Has anyone driven long distance in their smart? You think it's a good idea? I am moving to Mexico from Philadelphia (approx. 2500 mi. 40 hrs.) I considered renting an SUV to tow it, but rental agencies do not allow towing with anything less than a 16' truck. It's just me and my dog, and no furniture so I don't need a big truck.
Wellcome to Mexico Veronica, I live in Mexico and have a Smart Fortwo and I have driven long distances and it is not unconfortable, actually it is more unsatisfactory drive it on the city, becuase of the bumps and potholes. When you are traveling in the States because of the concrete joints for the interstates, it may be a little noisy, other than that it is fine and actually rewarding. Have a nice trip.
I'm now in Australia, where both the smart, the roads, climate and driving conditions are different to the US.
Here I have driven from Cairns to to Townsville quite a few times in the smart pulse turbo. It's about 375 km (say a bit over 200 miles). The trip is similar to say from Huntsville AL to Atlanta GA (which I did a few times), in summer, and with occasional stroms.
These trips are about 4.5 hours. I did the round trip one day - over 9 hours driving. I had done the same trip in the Subaru Forrester... the biggest difference: it's much easier to stay alert and awake driving the smart than it is is a bigger, softer car.
Seat positioning is important. Don't have the seat too far forward or too upright. Ease it back and slightly reclined so that the steering wheel is comfortably positioned. Arms should be slightly bent when holding the wheel in the paddle shifter position (ye olde "10 to 2" hold). This relieves all back, shoulder and arm tension. I don't have an arm rest, and frankly it would be in my way!
4.5 or 9 hours driving in the smart leaves me alert (cos of "road feel"), refreshed and no body stress... something that is rare in many cars I have driven... but once again, I do drive the pulse (fat factory wheels) 451 with turbo (not available in North America), and have the primo package leather seats and surround sound system. Fuel consumption on these trips is typically 5.5 to 6.0 litres per hundred kilometres; air con always on. Biggest problem: convincing idiots driving SUV's that come lumbering up behind that just because I cruise at 100 kph, doesn't mean that the smart can't go faster. (The speed limiter is a gentle reminder..)
Final comment: the smart is notorious for having a speedo indicating about 6% more than true speed. This means that the speedo indicates 100 kph (say 60mph), but the true speed is more like 94 kph. On the one hand, this gives a safety margin against speeding; on the other hand, you may be seen as dawdling by another driver who has a more accurate speedo. The smart does know the true speed; it just doesn't show on the speedo... so this gives another safety margin, the speed limiter cuts in higher than the speedo indicates. It cuts in at the true speed.
I concure that the smart has just enough road feel to keep me alert and awake for long periods of time behind the wheel. The car is totally comfortable for long trips. I do not have cruise control or an armrest. The cruise might be nice but I have no need for the center armrest. I do need to be conscience of my speed as I find myself doing 85 mph. in a 65mph. speed zone.
I do it all he time, Phoenix,AZ to Logan, Ut to redding,CA to san diego....most my 20K has been long runs...8-12 hrs days on freeways/highways and find it very enjoyable..the car will dance a little around semi's and in cross winds, you may want to wear some light gloves it reduces your tendency to counter steer. Don't be surprised if you look down and see the speedometer reading above 80 mine just likes to do that...... wish i could go with you.... Enjoy
In August, 2008 my wife and I drove from Mentor, Ohio to a forensic conference in Columbus, Ohio. We stopped along the way in Lodi at the Outlet Mall and did some shopping. From Columbus we drove to Vineland, New Jersey. We were visiting her parents. From Vineland, we drove back to Mentor, Ohio. Along the way, we stopped in Lancaster, Pa. at the Outlet Mall and did some shopping. I might add that at this point the cargo area was filled to the ceiling with a small opening to see out of the back. Total miles driven were 1100+. Over-all, it was a pleasant, comfortable trip.
As a side note, the temperature during the trip was in the mid 90’s and we had to use the air conditioner. Gas prices were $4.00/gal. Average speed for this trip was 75. MPG for the trip was 41.42 mpg. Total cost for gas for the trip was $107.35.
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