Author Topic: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011  (Read 6993 times)

Offline Autos_Editor

  • Car Crazy
  • *****
  • Posts: 6183
  • Carma: +80/-390
  • member
    • View Profile
Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« on: September 08, 2011, 04:04:16 am »


Both diesel and gasoline versions of the Smart Fortwo have had reliability issues you should be aware of, says Chris Chase.

Read More...

Offline stevenjb

  • Learner's Permit
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Carma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2011, 05:46:42 am »
There are a few gasoline Smart ForTwo cars on the roads where I live in No. California - when they first came out, a local dealership opened, probably due to the inflated excitement about these diminutive road oddities.  Then shortly after the dealership closed - the honeymoon was over.

These cars (Smart ForTwo) are so compact, I don't think I would own one - I would rather ride a Segway.  Everytime I see one - I think "there goes one of the Charm Bracelet" cars.

There are a few dealerships in my area sporting the Fiat 500 - I visited one of these dealer's and was visually quite impressed with the Fiat.  Much better interior styling than the Mini - which appears to be designed by Fisher-Price Toys.

« Last Edit: September 08, 2011, 05:57:19 am by stevenjb »

Offline JohnM

  • Auto Obsessed
  • ***
  • Posts: 915
  • Carma: +38/-86
  • member
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2011, 07:17:59 am »
I wanted to get a Smart and test drove a used one. What a blast!  You actually have to think about what you are doing.   The little thing is quite quiet on the road and comfortable.

People around here say it is no problem to just fine in the winter though one fellow (who has bull horns screwed to the hood) has two trailer hitchs attached to the back to aid in getting pulled out of snow banks.

I ended up getting an Echo hatch which I'm delighted with.  The Smart would have come with the Mercedes $120/hr shop rate and clearly the Smart is not as reliable as the Echo making the hour drive or tow to the dealer a regular and expensive exercise.  The $140 oil change sealed the deal.

Cheers,
John M.

Offline Winterpeg

  • Enthusiast
  • **
  • Posts: 316
  • Carma: +8/-7
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Cars: '07 Chev Malibu LT V6
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2011, 07:28:10 am »
I wanted to get a Smart and test drove a used one. What a blast!  You actually have to think about what you are doing.   The little thing is quite quiet on the road and comfortable.

People around here say it is no problem to just fine in the winter though one fellow (who has bull horns screwed to the hood) has two trailer hitchs attached to the back to aid in getting pulled out of snow banks.

I ended up getting an Echo hatch which I'm delighted with.  The Smart would have come with the Mercedes $120/hr shop rate and clearly the Smart is not as reliable as the Echo making the hour drive or tow to the dealer a regular and expensive exercise.  The $140 oil change sealed the deal.

Cheers,
John M.
[/quote







This is a no brainer as well.......that's why my Echo makes way more sense.  :)

Have Car......Will Travel

Offline D70

  • Enthusiast
  • **
  • Posts: 417
  • Carma: +13/-152
  • member
    • View Profile
  • Cars: Mazda Miata
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2011, 07:49:19 am »
I wanted to get a Smart and test drove a used one. What a blast!  You actually have to think about what you are doing.   The little thing is quite quiet on the road and comfortable.

People around here say it is no problem to just fine in the winter though one fellow (who has bull horns screwed to the hood) has two trailer hitchs attached to the back to aid in getting pulled out of snow banks.

I ended up getting an Echo hatch which I'm delighted with.  The Smart would have come with the Mercedes $120/hr shop rate and clearly the Smart is not as reliable as the Echo making the hour drive or tow to the dealer a regular and expensive exercise.  The $140 oil change sealed the deal.

Cheers,
John M.

It will be interesting to see what impact the IQ, a Toyota marketed as a Scion, will do, when it hits our market later this year

http://www.flickr.com/photos/d70w7/1711953127/
« Last Edit: September 13, 2011, 09:53:51 am by D70 »

Offline AP

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 2122
  • Carma: +65/-86
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2011, 08:07:51 am »
JohnM's tester must have had the optional quiet and comfortable package.  The one I test drove was neither.

I get the whole "less is more" thing, but when it is this much less it is actually just less...

Online johngenx

  • Car Crazy
  • *****
  • Posts: 16842
  • Carma: +431/-455
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2009 Toyota Corolla, 2004 Toyota Highlander V-6 4WD, 2001 Subaru Forester, 1994 Mazda Miata
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2011, 08:39:24 am »
Given the long list of reliability issues and the horrific parts and labour costs, I'm not sure I'd take one for free.
No place I'd rather be...

