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Old 01-14-2015, 08:16 PM   #1
Mr. Cob OP
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Educate me about "Smart Cars" thinking of getting one

Howdy All,

I am seriously thinking of buying a Smart Car, to carry along with motorcycles in the toy hauler. Who has one, what do you think of it, the good and the bad. I am not really concerned about gas mileage I just want a small car thats no longer then 8 feet and can carry two people in comfort, the Smart Car seems like it would do a good job of this. Not looking for something to drive long distances, back and forth from the camp grounds, drive through parks, etc. Thanks for any opinions or advise offered.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:30 PM   #2
slowinfastout
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Read the current Car and Driver and you will see what they think about Smart Cars as they test the newest variant. Short answer : Not much. There are many better cars out there in that category I believe. I'd much rather have a Mini Cooper or a BMW 2 series.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:40 PM   #3
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It's a Mercedes, if that rings any $ bells.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:51 PM   #4
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I drove the first generation one and it just had a weird feel with the auto clutch. I'm sure you'd get used to it but it was far from "fun to drive".

It's got slightly larger dimensions but if it still fits in your toy hauler I'd look at the Scion IQ since it's another option at that size.
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:22 PM   #5
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Howdy All,

Thanks for the replies. The only reason I am interested in the Smart Car is because of its size, many who tow their RV trailers with HDT's carry a Smart Car on the rear deck of the truck, the rear deck on my Freightliner is not long enough to carry a Smart Car and still allow sharp turns with the toy hauler in tow.

My toy hauler has an 18 foot long garage so I could carry a Smart Car and a Ural or a Smart Car and the two Hogs. I doubt I would put more then a couple thousand miles a year on the Smart Car so I am thinking of getting a used one just for short running around when we are in an area during a time when the motorcycles wouldn't be the best transport. Such as last July in St. George Utah, damned near died riding the Ural to all the parks in 95-105 temperatures, NOW my wife knows why I said she was crazier then I am when she booked us a week in that part of Utah at that time of year.
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:38 PM   #6
NICO
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What's the toy hauler rated for as far as total weight capacity? An 1800# car plus two 800#plus Hogs is getting up there. Add in the rest of your gear and I gotta wonder if you're within the safety limits of that hauler.

Otherwise, it sounds like a perfect addition to your setup.
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by NICO View Post
What's the toy hauler rated for as far as total weight capacity? An 1800# car plus two 800#plus Hogs is getting up there. Add in the rest of your gear and I gotta wonder if you're within the safety limits of that hauler.

Otherwise, it sounds like a perfect addition to your setup.
Howdy NICO,

Believe me I can haul the load, the trailer is rated at 20,000 and can carry a pay load of 4,722 pounds.

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Mr. Cob screwed with this post 01-15-2015 at 12:06 AM Reason: corrected cargo capacity wieght limit
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:52 PM   #8
NICO
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Originally Posted by Mr. Cob View Post
Howdy NICO,

Believe me I can haul the load, the trailer is rated at 20,000 and can carry a pay load of 4,500 pounds.

Oh, I understand you have the rig to pull it, but the payload of the trailer is my area of interest.

A SmartforTwo is noted by the manufacturer to be up to 1852# curb weight.

Not sure what flavor Harleys you have, but let's assume each is 800# for a total of 1600#. That brings us to 3452#.

It certainly seems you should have plenty of margin to carry what you describe, but I'd certainly have the calculator on hand to be sure. Of course, I'm a touch OCD about silly shit like that.

Is the frame of the trailer designed to pull a toad behind it? Might open up your vehicle options.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:03 PM   #9
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OK, In Calgary the smart's are the car sharing car, I use it to get to/from work a couple times per week at $0.30/minute

My comments:

Ride is rough and noisy - ok for 5-10 miles, but not further.

No storage space - a small trunk which carries a briefcase

very low power. I alway manual shift to rev up the 900cc motor to something resembling traffic power. I assume they are good on gas.

Very simple ergo's - not much for creature comfort in the cabin..... but that might be ok for you.

Super small - great if you live in Italy and need to park on a sidewalk every night, but in North America - not really suitable

Final comment - way way way overpriced. From what I have seen here in Calgary they are ~$16000, you can do much better with a small nissan micra or a honda fit - a real car that is 000's less and more powerful and suited to North America, with similar gas mileage. Check out the used prices for smarts in your area - you will probably see them in the $7-10K range which is what they are worth. If you have your heart set on one - buy used and then you can sell with a 1-2 K$ loss if you are unhappy

Stephen
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NICO View Post
Oh, I understand you have the rig to pull it, but the payload of the trailer is my area of interest.

A SmartforTwo is noted by the manufacturer to be up to 1852# curb weight.

Not sure what flavor Harleys you have, but let's assume each is 800# for a total of 1600#. That brings us to 3452#.

