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Old 03-10-2014, 10:30 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, Az
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Fiat 500 vs SmartForTwo

We have narrowed our choice down to either the Fiat 500 or a SmartForTwo as our Toad. Will be towing with a Sprinter based LTV Unity 24MB. The Smart weights in at a shade over 1800 lbs and the Fiat at 2350. Looking for any input on those with experience with either vehicle.

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Old 03-10-2014, 11:58 AM   #2
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I researched both extensively and actually have driven both. The SmartCar was definitely too small for our needs which included using toad cargo capacity. The Fiat drove well, but it was also on the small side. We ended up with a Hyundai Accent which feels like a much bigger car, gets better mileage, can haul a lot of gear and only weighs 80 lbs more than the Fiat. If I had to choose between the Smart and Fiat, I'd go with the Fiat. It still feels like a car while the Smart is down right scary on the highway.

2013 Leisure Travel Vans Unity U24MB, 635 watts solar, 440 AH batteries, 2000 watt inverter, Koni struts and shocks, Hellwig rear anti-swaybar, SumoSprings front and back, 2012 Hyundai Accent SE, Blue Ox baseplates, Aladdin towbar and Patriot
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:07 PM   #3
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While the honda crv is ugly -
it seems to be the toad of choice from all I've seen behind rv's

maybe the honda fit is starting to be used too ?
'11 Monaco Diplomat 43DFT RR10R pushed by a '14 Jeep Wrangler JKU. History.. 5'ers: 13 Redwood 38gk, 11 MVP Destiny, Open Range TT, popups, vans, tents...
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:40 PM   #4
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I did research before I bought my Smart Car. Simply stated from a weight perspective, lighter is better if the size will fit your needs. Never concerned myself with toad weight with my DPs but with a B+ it becomes more significant.

Smarty can carry 2 PAX & 2 sets of golf clubs, (have to take the long clubs and put them in seperate) or groceries. But I suspect the Fiat would have a bit more space as would the Honda Fit but as noted, both are ~500lbs heavier and will require more energy to pull than Smarty. RV performance trumps cost for me.

I have 2 toads, a Malibu Max and the Smart Car. If I need a 4 person car I take the Malibu but the drag is significantly greater @ ~3500lbs vs ~1850lbs. Have not used the Malibu as a toad for 18mo and have put less than 500mi on it during this period. We have two other vehicles plus the RV, so the Malibu seems to be redundant an not worthwhile keeping.

Smarty is a great toad but I would not like to take it on a long trip unless it is being dragged behind my MH. Great for shorter trips say a 100mi radius or so and it can run at highway speeds without problem. It is only ~5ft wide and 8'6" long so it can be parked in a very small space, however with a short wheelbase, one gets the choppy ride one would expect.

Hope my comments help
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:49 PM   #5
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We have pulled our smart from Virginia to canada 3x and Florida 3x and even out smartusatrailer our old 1997 bounder couldn't be happier
We love to back up when needed and the trailer is maybe 11 ft and gets back in line with just a few feet if I lose control of drift when backing
I have 85000 miles on my smart and and just today when filling up gas tank I customer asked how it drove and and asked him if he wanted to take one exit trip on the highway.... They loved it and so do I
I try to keep it parked in the garage as much as possible and safe it for travel fun but today was 70 and I wanted to drive to work this morning so I could make the drive 30 mile highway trip home with the top down...

Jerry Donna Suffolk Va
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:57 PM   #6
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We have owed both , never used either as toad .
Yes the fiat has more space but whole family preferred driving the smart soft top .
I did a number of trips 100miles plus no problem agreed it's not as comfortable as an escalade but it's fine
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:10 PM   #7
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Fiat 500

The FIAT 500 is one heck of an automobile. I have 26,000 on ours. It is trouble free and very comfortable. It gets 37-40.7 mpg and very snappy with the 6 speed automatic.

We have had zero problems with the auto. We take it one 400-500 trips with excellent comfort. We have parked the wifes car and take the Fiat.

The one draw back concerning the Fiat. You get a lot of attention and conversation with the auto. We have been stopped going down the hwy wanting to know about the car!

The engine is built in Detroit by Chrysler and built in Mexico by Chrysler.
The semi trucks do not bother the car or the wind also.

The car has 7 airbags. The car has been the top safety pick for both year models by the HIIS.

You will not be unhappy with this auto.

Larry:da nce:: dance:
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:47 PM   #8
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love my smart and so does dw take it any where 45 mile per gal
Allan&Mary with Daisy Dog&peanuts
1999 Newmar Mountian Aire 3758 37.5 ft V10
living life like there is know tomorrow
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:21 PM   #9
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We have a Fiat 500 Abarth, it is a manual so it can be towed 4 down. I am not sure why guys think they want to race every time we hit a stop light thou. Thom just throws it into sport mode and takes off. We leave them in the dust without going too much over the speed limit.
Thom and Christine having fun in a 1993 Monaco Crown Royale Signature Series 40ft 300hp RV. Towing a Fiat 500 Abarth and a Harley.
Our blogged repairs and travels
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:24 AM   #10
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Traded my Smart for a Fiat 500. Smart was cool, but the Fiat feels much more like a real car. Not bashing at all, loved the concept of the Smart. But ours had lots of quality problems early on, and spent a lot of time at the dealership. I have 12k miles on my Fiat, and it's been flawless...

Again, not bashing at all... I know a lot of happy Smart owners!
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:17 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by aschuh53 View Post
love my smart and so does dw take it any where 45 mile per gal
X 2 love it!!
Don and Maxine McQueen
1996 Damon Intruder
F53 Chassis 33 ft
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:23 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the input. We are going with the Smart. As everyone has said both cars are great, fun to drive and just a bit quirky. At the end of the day two factors made us pick the Smart. First the lighter weight and second we wanted a moonroof as opposed to a convertible (rear vision poor on both with top down) and my head hits the rood on the Fiat with a moonroof. Also got just a super deal on a 2013 dealer loaner with 2500 miles.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:52 AM   #13
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I think you will be pleased, the Smart is a fun thing to drive and it can squeeze into very small parking places,

As I noted in a previous post, IMHO, lighter is better. For most jurisdictions, toad brakes are not required by law on a vehicle under 2000lbs. However I installed Ready Brake cables and use a Ready Brake just because more braking is better, (I tested my stopping distance with and without the brake applied. I could stop within the most stringent distance of the state laws without the Brake applied, but I can stop in a shorter distance with the brake on)

Wiring up the lights is sooo simple. Just run the flat 4 wire cable from the front to rear. I did mine with support from a mechanic who was also doing the base plate, (he was a Smart Car mechanic who knew the Smart inside and out). He quickly removed the undercover and put the cable in a flex conduit and ran it along the PAX side and entered the rear compartment and ran the wires above the engine compartment, (under the rug in the trunk area) and I put diodes just behind each light assembly and because it was so easy I put diode protection to the LP light. (This is a legal requirement in many jurisdictions, albeit I have never done this before, nor have I ever heard of anyone being cited for this infraction of not having a toad LP light working.)

We put the Ready Brake cable in at the same time we did the baseplate and lights. It was with everything off in the front.

Good luck
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Old 03-12-2014, 04:44 AM   #14
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Debusk: does the 500 L measure up as well? How about as a toad?


2013 Thor ACE 29.22013 Ford Focus SE Hatchback
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