"Pull a U-Turn and Get Out of Here!" - 2008 Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe Long-Term Road Test

2008 smart fortwo Long-Term Road Test

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2008 Smart Fortwo Passion Coupe: "Pull a U-Turn and Get Out of Here!"

March 02, 2009

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Saturday night I was on the way to dinner with a friend in the 2008 Smart Fortwo when the traffic on Pacific Coast Highway came to an abrupt stop.

Up ahead there was trouble but we couldn't see what was happening. The light turned green and we inched forward then came to a stop next to a wrecked car with tongues of fire flicking out from under the hood. As we waited for the light to turn the whole front of the car went up in flames.

Cop cars and fire equipment were pulling up all around us. I heard a frantic rapping on my window and rolled it down.

A cop's face filled my vision. "Pull a U-turn and get out of here! That thing's going to blow up!"

It was like one of those old movies when a character yells: "Run for your lives! She's gonna blow!"

I threw it in reverse -- but where could I go? I was boxed in by a fire truck and a cop car. But wait a second. I was in the ultimate U-turn car. After a few reverses and some frantic cutting of the wheel, I cleared the fire truck, reversed my direction and was flying away from the scene, waiting for a fireball to fill my rearview mirror.

Well, this was just a long way of saying, safety comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Sometimes you can drive your way out of danger.

In other news, the Smart delivered 43.2 mpg over a weekend of driving all over Southern California. Checking records, I see that the worst tank was 29.7 mpg and our average at 14,274 miles is 33.7 mpg.

Philip Reed, Edmunds.com Senior Consumer Advice Editor @ 14,274 miles

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