It certainly seems you should have plenty of margin to carry what you describe, but I'd certainly have the calculator on hand to be sure. Of course, I'm a touch OCD about silly shit like that.

Is the frame of the trailer designed to pull a toad behind it? Might open up your vehicle options.
Howdy NICO,

While at the National HDT rally, last October I took advantage of having the truck and trailer weighted, they weight the truck, the trailer, each axle on the truck and trailer and to top it off each tire and wheel assembly on the entire combination and gave a print out showing all the weights so you could instantly see where and how the weight was distributed. I take safety rolling down the road seriously.

When I had the weights taken I had 150 gallons of water on board, two Urals at around 900 pounds each, clothing, gear and food for two people, tools, spare parts and all the other stuff I usually carry, with all of that I could still haul another 500 pounds and be within GVW specs on the trailer.

Water weighs 8.34 pounds per gallon so if I ever get even close to being over weight all I have to do is travel with 50 gallons of water and gain an extra 800 pounds carrying capacity, I can always get water when I need it.

Towing doubles, toad behind the trailer isn't legal in most States, most States have an over all lenght limit of 65 feet, my setup is now 68 feet, as I am NOT commercial the chances of getting dinged for being over lenght is extremely slim as I am not required to go through the scales, MANY RV's are over the 65 foot limit and I have yet to hear of one being tagged for being over lenght.
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Mr. Cob screwed with this post 01-15-2015 at 11:11 AM Reason: cuss in this post I used weight where the proper word was lenght......
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SK_in_AB View Post
OK, In Calgary the smart's are the car sharing car, I use it to get to/from work a couple times per week at $0.30/minute

My comments:

Ride is rough and noisy - ok for 5-10 miles, but not further.

No storage space - a small trunk which carries a briefcase

very low power. I alway manual shift to rev up the 900cc motor to something resembling traffic power. I assume they are good on gas.

Very simple ergo's - not much for creature comfort in the cabin..... but that might be ok for you.

Super small - great if you live in Italy and need to park on a sidewalk every night, but in North America - not really suitable

Final comment - way way way overpriced. From what I have seen here in Calgary they are ~$16000, you can do much better with a small nissan micra or a honda fit - a real car that is 000's less and more powerful and suited to North America, with similar gas mileage. Check out the used prices for smarts in your area - you will probably see them in the $7-10K range which is what they are worth. If you have your heart set on one - buy used and then you can sell with a 1-2 K$ loss if you are unhappy

Stephen
Howdy Stephen,

You bring up many valid points, but I don't plan on putting many miles on this car, it will only be used in climate conditions not suitable for comfortably riding a motorcycle or sidecar rig. My main concern is SIZE so it can fit in the toy hauler and still allow other bikes to be hauled, the Ural's are 8 feet long, the Hogs are 8 feet long, the Smart Car is 8 feet long, I have 18 feet of garage to use and want to carry bikes as well as the Smart Car.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:44 PM   #12
Rob Farmer
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Smart cars eat engines and seldom seem to make it past 50k and they aren't as good on fuel as they make out. I heard that the renault twingo was being sold in America, a much better option and have a curb weight of 1000lbs
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:55 PM   #13
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Smart cars eat engines and seldom seem to make it past 50k and they aren't as good on fuel as they make out. I heard that the renault twingo was being sold in America, a much better option and have a curb weight of 1000lbs
Howdy Rob Farmer,

The twingo according to the web site is also almost 12 feet long, to big for my use. Thanks for the info concerning the engine life I'll take that into consideration when looking at used Smart Cars.
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:55 AM   #14
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Several years ago my youngest daughter and I rode a bike through Europe and when we were done she wanted to rent a Smart Car and drive from Frankfurt to Bremen. The trip was supposed to be all fun for her so we went to all the car rental places in the Airport looking for that Smart Car. At the last one (really) the guy says he's got one and asks where we're going with it.

I told him and he says "ju don't went zet cah".

I never heard a car rental guy say anything like that. Why would I not want what I just told him I wanted? So I asked him why and he said...

"It'z a peez auf shit".

I kid you not.
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:04 AM   #15
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First of all, don't listen to what any auto reviewer has to say about ANY small car. They test high-dollar BMW's, Supercars, etc etc and then they get into an economy car, and they cry about being able to see screw heads and airbag seams. OMG I CAN HEAR THE ENGINE THE WORLD IS ENDING.

The Smart is no more a Mercedes than the LUV was a Chevy. It's a Smart. That's who makes it. They are distributed by Mercedes, however. The engine is a 1.0 liter Mitsubishi 3-pot. Older Smarts had, I think, an 800 or 900 cc 3 cylinder with a turbo, so keep in mind your smart may need premium fuel. I myself have a 3A92 engine in my car and considering it's a 3 cylinder, it's quite powerful and smooth. My 3A92 is a different engine family than the Smart's engine, however.
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