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eqwalker

Driver reviews at the tours

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MaineForTwo - :thanx: I really enjoyed your pixs and your testimonial about the Road Show. I have a red/black cabrio reserved. Here's hoping that all of us get the type of smarts we want and real soon!See ya on the boards and welcome to CsC.Regina

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Thank you all for the warm welcome. I have always been a fan of small cars and have had a strong interest in the smart since a business trip to Belgium a couple of years ago when I saw a dealership with the glass tower full of cars (see attached example). I'm not sure if they will go to such an extent in the US to get attention. What matters as Regina points out is we get what we have reserved.Regarding the question from smartie yank about the engine bay, I am not sure as I was never able to get that close to the previous version of the smart.

post-3720-1183678926.jpg

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Is it just me or does the engine look like it takes up a whole lot more room than the current engine? I realize there is no turbo or intercooler but that engine looks like it takes up more than half of the access cover opening. :dunno:

It looks slightly bigger, but then again i don't know if you are referring to the current CDI engine or petrol engine

post-2418-1183686023.jpg

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MaineFortwo,I was told by an executive at Penske Automotive Group that they decided against using the smart tower due to cost. Oh well, it would have been a treat to see that in person. A definite eye catcher!Regina:)

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'' Tim Steals a Smart Car at the IMAOk, so he really didn't steal one. But I was toying with the idea of a title like "Forget the iPhone, get in line for a Smart Car Test Drive". Ahhh! Current events.I played hooky this afternoon to be one of the first in line to drive a Smart Car here in Indianapolis. The event is happening all weekend long, but I figured once the local TV coverage kicked in the wait will be very long. I arrived at the IMA (Indianapolis Museum of Art) at 11:30 am, and there was already about 30 people in line. The event kicked off at noon.I chatted with a few people in line, being my typical self cracking bad jokes. Probably trying too hard to get a laugh. There was a gentleman who drove in from Champaign, Illinos; he's looking at getting one to do his local "grocery" runs. He figures he drives less than 2 miles per day.It took about 45 minutes before it was my turn to take the wheel. I introduced myself to my Smart Car Chaparone. Ahh! They know me too well. Guess there will be no getting it up on two wheels. After buckling myself in and getting familiar with the layout, I was ready to go. There was more than plenty of room in this small car, don't be fooled. The transmission on the car is called a manual, but there is no clutch and it operates like an automatic transmission to me. A bit slow to make the shifts in manual mode I must admit. However, it doesn't hamper drivability or acceleration - go figure.So first thing I say to my chaperone, “There’s something I've really been wanting to try, I've seen it done in the movies and I'm pretty sure this car will do it! Since I haven't rented a car lately - and this car will do! Plus this thing has a safety rating for roll-overs, right?" Its kind of funny when people just turn their head and stare at you, looking like are you serious? I cracked a smile and said you don't mind if I floor it? I was asked to hold off until we were out on the road.We leave the grounds of the IMA and turn onto 38th Street. I hit the gas and ask for warp factor seven! BrrrrrRRRRRrH! I hit a whopping 80 Khm - that’s 50 Mph. The dash hasn't been changed since these are Euro-spec Smart Cars. I tried the car in Manual and Auto mode. The paddle shifters are cool. I guess with paddle shifters I'd expect performance. The car drove very nice, smooth. I just wonder how it would be on the highway, especially when an 18 wheeler blows by you.Overall my experience was very positive. My only complaints are sluggish shifting, and where’s the diesel engined cars? I really think if they bring the diesel engine to the States they will sell like crazy. My understanding is that they get around 70 MPG. At today’s fuel prices, it would cut my gas bill more than half. Last month I spent $426 fueling my ride.Heck, the car would then pay for itself based on my current fuel usage alone. Plus if they sell diesel I could then use Biodiesel and cut "Big Oil" out of the picture completely. If you have time, go take a test drive. They are holding these events all over the US.Check out Smart cars website and see if the is an event near you. Plus if you have $99, this will reserve a spot to be the first to get one.Zoom. Zoom! Ok. I know it’s a Mazda tagline...Cheers! ''Maybe if the demand is high they will re introduce the diesel!!

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Smart142, thanks for the enthusiastic review of your test drive.Regarding the engine compartment postings above, I found a closer shot from my test drive at the road show in Massachusetts. It appears the air cleaner box and A/C are taking up the space the EU model uses for the turbo intercooler.

post-3720-1183820661.jpg

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Smart142, welcome to the club and thanks for the enthusiastic review of your test drive.

Thanks for the welcome, but I have been in the club for a while :biglaugh: .This was a review that was written by a blogger in Indiana, not me!

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I guess that large aluminum valve cover make it look so large compared to the current models. Maybe it's just the bright aluminum. :dunno:

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I reserved a Cabrio a couple of months ago and I was really looking forward to testing a smart at the roadshow dates in Fairfield CT.I kept watching the site for details, and then emailed smartusa as the dates got closer, and they just kept saying to watch the site for details. Well, the details never came and now it appears the roadshow stop was quietly cancelled and they expect us to drive to Hartford to test a car.I have to say my impression of smartusa has dropped quite a bit through this, and I am seriously thinking about getting my deposit back and just getting a nice Mini instead. I have a young daughter so the smart was never going to be practical, just a toy, and I might as well get something that makes me smile :)

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In reading many of the posts here I notice that many are frustrated and making your decisions based on marketing. I realize the purchase experience is important however it is very short and minor compared to ownership of the car. Do not allow the marketing people spoil the car before it gets here.I had more than a few frustrating moments dealing with G&K. Minutes after I drove away from G&K it was all good.The smart is all about "open your mind". Try to keep that in mind until you actually drive your smart away from the dealer. It may not be the perfect car but beleive me it's pretty darn close.

