New smart owner intro

Discussion in 'Mercedes-Benz' started by Mike T, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Mike T

    Mike T smart car dummy

    Hi folks, Mike T here, a friend of deezle from Vancouver Island BC Canada.

    I've had my smart cdi pulse cabriolet since January 8, 2005 and I've driven 91,000 km with it so far.

    The lifetime fuel economy is 3.9 L.100 km (about 61 US MPG), "without even trying" as they say. In fact, my car has wider wheels and tires, and the convertible top is often down, which hits the fuel economy somewhat. About the only thing I do to keep efficiency good is drive sensibly, usually more or less at the speed limit, and anticipate stoplights and traffic conditions. I am not going to re-enter all my FE data here, but if you click on the icon in my signature, you can see all of my fuel records back to Day One.

    I like the car a lot, it is fun to drive and the design is fabulous. I will be keeping it forever....well maybe one of my kids will inherit it or I'll give it to one of them sooner or later, AFTER I get another one. I have my eye on the 98 HP BRABUS version, which isn't sold here.....yet......

    It is not without its flaws. I would have preferred a proper manual transaxle but that never was offered. The gearbox is the car's most annoying feature, though you can get used to it. The shifter paddles on the steering wheel make it tolerable. The ride is choppy due to the stiff suspension and short wheelbase. But that's about it for bad stuff.

    The good is much better: excellent (heated) seats, fabulous convertible top, direct steering, fun to hammer around town or the twisties, very economical, adequately quick even with the standard 40 HP/74 lbs-ft 800 cc engine, safety equipment that is a decade ahead of the small car competition (I think the car hasn't any competition, at least until Toyota introduces its copycat "IQ" model soon).

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2008
  2. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Very nice, Mike! We are delighted to have you here!

    That's a beautiful car -- and the matching vest is a nice touch. ;)

    I took a look at your logs -- it looks like 3.24L/100km is your best tank. That comes out to 72.6mpg -- impressive! Would you like to do even better? If so, we'd love to help you get there!

    It is just too bad that car wasn't offered with a manual transmission...
  3. laurieaw

    laurieaw Sorceress of the North

    how neat is that? welcome, it's nice to have someone with some real world experience with the car here. i am sure you will get a lot of questions.
  4. Daox

    Daox Well-Known Member

    Nice car and mileage. Welcome to the site.
  5. Mike T

    Mike T smart car dummy

    Thanks guys.

    I do have a ScanGauge, which works really well on the smart cdi (but not on the gasoline versions of the old style smart that were converted for the USA by G&K in California). If I use it for feedback, I can reduce the consumption by a bit. Right now I am driving it like a normal car because it's a tad more fun that way.

    I have never had a pure highway tank of fuel, so the 3.24 L/100 km thing was probably during a fuel economy derby we had in 2005. I was riding on skinny tires (OEM for Canada) back then. My drive to work is short-ish at 26 km one way. So it's not optimal for FE, though it's not half bad either. I ride a bicycle about 50-60 times a year instead of driving.

    I do have another set of alloy wheels with the OEM skinnies on them. I may throw them on for a tank and see what happens this summer. But I'll be getting winter tires for those skinny rims next fall, so then I'll not have any "max fuel economy" wheels!

    I think that averaging under 4 L/100 km is pretty good as it is, the way I use the car. The law of diminishing returns kicks in not too far lower down the L/100 km scale.

    We do have a Club smart Car member near deezle and I whose spritmonitor result is 3.3 L/100 km lifetime. That's about the best the CDN version of the car can do in semi-normal usage (he is retired and does not live in an urban area). A few German cdi drivers are under 3 L/100 lifetime (best one claims 2.8) but the European version has a leaner fuel map and so the CDN car is a little behind the eight ball from the get-go. 2.8 L/100 km is 84 US MPG.

