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craigq

Pure vs Pulse vs Passion

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I've been reading a bit about the 2005/2006 Smart's, trying to gather some information and am looking for some clarification. It seems that Pure and Pulse came with the sequential 6-speed transmission that one shifted via tapping up or down on the shifter. The "Softouch" automatic programming seems to have been an option for Pure/Pulse, but was standard on Passion? Can Passion still be shifted manually? It seems so since wheel-mounted paddle shifters were optional on Passion (and were standard on Pulse).Heated seats were simply an option on all models?Were the pod tach/clock options or standard equipment on one of the trims?There are a couple of low mileage units available around here (20K to 60K KM's). How durable is the little 800cc diesel?Any clarification would be appreciated ;)

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There certainly are a lot of smarts for sale around Ottawa at the moment.Re. softouch:All of pure/pulse/passion can be shifted in "manual" mode with the stick, or shifted with paddles if the car is so equipped (standard on pulse!). Softouch is a button on the stick shifter that puts it into automatic mode, and can be switched on or off.Heated seats were an option on all modelsI believe the pods were standard on pulse and passion, but just an option for the pure. The pure and passion have black dials across the board, while the pulse has awesome looking white dials.Durability wise, one main problem with the diesel seems to be the turbo, but I'm no expert on that. Better to wait for someone more in the know.

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The softouch was an option on the 2005 passion, standard equipment on 2006. Yes a car with softouch can be shifted manually. My pulse has paddles, softip and softouch.Heated seats were an option on pulse and passion 2005 models with cloth seats and a "mandatory option" on pulse and passion models with leather seats.Heated seats were an option on the pure also beginning in the 2006 model year. I should add that all pures come with the "hated" seats, a disgustingly dirt-attracting light grey stuff ;)Tachometer/clock ("speed/load index" in smart-ese, a strange language) were standard on the pulse and factory options on the others. Dealers could also install these and activate the tachometer on cars that had neither from the factory.The engine is generally quite reliable if you maintain it well, with a few notable aberrations (you blown engine folks, chime in here). It seems that this car is generally less tolerant of extreme winter weather than many other cars, both in terms of comfort, handling and reliability, so factor that into your decision. Any 800 cc engine is going to be under a lot more stress in normal driving than a "typical" car engine. I would probably avoid having one in Ottawa unless I could keep it as a non-winter car. But that's just me.

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Mike covered it very well. Beware that one of the favorite "features" on the coupes is the Glass Roof that gives the car a far more roomy and light effect. The Pure being the entry level did not come with it as standard. A lot of pures entered service as bare bone vehicles for auto parts and pizza deliver cars or as metermaid vehicles. Also besides the seat issue, the Cabrio top was of lesser quality. I believe it was a single layer rather than the padded top in the pulse and passion. The Pure also came with steel wheels vs. alloys on the Pulse & Passion along with many other lacking features. Bottom line is that you were getting less car for less money. A fair trade off at the time for entry level. That price difference has disappeared a lot as the market is being flooded with excellent premium lease returns and the usual market movement of the owners trading up cycle. There are lots of used smarts in the market including some recent dandy buys from members on the forum here. For a few dollars more you will be able to go from a Plain Jane Pure to a Full Load Pulse or Passion. Even a Cabrio doesn't command the $3,000 premium that it did when new. It sounds like you are doing your research, so now just shop around and Caveat Emptor. Good luck.Typo edit.

Edited by Fred J

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I think one of the only options my 2005 Pure Coupe does not have is factory heated seats. The scodic grey material in the Pure is the devil! And for rough roads, I would say the steel wheels are preferable over alloys. If it is in your budget get a Cabrio.

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