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Old 02-09-2017   #1
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Panda 2007 v Smart 2012

I recently borrowed a 2012 Smart ForTwo. TBH I'm not impressed.

Smart is wider and taller than Panda. Not an improvement.

Steering. Smart is heavy on steering yet still feels dull and wooden. Parking is hard work. Much easier in Panda. The short Smart just ruins its road handling to no real benefit when parking.

Road noise. Both are loud at speed on noisy tarmac.

Ride and handling. If you think he Panda is choppy try a Smart.

Fuel consumption is about the same though the Panda feels quicker.

Smart Auto gearbox is nothing special. From memory, I think the Panda auto was smoother and shifted with less delay.

Smart doors are huge so in car parks they make entry more difficult. The high floor aggravates the issue. Panda with it's smaller doors no problem.

And of course has 4 seats, each with their one door.

Storage slightly better than the Panda but no big deal. Luggage capacity is better but the Panda with rear seat folded is massive in comparison.

The Smart is better for having plastic body panels.

Would I buy one? No thanks. The 10 year old 169 Panda really is a better car.
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Old 02-09-2017   #2
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Re: Panda 2007 v Smart 2012

The shiftingdelay in a Smart can be meassured in minutes (and maybe hours)

I have driven one with Carlsson upgrades (Engine and gearbox ECU's) and that certainly felt a lot quicker.

gr J
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Old 02-09-2017   #3
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Re: Panda 2007 v Smart 2012

The Smart is supposed to be a premium product but really isn't as good as a mid model Panda built 6 years before.

I could live with the gear shift delay but not the general clunkiness of the car. To be fair our Panda does have a 500 rear axle (which smooths the ride and improves cornering) but in all other respects it's still the same old car.
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Old 08-09-2017   #4
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Re: Panda 2007 v Smart 2012

I've now used the Smart for a couple of weeks, mostly on motorways. Obviously not it's best environment but here's my thinking.

The car has been driven at a snails pace but the engine is loosening up. There is a little more performance than the Panda but not enough to matter. Posh petrol does help as it does for any Panda. I had to brake hard on a wet back road (single track passing places) so not going fast. I was very glad the car has ABS as everything locked up and it would easily spin. The brake pedal action feels over sprung as does the accelerator making the controls feel heavy to use. Panda has never got me into a situation where ABS was all that stopped me spinning it. The very stiff ride is annoying especially as it does not seem to improve the road handling.

Internal noise at speed might be a little better than the Panda but again not much. The radio is touch screen and a pain to use. The built-in Sat Nav is so clunky I'll not bother again unless forced. Certainly won't miss it.

Parking is easier in the Panda. Big doors on the Smart don't help in narrow car park spaces. Lack of power steering on the Smart is a parking issue. It's just not easy to park. Saying that, I would not want a quicker steering rack - it's skittish enough already.

My house has a very narrow gateway off a narrow semi private road. Panda slots in nicely forwards or reversed. Smart took three attempts (Yes Really!) to reverse in without taking a mirror off or worse. Won't bother doing that again.
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Last edited by DaveMcT; 08-09-2017 at 14:26.
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