SMART car - you can't put it on the roof

The dealer showed me a web site picture of a SMART car pulling two kayaks on a trailer.

The trailer comes from Canada and is about two grand, according to him. I suspect it might cost a bit more, but that is okay the vehicle isn’t that costly.

I would imagine that a kayak trailer is going to be light weight to pull.

It takes a year for your SMART car to arrive, so I’m thinking this will be my birthday present when I turn 59. Furthermore by then I hope to be able to put 30-45% down on the whole deal.

Anyone have any experience with SMART cars and kayaks/canoe carting?

Get a motorcycle

Yeah but what about rain
I will be nearly 60 when that car arrives and yes I know age shouldn’t stop a person from new ideas. I’ve thought about a motorcycle! However with my health I need an all weather vehicle.

I checked one out a year or so ago and thought it had a very nice interior. I wasn’t so impressed with the gas mileage though. I expected much higher MPG’s for such a small vehicle.


sure, why not
Smart 42 gets 40mpg on the highway

Mini Base gets 37mpg on the highway

Both can pull a trailer, I am not sure how well behaved Smart will be pulling the trailer on interstate. Trailer does not have to be made in Canada :), as long as it is lightweight and does not have a lot of tongue loading.

Mini can be had in “clubman” configuration - more hauling space.

Smart 42 would be easier to park, but not with the trailer.

Smart has 1.0l engine, Mini 1.6l

Mini is “designed” to carry 2 people + 200lb + luggage

Smart is “designed” to carry 2 Europeans + European luggage :wink:

The choice is yours.

Smart car may be OK for the city

– Last Updated: May-05-08 10:21 AM EST –

but if street parking is not the top-most priority, I see no reason to get that instead of a Prius or something of the kind. Not sure about pricing on the Smart but it seemed overpriced for what it is compared to other small cars IMO. Fun factor is priceless though, so I can't argue with that!

The Prius is a "real" car with actual fuel efficiency better than the smarts sold in the US at least. Can carry stuff on the roof and the hatch can store all the stuff that you would otherwise need to strap to the trailer on the smart.

I got a beat-up 130K miles '02 Prius that has so far, over the almost 10K miles I put on it since I got it last year, averaged 45 MPG at the pump (48 per the car's computer) in my daily commute in the Washington DC area beltway and city traffic. I would most likely get an '04+ model when I see one priced right (the '09 and '10 models should be exciting - bigger, more efficient, faster, plug-in may be, but about $23K and up new).

Have you looked at these as an alternative to the smart?

You might want to review what they are saying about the Smart cars.

You can get very good rain suits
There are good heated suits. Rain is no problem as long as you are careful. As for the Smart car, I look at it and thing short Gremlin. I’ll sacrifice a few miles per gallon to get a smidgen bigger.

what yackcanfish said. get a motercycle. 45-55 MPG, or a scooter 60-70 MPG. For boat hauling get an old beater and use it just for that. better yet commute on a bicycle.

thanks all and I will look at edmunds
When I’ve read about the Mini, the MPG ratings were very low versus the cost of the Mini. The SMART is under twenty thousand. The Mini is under thirty if I’m not mistaken.

Since the $99.00 is refundable I am not closing my mind to other vehicles. A lot can happen in a year.

My present plan is to keep my Dodge Van for as long as it will run, but get this car for under twenty thousand next summer. When I’m 62 in 201, my mortgage payment will drop by $429.00 a month and my van will be ten years old. Then I should be able to afford more car and by then we may have more choices as consumers.

The Van gets 26 MPG with the kayak on the roof and all of my camping junk in the back. The transmission is fussy. I have a psychological need to have alternate transportation as the van approaches 100,000 miles. The other cheap car I’ve looked at is the Honda Fit however the Toyota Matrix looks a lot better but it costs more. Their MPG doesn’t impress me as being worth the price just now.

Canadian,and European Smarts …
are different then US Smarts. There are no hitches available for US Smarts. Other countries insurance companies are different,along with US safety standards,and US Smarts won’t chance the liability,or safety here.


is no big deal, every truck i have owned was over 350,000 miles of course they were all Chevrolets, they were all running fine when i sold them, yes i had to replace a few parts, but it was cheaper then a new vehicle, matter of fact I still wish i had my OLD sub, the seats would fold flat and you could haul 4x12 sheets of drywall INSIDE it. The new sub is nice gas milage wise, compard to the old one, and it rides better, but the old one just WORKED better. Keep the van, use it as your boat hauler.

wifes '01 Corolla
rated for 39 mpg highway, with 4 doors, and goes well. I’ve been using it more now and once I got used to being in a go-cart(usually in my pick-up),I’m quite pleased with performance, and economy seems astonishing. Met up with some paddling friends yesterday whose friend just bought a smart car. They mentioned a 460 pound load capacity. Shuttlings out…

Honda Fit
Bigger than the Smart. Cheaper than the Smart. Gets about the same MPG.

That was true about the hitches but
Well I don’t have to and can not do anything yet. I appreciate all of your recommendations and since I’ve a year to wait I will be doing what I was doing anyway, looking around and keeping my options open.

There is a website and a phone number with aftermarket SMART products. I just spoke with them and they claim to have the trailer. The pictures are on this web site.

My van has glida and slide by Thule - It’s a little difficult for me to put my kayak up there but I manage. My asthma kicks in some days so I have to take it slow. It is harder getting it back up there than down.

The Toyota or Honda of my dreams is more than I want to spend if I buy in 09. I’d like to darn near pay half down and keep payments low. I’ve been in debt and I am not looking to get seriously in debt again very soon.

Presently I plan to hang onto my van indefinately. My step mother’s is twenty years old and still running well.

I do read much of paddling net every day and I thank you all for your thoughts, opinions, and so forth.

Let’s do the math
The Smart costs you 20k plus 2k for the trailer. A Honda Fit or a Toyota Matrix cost you 15k and you can put the kayak on the roof, so let’s add just $400 or so for the best Yakima/Thule rack options.

It gets about 10 mpg better than those options, but it is a lot smaller.

Let’s say gas keeps rising, to $8 a gallon. How many miles will you have to drive the Smart Car in order to make up the extra $5 to 6k you paid for it?

You could also add in the cost of securing alternate transportation on those time when you needed to carry more stuff or people than the Smart could comfortably carry.

Doesn’t seem like a money-saving decision to go with the Smart Car.


There’s another car coming that runs on air. Currently it’s being sold in India. Their model gets

120 miles on a charge, goes 70 MPH and recharges from a filling station, at home or from a compresser in the car. The one getting ready for sale in America can go 1,000 miles on a charge and is family sized.

Please post…
a link to more info. I’ve read about a combustion engine so effiecent that it can run on compressed air, but have heard very little since.



Are you buying two?
You are being priced gouged up the wazzu if you are paying $20000 for a Smart. Their base starting price is $11000. Yakima already has a fit for the Smart. It’s an 18" spread, limited to 100lbs and really only suitable for bikes, but it is a rack.

The Toyota Yaris has a sticker rating of 36mpg but owners are claiming 40-45 highway. I tried a Mini but it was too short for me inside by almost 4 inches. Both the Smart and Yaris had 2 inches of space above my head.

How tall are you Nermal?
It sounds like the seat in the Mini you tested was cranked up, unless you are really tall. They have a good 3-5" of vertical travel. I have enough space to wear a dress fedora in the car, granted I’m only 5’9".