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  1. #1

    [OP] Member

    Join Date
    Dec 1969

    Default Just bought a 453 Cabrio

    Well after waiting more than a year and a half since the launch of the 453 Fortwo coupe (and Forfour) in the UK, I have bought a 453 Fortwo cabrio in England.

    Just like all my previously owned Smarts, this one is secondhand to save money, as I feel they are never worth buying new due to high first year depreciation, so went for a dealer demonstrator car, Its a few months old with some mileage on the clock but immaculate outside and in, and brilliant to drive. I had to check all over the UK to find the colour (red) and model I wanted (90BHP passion cabrio with auto box), and got a good price for my trade-in 451 Fortwo.

    Was very happy with the colour scheme, and mainly wanted the Passion model, because it has silver wheels, rather than the new trend for black wheels on the dearer spec models. Just my own taste.

    One downside is start stop tech, which unfortunately is on all models now, but I just hit the ECO button to switch it off each journey, as I do not want a lot of wear on the engine with all those start stops in one journey. Saving of fuel is minimal if any with that technology, and is more of a nuisance factor at traffic lights and junctions.

    I have transferred my 'dateless' personal plates on the car, which I have owned for years, as never liked the UK plate system which tells the year of the car.

    You can get a choice of colours for the soft top roof on the cabrio, black, red or blue (last two are extra cost), but I got black with my demo car which is easier to keep clean, practical as usual

    So why did I want the 90BHP auto box? well unlike the USA where you will only get the 90BHP engine (the best engine I think), in the UK you have a choice of a 71BHP or a 90BHP, and on test drives I just liked the more powerful 90BHP to drive. On the continent of Europe they also have a cheaper 60BHP engine basic trim Fortwo, but will not be available in the UK or USA.

    I also wanted auto as there is a serious foot problem on UK Right Hand Drive manual gearbox Fortwos and Forfours, if your foot is over size 10, as there is very little space to the left of the clutch pedal, and I will not drive a car where your foot has to be under the clutch pedal.

    In Europe and the USA you have Left hand drive cars and there is an actual foot rest to the left of the clutch pedal as there is more space. So no problem with a manual box, its just a bad design for UK cars.

    Anyway will report back later on my thoughts on driving and living with my new car, Cheers Col.
    Last edited by Col Bolla; 07-14-2016 at 01:59 PM.

  2. #2

    [OP] Member

    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Well, two weeks in now with my Cabrio and the new auto box is great, very smooth changes, the engine is brilliant very nippy and plenty torque.

    I would advise all to get the combined rev counter/clock option (on some higher spec models it is standard), it is really handy for watching those revs. But I am missing the central two pods (rev counter and clock) that was on the previous 451 and 450 Fortwos, they were the ionic touch to Smart cars, instead we now have two circular air vents, but does not look the same.

    The car is now wider than the previous 451 Fortwo that I had, so do have to watch my door mirrors when reversing into my garage. Though length of car remains the same.

    Talking about the length, because we now have a small bonnet (hood) which puts the windscreen a bit further back, there has to be a loss of space in the cabin, and that space is just behind the seats. This cuts down boot (trunk) space by almost six inches, and the boot was never large to begin with on the 451. Another problem is my spare wheel, I bough one as I always do for the Fortwo, and it can only sit upright behind the passenger seat, and fixed down with cords. It really takes up a lot of space.

    Noise.... Now I expected the cabrio to be a bit noiser than the coupe and it is, but you get used to it because I have the advantage of opening the top whenever I want to on the move, and can stop the car and remove the side rails for total open top motoring, it is far better than my old 451 coupe with fixed clear plastic panoramic roof.

    One thing though I will have to buy and that is the rear wind deflector, as with roof totally down it is rather windy. Unfortunately again, it is an optional extra on my model.

    Driving.......driving is brilliant, though having to watch those gaps as this car is wider than previous ones. Gear changes are real smooth, though as with all smart cars try to avoid potholes if you can as you still feel it badly. As for rough roads well as the car is short wheel base being a small car, and it will never be a totally smooth suspension. But I am used to smart cars so accept that.

    DAB radio/digital is optional on lower spec models, but mine came with this option as it was a demo car and I am still getting used to all the functions, as I do not like taking my eyes of the road.

    One thing car manufacturers seem to be getting rid off is sat nav, and that gone now from my model of Fortwo, though having checked it seems Smart do still offer it as an option, (my previous 451 had it). It seems most people like myself have a sat nav app on their mobile phone and it has up-to-date maps, unlike car sat nav maps that goes out of date quick. So no longer need it as a fixed item in a car.

    So overall the 453 is a great car, though boot space inside is reduced a bit. Still think it is a bit overpriced, but as I got mine secondhand it was a better buy, and hope to keep it for a number of years.
    Last edited by Col Bolla; 08-03-2016 at 03:24 AM.

  3. #3

    [OP] Member

    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    UPDATE: Fuel consumption on my 90 BHP engine averages 45 MPG UK, (note UK imperial gallon is a bit larger than a USA gallon........ 1.2 times bigger, so you should get around 42 MPG US).

    This is real 'on the road' figures, rather than government figures (federal figures) which always read as at least 5 MPG higher, which is never achievable on the road.

    Tend to get a bit less if putting foot to the floor all the time 42 MPG UK has been my lowest reading.
    If doing motorway driving (highway driving) then can get up to nearly 50 MPG UK

    CONCLUSION: Quite happy with the fuel consumption considering it is a more powerful car compared to my last 451 Fortwo., and can accelerate a lot faster.

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