I have driven the orphan at the dealership and it's a nice car. I have until the end of the day Friday to make a decision to purchase the car or wait until February for the one I configured. The 2008 has more options on it than the 2009, but I may still turn it down in favor of the 2009.

Aside from the obvious of "Now or Later" dilema, I am also battling with a decision of how to buy it. I already have a 2008 Prius that I am currently paying for. I don't want to make two car payments (not in the current economy). I have considered trading in the Prius since its payoff is so low that the worth of the car would pay for the smart and nearly all if not all of the remainder of the loan (Type 5 Prius II). This would in affect pay completely for the smart. The aspect of no payments and a slightly lower insurance payment is very appealing.

Looking at the pros and cons of trading-in the Prius
No Payments, Slightly Lower Insurance, Cheaper Licensing (they charge more to license hybrids in MO), smart is a convertible(Prius cannot even have a sunroof), no worries about batteries after the 80,000 mile warranty is over, smart is nimble and very responsive
Value Retention in US not known for the smart but Prius is a proven performer, Durability in US not known for the smart 451 (Prius has a very strong history), smart has less luxury (even though it is loaded), very short warranty for the smart, lower gas mileage, Prius has a smoother and much quieter ride

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Comment by Rob on November 2, 2008 at 12:00am
Well I turned the car down. The dealership was not going to give enough for the Prius. In fact it made the decision easy. I'll wait until the smart I ordered comes in and see how things go.
Comment by Rob on November 1, 2008 at 12:33pm
I haven't yet. I talked to the dealer yesterday and discussed the situation with him. We decided to get together today and see what kind of deal they can work out. I still hope the Prius is worth enough to pay off the lien and the smart both. I'll update everyone later today.

Thanks for the concern.
Comment by Eric on November 1, 2008 at 7:55am
In my case, i too had a car i was making payments on which was not all that great in the fuel efficency and it was a piece of @#$%. However, my folks were really nice to loan me the means to pay off that car making it easier to buy the newbie when that time came. As far as for you making the decison to trade a Prius fo a Smart, id ask yourself what it is worth to you. The Prius is a well done car, but the cells can be costly to replace when need be. For me that car is not all that cheap, but consdiering that Toyota has a grand reputaion, that is worth the thought. Another thing, two car payments are a lot to manage, plus if you use the car as a trade with a lien on it, that can add up to the new loan fast. Id say weigh it all out, and ask what it is all worthwhile to ya.
Comment by Rob on October 31, 2008 at 12:35am
That's shame to hear about your Prius. They are very nice cars. I think the recent drop in the economy and fuel prices are not helping at all. Thanks for sharing your story. I may be better off attempting a trade-in rather than selling it myself. I hope you have some luck soon.
Comment by tommyk on October 30, 2008 at 9:50pm
go with what ever your heart says
Comment by Rmichael on October 30, 2008 at 7:26pm
We have 4 kids, a smart car and a mini-van. We hussle to see who gets to use the smart for errands around town and who gets to commute in it (vs. drive the mini-van and pick up our girls in daycare after work). It's a great fun car. Ours was not an orphan or one we ordered but an unencumbered specialty paint job smart offered to the orphan list at our local center. It was not exactly what I wanted at the time but now it is. You're in a sweet position but a difficult one I know. Good luck. It would be hard to give up an already fuel efficient hybrid for a cool fuel efficient gas engine. You'll love it whether you wait or buy this one.
Comment by Rob on October 30, 2008 at 4:13pm
Yes, my intention is to use the smart around town. I have two other cars, a Focus and a Caravan (both paid off). The Focus is for my wife/kids around town and the Caravan is for trips. The smart was always meant as my work/fun car. Thanks for the advice.
Comment by Nancy & Gary on October 30, 2008 at 3:55pm
Go for it now! That is easy for me to say becasue I don't have any car payments but the car is just to much fun to drive. We also have a 2006 Toyota Avalon and love it but this is more fun. The other car will be used for trips. The Smart for around town. We bought an orphan with a special paint job. Our purple passion. Not another one like it. The one we ordered isn't due until sometime in Feb. also. Good luck.
Comment by I'm Bill.. my smart is Annie on October 30, 2008 at 12:41pm
you're welcome Rob.. Let me know what you decide.
Comment by Rob on October 30, 2008 at 12:33pm
Good luck with the Brabus! I was too early by about two and a half weeks to order it. Thanks for the insight.

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