Homesteading Forum banner

Smart Car?

1034 Views 35 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  TheBlueOne
I was just wondering if anyone has ridden in or driven in one of these? Or maybe you have one?

They fascinate me. I like the scooting around feature of them and I don't have hay to haul, etc.

So, I was wondering if there is any first hand information about them.

(I know they are tiny.
I know many may think they are unsafe
I know they have an aircraft type cockpit cage for safety.

1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Depends on your needs. If you live a good distance from town, you actually get better mileage out of a Prius. Smart Cars are designed to get hybrid type mileage during in town driving.
The bill them as a city car in Germany. Not too bad to get around it and built like a tank though of course they have to be. You see them crammed into impossible parking spaces over there and I imagine that is one of their strong sales points. The whole problem with them is that they aren't all that grand on gas and I am pretty sure the german versions are pretty much all diesel that you can't get over here. I sure wouldn't want one in the city as that is just exactly the environment where you are likely to get T-boned or otherwise rammed by some idiot. Beyond that they are made by Mercedes so you know they are going to be exceedingly expensive. Give me a Honda Civic any day.
My BIL has one for in town driving. It is his company car, and the company bought it as a sort of 'billboard'. It is bright yellow with their logos all over it. It is surprisingly roomy inside, and cost around $10,000. Depending on your needs, to me this does not seem exceedingly expensive for a NEW car, if that's what you want.

The downside, to me, is you can only fit one passenger. But there is a surprising amount of space behind the seats for groceries, etc.

My nephew, however (age 12) took one look at it and said "Don't you know that's a walking deathtrap?"
You can find some interesting posts on them by drivers over on the board. Bunch of car nuts, several of them have smartcars, or have driven them. Most experiences were quite positive.

They are a lot more capable than you'd expect. Ran with one through the western Maryland mountains on the interstate. No problem holding 70 mph up the long steep grades. Ran with another the other day that was consistently pulling away from my Miata at each red light, and was running 80 mph+ on the interstate.
Thanks for the comments and that site to check out.

I once had a Ford Festiva and really loved it as it was small and it set UP, not sitting down into a car. That and the body, just appeals to me.
I'd love to have a yellow one. (I think).

right now I'm driving a 2005 Vibe, and it's that burgundy type color, and there is no snazziness to it. And it's a bit larger than I usually buy, but I had a family carrying reason for this sized car.

Thanks for all those with experience letting me know.
My friend's mother has one - she's in her 70s and lives in town. She love it because it's easy to park, easy to drive and gets great mileage. For a single person in town it would be a great car. Me, I'd have to have a van or SUV until my kids were grown, and then I'd want a sports car.
The downside, to me, is you can only fit one passenger. But there is a surprising amount of space behind the seats for groceries, etc.

Lived in Europe for a few years and this isn't true. They have 4 passenger models. I've seen them and families in them. Never been in one though. But we were amazed of the size some of the guys were that drove them....DH is close to #250+, some of the guys getting out of them were his size! I'd be ok with one if I lived in the city. Not too sure I want to drive into town too far in one, though.
They have the "Smart for Two" that has two seats. I believe it runs around 14K

Actually, as far as the city goes, they are actually pretty darn safe in an accident. Even at impacts of 70MPH, the cabin stays intact (Mind you, the force is still gonna cause injuries). One of my friends was T-boned by a lady going 45... her only injury was bruising from the impact force pushing her into the door. The interior of the car was intact.

I do agree about the repair bills. Made by Mercedes, so I imagine the parts are not cheap.
They haven't released the 4 seater in the US yet.
I'd go two seater.
Just me and mostly to work and back, and occasionally out riding. That's why the Vibe is large for what I do.

Right now, just dreaming -

But, when they first came over, they did have the 4 seater on the webpage, but it's off now. And I've peeked in a window.
(I wonder if a car rental agency has any for trying out.)

Rose, it would seat at least two - You and Me, so no need to ride on the roof.
They're...okay. They are inexpensive, but built REALLY well. (got to check one out a few months ago). VERY light, so handling is a little different than a regular car.

With a combined mpg of 36, it's not all that great. However, as long as you're dreaming ;) keep looking at the new cars. There was recently a nice breakthrough in battery technology, which if it actually works in the real world, will make the electric cars MUCH more competitive.

speaking of which...for just running around grocery shopping, or the occasional run out on backroads, the full electric vehicles. has some interesting ones. Of course, they can't go FAR, (yet).
I'm waiting for the Chevy Volt to come out. I'd love to see the real world/driver comments on that vehicle. I just love the look of the car. Might be out of my $ range though.
If you're looking at getting a Smart Car then make sure you compare insurance rates with other vehicles. I've heard that the insurance rates for them are astronomically high because of their size.
I'd love one of these but I'm pretty sure they're just not practical based on how far we have to drive regularly (a minimum of 20 miles a trip, 90 a day for him, and often more). The other issue is we live in deer country.

But if I lived close enough to the city, I'd definitely consider one.
The GM Truck board had an april fools joke about converting to a smart car board...part of the long discussion included a picture of a crew cab Silverado pulling a travel trailer w/ a smart car parked in the bed...little too small for my tastes.

Two of three fatal truck/auto accidents I've been involved with involved a Toyota Echo and a Chev Cavalier...the echo bounced backwards off a tractor trailer parked on the shoulder and ended up sideways under our front bumper for around 200 yards going down the interstate. The driver vered all the way to the left and was scraping the center barrier trying to avoid it...I doubt a smart car would have done any better.

The following traffic included a nurse and an EMT who got the young lady out and breathing again but she died at the hospital...OEM had the wreckers lift our tractor up so the could Jaws of Life the car open to check the child was 8:30 am and we figured she had just dropped the child at day care and was rushing down I-95 to get to work. She passed us on the right and that's when she hit the other truck's rear end...
See less See more
Smart is a much safer car than similar sized (okay, a little bigger) cars. They've been known to take a rollover and keep on going. They are not tiny inside. My SIL has one and the front seat is fine for long legs. To get the same gas mileage you have to go into a hybrid and pay a lot more money.
Thanks Maura - good to know someone that has one in the family.
With a combined mpg of 36, it's not all that great.
And for the size of the car, this is really disappointing... Shoot, I have a 12 year old Metro that does better than this! :shrug:

PS: Reviews over at Edmunds seem quite positive.
That's one of the things, My 2005 Vibe is about 30 around town and 34 when lightly loaded on the highway. That's about as good as most non-hybrids get these days. The Vibe is a good home, family, work horse car. But I need to paint it or something to give it something special. There are so many of these cars in that darker red color.

(my last car was a 2002 Yellow Mitsubishi Lancer OZ Ralley, that was a special car)
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.