Any one got one or know someone who has?
If you pay a bit more you can get them in other colours and with bells and whistles... but she was happy with the basic model in red.
I've never been a fan of French cars, preferring German and Japanese for their reliability, but the C1 is pretty good. The build quality is excellent, it's comfortable and my parents both say it drives really well.
I used to have a smart car about 10 years ago (one of the first lhd) and I loved it.. We bought it because at the time it was cheap and cheerful but I did look at them again about 18 months ago but I think there are probably better value cars with better technology around for the money now. I used to drive it the 180 miles home to my parents 4 or 5 times a year and it was fine but can remember on windy days or when passing lorries it swayed about a bit! But ideal if you're rubbish at parking like me
I had a smart 2 seater four two "something" can't remember the name, while a nice car, it wasn't as economical as i thought it would be (spending the same on petrol for work in my 1.4 polo as i did the.6 smart) and its just not durable enough, wouldn't take it on a motorway and not quick enough for my liking, also it was automatic and the gear changes were so jerky and lagged so much it was crazy.
Wouldn't get one again unless i lived in a city, didn't have to travel long distance or for business.
I bought a little Mazda 2 - it's a 1.3 but goes like a bomb and is AWESOME on fuel.
It is a bit more expensive than other cars of it's class, but it came standard with more than the VW does and for less (apples with apples).
I did look into the VW but opted for the Mazda 2 - can't tell you have much I love him
Munchie the Mazda 2
PO - My bf recently got rid of his Mazada 2, he quite enjoyed it too.
JW - Good point about the automatic bit. While wanting a car to be economical, I'd really like an auto (so lazy with the gears) but smaller cars don't make good automatics.
When it comes to diesel vs petrol, is diesel always the better option? If diesel is an extra 2/3p a litre, how much mileage do you need to be doing to make it worthwhile? Most my journeys are 10 -15 miles so I wouldn't be getting the benefits of diesel would I? Or does the longivity of diesel engines make it worth it on its own?
You need to do a lot of miles to recoup the additional cost of a Diesel car, especially if you buy new.
Automatics are also heavier on fuel, and crap in the snow.
SIL has a Ford Ka, and says she hardly ever goes to the petrol station, and has only had servicing costs in the 5 years she's had it (apart from the light and bumper she dinged coming out of the drive.....). I've driven one, and the visibility is superb for parking, if a little disconcerting for open road driving - you do feel as it there's nothing around you.
I'll stick to my Mondeo.....
I actually used to have a KA (the older style). It was ok for when I had it but definitely wouldn't have one now.
Corinthian - of course you can't go from an Audi to a Smart Car!
My mate Floyd's brother had one.
One night some chavs turned it over.
My MIL has a Fourfour (or whatever it's called) and she likes it. Prior to that she had the little two seater thing which I drove occasionally. She liked them both, they don't seem to have given any trouble. She's also got an MB SLK.
I don't really like them and reckon for the mileage I'd rather have a small diesel or a hybrid. Just how desparate for the last few MPG can you be ?
Try checking this link for mpg figures.
My next door neighbours daughter has a smart car, she loves it and her husband sells cars so she could have any other she wanted.... Test drive the Fiat, its great fun, mine is the 1.2 lounge so a bit higher spec'd than the pop version (alloys, blue tooth connectivity for hands free phone, mp3 hook up and AC). Feels chunky, etc. I took a bit of getting used to as my last car was a 2 litre Alfa. I did it for the same reasons you are... fuel/insurance/road tax costs.
We have a smart car and it's fab! We bought it last year using the scrappage scheme, so it ended up not being too expensive and it is a great little car for the two of us. I think that the newer models - 2008(?) onwards - are far superior to the early ones, performing much better in crash tests etc. We get around 300 miles from a tank, which still costs under £30 even if it's gasping and most of our driving is London-traffic-jam stuff. We bought the petrol passion which has aircon, European sat nav and start/stop technology - all of which are fairly useful!
The insurance is really cheap and it costs £20 to tax for a year. The diesel model, and I believe the new petrol, also come in under 100 wotsits per mile of CO2 and are therefore exempt from the Congestion Charge.
It's great fun to drive too - as it weighs practically nothing it can really move, and whilst I thought I'd have issues with an automatic it's just so easy! They're also a lot more comfortable than you'd think. We drove ours down to the Dordogne last year and it was far more pleasant than similar journeys were in our Volvo. They've also got capacity for loads of luggage. We had a little disaster on the way back as the fuckwit who fitted our (smart) bikerack (at considerable expense) had failed to fit the brackets properly and it fell off. Breakdown cover (even from smart) doesn't cover your bike rack failing, so we managed to get 2 bikes, clothing for 2 people for a fortnight and 2 people in the car.
Honestly, I absolutely love it - it's a great car! We have a new (properly fitted) bike rack and we manage perfectly happily as a one car family with it.
Thanks for everyone's advice. I think a test drive of a few of the cars mentioned will make up my mind. It's good to hear to the good & bad points though.
We've got a Hyundai i10, being one of the few really economical small cars that has rear doors (which in fairness doesn't seem like a requirement here). £35 tax, quoted 62mpg which is good for a petrol engine, cheap to buy and five year warranty. We've had ours for nearly three years now and I'm very happy with it for what it is.
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