I think most of these writers are judging our car from the viewpoint of the masses of American car enthusiasts. This car fills a new niche that was waiting to be filled. Economical to own and drive. Perfectly fun to customize. Easy for any one to drive. Cute as a button. Easy to maintain outward appearance. Fun to drive. Full blown convertible with roof rails off, or magnificently huge sunroof with the rails on. Available full roof sun window; how much better interior lighting could you want on a sunny day.
I will give up the ability to roar away from a stoplight, smoke and all to have that 30 to 50 mpg around town and to and from work. I think this car will catch on with the teenagers as well. Most of us need at least one car that carries 1 or 2 people at a time. Our main car occasionally carries 3. The rest of the time singly or us together in the smart. It will just take time for America to open their minds. The next gas crisis will help. The electric drive smart will help as well.
When you talk to most car owners they tell you they like their car. smart owners LOVE their car. Unsaid by most reviewers i that the makes that advertise in their magazines get better ratings than cars that don't advertise. The smart isn't for everyone. So what? What else can you drive that brings a smile to so many people who see it?
Mark B. said:I would tend to agree with SATO. Most of us tolerate things in our smart cars as adorable "quirks". Yet, if these same "quirks" were in a Toyota, they would be considered grossly unacceptable.
I think this has a lot to do with perception and expectation. People today demand things be a certain way or its garbage. As for the transmission, most couldn't care less about the underlying fundamental difference in the technology. They simply want it to shift smoothly.
Has anyone watched their passengers during a shift of a manual transmission? They do the head-bob each time. The reason is the passengers don't know when to expect the shift. The driver doesn't do the head-bob because he/she knows when THEY will shift. The smart is the great equalizer. Only it knows when the shift will happen and everybody does the head-bob. Reviewers either don't understand of don't care about these little facts. It's a pity for I think the mentality of don't bother me with real facts stifles innovation because companies fear bad reports.