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Britsmart

smart (450) vs smart (451)

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post-7297-1288715949_thumb.jpgThere was really nothing professional to this at all, just wanted to have some fun and write up what I felt about both :D So feel free to add on your own reviews about your 451 or 450 as well :D For the record I love both smarts :)Review....2006 smart fortwo Passion coupe (450) vs. 2010 smart fortwo High Style coupe (451)As I’m having trouble sleeping I thought I might as well start to write out this comparison review of the two smart fortwo. I was offered to try out a 2010 smart fortwo little did I know I was going to be taking the High Style smart for three days. I will remain or at least try to be as unbiased as possible, considering I am comparing a tester to my own personal vehicle. In trim levels the High Style has all the options available (paddle shifters, heated seats etc.) my Passion is lacking in some options, but none of which are that important.Now when a new buyer is coming into the smart world of cars they typically have one big question should I go gas or diesel? I will get into that a bit later so just hold on.Let’s start with the exterior when you compare the two side by side you can see their both smarts but both have a completely different approach to style. The 450 has a soft bubbly, cute appearance with a smiling grill. Everything on the 450 seems to be more fit to a concept model then an actual road vehicle. The rear hatch is boxy and straight cut adding a quarter panel window at the back.You switch to the 451 and you see lines that are sharp and edgy, tossing in the curves and removing the quarter panels in the rear to give it a more of a slope to the rear hatch. It still sports the smiling grill but with a fiercer look to compliment it's more competitive appearance in this world of different and sometimes interesting vehicles.Where the 451 shines in terms of exterior is the ease of access to the front end. There are two clips in the front grill that you release to access the front service hood. No worries you won't have to think to yourself where do you put the panel to keep it safe, all you do is hook it onto the grill while you need to do your business. This makes changing a light bulb and maintenance of the fluids easy and simple. This is where the 450 drops the ball, there are two vents located near the windshield that is removed with an inserted key/screwdriver with a small twist it pops out. When you look at it you think well how the heck do I change the light bulb?...you do it blind essentially a lot of feeling around. The windshield fluid nozzle pulls up near the top of the vent to give you that much more aim so you don’t slop it all over the place or do it the smart way and use a funnel. I prefer in this sense the 451 is not a pain to do the little things.Now moving to the inside, open the door to the 450 and it's like WHAM you have entered the next final frontier, CURVES, BUBBLES OH MY AND NO GLOVE BOX WHAT?! But there is simplicity in that space pod. You sit down there is an air of roominess, the Passion has a glass panoramic roof, with a nifty little sliding cover to give you some shade from those days of sun. When you look at the centre console all you see is a radio with a cd player by a small drawer underneath. Followed by the light switch for the interior dome light, cigarette lighter and dimmer for the speedometer and dash pods which house your clock and rev counter. Underneath you have four slots for the cd trays, ashtray and the single cup holder.......I haven't added the one from the 451 yet, I can't understand how you have a fortwo with a single cup holder, weird. The trunk is a decent size for your everyday things, nothing beats having the cover to hold your Christmas presents from rolling all over the place.Sit in a 451 and you'll see it is a complete different style, holding more to the conventional dashboard straight across appearance, gone are the days of the waves. It has a shallow dashboard that slops forwards compared to the 450 where it is flat and wide, seeing as that area houses the speakers. The interior of the 451 Highstyle is lovely, the fabrics the two tone colour dashboard and the layout of the console all works to make you feel that your driving a car that is more fit around the $50,000 price range. As there is too big of a difference in terms of the interior of my car verses the interior of the Highstyle not really worth comparing (mine is straight grey passion interior). Certain features on the 451 I adored such as the heated seats; boy do they heat up fast on those chilly mornings makes you feel right at home. I found the center console a bit difficult to navigate at first coming from a 450 with not as many buttons as the 451. One thing that was a bit off for me was the horn, I assumed without looking that the silver on the steering wheel was the horn as it is on mine, however it is in the center after I saw the two little horns. The panoramic roof in the 451 is of a plastic material, the sunshade that rolls out to cover the roof is good but with it closed I found it much more smaller inside. I can say I was disappointed with the fact the 451 feels smaller inside then the 450 and the quarter panel in mine takes away a blind spot when switching into the right lane. Something’s were oddly placed such as where you control your window and the passengers (there is a hidden plus in there, in my smart you have to reach over if you want your passenger window down, the driver doesn't control both) I had to pull my arm back to get to the button and then it automatically wants to go full open. Trunk space and rear hatch larger than mine found it odd not to have a trunk release inside the 451 because there was no way unless having to use the key to unlock it.Performance, now I’m going to basically be comparing an apple to a squash. You have the 450 that runs on diesel and a 451 that runs on premium gas. Which one do you think will be faster of the two? The 451 has more get up and go, acceleration is quick. The 450 is more "hey I'll get there when I want to" it's slower; it has more interior engine noise than the 451. Everyone knows they made the 451 more refined, which I agree with minus I found it switches gears constantly on hills compared to my 450. There are less jerky gear shifts in automatic and shifts with grace in 451 but I found using the paddles it was more sluggish to change. Gas mileage was not impressive, the gentleman later told me because the car is new and the engine is still being broken in, you won’t see superb mileage till you get past 5000km.My overall opinion for people is if you want a bit of power and few more toys in the car then go with the 451. If you are looking at having a classic smart with amazing fuel economy then go with the 450. I love both for different reasons, my smart because it is a stand out from every other car on the road the 451 for its added comforts and power.Brit :)(PS Excuse the grammer and spelling :) Have a decently broken space bar :P) Edited by Britsmart

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EXCELLENT review. It was a good read Brit.As I read through it, I was nodding my head in agreement with a lot of the points you brought up about the diesel. I haven't had the opportunity to try the 451 yet, but perhaps one of these days I may venture down the the local MB stealership and give one a go.You earn a gold star ;) :thumbyes:Ron :bike:

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EXCELLENT review. It was a good read Brit.As I read through it, I was nodding my head in agreement with a lot of the points you brought up about the diesel. I haven't had the opportunity to try the 451 yet, but perhaps one of these days I may venture down the the local MB stealership and give one a go.You earn a gold star ;) :thumbyes:Ron :bike:

\I enjoyed your review and would easily recomend it to someone considering the two. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

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Nice comparison. I have owned a 450 pulse coupe since January 2006 and have driven a 451 on three or four occasions as a loaner. Two entirely different cars. The two cars make me think back to the mid 50's when I first started to drive. A friend of my dad's had 2 Fords, a model T and a model A which he let me drive once in a while. The 450 reminded me of the Model T. Quaint functional and loveable but not very modern. The 451 was like the Model A. A much more modern car but a little ho hum.Roy

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Excellent review!! You could certainly teach those USA auto reviewers a thing or two about how to write a fair and unbiased report. Well done, Brit.

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Good report, though I found the 2008-2010 dash on the 451 to be very nasty, with the pebbled plastic everywhere, not at all suitable for a $50K car, not even smart-like. In this respect the 2011 model is better.Thanks for writing it!

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HelloThanks for the review, very useful. We are facing this decision at the moment!We already own a 450, but now need a second car, so it will be a 450 or a 451... The pure 451, new, are about the same price as the 2006 passion, fully loaded. Any comparison points to base our decision?It will be for about 50-50% urban/highway driving... ThxMC :blink:

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Brit: Appreciate the write up. I'll look forward to the test ride in the 2011 and keep in mind your opinions.Ken K.

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