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About me: Hi my name is Robert, a hairdresser, session hairdresser/make-up artist and writer for popular fashion and style magazine who gets to try lots of products. Married with 2 sons.

Member since:16.07.2011



SMART CAR Passion 599cc, a very smart car. 1998-2003


Super fuel efficient, reliable, quirky head turner, cheap to tax and insure easy to park .

Pricey repairs(getting better) no spare, expensive  tyres low on comfort, very hard suspension

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Value for Money

Road Handling


Fuel consumption



9 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
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helpful by (11%):
  1. Soho_Black

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I bought my SMART CAR in March 2008 on a 03 plate with 28000, this was a revolution for me as I've driven lots of high performance cars, but my job at that time came with a car allowance and my job involved driving around Birmingham a couple of days a week, up and down the M5 for 2 days, I decided to go for a small easy to park car that would get round Birmingham efficiently. I bought my car from a local non franchised specialist for 4100. My first drive in it was different to any other car, the starting routine was not dissimilar to the Challenger space shuttle, Which included; hand break on, in neutral ignition in start position, press button on key pad,depress foot break then finally turn key and start. Once moving the car handles fine once you are used to the extremely hard suspenion, which when you go over a small bump, ridge or pot hole jolts you so hard that I've actually bitten my tongue badly, broken the radio on dial and poke myself in the eye. Don't expect comfort, cockpit is very basic but functional a good build quality, (advise to take out the cd holder which just gets in the way). Gears very slow when changing on auto so bit scary at junctions.
Mod Cons: Central locking, aircon and electric windows. There is a cd/radio but due to cabin noise and poor speaker quality only audible at near full volume.
Quirks: (loads) not all bad though, central vent not powerful enough, access to windscreen wash top-up and radiator top-up restricted, have to remove front panel to replace all bulbs (rear lights easier) no spare so expensive when you have a puncture (I've had 3) tow in and new tyre, (TYRES 65 EACH)even if you feel with foam. I have now bought a steel front wheel as a spare which according to smart forums is safe to use and can be stored behind passenger seat. If the car you by doesn't have a spare key, please please buy one, Mercedes charge 140 for key plus 40 to program, my advice is to buy a spare from the many parts web sites I got one for 52, Mercedes still have to program so had expense of towing.

Servicing and repairs can be on the steep side for such a small basic car but improving, there are some specialists and independent garages that can do as good a job, avoid main dealer. If the key fob battery goes flat the only way in is threw the boot.

Good stuff; Fuel about 60 mpg if driven carefully, road tax a bargin 35 per year, insurance new group 7, very low for me with 9 points full comp 278 per year.
Surprisingly loads of leg room feels bigger, boot holds a lot to, even got lengths of timber in with upper boot split door open. Always starts even in extreme weather, reliable I've done 55000 miles in 2 years and, touch wood, no problems. If like me you have the odd knock, just order new plastic panel and replace. Impossible to nick without the key. Parking, I feel very smug when I park nose to curb in tiny space.

Easy to resale younger females love them, residues generally good.

Safety; Dispite being plastic panels the body shell and chassis are very well constructed with side impact bars passenger ad driver airbags. All said and done its served me well and its like marmite you either love them or hate them, I love it in the same way you love a younger brother.

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Comments about this review »

Gooseydyoo 19.07.2011 14:49

I've often wondered what these little cars were like. Isn't it a legal requirement to carry a spare wheel?

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Product details

Fuel Type Petrol
Manufacturer Smart

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This review of MCC Smart & passion has been rated:

"helpful" by (11%):

  1. Soho_Black

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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