2008 smart fortwo Long-Term Road Test

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2008 Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe: A Different Cloth

April 27, 2009

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When I first saw our Smart Fortwo, I thought, "Boy, that fabric on the door and the dash is a really bad idea." Didn't seem like it would be very durable. I could see the cloth getting soiled and perhaps even torn as the car shuttled from one manhandling editor to the next. Epic fail in the making.

The Smart's been in our possession for almost a year now, with over 16,000 miles under its belt. And guess what? I was wrong. The fabric looks as good as new. In fact, it seems to be almost magically impervious to dust and scuff marks. I grazed the door panel with my grimy sneaker as I was getting into the car this morning. No problem -- the cloth remained pristine. This incredibly resilient fabric is probably the most interesting and efficient thing about the little coupe.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 16,113 miles

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2008 Smart Fortwo: Moving Paddle Shifters

February 11, 2009

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Some cars have this, too, but I'm not crazy about paddle shifters that move with the steering wheel, like they do in our 2008 Smart Fortwo. If I want to downshift/upshift at a turn, since my hands always go back to 10 and 2, I'm inevitably eyeballing or feeling around the wheel for the paddle shifters. Not good. I've since given up shifting with them at turns and just use the gearshifter.

I prefer paddle shifters fixed to the steering column because I don't have to search around for them and wait for them to come to me. Fixed, I know where they'll be every time. Not faulting the car, just letting you know that's how it is with the Smart. The R8 has traveling paddle shifters, too.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 13,807 miles

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2008 Smart Fortwo: There Is No Keyhole

January 05, 2009

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Following up on my post on Friday about the not-too-clear unlock/lock icons on the keyfob, a few of you (i.e. commenter fadetoblackii) may have wondered why I don't just use the actual key to unlock our 2008 Smart Fortwo, especially when in a hurry. As commenter epbronw pointed out, there is no keyhole.

There is, however, a key symbol to let you know where the keyhole is located. Unfortunately it's concealed by a plastic cover that appears to require implements to remove it. So no quick and easy entry for me.

I tried looking online how to remove that cover but no such luck. The user manual I downloaded makes no mention of it, just that if your keyfob doesn't work, you should replace the battery.

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor

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2008 Smart Fortwo: Orange is the New Black

November 05, 2008

smart-shifter-555.jpg It wasn't until I left my neighborhood this morning that I realized both the Smart Fortwo and I were wearing orange.

The car attracts enough attention on its own. Didn't need to be the dorky girl who dresses to match her car.

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2008 Smart Fortwo: A Mouse in the House?

November 03, 2008

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We've got a new one to add to the list of complaints about the Smart's brake pedal: it squeaks. Over the weekend, not only was I reminded of how much effort it requires to keep the Smart stopped while waiting at a light (I've just resorted these days to putting it in park), but it now emits a sound similar to that of a distressed rodent -- or a doggie squeeze toy.

Hopefully they'll take care of that when we finally take it in for service (we're T-minus 600 miles now, btw). Otherwise, I'm unleashing a can of WD-40 on that sucka.

Laura Burstein, Automotive Editor @ 10,557 miles

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2008 Smart Fortwo Passion: Seeing Red

June 12, 2008

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Armed with the advice given by many of my colleagues to shift our long-term Smart fortwo's gears myself for an improved driving experience, I ventured forth. And I have to say that it is much, much better that way. Shifting the automated manual myself, I actually was able to enjoy myself in the little thing and relax enough to realize that I really like the Smart fortwo Passion's bold orange-red interior, particularly the slightly nubby fabric that covers much of the dash. The little nubs catch the light and give it a bit of a sparkle, which just adds to the fun factor and suits the car's personality... To me, it wouldn't make sense to have a Smart dressed in understated tones like grey, black and beige (which are all available). This car is all about fizzy, pop-y candy colors.

Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 5,625 miles

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2008 Smart Fortwo Passion: Make Your Own Armrest

May 13, 2008

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Let's be clear: I like driving the Smart Fortwo, and I'll have the next 11 months to expound on that. It's not that I think the car's automated manual transmission is great. It's just that a liberal dose of throttle followed by a prudent lift will get around many a minor inconvenience... and surprise unsuspecting 3 Series drivers... But today I want to talk armrests. The Smart doesn't have one in the center. So here's how I get around that. I travel with this big old-school CD case (probably holds 50 or 100 CDs) and after I select my music, it becomes my elbow cushion.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor

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