Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cute as a button.....


The sound of you firing up the 3-cylinder, 70 horsepower engine won't cause anyone to jerk their head around to stare at a driver. It's ever so cute look though, seems to cause both pedestrians and drivers to give it a second look or at the very least, right of way most times.

The "SmartforTwo" car has entered the "elite" gang of miniature cars now being offered in an attempt to save gas. One recent review of it's ride though left me wondering what were they thinking when they developed this teeny weeny shoebox of a car.

It seems that when the car is driven in automatic, it can't decide what gear it really wants to stay in but it does manage to tell you which one it has chosen with a very noticable jerk. The driver can choose to use a clutchless manual mode with paddle shifts on the steering wheel to convince the car of which gear you wish, though somehow, I can't really see why paddle shift technology would be a good choice for 3 cylinders. The driver reported that he usually left it in second gear for a tiny bit more power even though the engine screamed it's protest.

The other major issue mentioned was the less than comfortable ride it offered, though it was roomy enough to make you forget that you were driving a shoebox. Every bump, crack and pothole is more than announced to anyone inside and you either take to swerving your way along the road or settle for "bump, ow, bump, ow" for your whole trip.

There are some advantages to the "Smart" car such as it's ability to squeeze into small holes in traffic and for parking curbside. No one will take it seriously if you think you can try and drive it aggressively in traffic but around town, it gets quite a lot of goodwill. There is even a convertible model, to give you a breath of fresh air while driving your tuna can.

One can choose to save money, ease congestion in the world and save on fuel usage with the "Smart" car or one could always just take to driving one of those tiny cars in the circus as well. The "Smart" car is priced at $16,000, far more than the Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris and isn't anywhere as well built as those two entries in the tiny sardine car class.


For a related post, go here.

3 comments:

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