Driving a Smart Car
By Herb on
Vehicle2008 smart fortwo passion 2dr Hatchback (1.0L 3cyl 5AM)
ReviewThe somewhat leisurely acceleration is expected and can be circumvented by flogging the engine in manual mode using the paddle shifters. Initial fuel economy was disappointing, but rapidly improved after putting "Sea-Foam" fuel system cleaner in the tank. Am now getting 38.5 mpg in city driving. The local Smart dealership was very friendly and reprogrammed the transmission to largely eliminate the 1-2 shift lag in my 2008 as part of a no-charge update to 2009 standards. This made a huge improvement in driveability! Highway stability in cross-winds is somewhat squirrely, but I had no trouble keeping it in the lane even when x-winds topped 35 mph on a fast causeway.
Best FeaturesVery roomy inside for a tiny two-seater. Getting in and out is wonderfully easy. I'm over 6'-2" and can wear a tall hat in this car! All the features are useful and contribute to the feel of having a much more expensive car. Love the 10,000 service interval. People smile and wave.
Worst FeaturesRear vision is restricted my high seat-backs and thick rear pillars. Transmission gets stuck in gear when gas pedal is stomped (no up-shift until long after foot is taken off gas pedal). Downshifting is reluctant when gas pedal is stomped and held down.
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