Hi Smart owners,I'm in the Navy,and my hubby is army.We live in Hattiesburg,MS.I have been renting cars for over 5 mths and getting screwed by rental car company's because i use a debt card ,and they can change the rate after u rent the car.My husband is deployed to Afghanistan,and I work at 3 different bases in MS>>camp shelby,NAS meridian,and gulfport>>i normally use a gov car to get to work ,but need a car for my own freedom>>so I want to know more about this car !Do u like it and why?>>Breakdowns ,is it expensive or difficult to get service or parts or repairs?,How's it's pickup and comfort driveing? Is it quiet when u drive it ?Mostly how safe do u feel in a MS rainstorm?How is the air conditioning because it is really hot in MS?Tell me more especially any complaints!>>>I'm scared buying a car on my own without my hubby around so help me out please.
No, as a young couple get a more practical car for everyday. The smart is okay as a second car but not for a first or primary car. Go for something like a Yaris or one if it's like, it will be better for you two as a family.
As an only vehicle probably not. As a second car if it fits your life style I think it is a good idea. If you believe you need something bigger look at the Honda Fit, Toyoya Yaris, Ford Forus or Chevy Aveo.
I think those who suggested a long test drive are correct. It doesn't handle like most cars you're used to driving, why should it? It's not like most cars you're used to driving. I love mine, it's more than I need to get me and my briefcase to work. It handles the local suburbs just fine and is no problem on the crazy interstates in the NYC area, I drive them daily. On the weekends, if we don't have a lot to haul, we drive it to our country house in rural CT. We feel safe and comfortable and the statistics/tests/reviews,etc back up that feeling. It is a safe car. It's also lots of fun to drive. It handles tropical type downpours without difficulty. The a/c will keep you as cold as you want to be on a hot humid day. The blower is a bit noisy but I rarely need it on the high, noisy settings. You won't have snow to worry about, but it does that well too, particularly with snow tires. It's only a 3 cylinder 70ish horsepower engine, so pickup isn't going to be neck snapping. But it does have all the power you need to merge safely onto the interstates and to pass others as needed. There's thread over on SCOA about reliability ratings and smart took 5th place! Service is another question, it really depends on how far you are from the nearest dealer. Lots of simple things are easy to DIY if your so inclined too.For me, it's the most fun car I've had in 40 years. I never expected to be out there "wrenching" cars again after I went off to school. But, here I am, doing more mods on this smart than on most of my prior teen years's cars combined. And, I'm loving it. I hope this ramble gives you my perspective. I do think you'll find more specific issues addressed over at SCOA. Try searching (advanced google works best, specify smartcarofamerica.com as the site to search.) If you don't have any luck, start a thread and mention that you've tried searching for an answer to "X" without success and can someone help you out. You should get replies pretty quickly. Good luck!
Like the others have said, as a primary car ? No. This practical car is not practical for that. If you drive alone to work, have no kids, don't load up your existing car with stuff, then the smart is a good choice. Otherwise, get something larger that gets good gas mileage. While the smart gets "decent" mileage, it's not astounding by any stretch.
We are a 2 car family, my wife's Jeep does the "work". My smart only takes me to work.
You have to weigh your needs. Do you need larger ? My smart is only 8" longer than my motorcycle, the smart is a wee little thing !!
As much as I like this little car, for your situation I would recommend the Honda Fit, Ford Focus or Toyota Corolla.
Reasons: Closest dealer is either Jackson, MS or New Orleans and this is going to be your only vehicle. The biggest drawback is 'No Spare Tire'. If you don't mind renting vehicles in the "Unlikely" event of a breakdown, then go for it.
In addition to all of the other concerns, there is that of being transferred. If you two both manage a transfer to the same place (which is virtually impossible, even if in the same service), you then have the concern of dealership location all over again, even if you are convenient to one now.
As others have said, you want to have access to a dealership for this somewhat "different" vehicle. No dealership equals limited support - not a situation to be in with a unique little vehicle with its own quirks and foibles.
The best solution (particularly when limited military salaries are considered) would be to go with a Toyota product. They wear like iron, dealerships are quite common, and you'll have room for that child seat in the rear.
Sometimes, even the best car isn't for everyone. We almost passed on the smart until I brought one of my big musical instruments to the dealership to see if it would fit. It does - with only inches to spare, and only with the seat folded down. Had that not worked, we too would be smart-less.
Nikki, I live in Montgomery AL, and I bet our temps are similar to yours. The AC works just fine here, but I have found it a good idea to close the shade on the roof. This prevents all the sunshine from heating up the interior through the glass ceiling. As others have mentioned, it's best to purchase one if you live near a dealership. I however, live over an hour away from Birmingham, which is our nearest dealer. I haven't found this to be too far to drive for regular maintenance, and no breakdowns yet. Find one, test drive it and make up your mind for yourself! If you end up with something else, no big deal, us Smarties like to be different! Or do we want to call ourselves "Smarters", as the Trekkers do? Hey that sounds like another discussion!