We bought our first Smart in 2008...it shook so violently at speeds over 40mph we had to take it back..I know the car was new to the market then, I think they rushed it out with MANY problems...we had to go back to the dealer and ask them to replace it..they did, but they added that to my loan for the second car...the second car was ok but the loan was now very high, nearly $400 a month for 7yrs..I was too distracted as the recession hit us hard and we were scrambling to survive. We moved far away from the original dealership and the car died in 2012 while still paying the loan off...no service shops near us could diagnose or fix the car..it had to go back to the dealer only. I started reading online reviews abt the car..and that year...many people reported transmission problems..ours wouldn't go forward or in reverse..it could be a chip reset or transmission..but either way the tow truck, diagnostic fee and repair would be all on us...we couldn't afford all of that and we felt Smart should have RECALLED these cars. We got no help from the dealer, or the 800 numbers. My friend's car was purchased the same year and needed the same thing..a new transmission...a 4k repair. My loan over 7yrs was approx. 35k and now the car needed a 4k fix...the car isn't even worth 4k for resale. I am beyond disgusted and pissed. I am looking to take a law suit against Smart.
2008 smart fortwo Hatchback pure 2dr Hatchback (1.0L 3cyl 5AM)
I bought a used 2013 Smart Fortwo with 27k miles on it from a Mercedes dealer. Love this car. I drive it 50 miles round trip daily to work averaging 38mpg. At first I was skeptical about driving it at high speeds or in heavy traffic, but my experiences have been all good. As with driving any car, I don't like having some idiot riding my tail when I'm going 70mph.
On the inside the car doesn't really feel small. It's narrower than most cars yes, but because the majority of the car is devoted to passenger space, there are no issues with leg room or head room, and I'm 6'1" tall, 250lbs. There is adequate space in the hatch for getting groceries or carrying a couple of suitcases. I sometimes I forget I'm driving such a small car until I park, get out, and look back at it.
I've read other reviews complaining about the ride. It's not a Lincoln Town Car, but I have no complaints. I do try to avoid larger bumps and potholes to save wear and tear on the suspension and front end, but I do that with all of the cars I own.
I've also read reviews complaining about the transmission. No complaints from me though. The transmission is an "automatic manual" transmission, with shifting controlled by a computer rather than my foot on a clutch pedal. You can also shift manually if you want. Either way, if you don't like the feeling of a manual transmission, you won't like the smart car. Nuff said.
The interior is not luxurious but it has all the amenities you would find on any mainstream car.
Overall, driving the car reminds me a little of the old VW Beetle (1960's and 70's vintage) as both the VW and the smart are rear engine German cars. The smart is about the same width or a little wider than the bug, but more comfortable. The smart of course has all the electronic dash features as well as A/C and cruise. The smart is also more fuel efficient than the VW was. And the smart is much quieter; you can just hear the 1000cc Mitsubishi engine purring in the back.
Personally believe that Smart car needs to fix the problems with the reverse issue. This nearly caused me to be in an accident at the end of my driveway. When I thought my car was in reverse is wasnt it actually was rolling down the drive way. I was stuck in the mioddle of the road trying to figure out why I couldnt get it into gear, had to shut it off while on coming traffic had to slam on the brakes! Very scarey and very close call. I feel that this is a saftey issue. Smart car has done nothing about it and does not want to recall it. My car is the 2008 Smart for two. I think that most people that have this car have the same problem. To help this get resolved people have to get on safecar.Gov and make the report for complaint, so then it will be forced into recall. I believe that people may have tried to make the report but the safecar.gov wasnt easliy working for that make or model until I called them directly. I just want people to be safe and companies to own up to their products. From my research its a computer update that is needed and yes its pretty expensive, well maybe just to me, to fix it is about $500.00
Had 2 previous owners I LOVE IT! It's like new, love, love the interior. It's roomy, comfortable, the best looking red and black cloth seats and dash. Peppy engine. Love the transmission. The complaints about the transmission are unfounded. Just let it shift, don't floor the gas, this car is a city car and if driven reasonably, the engine has power and the tranny shifts better than [non-permissible content removed]! Really, it is not a sports car and if driven like you live in the city, it performs flawlessly. I Iive in the mountains and it goes up the steepest hills and has hill ascent and descent control which helps a lot. All cars should have it. On the highway it is stable, a little loud. And I'm averaging 38 to 40. It's all I need and the build quality is Mercedes. The AC is wonderful. Very cold and strong. The packaging is amazing, roomy and stylish. I WILL buy another!!! (UPDATE: 6 MONTHS OF OWNERSHIP, NO PROBLEMS, DID OK ON THE ICE AND SNOW, GOOD TRACTION GOING UP AND DOWN MOUNTAINSIDES. I WILL BUY ANOTHER, GREAT GAS MILEAGE AND NO PROBLEMS WHATSOEVER.)
My wife and I purchased our smart in 2008, paid way to much. The original dealer dropped it,(like no one knew that was coming) and then went to Mercedes. Other then being treated like a red headed step child by the dealer, probably because this thing is so cheap the car is not bad. It took me a while to get the hang of the herky jerky response, and the A/C stop when you really stomp on the accelerator, which other cars I have had did, so no big deal. I now have 25K miles on it and drive it like you beat a rented mule. No real problems to speak of. I use Royal Purple in it and find that seems to work best for oil. I run with the big dogs on the highway and like it a lot.
doofas looking car, get a lot of laughs as I am 6'4" at about 200 lbs.