2005 smart «Fortwo» Review

26 Мар 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
car Smart Fortwo

2005 smart Fortwo

SMART CAR ‘FORTWO’ BY MERCEDES

By Steve Purdy

Detroit

The buzz at the North American International Auto Show in included rumors that company Mercedes Benz seriously consider bringing the little Smart Car to US shores. were able to score a piece of premium floor back near Scion they displayed the most Fortwo (referring to the car being two” people) model, with a Forfour, a roadster, and the sport-utility version designed for the US. While gauging reaction to the car the and PR folks for Smart convinced us it could be a winner here.

We didn’t want to miss an to do some serious research and some fun with the little so we arranged a test drive Toronto where Mercedes of Canada has its corporate headquarters and its press fleet. The Smart Car was in Canada just last They’ve sold about units so far through 45 M-B dealers Canada who have the Smart

You might recognize the ‘city in the photo above if you pay attention to car or have been to Europe in the few years. Other manufacturers tiny city cars in but the Smart Car defines best of the “In 1994 Mercedes Benz and the (watch company) group a joint venture called Car. The main target was to a new urban transportation method,” we told by Richard Trevisan, of Smart Canada Division of Mercedes, as we might imagine, the mechanical concepts, which had been working on since the and Swatch did the marketing concepts, the interchangeable body panels allow the customer to change the of his car at will.

Major components are made in Germany but the car is assembled in France. tiny it is considered a premium car and is from $14,000 to about Canadian. Three trim are available. The materials, design and of the Smart Car are truly top drawer.

broke shortly after the that the Smart Car division was to make ends meet and at of going away entirely as a in spite of worldwide sales 1998 of 630,000 units in 36 That crisis has passed. As we this review the Smart is being reorganized for efficiency, the roadster and sport-ute models. The news is the brand is safe for Bad news is, it will not be coming to the US in the term. That’s really bad we decided after just a few with the car because it’s a hoot to drive and to see just around town.

As you can see by the photo above, the tiny car has no The rear tires stick out where the body ends. And its slopes away steeply the top at an angle reminiscent of the BMW Isetta of the 50s. Over all it looks anything ever produced in America. The interior has an almost Art quality but with a modern Details are both functional and

Before we leave M-B HQ with the car we get a walk-around with ace sales gal Roelofson. The lovely Ms. Roelofson BMWs nearby until the to sell the Smart Car came We have no question that she is on the car as she parks ours behind showing us that two fit nicely one parking place. She does a job of narrating the car and all its features for the camera. a natural. She also shows us the Car’s superstructure displayed the show room — the only display of its kind The rigid passenger compartment is as a secure cage using car-building techniques. Crumple are designed so that the forces of or rear impacts are directed under the sturdy passenger where they are absorbed and

Our road test tour take us from M-B HQ on the northeast of Toronto about two hours to quaint Stratford, Ontario the famous annual Stratford runs all summer and includes than a dozen professionally plays, both Shakespearian and

It takes the entire 4 or 5 miles M-B HQ back to the 401 freeway to just get to the controls of our peppy Smart Car Of course I want to shift it keeping it out of the automatic mode. I two options, paddle shifting on the wheel or the traditional floor between the seats. Or I can alternate the two if I like. I also find, that the smart little Car will take it upon to shift for the inattentive driver who always shift within a range.

Not knowing exactly to expect I skitter full through the cloverleaf entrance the 7-lane 401 super highway, heavy traffic not amenable to a car that can’t keep up. So I up – with considerable effort.

by an 800cc, 3-cylinder turbo-diesel mounted under the rear tray, it makes just 50 horsepower and 74 lb.-ft. of torque. gets to the rear wheels by way of the 6-speed transmission. Either way the are slow and definitive but fun none-the-less. Our at M-B insist that it will get 60 miles per Imperial gallon of fuel. That’s about 48 mpg US.

Our support vehicle, a new Ford Hybrid, is just ahead of me. video taping the car for an upcoming TV so they’re watching me carefully in, around and between 18-wheelers, and other manner of vehicle. driving into a stiff wind. I have the sliding top open all the way and the side windows Traffic is moving about 100 kph (62 when it’s moving at while we’re still in the As we get to the edge of metropolitan Toronto picks up to around 130 kph (80 mph). My foot is flat on the floor. I seem to get more than 130 out of her though the speedometer goes to I close up the top with the power It seals tight. Then I the power side windows. that wind resistance I can 140 easily keeping up with the westward flow of traffic.

car Smart Fortwo

does the diminutive Smart Car like at 80 mph between two semis in a wind on the 401, you ask?

stable, I must say. I feel the jostle and sway of buffeted about but there is a feeling of insecurity or instability. impressive. The suspension, as you might is quite firm, but as we shift up and to keep the power maximized at 2,500 to 3,000 rpm we rock and forth boat-like because of the wheel base and the relaxed of transition from gear to

My colleagues in the Escape ahead the best video shot is the Car dancing along in the center flanked by huge rigs on side.

West of Toronto we the 401 at Kitchener and head west on 8. We arrive at the appointed hour to our host from the Stratford Bureau who will show us town and arrange some We’ve been thinking of the Car as an icon for youngsters but we’re awestruck looks coming all generations including our middle-aged

As we bounce around town for the couple of days getting a for the area and the car we continue to be amazed at the and interest the Smart Car generates. is certainly not your car if you’d to be unnoticed, particularly in the chartreuse of our test car. It has been in Canada long enough for a few folks to know what it is. folks look up, point and “Smart Car”. The others up, point and holler, “What’s

According to our M-B folks its not just sold in urban area as we expect. It’s popular in towns as well where have relatively short to drive and want the fun and economy of odd duck. Division Manager tells us that the best-represented group among Smart is what he calls DINKS – is, “dual-income, no-kids”. Judging the dozens of folks around with whom we talked, a group of juvenile delinquents at the trade school to an old fellow Quebec admiring the swans his much-younger wife, the appeal of the Car easily spans generations.

I can’t imagine that great little car would anything less than an reception among US car buyers.


So, we recommend that our friends at and Mercedes Benz reconsider it here. I’ll sure be a customer.

I’m just one real There are lots more of us.

car Smart Fortwo
car Smart Fortwo

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