I bought my Roadster Light this year as a second fun car, and for my wife to commute with. I was quite wary of all the reports regarding leaks from the electric soft top, but the targa roof seems to be absolutely fine and gives a bit more security. The roof is easily removed and stows in the boot. I found a 2005 one-owner car with only 8000 miles on the clock, that had been serviced by the main dealer every year so it had been well looked after. It's quite a contrast from my regular car- a Mercecedes E350cdi estate, but in a very good way! It handles beautifully and the engine is wonderfully rorty. The steering is light but communicative. The gearbox is a bit weird but you soon get used to it and auto mode is great around town. The cabin is pretty comfortable and functional, with every thing you need and no more. Seems well screwed together with no faults so far. I absolutely love the look of the car - a scaled down Lotus Elise?
I bought one of these for my first car [05 model] and I must say it was well worth the £4,000 I paid for it. To drive I can barely fault it. The steering is quick and responsive, the small 0.7l 3cl engine has enough power to push you along nicely with a remarkably good soundtrack from the exhaust and turbo. The gearbox takes some getting used to, as it is quite slow to change. I recommend only using the Auto for maybe motorway cruising and town use, for anything else it is just useless. It never changes when you want to and it quite jerky. But this problem is pretty much cured in Manual mode, especially when you decide to play about with it on country roads. The shifts speed up a little and the violent changes just add to the whole driving experience.
As for owning it, it has so far been fairly reliable. In damp weather you can smell it burning the water off the engine, plus it has the common problem of leaky seals around the doors. This has lead to the passenger side speaker to become crackly and hard to hear. The roof also does not want to close properly, I have to physically help it to fold up so none of this "put the roof up at motorway speeds" relates to me, so I do it the old fashioned way and stop to close it.
Overall, I would recommend buying the Coupe version as it has a bigger boot but the Roadster in general is a charming little car to own. Low running costs and high fuel economy with sports car fun make this a definite consideration if you plan on buying
Like all the other reviews, the car is great-in theory! Mine is a 54 reg and had done 8000 miles when bought. It leaked immediately and has done so constantly, dispite going into Smart Machester for a total of 8 weeks on two occasions!!! The car has recently started to have electrical problems and the immobiliser does not recognise the key. Smart have had the car in and amazingly cant find anything wrong with it!!! Looks like I'll be forking out £1500 to have the SAM system replaced. Will be trying to sell mine in summer - the repair costs are more than outweighing the 'low' running costs!!
I have had a brabus for just over 2 years old, bought when 1 year old. Have had loads of fun. On the motorways, twisty roads and general city driving, it moves and works well. I can cope with the engine and wind noise as I ride motorbikes too.... Petrol running costs are great... no issues there.
Problems - ok where to start? When it rains, leaks from the seals appear and both passenger and driver footwells become soaking wet. I had to remove the mats to let them dry as they were causing that damp musty smell. Reach behind the seat and the floor is soaking too. Water leaks thru the seal and drips down the speakers. Add cold weather (winter) to the rain and the roof freezes and icicles actually form on the inside. Ice on the inside of all the windows takes over 10 minutes to clear. Am currently in dispute with Smart/Mercedes as my Smart broke down. It wouldn't start. All the electrics come on, just not the engine. Reading many forums, it seems like a regular problem with many owners. It's all apparently down to the SAM unit (looks like a big fuse box) and water leaking into it. No parts can be salvaged, the whole unit has to be replaced. I have been told it has to be imported as there are none in the UK!!!! IT AIN'T CHEAP TO REPLACE EITHER!!! and my Brabus is 4 months out of warranty. The question arises... would this be covered by the Sale of Goods Act and where is my courtesy car as Mercedes have had my Smart for 2 weeks already?!!! Answers on a postcard!!!
Order a brochure, find your nearest dealer or book a test drive
Amazing car, once driven, never forgotton, forget all the pretenders like BMW Z4 and Mercedes SLK, they will never have the passion of a Porsche
I love this car! Handling is great, its fun to drive and even reasonably practical!