Like many of us, I really spend a large amount of time behind the wheel of my Smart. I've thought about how nice it would be to have an arm rest in my vehicle. Well we went off to the Smart Car Gathering in Orlando a few weeks back ago. It was a terrific event with lots of specialized cars and vendors. We had seen a few arm rests there that we thought would fit our bill, but when we walked in the door, we signed up for a raffle for an arm rest. I thought, sure, I'll sign up for that, but fat chance I would win that. There were over 100 tickets for that. But as luck would have it, I won this arm rest from 451series.com.
Because many of us buy accessories for our vehicles, I thought I'd share my experiences with this particular one, to give perspective.
First off, it comes as one piece, with a pivoting cushioned end, as shown in the photo. It is mounted to the metal bracket on the driver's side (where the lever is for adjusting the seat). Underneath are two holes that match up perfectly with the holes on arm rest.
I did this installation in the evening, with just the light from inside the Smart. So it really is that easy to install yourself. It requires a ratchet with a 13mm socket. That's all you need to put this in.
So A+ on installation, how about placement and functionality?
I'm short, actually, i'm quite short, 5'1", and this forces me to adjust my seat a bit more forward than other taller drivers. One thing I had not considered was that an armrest would move forward as well, in fact covering the gearshifter, ignition key, and emergency/parking brake. The arm itself moves about 45+ degrees up, but the arm rest does not move completely out of the way.
It took a day to get used to this new item in my vehicle. Had my seat been back just a few clicks, I probably wouldn't have noticed anything, or even desired to move the arm rest out of the way. But never the less, once I got used to it, which was the second time I drove with it in place, it was second nature, and felt like it was something that was an original fixture to the vehicle.
I am extremely happy with it; from installation to functionality, it has proven itself to be well designed. I would highly recommend looking at what 451series.com has to offer if you are considering buying an armrest. I think that the price that they sell their accessories for are very reasonable, and provide style, performance and ease of installation for the owner.
If you would like to get one yourself or get more information about this armrest, check out http://451series.com/Home_Page.html