I'll Take a Justy Instead. - 2008 Smart Fortwo Long-Term Road Test

2008 smart fortwo Long-Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (5)
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term

2008 Smart Fortwo: I'll Take a Justy Instead.

August 04, 2008

87justyadv.jpg

Remember that list we showed last week? A staff survey on forms of transport we'd prefer to our Smart Fortwo? Well, hop in Doc's Delorean -- we're going for a ride back to 1988...

Twenty years ago, I needed a second car, something for short money that was good on gas and good in the snow. I didn't want to use my nice '69 Firebird 350 Convertible (Blue with White top and interior) that I bought over the summer as a daily driver. I ended up buying a new, leftover '87 Subaru Justy GL 5-speed.

Okay...after you're done laughing follow the jump.

Okay, I know it's not one of the cooler rides that I've owned ('88 MR2 Supercharged, '70 Chevelle SS396) but that little bugger was a great car. Bought it new for $6,200 (with A/C), put 100k on it and the only thing that ever broke was the A/C compressor. It averaged nearly 40 mpg the whole time I owned it. Nearly every upshift was conducted upwards of 4500 rpm and it never let me down.

The point of this? That was a car from two decades ago that equaled the Smart's fuel economy while being driven in a manner not conducive to max mileage and boasting a seating capacity of four adults. It could also haul a lot of stuff with those rear seats flipped down. Granted, it didn't have the airbags and whatnot that the Smart does, but cut it some slack -- it's from the '80s. Given all that, I'd expect the much more modern Smart to get 50 or so mpg (our team of leadfoots is averaging around 37) and have a better transmission.

If the Smart were available with a turbodiesel engine and a six-speed manual, it'd probably get close to 60 mpg and be a lot more enjoyable to drive to boot.

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ about 7,400 miles.

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (5)
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term

Leave a Comment
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Past Long-Term Road Tests