Wow!!! I went 916 miles and only put in 37 dollars of gas in during the trip. I was able to go home, visit all of my friends and travel to all the places I haven't been to in years. I admit, my father put in three gallons for me when I let his wife drive with him for about an hour one morning. When I got home I filled it back up for another 30 dollars and after figuring it all out, it costs under 8 cents a mile to operate, it rode wonderful, up those long winding roads that most cars can't maintain speed on, able to keep right up the whole way. I was very much impressed. I had 41mpg my first tank, and this trip yielded 45. I will remember next time to return avoiding freeways, it got really heavy and slow coming home with all the SUVs and motor homes with trailers lugging along. I used the air or drove with the windows open the whole trip.

It used to cost me 120 dollars just to go home and visit with one friend. About 600 miles in a vehicle that was reaching 83 dollars just to fill. I am very happy with my smart. I was not at all sore or tired from driving whatsoever. I have only had one trip where I noticed any wind to deal with, and since it is summer I found that opening the windows a little takes care of that.

I was worried before as I have to travel for a week at a time each year on several trips. I find now that the smart is plenty able to hold its own and surpasses my expectations. When you ad in the green factor, and the reduction in costs, it becomes a dream come true for me.

I took a detour on the way home to visit with another old friend I haven't seen in awhile, who lives down a washboard dirt road with gravel. Yes, it was bone shaking. But then I saw a full size pickup driving 5 miles an hour and realized I was going almost 20, and I remembered that the road has always been awful no matter what I was driving. I suppose there will be some bumpy rides during the winter on unkept roads, but I will endure those gladly for the sake of all the other comforts I am afforded.

I am so glad I ordered the car when I did, and even though I forgot about it for many months, I am very grateful to be able to enjoy the fun and economy of this car and to have its luxury and reduced carbon footprint. Not one person has put it down or degraded it to date, and I wouldn't care if they did. Like most of us I often do things regardless of what others might think. I really do wish our auto makers would follow suit, it is time for them to do so.

After so many miles of driving on my old stomping ground, I have a real feeling of how the car will handle in the winter. I expect no problems being pushed around by rear wheel drive (on the wide track) probably very similar to the days I used to drive the Volkswagen Beetle.

Thank you little smart, the testing is over.

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Comment by Janner B on September 5, 2008 at 12:52pm
I had a very good breakin period with our Smarty. I drove it under 60 mph for the first 1500 miles, and generally try to "hyper-mile" when I can (www.hyper-miling.com), but I punch it when I need to. I have about 2900 miles on the car now, with an average mpg of over 42 (combined city/hwy). love me some smartcar!
Comment by Brent School on September 5, 2008 at 8:44am
Hi Jafer:

You missed some of what I wrote. I spent the 37.00 during the trip, then when I got home I filled it up again for 30.00. I also mention that my father put 3 gallons in during a test drive his wife and he took. Be patient with your smart. Break it in as gently as you can, I only got 41 mpg on my first tank. My driving is very mixed, and yes there has been freeway driving with the air on. From what I have read during my membership here, those who get disappointing mileage have not reached the break in point, and are not doing any highway driving. Also, it has been reported that you really start to see an increase after the first 3000 miles. I am sure you will find that it isn't worth watching the mileage after a while as the savings in fill ups surprise you. I have actually had to laugh several times when filling up my smart. The point I really wanted to make was that I was able to go everywhere in the smart, while before I could only limit my travel to the absolutely necessary at twice the cost. I am sure your smart will surprise you in time.
Comment by Jafer on September 5, 2008 at 6:12am
Hi Brent,
according to you, your Smart got 112 miles per gallon, assuming you had $37 for 916 miles. By the way that calculates to 4 cents a mile, not 8. Then you say this trip yelded 45 mpg. A full tank at 45 mpg would give you a total of 369 miles, not 916. I am confused.
So far, after just one full tank, I have gotten 27 mpg and am actually upset about it, since one of my reasons for buying the Smart was fuel efficiency. Maybe it's because I travelled on an Interstae and hit 75 mph for a minute or so and I am using the AC, but 27mpg I think is too little. Perhaps I will get better mileage down the road, hopefully.
Even if I got 45mpg I ould be happy. Good luck to you, it seems you stumbled upon a better Smart than mine.
Jafer
Comment by SandraK on September 3, 2008 at 8:48pm
Congratulations! How fun that you are also enjoying your car so much--we are too. I used to live in Grand Rapids for many years (now am in Chicago) and we did lots of driving all over the UP and lower...and lots of trips to Saugatuck and the Busy Bee diner in Grand Haven for their Farmer's Breakfast plate.

My little car handles great in driving rain (better than my Honda, which used to slide a bit), and I think it will be OK in the snow too, since the engine weight is over the back wheels.

I just drove from Chicago to Arizona and back (see my blog page), and got great mileage and reactions all the way down & back. Keep on truckin'!

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