Offline Threader

  • Learner's Permit
  • *
  • Posts: 199
  • Carma: +10/-25
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2008 STI, 2012 Caravan
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2011, 09:51:17 am »
Article Quote "The new engine improved the Fortwo’s performance, but had a negative effect on fuel consumption, with Natural Resources Canada ratings of 5.9/4.8 L/100 km (city/highway), compared to the 4.6/3.8 L/100 km rating for the old diesel engine. James Bergeron averaged 6.4 L/100 km in a 2009, gas-powered Fortwo, while a diesel model Jil McIntosh tested in 2005 averaged 4.5 L/100 km."

Outside of making a I want to be different statement and easier city parking everything else is a negative.

Unspectacular fuel efficiency - For the sacrifices in space and comfort this thing asks of it's owner a 2012 Base Elantra does 6.8 City and 4.9 hwy.

Reliability below average

Repair costs above average - worse so since there is very little after market parts which will require you to buy from MB garage OEM MB parts bin.

Post warranty - Costs - don't even ask.

Summary - Oddballs need only apply  :rofl:
2008 Subaru STI Performance Build Story

http://www.autos.ca/forum/index.php/topic,80495.0.html

Offline 5 Wheel Drive

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 2679
  • Carma: +73/-16
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Cars: '09 Subaru Forester Touring 5 speed, '13 Mazda 3 GX, '07 Kawasaki Versys
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2011, 09:58:32 am »
I think Mercedes shot themselves in the foot by dropping the diesel engine.  Now for about the same price you can get a Yaris or a Fit, both of which have a bck seat and similar fuel economy as the gas ForTwo.

We have a diesel ForTwo in the car pool here at work.  I took it out once just to try it.  The novelty wore off after about 10 minutes and I started to wish the thing had a company logo on the side so people wouldn't think it was mine.
"This is no Playstation, this.  There is no reset button if you get it wrong.  You just go through the pearly gates...on fire!"   -Jeremy Clarkson

Offline redman

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 1563
  • Carma: +57/-187
  • Gender: Male
  • "Have no critics, you'll likely have no success."
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2010 Subaru Legacy Limited, 98 Subaru Forester S
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2011, 10:06:00 am »
As a diesel I considered this car as a city commuter car, where I do the bulk of my driving to and from work alone.
The short lived affair quickly disappeared with the introduction of the gasoline version and demise of the original diesel version.
With the main appeal of great fuel economy eroded this cars so called cute looks where not enough to convince anyone with some sort deduction.
I'm sure that I felt like others that MB had taken yet another step backwards in offerings to North Americans.
Instead of offering a more advanced diesel engine MB just abandoned the original offerings of the Smart Fortwo and relied solely on marketing to sell what is destined to become and ill fated car.
Frankly I was surprised that we even got the diesel. Is their a conspiracy against ultra efficient diesels offerings in North America ?
Past New Car Dealer for : BMW, Lexus, Nissan and Toyota<br />Past Used Vehicle Dealer: All Makes and Models. Seen a lot of it. Drove a lot of it. <br />Four-stroke Otto Engine 1876. Modern timer, pop-up toaster 1919. Keep convincing yourself that you have the "latest appliance".

Offline PJungnitsch

  • Car Crazy
  • *****
  • Posts: 4171
  • Carma: +40/-34
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Travel in Africa
  • Cars: Pontiac Vibe, Evolve Pintail, Evolve Carbon, Yamaha TW200
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2011, 11:50:56 am »
Frankly I was surprised that we even got the diesel.

Easier for Mercedes to import the diesel at the time then redesign the gasoline Smart (evap system didn't meet Canadian specs I think). When the tougher diesel pollution regulations came in the diesel engine went by the wayside.

It is going to be interesting how the iQ and the 500 do. Similar advantages to the smart in the city without Mercedes engineering and parts/service issues.

Offline JohnM

  • Auto Obsessed
  • ***
  • Posts: 915
  • Carma: +38/-86
  • member
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2011, 01:52:00 pm »
Any hint as to when the IQ and the IQ hybrid will be along here?

Cheers,
John M.

Offline hemusbull

  • Auto Obsessed
  • ***
  • Posts: 673
  • Carma: +11/-126
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2011, 02:55:38 pm »
Smart isn't just a car, Smart is a different culture. It can't be adopted in North America, there are just some small urban pockets with young entusiasts who buy it.
But the truth for this vehicle is that it's a diminutive, unreliable, high costly serviced and...thirsty! May be we need fifty more years like Mini and 500 to make this Smart concept working?