    Another friend in the Vancouver area has gone to Saskatchewan to test his smart's FE and he recorded a couple of 100+ US MPG fills, driving at a steady 80 km/h with 44 PSI in the tires. His lifetime L/100 is similar to mine.

    I would not be into extreme stuff like pulse and glide (the car bobs around enough as it is ;)) or EOC.

    My car has air conditioning, heated seats, factory cruise, heated electric mirrors and a few other mod cons and we don't shy away from using the A/C or heated seats, both of which increase consumption. But as I say, the results are entirely satisfactory as it stands.

    My 19 year old daughter drives the car a fair bit and uses it for short trips on the weekend, so, again, the FE could be better if I was a fanatic and mean dad ;) But I'm not!
  6. Mike T

    Mike T smart car dummy

    Here are a couple of rear shots, top up and top down.
  7. desdemona

    desdemona Well-Known Member

    Oh gee, how cute is that!!

  8. fitmpg

    fitmpg Well-Known Member

    That's a sweet car, man. I really like it-Told my wife I may purchase one someday, though I think that when the "Fit's" service is through there will probably (hopefully) be many really FE vehicles to choose from. Welcome to the site. It is nice to have someone here (as previously stated) who's driving one.
  9. Fluxuated

    Fluxuated Well-Known Member

    Myself and the kids USED to call those "Not So-Smart Cars" because of their size, and laughability. But I gotta tell you, since I've been reading up on Hypermiling and recently got on the quest to the Perfect Tank, I'm not laughing at those cars anymore.

    Looks like a sweet ride, and congrats on the FE. Looking awesome.
  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Mike T:

    ___I like the Smart Fortwo but really really love the Smart Fortwo with the CDI! Boy would your little beauty be fun to drive for a week just to see :)

    ___Want to see it hit the home page as Ride of the Month (or week given the last one was less than a week ago ;)) since your pics and vehicle are so hot?

    ___Good Luck and nice ride indeed!

  11. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    WOW Nice car. I had not seen any close up pics of the smart before. It really looks cool.
  12. Mike T

    Mike T smart car dummy

    Thanks guys, I do enjoy looking at it. The worst thing about driving one is you never get to see it when it's being driven ;)
  13. Mike T

    Mike T smart car dummy

    Here is a shot of the car from February 2007, when we visiited a fellow on the Olympic Peninsula in WA, who has a G&K converted gasoline smart. Both cars are within one parallel parking space. This raised a few the way, the restaurant behind (Oak Table) is fantastic....but I can't remember if it's in Port Angeles or Sequim.
  14. Mike T

    Mike T smart car dummy

    Here is a photo of a friend's smart cabriolet, right after we had changed their body panels from the original silver to the rare and psychadelic "numeric blue" that smart once sold as a factory option. They have their winter wheels on in this photo, hence the hubcaps.

  15. Adam

    Adam Active Member

    My girlfriend and I went by the local Smart dealer yesterday on our travels. Sadly they were closed, so I could look, but not play :(
  16. Mike T

    Mike T smart car dummy

    Try it, you may just like it!
  17. Adam

    Adam Active Member

    Well if things go as planned and we end up married, I'll give up the Accord for a Smart easily enough. I don't think I can ever get rid of the S2000, so I'd need her around to have the one 'practical' car. ;)
  18. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Well, best of luck to you, Adam! The SMART looks like a cool car to work with -- I just wish it was available with a standard transmission....
  19. SlowHands

    SlowHands Hypermiling Ironman

    Nice car! I have a soft spot for that color, its remarkably similar to the color of 'Olaf', a 1967 Volvo 122 Station Wagon that I once owned (one of my favorite vehicles...)
    A SMART could be a good car for my daughter, I'm going to encourage her to save up.
  20. deezle

    deezle Well-Known Member

    RLC: It ONLY comes with a standard transmission. There is an optional electronic shifter that can be engaged with the flick of a button, but every smart has a standard 'shiftable' transmission.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2008

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