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smart Roadster (2003-2006) Buying Guide

smart Roadster (2003-2006)
smart Roadster (2003-2006)smart Roadster (2003-2006)smart Roadster (2003-2006)smart Roadster (2003-2006)smart Roadster (2003-2006)smart Roadster (2003-2006)smart Roadster (2003-2006)smart Roadster (2003-2006)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

Just as everbody else was building over-sized, overweight 'sportscars', along came Smart with the Roadster and Roadster-Coupé. With their 698cc three-cylinder engines and plastic panels, the Roadster and Coupé didn't have much power - but with even less weight, every drive was a blast. But the car was just too costly, so sales were low and there aren't many to go round now the car has been canned. It's also impractical for most, but it is frugal, well made and a hoot to drive - so find yours now while there are still minters there for the taking.

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We LikeWe Don't Like
Agility
Build quality
Frugality
Jerky semi-auto transmission
Initial heavy depreciation
Roadster's lack of luggage space
Key Dates 
9/03The Roadster and Roadster-Coupé make their debut.
2/04The stripped-out Roadster Light special edition arrives, with 400 examples earmarked for the UK.
4/04Brabus Roadster and Roadster-Coupé go on sale, with 17" alloys, bodykit and extra equipment, but no more power.
7/04Speedsilver special edition appears.
4/05Brabus is sole model available, now with bodycolour grilles and daytime running lights.
Checklist 
  • Retractable roof can leak, so check there's no water in the footwells.
  • Electrics have been known to play up - check instrumentation and warning lights especially.
  • The handbrake can be weak, so ensure it's properly adjusted.
  • Door seals can leak - a recall was issued but some cars may have slipped through the net.
  • Bodywork gets scraped because it's hard to see the car's extremities.
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