2008 Smart ForTwo: Blown Away
May 09, 2008
Welcome to a year of grievances, where we explore the oxymoronic nature of badging this car the Smart. For those on staff who have nothing but 95 octane running through their veins, the ForTwo was never even going to be approached. However, some of us (such as myself) like little cars and wanted to give the Smart an honest chance. You'll see how well that went.
I've already had several adventures in our red ForTwo Passion Coupe, but my favorite occurred during the first leg of our recent four-car fuel sipper smackdown. This was the Fontana to Death Valley stretch on a two-lane road with a very heavy cross wind. I wasn't so much driving the Smart as I was sailing it. For a good chunk of the drive I had the wheel positioned at 30 degrees to port as if I was on a huge skidpad. Problem with that is, when one or several big rigs drove by, that cross wind would stop and I'd find myself steering right for impending doom. It was like driving the plastic bag from "American Beauty."
For the guys in our support truck (aka Buick Enclave), it wasn't the most beautiful thing they'd ever seen, but it was certainly one of the funniest. Luckily, our trip videographer Seth Compton managed to get some footage of me Smart surfing (see below). And really, it was more hilarious for me. At one point, I couldn't help but laugh hysterically as the winds whacked the Smart all over the road. It's one of the few enjoyable moments I've had behind its tiny wheel.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 4,315 miles
(By the way, prudent XM channel change by Jacobs)