Jalopnik is always tough on us, but this is correct in that we won't have the 4-seater/4-door here.
The new 453 chassis though should not grow in size and in fact stay at 8.8' from what I know. We shall see.
Wouldn't want a 4 door smart.
Well, perhaps smart feels the small 4 door market is just too crowded in North America - but it is even more crowded in Europe so who knows what's behind their decision.
I hope the 453 stays pretty close in size and weight to the 451. It needs to hit at least 50 mpg on the EPA highway rating to have any hope of selling here at all, IMHO. And please, please bring us the real live BRABUS edition this time, complete with a turbo engine.
If North America remains a market that is halfheartedly supplied with a single milquetoast model dumbed down from the European versions, that would be a shame. This is what sank all the French car manufacturers in North America.
smart needs every version of the 453 that Europe gets, and yes I do mean the BRABUS with the proper powertrain, not the badge engineered version that is sold now.
It is imperative that well over 50 US MPG be achieved in EPA testing for the highway - on REGULAR gas. The huge and heavy Mercedes E 250 BlueTec gets 45 US MPG in the same test. Enough said?
My 2006 smart cdi averages 60 US MPG day in day out so I won't be tempted by anything that is worse than that, unless it's a fast BRABUS version.
Thanks for the insights. I agree on the MPG piece. If we don't crack 50 on Regular, BRABUS aside, it's going to be tough for us. The 453 is promising to be amazing while sticking true to our roots. Looking forward to sharing information when we can soon.
In the meantime, I emailed your feedback to Product Management. Keep it coming.
Well, since you asked....
Improved suspension/ride; improved automated manual transmission; speedometer reading in mph/kph; modern in-car entertainment suite; adjustable headrests (including whiplash reduction); rear fog light; grab handles above the doors; adjustable seat OR adjustable steering column; improved (no crazing) panoramic roof; more reliable components (blower motor, shifter; clutch actuator, headlight bulbs, etc.) and an actual temperature gauge on the dash.
Please keep Mercedes safety/functional features, excellent handling, automated manual transmission, funky design, instrument pods, the "smiley" grille, two-piece tailgate, extended service intervals and all the hidden storage spots.
Basically, just give us the smart every other market gets with only the minimum changes to meet US certification.
I like how the article ended. Missed Opportunity that's funny, that is smart's unofficial motto here in the U.S.
I'm bummed about the decision to not bring a 4-seater, 4-door Smart to the USA. I love my car but I really do wish it had an extra seat or two sometimes and that would have been perfect for my next vehicle purchase.
Having said that, I like the size of the current car and all of the features. I'm looking forward to the dual-clutch automatic 7-speed and stick shift options. I definitely think the Achilles' heel of this car has been the automated manual transmission. Although I like it, the average American it seems is not interested in learning how it works or understanding it's concept and writes the entire sale off because of it.
50 MPG or better, on regular gas, would do much to help sales of this car. I would love to see a diesel motor and the high mileage that goes with it, but from what I understand the diesel motor is being discontinued in the European model.
Mercedes-Benz has done a much better job in embracing/advertising the Smart and promoting the engineering and features they have designed for this car in the last few years. They just need to decide how big they want Smart to grow. It has potential to be very successful. Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper are not much bigger than the Smart but they sell many more because of the two extra seats in back. I really think this needs to be considered for Smart to compete.
And another thing....headlight adjuster switch on the dash as in the rest of the world smarts.
We use our smart for commuting. We have another car around if we need to transport more than two people.
I have no use for a four seater since I have another 7 seater SUV I can use if I need it.