My Blue Smartie is doing great and now have 800 miles on it. October will be the first road trip and will include going to New Hampshire. My question since I live in flat land how does the Smartie do in the mountains? Has anyone done a trip through the mountains and if so is automatic OK or should I use manual shift. Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

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Comment by Zachory Bohn on August 30, 2008 at 10:12am
Use the paddle shifter, more fun and better on the hills.
Comment by SandraK on August 29, 2008 at 10:30pm
I drove through Colorado on my way back to Chicago from Arizona, and we went over both Vail Pass and Loveland Pass, both upwards of 11,000 feet! While your smart will downshift on its own (you can feel it when you step on the gas hard), on really steep or long mountain climbs I recommend practicing the downshift yourself for better pep. It's very easy, and I switched in and out of manual shift mode as needed -- kept it in manual for big hills and when I needed to pass trucks, then switched back to automatic for long stretches of consistent speeds and terrain. While we were not the fastest car on the road through the steepest stretches, we were hardly the slowest, so you will do fine. We also found that if the engine was really working hard, it was best to shut off the air-conditioning, which might not be an issue in October, the way it was in August. So, I agree with the CO driver who says downshift, downshift, downshift! We were in 4th lots, and even down to 3rd some, but still going pretty fast. You'll get the hang of it quickly.
Comment by smartKory on August 29, 2008 at 5:29pm
Lee-
I live in CO, and all I can say is downshift, downshift, downshift. Ask "toes" about mountain driving...he's driven his smart up and down the Rockies. He's got some very helpful advice.
Comment by Lee on August 29, 2008 at 4:32pm
Thanks Wally for your note and am feeling better about going. No, I will not drive up Mt. Washington in my little Smartie but I will enjoy the leaves.
Comment by Wally Gullang on August 29, 2008 at 2:59pm
Been to New Hampshire oh so many times and have driven through the White Mountain's every time. I don't think you have any problem. In fact, the guy in charge of the roadway going up to Mt. Washington own's a Smart and has driven up twice last time I heard. Only problem, coming down, 1st was too slow and 2nd was too fast. New Hampshire in October, beautiful. Enjoy the color's
Comment by Brent School on August 29, 2008 at 1:14pm
Check out member Delaney and her "SunnyD" statements about mountains.
Comment by Brent School on August 29, 2008 at 1:12pm
I will be finding out about steep and long hills this weekend, but not mountains. From what I have read however, the smart has no problem whatsoever with hills and mountains. You can use either auto or manual shifting, and it does a great job they are saying.

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