - I'll be 70 next week - I have never been without at least one convertible in the stable! Got home from winter in AZ yesterday and I was happy to drop the top on the Z3 today!

Dennis & Nancy
Tucson, AZ in winter, on the road in summer.

1999 Volvo 610 "Bud" 425 HP Volvo, Super 10 spd.
2005 Mountain Aire 35 BLKS
2013 smart fortwo CityFlame riding on Bud
(Replaced '05 smart first loaded in '06

and '11 smart that gave it's life to save me!)
Our Travel Blog

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The only thing I don't like about the convertible is when sun is high, it is always in your eyes so I have to wear a ball cap or cowboy hat. Oh, one more thing, I'm still in the Cabinet racket, dusty work. Dust off the floor and my clothes is always circulating around the cab. Getting in my eyes. I'm always vacuuming it.

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My smart is a silver 2009 exactly like the one picture, but it's kind of an oddball. It's a Passion, but a hardtop like a Pure. I like the hardtop because I don't care for sunroofs, and the hardtop gives me more headroom.

Doug
Frequent "lurker"
Occasional poster
First step towards the RV setup complete: 1 smart car

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Thanks for the feedback. I'm really not seeing many differences between the earlier models and the later models. As for our purposes (loading on/off, storing on bed, etc.), are there any important differences?

"Willy Mammoth" - Volvo 730, Sold

Heartland Cyclone 4000 Toy Hauler
T-Minus 26 years and counting to being a full timer.

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Check here for feedback on differnt years. You may find more info from a larger base. http://www.clubsmartcar.ca/%C2'> There is also a US forum. Smartcar USA I think....the CND one is pretty active. Lors of Smarts in Canada.

 

One thing to consider is the newer you get the more warranty they have left. They do have ext warranty but bought at dealer. Parts are all dealer there are almost zero aftermarket anything but oil and tires. They are higher than most car parts by a fair bit. Working on the beast is not anything you will enjoy I can atest to that. So, when we upgrade I will be looking for as late a model as I can manage with as much warranty I can get.

Bill and Joan and 3 Collie pups

2001 Volvo VNL 770 "The Doghouse" Singled short, "ET" hItch VED12 465HP Gen 1 Autoshift 3.58 ratio  2005 Mobile Suite 38RL3  2011 Smart Passion loaded piggybacK

Weigh-It Portable RV Scales http://www.weighitrv.com/

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Thanks for the feedback. I'm really not seeing many differences between the earlier models and the later models. As for our purposes (loading on/off, storing on bed, etc.), are there any important differences?

Not that I can see.

2006 Volvo 780 "Hoss" Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

Bed Build by "JW Morgan's Custom Welding"

2017 DRV 39DBRS3

2013 Smart Passion Coupe "Itty Bitty"

 

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first!"

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Depends on how "early" you mean. The gray market 450's and Canadian 450's are slightly shorter and narrower than the US 451's

Dennis & Nancy
Tucson, AZ in winter, on the road in summer.

1999 Volvo 610 "Bud" 425 HP Volvo, Super 10 spd.
2005 Mountain Aire 35 BLKS
2013 smart fortwo CityFlame riding on Bud
(Replaced '05 smart first loaded in '06

and '11 smart that gave it's life to save me!)
Our Travel Blog

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From my searching for a replacement smart last fall, I was told by a salesman in Plano, TX. (who used to service the cars) that the Brabus is actually lowered in the front suspension making it a little harder to clear the deck if you intend to haul your smart like I do in the picture below.

 

I would also plan your deck build allowing for a 4" wider smart in the future.

Rocky & Sheri Rhoades
'01 Volvo 770
2016 DRV Mobile Suites, Houston
HERO Makers Ministry

 

30495168531_143d8fb8d6_m.jpg

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From my searching for a replacement smart last fall, I was told by a salesman in Plano, TX. (who used to service the cars) that the Brabus is actually lowered in the front suspension making it a little harder to clear the deck if you intend to haul your smart like I do in the picture below.

 

I would also plan your deck build allowing for a 4" wider smart in the future.

 

Thanks, Ricky. That's the type of information I was looking for. I will probably avoid the Brabus anyway, just because of the price increase. I will probably apply my own styling features anyway. Something like this:

 

toyo-tires-smart-project-48.jpg

 

I took the following two photos of this car at the SEMA show last year.

 

16553090643_e678f54d86_b.jpg

 

16987093539_f47cdb3710_b.jpg

 

I'm joking, but I do appreciate the effort that went into building this car. I don't think that would work too well on the back of the Volvo, though.

"Willy Mammoth" - Volvo 730, Sold

Heartland Cyclone 4000 Toy Hauler
T-Minus 26 years and counting to being a full timer.

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BMzero;

 

That would be a handful with the engine from the Kawasaki H2R! Only way to load it would be a lift, heck it couldn't leave the campsite in most areas!

 

But it sure would be fun! When you found that "certain" piece of tarmac reminiscent of Monza, Brands Hatch or Laguna Seca!

 

Curt

2001 Freightliner Century, 500hp Series 60, Gen 2 autoshift, 3.42 singled rear locker.

2004 Keystone Sprinter 299RLS (TT)

2 & 4 Wheelers!

2013 Polaris Ranger 800 midsize LE

Our motto "4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul!"

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BMzero;

 

That would be a handful with the engine from the Kawasaki H2R! Only way to load it would be a lift, heck it couldn't leave the campsite in most areas!

 

But it sure would be fun! When you found that "certain" piece of tarmac reminiscent of Monza, Brands Hatch or Laguna Seca!

 

Curt

 

Curt, if anything, it would get a supercharged Motus V4.

 

I built the seat pan and subframe assembly for this bike a couple of weeks ago. It did 230HP at the tire w/ a 140lb (engine only) dry weight.

 

17218521675_0224130d5a_b.jpg

 

More info on the engine - http://motusmotorcycles.com/american-v4

"Willy Mammoth" - Volvo 730, Sold

Heartland Cyclone 4000 Toy Hauler
T-Minus 26 years and counting to being a full timer.

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BMzero;

 

It might make more torque, but the 2015 Kawasaki H2R inline 4 puts out 300hp! There is a YouTube with one making 326hp! Guess it depends on who built it that day!

 

Curt

2001 Freightliner Century, 500hp Series 60, Gen 2 autoshift, 3.42 singled rear locker.

2004 Keystone Sprinter 299RLS (TT)

2 & 4 Wheelers!

2013 Polaris Ranger 800 midsize LE

Our motto "4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul!"

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BMzero;

 

It might make more torque, but the 2015 Kawasaki H2R inline 4 puts out 300hp! There is a YouTube with one making 326hp! Guess it depends on who built it that day!

 

Curt

 

Curt, the Motus motor is made about 30 minutes from my house, in America. Plus, it sounds just like my LS7 Z06! Can't beat that sound, and it's actually available, unlike the Kawi engine. I can get the total package (engine, intake, throttle bodies, electronics, etc.) from Motus for around $10k.

 

To each his own, I guess, but I would gladly give up that HP for the Motus motor. At 3500 RPM, it's about 20% off of peak torque with equates to a very drivable/smooth power curve.

"Willy Mammoth" - Volvo 730, Sold

Heartland Cyclone 4000 Toy Hauler
T-Minus 26 years and counting to being a full timer.

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