I recently got my smart, and am having rather disappointing mileage - closer to 20mpg than the advertised 30mpg for city driving. Is anyone else having this issue, or is there anything I can do to increase my mpg?
I was trying to bring hope and not rub it in. I am taking measurements only for a week now, and while I saw high mpg on highway, I also saw a very low mpg in the city (in the 20's - very much like yours). Considering that in the hills and traffic of San Francisco mpg can easily go down to 20 or less, I wouldn't know how to design a test to figure low end up. That is where EPA tests have value because they came up with some route which they drive every car the same way, so they could somehow compare.
Some day, I will drive again to that Safeway up-hill with stop signs on every corner preventing any hope on fuel-efficiency on the way back and quote the low end that - I would expect that to be between 1 and 20 mpg. But I will have to drive forth and back a few times before I get meaningful statistics so it will have to wait.
It is hard to compare different car mpgs because so many variables come into effect, so I thought it is good to know the top end (impossible to achieve in normal driving), and the rest of it is up to us how to get there (figure out the shortest route with least number of stop signs, fewest hills up, speed of traffic close to optimal, press a pedal like you were in no hurry, and get something to give you feedback so you would know an effect of your choices).
My normal driving is in the line with others get but that what people get is all over the map because everybody's route, traffic and driving habbits are not the same. The only same thing we got is the same car and what that car can achieve is quite remarkable given a perfect set of conditions.
We just turned over 1000 miles on our smart and are now getting 40 -42 mpg. Until then we got 36-38 mpg. Our car is only for in town driving and we drive it in the auto mode. Great car, just give it some time.
Good luck. Smart driving. Nancy in Las vegas