Gas Gamble - 2008 Smart ForTwo Long-Term Road Test

2008 smart fortwo Long-Term Road Test

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2008 Smart ForTwo: Gas Gamble

October 01, 2008

Smart Gas Gauge on Empty

Whoever drove the Smart on Monday evening was kind enough to leave the next driver with an 1/8 of a tank of gas. Or rather, somewhere between an 1/8 of a tank or empty since the Smart features an annoying gas gauge that features only 8 digital bars rather than the more nuanced swinging dial or even the 13-bar digital gauge found in the Nissan Rogue Pumpkin Edition I drove this weekend.

Unfortunately, I didn't discover the Smart was drained until a split second after I had passed our nearby gas station. I could either get out of the line for the freeway and turn around somewhere, or I could risk it. I knew there was about 7 miles until the next gas station, so I gambled seeing as no gas light came on (that's if the Smart even had one. You'd think it should, but you never know with this thing).

I made it home with no gas light and the 1/8 bar was still in tact. Fine, I'll gamble again the next morning. Half-way in this morning, the gas pump logo started blinking and the trip meter was replaced by a gallon countdown. The latter is actually pretty useful. I made it to the gas station and pumped 7.875 gallons into the 8.7-gallon tank. When I looked into the fuel log, it turns out this was the second-most someone had gambled. Magrath put 7.953 gallons into her.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 9,793 miles

Fuel Mileage Update After the Jump

MPG to date: 33.3 mpg

Best: 43.4 (323.4 miles with 7.449 gallons by Phil "It Up Rarely" Reed)

Worst: 25.7 (200.3 miles with 7.8 gallons by John O'Dell)

EPA is 33 mpg city, 41 mpg highway and 36 mpg combined. Given how much any Smart is bound to stay in the city, I think the combined number isn't as applicable to it. Most of our fill-ups are several days apart, which generally indicates we've been driving it mostly in the city.

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