smart car truck

Smart Car Truck: 7 Things To Know


August 10, 2022

Mercedes-Smart Benz’s subsidiary specializes in city-friendly miniature vehicles like the smart car truck.

Smart City-Coupe was the company’s first product, released in 1998.

While the average lifespan of a Smart car truck is around 150,000 miles, some have been known to go as far as 450,000 miles.

With the right conditions, Smart can live for up to two decades in a temperate climate without experiencing any severe problems.

There will be a significant impact on profitability due to the cost of repairs.

Keep reading to find out more about the most pressing difficulties with Smart cars.

A Brief Background

Smart cars were only available in limited quantities in the United States, despite their widespread appeal in Europe.

The first Smart cars arrived in the United States in 2008.

The Smart Fortwo Coupe and Fortwo Cabrio, the third generation of the Smart Fortwo, were introduced in 2016.

Smart decided in 2017 to terminate the production of Smart cars powered by gasoline and to concentrate only on the production of all-electric Smart cars.

Smart celebrated its tenth anniversary in the United States by releasing a limited-edition Fortwo Coupe to commemorate the occasion.

However, the firm’s success was short-lived, as the company opted to withdraw from the United States market in 2019 due to exorbitant expenses of homologation and a lack of sales volume.

7 Things To Look For When Buying A Smart Car Truck

Following a brief overview of Smart’s history in the United States, this guide will walk you through the seven most critical considerations to consider if you own or plan to purchase a Smart car truck vehicle.

1. Consumption Of Fuel And Range

Fuel consumption has little to do with the lifespan of a vehicle, but it is crucial to keep in mind while considering the Smart Fortwo’s life expectancy.

Petrol-powered smart cars, despite their compact size, are not the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the roads.

The older 1-liter 3-cylinder engine and the short-lived 0.9-liter 3-cylinder engine attain maximum highway fuel economy of 38-39 mpg and combined fuel economy of 35-36 mpg, respectively.

It is possible to find many automobiles that are more fuel-efficient than Smarts within the same model years and class ranges.

The hybrid technology of the Toyota Prius allows it to score 51/48 mpg even though it is a bigger and larger vehicle.

smart car truck

63-68 miles is the maximum driving range for the all-electric Smart Fortwo in its final model year.

However, it makes up for that with charging durations of 40 minutes at a public charging station or 2.5 hours at home.

Smart has one advantage over other metropolitan cars despite its higher fuel consumption: parking flexibility. Smart can share a parking space with your other vehicle if it’s allowed.

Parallel parking will be easier on the street, however, due to its size, you could park at a 90-degree angle to the parking space and still be within the bounds.

2. Engine

It would seem reasonable to believe that having a solid relationship with Mercedes-Benz would be beneficial for Smart.

Sadly, this is not the case in this instance.

Smart cars combine the most significant problem of the Mercedes brand, which is the high cost of maintenance, with a relatively unreliable engine to create a hybrid vehicle.

An owner of a 2015 model has catastrophic engine failure after only 22 thousand miles, resulting in a $14,500 replacement cost for the engine.

Fortunately, he was still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, but the other Smart cars in the United States are not.

Some owners have experienced no problems even after logging 100,000 miles, with a company-owned model logging 450,000 miles as a record.

If you are thinking about purchasing a used Smart car truck, make sure to properly inspect it for mechanical issues.

Aside from the chain-driven engines, they don’t need to be serviced as frequently.

Please keep in mind that most vehicles need to be replaced after between 75,000 and 9,500 kilometers of use.

Up to $2,000 is needed to replace a whole timing chain, including labor.

In order to service or repair the engine, it is exceedingly difficult because it is so tightly packed.

This increases the labor costs, regardless of the nature of the service or repair needed.

3. Transmission Of Information

The reliability of the Smart Fortwo is also influenced by its transmission.

Even by the standards of a sluggish city drive, the 5-speed automated manual transmission is infamous for its poor performance, and this is especially true of the automatic transmission.

Gear shift issues, a sluggish clutch, and a generally insensitive throttle are the most common complaints about the petrol-powered Smart with an automatic manual transmission.

Because the electric model is not affected by these issues, it may be a more advantageous buy in the long run.

4. The Body

Smart cars are resistant to rust in temperate climates where salted roads are infrequent, according to the manufacturer.

When purchasing a used Smart, evaluate the location in which it was driven, as well as any scrapes, bumps, and scratches on the vehicle’s bodywork.

When the protective coating is intact, the panels can withstand rust; however, if the protective coating is removed, rust can rapidly spread through the panels.

