Smart Roadster 20032007| Used Car Review

6 Фев 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

David Morley

As the world of design rushes towards a in which smaller, turbocharged are the rule rather than the the Smart Roadster starts to as if maybe it was simply ahead of its

Back when it was launched in late 2003, it was seen as a bit of an

Certainly it wasn’t cheap for it represented at the time, but it was also as a bit of a toy thanks to its diminutive engine and footprint.

But that would be to that it was actually great fun to and, now that production has and truly ceased, the little convertible’s residual value has sharply, making it suddenly like a used-car bargain.

that the rest of the automotive has started to come around to the way of thinking regarding engine and the whole less-is-more credo, the Roadster has cast off any cringe it might have had back it was new.

It’s also noting that the real-world of the Smart is the key to the concept and while it may the top-speed potential of a Bugatti in speed-limited Australia, that’s not a problem.

Rather than the stumpy body of the original Smart ForTwo, or Coupe) the Roadster had a (but still not long) that sat the two occupants much to the ground.

As such, the Roadster like it’s going even when it’s not but the handling is actually very with good grip and steering a function of the low kerb

The convertible roof consisted of a centre section that back electrically and, if you be bothered, the side-rails of the roof also be removed and stashed in the

Most people couldn’t be however, and simply used the as a coupe with an enormous

Storage space consisted of an under the bonnet where the would otherwise have and a small, shallow space at the of the car.

The engine and transmission was located amidships, where the seat would have and that’s another of the Smart dynamic advantages; it was actually like a full-scale supercar.

the other Smarts (and those supercars) power from a three-cylinder engine a capacity comfortably under a (700cc, in the Roadster’s case).

But armed with a turbocharger, was a handy 60kW, which, with just 790kg to around, meant performance in a line was better than by those who couldn’t get their around a 700cc engine in a car.

On top of that, the engine great and had that never-say-die that good triples to be able to produce.

Handling was with a fairly supple and decent ride quality, really big bumps tested the car on the of its limited wheelbase and track.

And before have 15-inch and tyres looked so big on a car.

The looked modular – and was: you replace the plastic exterior with new ones quickly and – and the interior was spacious if a little

Smart Roadster ownership to be relatively hassle-free, but there are a of things to watch out for.

The itself seems pretty but, as with any other strung, hard-working turbo preventative maintenance is king.

If the car looking at doesn’t have a service history, we’d look elsewhere as proper was critical for this little gem of a

The bigger potential problem was the which was a six-speed clutchless

The transmission was also the biggest issue, with sluggish from the lights that catch out drivers attempting to gaps in traffic or dash intersections.

Used in manual the gearbox was tolerable, but left in mode, it could be a source of over time.

The gearbox appears reasonably sound, but owners have experienced a where the unit refuses to a gear from neutral.

In cases, it will be the gearbox that will be at fault, the electronics that control the that actually select the

Often, the problem will be an control module that has in water or had its terminals corroded by ingress.

Nobody seems too how the water enters the engine but it has happened to enough owners for it to be an problem.

Sometimes it’s the sensor that’s at fault, and a of the car’s computer will be to sort the problem. Until it next time, anyway.

Water entering the cabin is fairly common problem for there seems to be no real fix in cases.

While suspicions are levelled at the convertible roof, it the door seals are just as to blame.

A Roadster with a smell inside is likely to this problem.

The air-conditioning in the Roadster is not without its flaws, and the most common ailment is a of the pipes that carry the

Replacement is the only way to get the air-con again, but it involves unbolting the sub-frame and lowering it slightly for to the pipes.

It’s not, a huge job, but it will a few hours of labour.

The original pads, too, tend to on the Roadster, but most examples be on their second or third set of pads anyway, so that be fixed by now.

Beyond you’re looking at a car that’s a amount of fun to drive and one that be gentle on brakes and tyres importantly, gentle on your at the fuel bowser.

Nuts and

Engine/s: 0.7 litre, 3-cyl

Transmissions: 6-auto

car Smart Roadster

Fuel (combined): 5.2 litres per 100km

Our 3 stars

• Looks groovy in a kind of way.

• Great fun to with convertible roof and handling.

• Engine is fun and fruity.

• values have plummeted so good buying.

• Transmission can be and stilted to use.

• Interior feel cheap.

• Tiny can lead to feelings of vulnerability in

• Water leaks into and engine bay.

• Mazda – The best-selling sporty convertible in and rightly so. Early examples are now and more than 300,000km on the engine is not unheard of. 4 stars

• MR2 – Last mid-engined MR2 had a similar scenario to the Smart: A clutchless that just wasn’t as to use as it should have been. No mode, either. 3 stars.

• 500 Convertible – A much newer car the Smart, but retro being it is still looks like a oldie. Performance is better you might think and so is accommodation. 3.5

What to pay (courtesy of Glass’s

Model Year New Now

Roadster $34900 $8900

Roadster $34900 $10900

Roadster $34900 $12900

Roadster $34900 $14800

1 comment so far

little car. The gearbox it for me. It’s too bad no one has developed a kit to retrofit like a Colt turbo Smart ForFour Brabus) and manual transmission. Yeah I you can get kits to put in Hayabusa engines but a bit OTT for every day use!

car Smart Roadster
car Smart Roadster


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