My Turn - 2008 Smart Fortwo Long-Term Road Test

2008 smart fortwo Long-Term Road Test

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2008 Smart Fortwo: My Turn

September 03, 2008

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Since I had some seat time in the Smart this weekend, I've finally got some first-hand impressions to share. In the spirit of the Smart, I'll keep my comments short - compact, even.

Guess what? The transmission sucks. I know it's been said before, but it needs repeating. No one should ever make a transmission this bad again. It's so bad, it needs its own paragraph.

As does the stereo. It has two speakers. Two really, really, bad speakers.

It's not all bad though. The seating position is good and the seat is comfortable. You've got good visibility too. The motor has nice snarl to it and, even though you're basically sitting on it, its noise and vibration are well controlled. It's not really that slow, either. You've really got to give it a good caning, but it'll get you up to speed.

Even in southern California, this car attracts attention. Everywhere I parked the car, someone came up and asked me about the car. Supermarket? Check. Gas station? Check. Bookstore? Check. My driveway...you get the idea. You've got to be prepared to deal with the attention.

On a side note, Mr. Magrath had asked me to put some license plates on the car this weekend. It shouldn't be a big deal, except there are no pre-drilled plates holes on the Smart. There aren't even any dimples. There's just painted plastic. So, in order to not 'G8' our Smart, I busted out a ruler and a level to center up the plates. A little painter's tape to prevent the paint from cracking, a fully charged drill and 10 minutes was all it took to plate up our Smart.
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Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor @ 8,731 miles

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