Advantages Small and cute looking. Classless.
Disadvantages Poor service levels and not the greatest reliability. Expensive to run
After an excellent review previously I am unfortunately not over impressed with the overall ownership experience of our latest batch of Smart Passion cars. We have now bought five altogether and the first two have now gone back to Smart after their three year contract expired. Firstly the positive points. The cars themselves drive and handle far better than their predessesors and have far more space even though they are not much larger externally. The trim and fittings seem tio be far better quality even though some of the quirkyness which I found attrective on the first generation. has gone . All our cars have our company logo on them and it is very easy to do this with the cute looks of the Smart. We have had a lot of people comment positively on our cars and their appearance. we have even had business as a direct result of our advertising on the cars. This has also helped our brand stand out in a very competitive marketplace. It also correctly sends out the message that our company is concerned about the environment. The cars are economical and very easy to drive and park and if you judge them in the context of what they were designed to do they are excellent.
Now the bad. The cars ride is substandard and it thumps and bumps along and is tiring after a while way below the competition. The oposition ride standards are far higher. The lack of a spare wheel will eventually catch most owners over the life time of the car.Sticking sticky stuff into a wheel only works for minor punctures and with most punctures you are immediately stranded and have a problem. The servicing costs are also very expensive and there always seem to be hidden extras that push the cost up even more.Our experience with the two dealers we use in the South East has been excellent and poor. Mercedes Benz World have always pulled out all stops to sort out problems but the Reading Dealer has been bitterly disappointing and the service levels unacceptable.We have in the past sent letters of complaint without response. We have had various problems with the cars ranging from gearbox problems to electrical problems and strating problems and overall reliability has been below par with very poor backup from the one dealer in particular. The cars being problematic and expensive to repair in our experience are really handicapped by having such a short warrenty of two years which is now minimal by the industry standards. Unfortunately in our opinion the cars are let down by poor after sales service and poor reliability and we have reluctantly had to look elsewhere for company cars. We have decided on another manufacturer that offers a five year warranty even if the cars are not quite so cute. I would suggest to anyone buying a Smart to consider past the cuteness factor and shop around as I believe there are better cars around in this competitive marketplace.
|Value for Money|
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