Rust isn’t a deciding factor in the longevity of a Smart car truck, as seen by a large number of 20-year-old cars still in use across the continent.

5. Its Suspension

The suspension of a Smart car truck is one of the most significant disadvantages from the driver’s standpoint.

However, it is the suspension that is crucial for ride comfort, not the engine or transmission, which will be affected by Smart’s weak engine and sluggish transmission.

Not only is it extremely inconvenient to drive a Smart car truck, but it is also quite expensive to get suspension problems repaired.

Replacement shock absorbers or struts for a 2012 Smart Fortwo will cost you approximately $300.

Calculate the cost of a repair by multiplying it by two or four and adding more parts, and you’ll have a pretty pricey repair on your hands.

6. Batteries

When we consider that Smart withdrew from the United States market in 2017, it is reasonable to anticipate that an all-electric vehicle will require a new battery system shortly.

The board of directors estimates that the battery replacement for the Smart all-electric will cost between $10,000 and $15,000.

I needed to confirm this figure by reading discussion groups, and it is, in fact, correct.

Owners of Smart Fortwo electric vehicles complained in 2019 that the cost of replacement batteries for their 2014 Smart Fortwo electric vehicles exceeded $11,000 without labor.

7. Brakes

The brakes on the Smart Fortwo are an unexpected source of concern.

Although their usefulness has not been questioned, it has been noted that they wear out extremely quickly, with one owner reporting that he had to replace them every eight months.

This is most likely due to the way the car is driven, as well as the frequent braking required on city streets.

However, whereas the conventional brake pad lifespan is rated at 40,000 miles, Smart’s brake pads can only last 25,000 to 30,000 miles, thus there is some validity to this story about their performance.

How Long Does A Smart Car Truck Last?

As I indicated at the outset of this post, Smart cars have the potential to survive more than 150,000 miles, but only if they are properly maintained and repaired regularly.

In actuality, models imported in 2016-2017 may already be experiencing problems that are causing them to be unsellable.

smart car truck

Initially, Smart cars were prohibitively costly, and while their price has decreased dramatically over the years, the cost of components and labor has not decreased in tandem, particularly in the case of battery replacement.


Is a Smart car suitable for long-distance travel?

Smart cars don’t do well on long-distance excursions, but to be fair, they weren’t designed for that purpose in the first place.

They’re great for commuting to work and driving around the city, but they can also transport you to a nearby location if necessary.

I would not, however, encourage trips that are more than a couple of hundred miles in length.

Why are Smart automobiles not offered in the United States?

The official reason for Smart’s refusal to be imported into the United States is the expensive expense of homologation in conjunction with the company’s poor sales.

Is driving a Smart car truck dangerous?

Even though Smart cars are smaller than other automobiles, they perform better in terms of safety than the majority of automobiles on the road.

The 2014 Smart Fortwo received a 4-star certification from Euro NCAP, with an 82 percent adult occupant rating, an 80 percent child occupant rating, and a 56 percent safety assist rating.

Are Smart automobiles dependable?

When it comes to dependability, smart automobiles are unreliable.

While some types can run for up to 100,000 miles before needing to be serviced, others are prone to breakdowns after only a few oil changes.

When you include the extremely expensive cost of repairs and labor, it’s hard to argue that Smart cars are particularly dependable.

How much does it cost to change the oil on a Smart car?

To replace only the oil, you’ll need to spend approximately $100 on parts and labor.

Oil and air filters are not particularly expensive, costing up to $20 apiece, hence it is recommended that they be replaced at the same time as the oil change is performed.

The Bottomline

Smart automobiles can last a long time, but I’d rather drive a French, Italian, or Japanese-made tiny car than an American-made model.

Models from Citroen, Toyota, and Honda can be less expensive to purchase while providing higher riding comfort, battery run-time, power, and reliability.

From all I’ve read about Smart cars, I’m not surprised they opted to exit the US market.

To be on the safe side, now that you know how much a Smart car truck costs to maintain and repair, you could reconsider purchasing a secondhand one.

For now, I’m glad we could help.

If you decide to go with something other than a Smart, I recommend reading our recent comparisons of the Toyota Prius, Honda Fit, and Nissan Leaf, all of which are better choices than a Smart in my opinion.


Jeffrey Bryce is an experienced motorcycle rider with years of experience caring for motorcycles. His natural fondness for motorcycles have made him come up with, which is dedicated to answering and teaching you how to care for your bike with the care it requires. LetsGoForARide is the one of his important lifework in reaching out to communities of motorcycle enthusiasts on how to take care of their bike and choosing the correct spare part.