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I am beginning to get the distinct impression that smartUSA couldn't organize a batchelor party at a brewery.

After numerous emails requesting details of the Fairfield CT roadshow I was told it was cancelled and I needed to go to Hartford. Imagine my surprise to read the following review of the Fairfield Roadshow:

http://www.connpost.com:80/localnews/ci_6397105

NO accurate details were ever posted on the Web Site, NO details were sent to people who had reserved cars and I got inaccurate information when I emailed smart for details.

Very disappointing, and really makes me question the wisdom of spending money with these folks. That Mini is looking better and better.

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I am beginning to get the distinct impression that smartUSA couldn't organize a batchelor party at a brewery.

After numerous emails requesting details of the Fairfield CT roadshow I was told it was cancelled and I needed to go to Hartford. Imagine my surprise to read the following review of the Fairfield Roadshow:

http://www.connpost.com:80/localnews/ci_6397105

NO accurate details were ever posted on the Web Site, NO details were sent to people who had reserved cars and I got inaccurate information when I emailed smart for details.

Very disappointing, and really makes me question the wisdom of spending money with these folks. That Mini is looking better and better.

There was no public event in Fairfield - that was cancelled. The only public event was in Hartford - exactly as you were told.

However, there was an invitation only event that this reporter attended. Reservation holders in the Fairfield area were sent an invitation to it on July 9th, with a reminder going out on the 13th. If you read the article you linked to, you can see that obviously people got the invitations - 220 people according to the article.

Unless you identify yourself as a reservation holder, with information that allows the customer service center to verify that information, they will not tell you details about the private event. Details about those are never made available publically by the smart team.

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I DID identify myself as a reservation holder, and I am in Darien CT, so I would have thought that would be in the catchment area for Fairfield. It is about a 10 mile drive down I95, vs Hartford which is 90 miles away.The email I received from a smart Representative read in part:"I apologize for any confusion. There has been a lot of information given to us, and unexpected changes, so I apologize."Finding out that the On Again Off Again roadshow happened that close and that I wasn't informed is disappointing and taints my experience. I will give things a couple of days to cool off, but I expect I will call and ask for my deposit to be returned. I have choices about where to spend my money, and I would rather spend it with a company that earns it.

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I attended the opening day of the smart tour in Ann Arbor Michigan.

Some of my pictures can be found here.

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Smart142,I read the Houston article and it was ok with some positives and negatives about the smart. Once these cars arrive and are well on there way to making a new hip culture in the US, the gas guslers will be singing the blues.I'm still anxiously awaiting my smart,Regina

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I found this video from the Fairfield, Connecticut roadshow:

click for video

It's not the most polisher video but a favorable review nonetheless with short interviews of some test drivers and one of the smart ride along guys.

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All CylindersGet SmartStory and photos by Bryan BullockWhen I was backpacking through Europe in college, I fell in love—with a tiny car. This gem of the cobblestone streets had a bubbly personality and brains to match, but, as happens so often in forlorn love tales, the object of my affection remained overseas. So imagine my delight when I learned the Smart Car is coming to the U.S. Americans are getting their first peek at the Mercedes-built vehicle, set to go on sale early next year, during this summer's Street Smart Road Show. I finally got to spend some one-on-one time with the Smart Car during the tour stop at the North Market earlier this month.I hopped behind the wheel of the two-seat Smart Fortwo Passion Cabrio, the top-of-the-line of three Fortwo models to be available from $12,000. To my surprise, the interior offered cushy seats and plenty of room to stretch my long legs—plus storage for a few groceries. Lisa Ray, a Smart USA product specialist, rode shotgun, telling me stories of the cross-country fanfare. "I was on my cell phone at a gas station and, with the crowd gathering, I could hardly get out of the [smart] car," she recounted. Riding surprisingly high off the ground, the car's excellent visibility allowed clear sight of those careening heads watching me zip by. With fuel efficiency over 40 miles per gallon, the car's intelligent design is aimed at city dwellers looking for economical, eco-friendly transit.The three-cylinder rear-engine Fortwo can muster 90 miles per hour, which Ray says stirs everyone's first question: How safe is it? "It's the only consumer car in the world built like a safety cage in a race car," she said, also mentioning the four airbags and other standard safety features.Measuring 8.8 feet long and a hair taller and wider than five feet, the Smart Car makes competitors seem gargantuan. Its clown-car size makes driving breezy fun, plus it can be conveniently parked in any cranny—forward or sideways. Seeing is believing, Ray says. Just from the road show, more than 20,000 people have plunked down $99 to reserve a vehicle.Handing the keys over to Ray, I took a moment to be alone with the Smart Car. Goodbyes are always the hardest part.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------July 26th, 2007

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I'm going to the Cleveland road show tomorrow errrr make that today at noon. If you want to see something funny watch this 450lb wheel chair ridden 6'5" tall man try and get his chair and himself in the lil beasty. :D

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I'm going to the Cleveland road show tomorrow errrr make that today at noon. If you want to see something funny watch this 450lb wheel chair ridden 6'5" tall man try and get his chair and himself in the lil beasty. :D

We chose this car, in no small part, because entry and egress is easier than any other car we tried. and it's unbelievably spacious inside too.I mean, I'm not a "wheelie", but I'm hoping and expecting that you will not find it as difficult as you fear!Kind regards,Bil :sun:

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