2008 Smart Fortwo: Mr. Smart Goes Used Car Shopping
April 08, 2009
So I've been looking for a used car this week in the $7,500 range -- you know, what the Smart should cost brand new. Appropriately enough, the Smart has been my steed, lurching me around the greater L.A. area in hot pursuit of low-mileage rides. Here's what I've looked at thus far, and how each one stacks up against our beloved creamsicle and its $15,305 MSRP.
1999 Lexus LS400, 74k miles, $10,500. A bit steep for a car I'll be driving about 500 miles a year, but what a beautiful V8 (290 hp), even 10 years later. One-owner car (old lady). Makes the Smart feel like something out of Oregon Trail, for 2/3 the price. A hilariously awesome value in relative terms.
1996 Lexus SC400, 82k miles, $7,800. Another one-owner old lady car. Fantastic interior design and craftsmanship. Super-smooth V8 (down 30 hp on the '99 LS400). Nakamichi stereo sounds so good it must have spent its whole life tuned in to talk radio. Usable backseat. Double-articulating industrial-grade door hinges. Yours for half a Smart.
2001 Honda Prelude (base), 68k miles, $7,900. Black, manual transmission, intake/exhaust only, clean title. If there's anyone out there who would take a new Smart over this car, I'd be genuinely interested to know why.
1953 M35 Deuce and a Half Military Monster Truck, $8,995. Hell, I could get the Deuce and a Half plus the 'Lude or Lexus SC for less than two grand over the Smart's MSRP. Now that's what I call value.
Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com @ 15,781 miles