should I partex Ka for smart car? - 1jim
I am half considering buying smart car...fuel costs and low tax as well as environmental benefits, Im not convinced it makes huge sense to swap at the moment but can anyone give me their views
I would be part exing a ford ka, 2006 (06plate) basic spec/entry model 1.3, bought from new with full service history, current milage 9500
considering a 2004 Smart FORTWO 0.7 SEMIAUTO with 41,000 miles on clock, on ebay at any thoughts on this?

Edited by 1jim on 01/08/2008 at 11:28

should I partex Ka for smart car? - tyro
In favour of a swap . . .

many Ford Kas suffer from rust problems. I have one that is just coming up to 5 years old with severe rust. It was fine at two years old. Yours may turn out not to have a rust problem, but then again, it might. If you get rid of your Ka before rust develops, that is a good thing.

Against a swap . . .

1) you lose a lot in depreciation when you trade in a two-year old car.

2) a Citroen C1 / Toyota Aygo / Peugeot 107 is just as economical and makes a lot more sense than a Smart. Even a Fiat Panda makes more sense. In the JD Power 2007 owner satisfaction survey, Smart came 32nd out of 33 manufacturers. If you have to park in a tiny space then a Smart is worth considering - but for most people, they are not a sensible choice.
should I partex Ka for smart car? - Bagpuss
The Smart is not as much fun to drive as the Ka but has the advantage of ease of parking and a high driving position. I would also try a Smart to see whether you get on with that sequential transmission or not. I found the very jerky gear changes tiresome.
should I partex Ka for smart car? - theterranaut
Having owned both...I'd say on balance keep the Ka.

Reasons against changing:

-Smarts are nothing like as economical as you would think. I used to struggle to get over 44 mpg in mine. Real world figures. Easily matched by the Ka in all conditions.

-Smarts are incredibly not-fun to drive. Awkward handling, lumpy gearchange that will bug the life out of you (never improved despite much research by MB. And believe me, the first time you hit a motorway slip road and the thing decides that you must change up, leaving you powerless for a second, you will rue this). A Ka is a fine-tempered, controllable beast on the road.

-Smarts can be expensive, in relative terms, to service. Certainly compared to a Ka. However, they are probably similar in terms of reliability.

-Limited top speed. (Mind you, thats still 15MPH above the NSL.)

-Tiny fuel tank in the Smart.

Reasons for changing.

-Lower VED on the Smart

-Higher noticeability and exclusiveness in the Smart

-You never take more than 1 passenger, and really dont need the increased load-lugging the Ka will give (they are similar in luggage capacity in litres, but in the real world a Smarts luggage area is right behind you. Where the rear window is. Not so good.)

-Dubious rust-proofing on the Ka.

Will post more if/when I think of 'em.


should I partex Ka for smart car? - Blue {P}
I think I'd keep the Ka, far more practical, nothing to go wrong except a little rust (if you're keeping it for years you can prevent this with waxoyl) and you'll save money keeping the car you already own!

should I partex Ka for smart car? - stunorthants26
I used to get 53 mpg from my Smart without too much effort, if you get less, thats down to how you drive it.
The gearbox takes some getting used to but with practice you can learn how best to use it - if you dont want it to change gear at particular time, stick it in manual mode, its the flick of a switch.

I would never have bought a Ka in the first place but honestly, I wouldnt buy a Smart if your after cheaper motoring. Check out the C1/107/Aygo and maybe a Charade like mine - all are pennies to run and Charades I know are around the £3k mark for low mileage ones at the same age as Smart, not sure about the others. Even a Picanto is a better bet than a Smart for what you say you want, the base model has the cheap tax I think.
should I partex Ka for smart car? - rtj70
Think I'd keep the in warranty Ka with less than 10,000 miles rather than go for a car with 4 times the mileage and 2 years older.

And you'll need to find a fair bit of money on top of the Ka's trade-in price to fund the purchase so you're not going to show a return on the investment in terms of any savings for a while. And real world mpg is probably similar.

should I partex Ka for smart car? - retgwte
swap it for a fiat panda diesel if you must change

real world mpg significant improvement

much better emissions leading to 35 quid road tax

and not a rust bucket

should I partex Ka for smart car? - midlifecrisis
I lost interest when you said 'environmental benefits'.

If you want to save the more steak!
should I partex Ka for smart car? - theterranaut
@ stunorthants-

Stu, are you sure that your Smart could 'hold' a gear in manual? Mine could not.

Unless they dramatically changed how the gearbox worked on later versions, the smart would not 'hold' gears in manual mode. It would change up or down when it decided, when engine revs and load dictated, regardless of whether it was in manual or auto- unless yours was different?

should I partex Ka for smart car? - stunorthants26
I had an 05 Passion Smart which has the fully auto option or manual selection.
When you started it up, if you wanted to manually select gears, it had a lil display telling you what gear you were in and you just nuged the lever to get it in 1st and off you went OR you pushed the lil button on the lever and it was in full auto mode.

The car in manual mode would not change up unless you nudged the lever so you could hold onto the gears BUT if the revs got too low it would automatically change down.
As such if you wanted to get a good run down a slip road, you could redline it in the lower gears by 'going manual'. Ive driven several Smarts and they are all the same.
should I partex Ka for smart car? - tyro
If you want to save the more steak!


If you want to save the world, eat government ministers.
should I partex Ka for smart car? - theterranaut
Thanks Stu. I had a Mk1, maybe they were a bit different.

But you have reminded me that, in my Smart, as part of my regular commute I would go down a fairly steep hill to a major roundabout. The Smart would invariably decide, just as I was about to cross the line, that it would change down for me from 3rd to 2nd. This always seemed to coincide with a heavy freight vehicle bearing down from the right!

Although you knew that in a second or two you would have power and control back, it was still very disconcerting.

Definitely a Ka, I'd say.

should I partex Ka for smart car? - stunorthants26
Oh I dont know, I wouldnt have a Ka personally, they are nice when new but get shabby quick. So many good small cars around, id take my time - Suzuki Alto is a low CO2 model and they are ever so cheap now - were barely 5 grand when new.
should I partex Ka for smart car? - theterranaut
There is an amazing amount of small, sorted cars out there, thats for sure.

Personally, I'd sit tight for now- although small cars are not as badly affected
as high-ved gas-guzzlers when it comes to trade-ins at present, values seem to
be down everywhere I look.

re: Smart and gear-holding. Her indoors has reminded me that I used to drive mine so
enthusiastically that it was often at the rev-limiter when accelerating manually. Hence poorer fuel consumption than Stu- and also makes me think that it maybe didn't automatically change up, only down, as I stated earlier. So I could have been wrong about that. It was 9 years ago, in my favour.

Still a very dissatisfying car to drive, regardless.

should I partex Ka for smart car? - doctorchris
Why not keep your Ka and hold out until the new model arrives. It will be built at the Fiat factory in Poland, sharing its platform with the Panda/500. It will be much better screwed together and much less prone to rust than the present model. As it will use much more modern engines it will also be more environmentally friendly. It will also be a real car with rear seats for when you want to transport your friends and decent carrying capacity if needed.
should I partex Ka for smart car? - 1jim
thanks everyone, your opinions have give me a lot to think over, will probably keep the KA for the time being and reivaluate some time in the future, either when the warranty expires or when the new KA comes out
thanks everyone, will have to buy you all a virtual pint
should I partex Ka for smart car? - frazerjp
At least with a Ka you can fit two of your friends in the back where as having a smart can be anti-social.
Ka's are simpler to maintain compared to smart, not to mention performance wise the KA would be more civil on the motorway & less vunerable too.

Ask Honest John

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