2008 Smart Fortwo Passion coupe Test drive and new car review…

25 Фев 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »
car Smart Fortwo

Smart redefines minimalist

Conceived by Swiss watchmaker and designed in conjunction with parent company of Mercedes-Benz, the Fortwo microcar has been all the in traffic-choked European cities its introduction in 1998. Smart has redesigned the Fortwo and is now bringing it to as both a coupe and a convertible, the former tested here. Is the the right car for America — and is ready for the Smart? Read on. price $12,190, price as $15,420, EPA fuel economy 33 MPG city, 41 MPG highway.

First Let’s get small!

The Smart was introduced in Europe in 1998 not so much as a cure for high gas (they’ve been driving with lawnmower engines for but for parking on crowded streets goes to photo). With gas climbing here in the States, and more of us Yanks are starting to see the of small cars — and face it, cars don’t get smaller than the Smart At 8’10 long, it’s 4 feet shorter than a Fit and little more than the length of a Toyota Avalon .

Even after a week of with the Smart, it’s hard to look at it and think of it as a I’d look at all the vehicles on my street and think Car, car, Smart, car, And clearly I wasn’t the only the Smart attracted lots of comments and smiles from drivers and passers-by. Lots of wanted to talk about it, of whom had seen the Smart visiting Europe or Canada.

The question most people ask is How safe is it? In the US Government front-crash the Fortwo scored 4 stars of 5) stars for the driver but only 3 for the and 5 for the side impact test the door came open in the In the more realistic IIHS the Smart got a best-possible Good in both front and side The Smart is designed with a safety cage (the bits on my test car; the body panels and roof are while the engine is positioned the trunk floor to take of what little front space the car offers.

In the Driver’s Seat: Not so small

is offered in a number of bright trims, including this job

Photo © Aaron Gold

a tall roof, miniaturized console. and a cabin devoted to two people, the Smart Fortwo is a lot than you might expect. a wide range of seat and everything is within easy — including the back Even so, the Smart doesn’t as small as it is. The distances between seat, dash and windshield are to a conventional car, and the tall position puts your at the same height as a small It’s only when at the car from the outside that you how tiny it is.

Regular readers that dark interiors are a pet of mine. My test car’s was trimmed with bright-orange — one of several colorful — and, needless to I loved it. And if that wasn’t an optional clear-plastic roof in plenty of sunlight. The shape of the provides plenty of storage — my cell phone, keys and garage door all fit nicely into the spaces the steering column.

I was amazed at how much stuff I stuff into the Fortwo’s 12 foot cargo bay. A worth of groceries, two full baskets, even Mrs. bulky massage table. I did a problem with cargo into the space behind the the owners manual mentions a cargo cover which have prevented that happening, but my car didn’t have And I really didn’t like the tailgate — the flip-up is a nice convenience, but the lower gets in the way and makes loading the harder than it should be.

On the Drives nicely, but stay out of the

The Fortwo’s 1-liter 3-cylinder puts out 70 horsepower and 68 lb-ft of Smart claims the Fortwo which weighs 1808 600 lbs less than a Honda Fit gets to 60 MPH in a lazy 12.8 and tops out at 90. In reality, pickup is if not quite quick, and the Smart along happily at 75 MPH, it struggles on steep hills.

The comes with a 5-speed transmission (SMT); it has the guts of a but a computer does all the clutching and for you. The feeling takes getting used to — a regular automatic shifts instantly, there’s a noticeable in power delivery as the SMT changes Driving it feels like a passenger in a stick-shift car. I that easing up on the throttle shifts made things a bit as did shifting manually using the paddles .

car Smart Fortwo

I figured such a small car be noisy and tinny, but the Smart is comfortable and quiet. The ride is in town, though on the highway it blown around by crosswinds and vehicles, and on one unusually windy day I had a time staying in my lane. But in the curves was better than I with great grip and electronic stability control as a

Fuel economy is good, not as good as you might expect: I 35.8 MPG. For comparison, I got in the last Toyota Yaris I To make matters worse, the requires premium fuel. The economy pales compared to the Prius hybrid. which 45 MPG on regular.

Journey’s End: I want or do I?

2008 Smart Fortwo

© Aaron Gold

I fell in with the Smart Fortwo the it was dropped off. By mid-week, I was I wanted to buy one. But by week’s after crunching the numbers and driving in winds high to knock over trees I wasn’t quite so sure.

I the Smart’s futuristic design and interior, and I got used to the transmission’s behavior. But the split tailgate was a annoyance, and I never was comfortable it on windy days. And as for all the attention the car — it was fun at first, but after a it got old. (I don’t mean to anti-social, but you can only return so grins and thumbs-up before you to scream.)

Here in Los Angeles, isn’t an issue like it is in cities, so I’d consider a Yaris or a Honda Fit. of which trade slightly fuel economy for more smoother transmissions, proper and better highway behavior a back seat; you never when that’ll come in That said, they’re boring compared to the novel


Of course, if I lived in New York or San the Smart is the car I’d buy — of all the parking spaces I’d to myself, at least until people started buying And I’ve yet to test the Smart which opens up (pun all sorts of possibilities. Bottom The Smart Fortwo may not be the end to all our problems, but a great car — stylish, and unique. Bravo to Smart for it to the US. — Aaron Gold

car Smart Fortwo

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