The Smart Electric Drive or Smart ED to us, is now 5 years old. It's a great little car and is such fun to drive.
It's the go to car if it's there in the garage. Well, especially if it's raining as it saves the Model 3 from getting wet - some things never change! It's also the easiest and quickest car to wash, mainly due to its size, so definitely the preferred all weather car.
While it might be small it is mighty. With its egg shell build it is a very solid little car. People may stop and stare (and giggle) but I feel so much safer in the SmartED than in some huge thin metal SUV.
The new version of the Smart ED looks so much better than its predecessor, they sort of lowered it a little and made it slightly wider, both which make it look more squat. It really is just a fun car to drive. The fact that you can still turn it round in our driveway without going back and forth is just brilliant and never gets old. It fits in the garage too, right behind the Tesla Roadster so no one is ever left out in the rain! We've been using the ActiveE charger to charge it up and that works great. It's a shame the battery isn't bigger but then it suffices for 99% of all our driving needs. It's unusual for it to ever get even close to empty. In the summer it has generally around 90 miles of range and in the deepest depths of winter it can be around 60 miles. Not great but still okay.
As this was a lease vehicle we could not do much with it, so it is as it is. Although I would seriously like to put on lowering springs and a little mm of spacers, I can just see now how great it would look... well I can dream.
After 3 years of ownership the lease was coming to an end and we were back to that never ending discussion of what to do next. We couldn't lease another Smart ED as they were no longer offering them in the US which is a terrible shame. Although it did appear that we could buy the car at the end of the lease, this seemed like an interesting idea as there wasn't really anything else that we felt like getting. So with this in mind we went back to the Smart / Mercedes garage to see what was doable. It turned out that Mercedes would take the car back at the end of the lease and then we could buy the car back from them. Okay, this seems like the right thing to do. We know the car, it has been well looked after and is in good condition. With an amount discussed and agreed upon for what the car was worth, we signed on the dotted line to buy the car. The downside was that we would be without the car for about 2 weeks while all the 'paperwork' was done. Apparently returning after lease and then buying it involves a lot of paperwork. Mercedes put the car through their system and then it comes back out the other side for us to buy! We went back to pick up the car and after lots and lots of paperwork - where does it all come from? - we found ourselves the owners of a Smart ED.
Yes - now its ours what shall we do with it? Lower the suspension, put wheel spacers on? Apparently not, ones sidekick has decided to get new wheels for the car! He choose the Brabus wheels for the Smart and they do look rather fancy.
So what else has the Smart been up to? Well, my son takes it to visit his friend 54 miles away and gets there with on average 70% battery before he then charges on 120v to fill it up so he can make the return journey. The Smart ED has had two encounters with deer, both late at night while my son was driving. He was doing less than 25mph as he was driving through an area renowned for deer and there was nothing around at all, no cars, nothing, and then out of nowhere a deer pounces on the car! Deer survived but the car needed some repairs. Phone call to parents and sidekick heads out to survey the damage. The car is drivable but the headlight is out on one side and the bonnet is somewhat hanging off. They drive back slowly with my sidekick illuminating the road ahead so my son can see where he is going. Off to the garage and on the phone with the insurance company and the car is gone for at least two weeks, likely a month as they have to order in the parts. Such fun! Once the car is fixed it all looks like new again. The Smart ED also came across a skunk who took a dislike (seriously) to the car and sprayed it - oh my goodness that really smelt bad. That took a few days to wear off. Then after almost 5 years it started making strange noises, suspension noises. Ones sidekick looked under it and couldn't see anything but it was definitely making noises. But while checking underneath he found that the front under cover had a hole in it - someone (not mentioning any names here) had run over something on the road which had cracked the cover. So onto the Mercedes website to find a replacement. Getting the replacement ordered has to go down in history as the most difficult thing to do ever. We had it ordered and paid for shipping, then they emailed to say they couldn't ship it as it was too large and fragile and broke when they had shipped before, so we would have to pick it up... okay not a problem, but because sidekick didn't respond quickly enough they cancelled the order. Ugh - leave it to me - I tried to order it online but couldn't complete the checkout as you had to add shipping but couldn't because they said they can't ship it. I was just going round and round in circles. I eventually rang them up and the very nice chappy applied the shipping (then reimbursed us for that) so that I could check out. Once ordered and confirmation received, we waited for it to arrive at the dealer. The only place they would deliver it to was Harrington NY, a good hours drive away, oh well, we'll just have to take a drive out in the Model 3. Once the part had arrived we decided we might as well go somewhere while up that way and decided on taking a walk over the Hudson River, the pedestrian bridge is a 3 mile roundtrip that crosses the Hudson River. We picked up the Smart part that fitted nicely into the boot of the Model 3 - just, and then drove to the car park for the Walkway Bridge. It's a lovely bridge to cross with views up and down the Hudson river. It was a lovely sunny day, just perfect for walking across the river.
We booked the Smart ED into the garage (RSW) that my sidekick trusts as they really look after the cars. We thought it would be gone for a week, but we had it back the next day all fixed again. Turns out the suspension was on its way out, I guess 5 years and lots of bumpy roads will do that for you, so that got fixed and the new part was put underneath so all back to being like new again.
It's at this point that we realise that the Smart ED has been in the garage to be fixed more than any other car! And that none of the problems are anything related to it being an electric car!