Offline tpl

  • Car Crazy
  • *****
  • Posts: 18225
  • Carma: +204/-235
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2014 Audi Q5 & 2013 Fit
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2011, 04:20:14 pm »
Smart isn't just a car, Smart is a different culture. It can't be adopted in North America, there are just some small urban pockets with young enthusiasts who buy it.
But the truth for this vehicle is that it's a diminutive, unreliable, high costly serviced and...thirsty! May be we need fifty more years like Mini and 500 to make this Smart concept working?
The original Fiat 500 was more than 50 years ago IIRC and the Mini as well ( 1959 I think).
Small cars are the future.
“It’s one of the dirty secrets of economics — technological progress does grow the economy and create wealth but there is no economic law that says everyone will benefit.”
Erik Brynjolfsson   (Prof at MIT)

Offline aaronk

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 1508
  • Carma: +43/-36
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2011, 04:49:49 pm »
This is a loathsome car, and that's coming from someone who genuinely likes small cars. It felt cheap, the transmission was clunky and abrupt, the engine was noisy and coarse, and it was generally crap on the road. Even as an efficient runabout it failed to meet expectation with drivers averaging 6-7L/100 Km. That's not bad, but given the size of the car one would expect near-Vespa mileage. About the only thing on its side is the fact that it can fit in a parking spot the size of a shoebox, and in that regard it does succeed...but that's about it.

Offline PJ

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 1947
  • Carma: +57/-141
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2011, 09:59:14 pm »
Article Quote "The new engine improved the Fortwo’s performance, but had a negative effect on fuel consumption, with Natural Resources Canada ratings of 5.9/4.8 L/100 km (city/highway), compared to the 4.6/3.8 L/100 km rating for the old diesel engine. James Bergeron averaged 6.4 L/100 km in a 2009, gas-powered Fortwo, while a diesel model Jil McIntosh tested in 2005 averaged 4.5 L/100 km."

Outside of making a I want to be different statement and easier city parking everything else is a negative.

Unspectacular fuel efficiency - For the sacrifices in space and comfort this thing asks of it's owner a 2012 Base Elantra does 6.8 City and 4.9 hwy.

Reliability below average

Repair costs above average - worse so since there is very little after market parts which will require you to buy from MB garage OEM MB parts bin.

Post warranty - Costs - don't even ask.

Summary - Oddballs need only apply  :rofl:

Some points are correct but fuel economy is amazing.  The diesel averaged 4.5 L/100 km while the last Elantra I saw averaged 8.0 L/100 km.  With the cheaper diesel fuel it will cost half as much as an Elantra which is spectacular.  Nobody cares about the US version we got stuck with in 2008.

Offline mmret

  • Car Crazy
  • *****
  • Posts: 10286
  • Carma: +138/-255
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2011, 10:26:12 pm »
Diesel is not always cheaper I believe. Its seasonal.
Go make some new disaster
That’s what I’m counting on
You’re someone else’s problem
Now I only want you gone (x3)

Offline tortoise

  • Car Crazy
  • *****
  • Posts: 4043
  • Carma: +46/-51
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2011, 12:50:30 am »
Has to do with home heating oil.
Only the slow and dim know where they're going in life, and seldom is it worth the trip. - Tom Robbins.

Offline PJ

  • Drunk on Fuel
  • ****
  • Posts: 1947
  • Carma: +57/-141
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2011, 08:11:18 pm »
Diesel is not always cheaper I believe. Its seasonal.

Diesel is cheaper to make and even with the new standards should be 5 to 10 cents a litre cheaper.  It does vary with the season (and with the price of gas of course.)

It's very rare for it to be more then regular (at least in BC)

Offline tpl

  • Car Crazy
  • *****
  • Posts: 18225
  • Carma: +204/-235
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Cars: 2014 Audi Q5 & 2013 Fit
Re: Used Vehicle Review: Smart Fortwo, 2005-2011
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2011, 08:32:28 pm »
Diesel is not always cheaper I believe. Its seasonal.

Diesel is cheaper to make and even with the new standards should be 5 to 10 cents a litre cheaper.  It does vary with the season (and with the price of gas of course.)

It's very rare for it to be more then regular (at least in BC)
A sensible taxation system would probably tax diesel a bit higher than gasoline as it has a higher energy content.