One forum topic that recently caught our eye was a debate on the necessity of power steering. A user on both smart car of America and Reddit asked if owners had opted to go with manual or power steering, which prompted a discussion on experiences with both. We were surprised by the variety of responses. Some users were all for the ease that comes with power steering, saying it was "not over-boosted" and "had a nice road feel." Others said it made them "feel more [in control] of their vehicle" and that it made the smart's machinery "more communicative." What are your thoughts on steering types? Do you have a personal preference?

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I have a '09 Brabus coupe that came with power steering and I really like it.  I have never driven a smart with out p/s so I can't give a fair comparison of the two.

Three smarts so far, no power steering on any of them - not needed, IMHO.  I've driven an ED with power steering and didn't like the way it kept trying to return the wheel to the centered position, even if the driver didn't want it there. Hope smart corrects that on the 453 fortwo.

from the way you are posing the question, you are promoting PS and trolling for defenses of manual steering.

both of my smarts have manual steering and I would't have to any other way. my hope is that the 453's assistance systems are not tied to the power steering in some way such that manual steering is not available. [looks like no more wind-up windows. haven't seen anything definitive about manual brakes and steering.]

manual systems on brakes and steering are preferred. the car weighs ~1800 lbs, with 43% on the front wheels. I don't see how a 400 - 450 lb load can equal "the necessity of power steering".

We see the validity of both power steering and manual - definitely don't want to sway people either way. Both are based on driving preference and luckily with smart, you have the option to chose!

dennyrex said:

that's good to hear.  I will wait to see what the US-spec 453 base model has next year. 

[I mis-stated the front end weight: with driver , should be 800 - 900 lb load.]

We have two smarts, one with per steering, one w/o. We prefer per steering. Turns easier when stationary & has a better steering feel.

We have two smarts. One with power steering, one without. We like the power steering better. Turns easily when stationary, faster steering response & better road feel. I also have to say that the manual steering smart is ok. As one would expect, it takes more effort to steer.

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