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Old 09-11-2023, 11:25 PM   #31 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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Originally Posted by AJI View Post
Impressive it's capable of numbers like that but plan is still to sell it soon, as I'm still finding it just a bit too compromised for my use, and I really feel like treating myself with something quicker and more comfortable next...
An excessive compromise is what makes me consider the Smart either just as a technical curiosity or a viable engine donor for some project...

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Old 09-12-2023, 08:30 AM   #32 (permalink)
AJI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
An excessive compromise is what makes me consider the Smart either just as a technical curiosity or a viable engine donor for some project...
The engine donor part could be interesting. I remember many years ago in a magazine seeing a Lotus Europa that someone had swapped the drivetrain from a Smart Roadster into. I do wonder whether some kind of kit car with the Cdi's drivetrain might be fun. This engine in something lower and more aerodynamic would be off to a pretty good start for both driving characteristics and economy.

Edit: Incidentally, I filled up the other day, and that most recent tank with the "91mpg" run ended up being an 80mpg imperial / 66.7mpg US / 3.5 litres/100km tank in the end. Second best I've done in this car.
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Old 09-12-2023, 07:41 PM   #33 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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Even a motorcycle, named Track T800 CDI, resorted to that very same engine.
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Old 06-15-2024, 06:43 AM   #34 (permalink)
AJI
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While since I've posted in here, but the long and short of it is I sold the Smart back in March.



Basically, it did the job. I'd wanted to own one since they were new, especially since owning a first-gen Insight for a while, and then being intrigued as to whether the Smart would be any more economical.

Well, after 19-20k miles, it was... basically the same as the Insight's economy. 60.2mpg US, to the 59.7mpg US I got in the Insight.

The difference was that the Smart was less pleasant to drive, frankly. This is no great surprise (tall short diesel semi-auto vs. low longer hybrid manual) but it did start to grate on me after a while. The Insight is a firm riding car and can get swept around in the slipstream of trucks and faster cars a bit, but magnify those characteristics and you have the Smart. It just got a bit wearing after a while, more so than the low performance or the semi-auto gearbox, though the latter, while you get used to it, still does something spectacularly dumb now and then which also wears pretty thin.

Good stuff? Park it anywhere, decently comfortable over longer distances which you'd not expect, cabin space/storage are excellent, and I still like the design of it inside and out.

Will I miss it? No! Next question... (longer version: I've now ticked that box and have no desire to go back.)

I've replaced it with this:



Obviously not as economical, but at more than 33mpg US it's currently comfortably beating its EPA rating without even trying. Super consistent tank to tank too, whereas the Smart was all over the place depending on seemingly endless factors, a tiny percentage extra throttle, temperature, weather, how windy it was etc. And I don't really need to explain how vastly better to drive the MX-5 is...
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Old 06-16-2024, 02:13 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I think you should do better, probably needs a good intake cleaning as all diesels suffer from EGR induced soot closing down the intake passages
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Old 06-17-2024, 09:55 PM   #36 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJI View Post
The difference was that the Smart was less pleasant to drive, frankly. This is no great surprise (tall short diesel semi-auto vs. low longer hybrid manual) but it did start to grate on me after a while. The Insight is a firm riding car and can get swept around in the slipstream of trucks and faster cars a bit, but magnify those characteristics and you have the Smart. It just got a bit wearing after a while, more so than the low performance or the semi-auto gearbox, though the latter, while you get used to it, still does something spectacularly dumb now and then which also wears pretty thin.
Semi-automatic, like Fiat's Citymatic? I used to believe it had an automated gearbox instead.
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Old 06-21-2024, 01:45 PM   #37 (permalink)
AJI
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I think you should do better, probably needs a good intake cleaning as all diesels suffer from EGR induced soot closing down the intake passages
Potentially, but bit late now I've sold it! There was mpg on the table with the tyres too, but the biggest problem is inherent to the car, it's just wildly aerodynamically inefficient. I suspect someone living in say, the Netherlands where it's mostly flat and speeds away from highways are pretty low would get way better figures, but in the UK you're always fighting hills and air resistance.

The Insight is just much better in most like-for-like scenarios. It's hugely more aerodynamic and has more power in reserve when conditions are suboptimal, such as punching against headwinds or climbing hills.

(Edit: In case you missed it, those figures were US mpg, so it was averaging 72mpg in imperial gallons - looking at Fuelly, where there are a lot more of these things than on EM, my 60mpg US/72 UK is higher than the majority of similar cars on there)

Quote:
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Semi-automatic, like Fiat's Citymatic? I used to believe it had an automated gearbox instead.
It's an automated manual, yeah - semi-auto was just my shorthand for that.
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Old 06-27-2024, 01:03 AM   #38 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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Single-clutch AMTs were not so popular on light-duty vehicles in my country, yet they're still fitted to some trucks here.
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Old 07-01-2024, 02:42 AM   #39 (permalink)
AJI
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Quote:
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Single-clutch AMTs were not so popular on light-duty vehicles in my country, yet they're still fitted to some trucks here.
They're definitely an... acquired taste. I was aware of how these ones felt before buying the Smart as I'd driven several previously, and I got used to it fairly quickly (even to the extent that most of the time I just left it in automatic mode rather than using the paddles).

But ultimately it could be frustrating - partly knowing I could shift better myself in a manual, and partly because there were certain driving conditions where it'd get caught out by gearing. I always found the gap between 2nd and 3rd a bit large, so you'd get situations where it'd find 3rd too tall and shift down, only for it to be at high revs in 2nd and immediately shift up again, and at the slowest, most confused shift speeds that gearbox was capable of, you'd end up with four seconds of not really going anywhere.
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Old 07-03-2024, 04:18 AM   #40 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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My only experience with an AMT was in a Fiat, and I kept it on the automatic mode. It was quickly replaced by conventional automatics and CVTs in my country. Clutch engagement seemed to be quite rough.

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