The Oppo brief review of a Smart Roadster

Not this one but just like it.

Illustration for article titled The Oppo brief review of a Smart Roadster

I’d have preferred the coupé (little hatchback) but they were more expensive new and less common.

The vendor is a retired man of 75, which he didn’t look but that would probably be down to his habit of cycling 20 miles most mornings. Was originally his wife’s, but she now has a bad back (she looks fine but can’t sit, lie or stand for very long and sadly there’s usually nothing the medics can do about this) and it’s barely used. He swears it doesn’t leak (much) and has had it garaged throughout his ownership, even building a shed for the purpose.


What it has: 80 bhp (no, this isn’t a fast car), fancy heated seats, paddle gearchange, fancy leather trim, electric fabric roof.

What it hasn’t: electric mirrors, much luggage space, cupholders, connectivity, touchscreens


What it does: go quite well. You get a little gasp from the turbo during each gearchange and it feels quicker than it actually is. Seems to handle well enough and the ride comfort isn’t that bad. Strange hearing engine noise from astern. Despite the tiny size there’s plenty of room for somebody of 1.90m/6'2" once you’ve got over the hurdle of dropping down into a very low car without bashing your head on the roof. Power steering despite the lack of weight.

What’s better than many expect: automated manual ‘box. The seller didn’t like it in automatic mode and always used the paddles, which produces slow changes. I tried it in automatic and it seemed reasonable enough although it tended to hang onto gears a little longer than you’d expect.


What isn’t so good: wind noise if the wind is in an unfavourable direction. Comes with the fabric roof I’m afraid.

I haven’t actually got it yet but time will tell how it holds up in daily use.

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