Thoughts for 2017 on the smartcar Cabrios (convertibles)?
October 4, 2017 8:37 AM   Subscribe

I drive a 2000 Toyota Solara convertible and I've vowed I never want to have a non-convertible car again. It's starting to fall apart and I'm looking at my choices for a new or lightly used replacement. I love the tiny-ness of the smartcars and test-drove one years ago and liked it (and saw this previously and this previously. Do you have a recent smartcar? Do you like it? Especially, do you have a smartcar convertible? If not smartcar, what other teeny convertible would you recommend? Are there any? I must admit that the price point on the smartcar is alluring. Details on my use inside.

I drive <10 miles each way to work and back every day, 20 miles each way to my partner's house on the weekends x2, and about twice a year 175 miles each way to my folks' house.
posted by fiercecupcake to Travel & Transportation around Austin, TX (6 answers total)
Those little fiat 500's are a hoot to drive, especially the convertibles, and surprisingly comfortable. I used to test drive them and was in them from 8-10 hours at a time. I have no idea about maintenance, safety, or long term reliability. Check with your insurance agent on prices. My agent told me that 2 doors are more expensive to insure because they are considered "sports cars". I don't know if that's just my company, Travelers, or an industry standard though.
posted by BoscosMom at 9:52 AM on October 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've had a few Mazdas and those Mazda Miatas are super cute and they've been around for YEARS so new and used should be available near you.

Good luck!
posted by jillithd at 10:32 AM on October 4, 2017

Response by poster: Maybe I should have capitalized Smartcar? I think it's styled lowercase. To clarify, I am looking right now at the smartcar brand, but I am open to suggestions if smartcar sucks.

Oh, and I have a 2-door right now, so that's a non-issue for me.
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:13 AM on October 4, 2017

The Mini Cooper convertible is a tight fun car too. With a back seat to boot.
posted by Doc_Sock at 1:12 PM on October 4, 2017 [1 favorite]

I didn't drive it but I rode in a friends Mini Cooper and it's a blast! I'm tall, a big galoot with a lot of leg and a lot of long body also and I fit no problem, didn't feel the least cramped. And that little thing really moved out FAST! I was really surprised. Super cool car.

I know nothing about Smart cars, only responding in here because Doc Sock mentioned it, plus because it's you. I hope you find a great car. Walk slow, no need to frantically grab whatever shows up; the right car is coming your way.
posted by dancestoblue at 5:43 AM on October 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

You should absolutely see if you can hunt down a Mini Roadster - those are two seater Mini convertibles (smaller than the ones with the back seats but have HUUUUGE trunks)!!

They stopped making them a couple years ago, but you can definitely find them if you look around - especially on Carmax. They are an absolute blast to drive. If I didn't have kids, I would definitely have one.

I have a 2013 Mini convertible and absolutely *love* it. I took it across the country last summer with my daughter as part of Mini Takes The States - a huge rally put on by Mini USA every other summer. It was pretty awesome!

The only thing I don't like about the Mini convertibles have big blind spots when the roof is up because there is no rear side window. You get used to it, but there is a big learning curve. Totally worth it because it's such a SWEET little car. The new Mini convertibles have been completely revamped. They have totally different, very zippy engines made by BMW. Some of the other changes was a new design that took away the big roll bar loops in the back and replaced them with hydraulic safety lifts that pop up in seconds if the car senses a roll in an accident. It truly is a beautiful car. It's got the backseat and a trunk that can fit a week's worth of groceries if you pack carefully.

One thing you should know is that the Minis come with full service, whereas
the Fiats don't (or at least didn't when I looked at them). CPO Minis come with service, as well.
posted by dancinglamb at 7:05 AM on October 5, 2017

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