New car review for the Passion 3-6-09.

OK, after waiting a considerable amount of time (11 months) my smart is here! Love the car, I can stand at the front of the car and actually hug it as my arm span is wider than the car. The leather package and even the heated seats got it's first and only workout when the temps dropped this week, but I could only stand the heat for about 10 minutes and had to shut it off. The morning dew got on my windshield and I was surprised that the wipers move from the inside out; guess I didn't bother to find out about that before I bought the car. No matter, it works good. The glass top allows for the sun to come in and warm up the interior but it will probably be too much in the hot Houston Summer. I had some of the typical problems you've been reading about on the forum. My gas gauge would only read 7/8th's of a tank but it remedied itself after the first fill up. In the morning when I start the car the very first turn I make gives a funny thumping sound from the right front wheel. Sounds as if the CV joint or knuckle is going out. Then, the second turn the sound does not reappear. Anyway got a call into the dealership about it.

The 6-disc changer works great as does the upgraded sound system; but you don't need much volume to fill an interior the size of the smart's. Love the tach as I use it to gauge my shift patterns rather than the shift indicator. Turn out I like the paddle shifters more than the shift handle although that all goes out the window when you have to shift and turn at the same time.

Saturday evening was mighty windy but I ran the car up to 70 mph anyway. Got blown around a few times but nothing I couldn't correct for pretty easily. I would classify myself as a defensive driver more than most so correcting for the wind was not an issue. If you are an inexperienced driver however, I would suggest slowing down in high winds. Dropping the vehicle to 55-60 mph made all the difference in the world.

Thanks to Ralph at the Sugarland dealership for making my pickup a fast one. I needed to make an appointment at 11:00 am so he got me in and out in under an hour to help me. For all my fellow smarties - I'll be looking for you on the road!

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Comment by Jan in West U on March 8, 2009 at 4:35pm

Jan in West U
2008 passion yellow/black
Comment by SE TX on March 7, 2009 at 8:02pm
Congratulations, Tommy! We'll see you next Saturday at the Sugarland dealership! FWIW, I use the manual mode, and like the paddles myself. As you've discovered, however, you need to use the shift lever when going around corners. Interesting side effect: when I drive my 928 (5-speed) I find myself trying to use paddles that aren't there!

2008 cabriolet, blue/silver
Comment by Dale W. Carper on March 6, 2009 at 10:56pm
Amen, Ryan,Amen!
Comment by Ryan on March 6, 2009 at 1:32pm
If you ask me, i think people should give up eating, smoking, and talking on the cell phone alltogether... no matter what car they drive. I seriously don't think a lot of people these days have the mental capacity to both talk on a cell phone and drive a 1-2 ton vehicle on the streets.

I think every state should make doing so illegal. And i don't even mean forcing people to use bluetooth headsets.... because i don't believe the issue is with driving with one hand. the issue is that they're not paying attention to their Escalade or Hummer or other massive vehicle, and instead paying attention to what their friend did to another friend while he was passed out drunk the night before. If it's not life-or-death.... i don't think cell phones should be used while driving, period.

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