2008 Smart Fortwo: The L.A. Welcome
May 17, 2008
Seasoned L.A. drivers really know how to welcome new arrivals into the fold. For example, a few days after I moved to L.A. I took my personal car to the drugstore, went in to buy some toothpaste, and returned to find a sizable dent in my passenger door along with a shattered passenger-side mirror... An attentive sales clerk informed me that an SUV had sideswiped my car while executing a wild U-turn in the parking lot. I've taken to calling this the "L.A. Welcome" -- think of it as our version of the Bronx Cheer.
Although the long-term Smart Fortwo is new to you, dear readers, it actually received its own L.A. Welcome way back on the morning of February 26. We'd just procured our pint-sized Passion a week or two before, but already everyone was avoiding the car like it bore a Yugo badge, so I -- the new guy -- had ended up with the keys for the previous night. At one point on my way into work that morning, I eased to a stop in a long line of traffic, turned to the passenger seat and started rummaging around in my duffel bag for my sound system-testing CD... BAM! Next thing I knew the Smart was smarting, having been unceremoniously rear-ended by a late-'90s Explorer that never braked (as the eminently pleasant driver explained, "I just looked down for a few seconds").
As a good L.A. resident, my first thought was of prospective fame and glory. I figured I had to be the first person to have conducted a real-world test of the new Smart's Tridion Safety Cell on American soil, and I'm pleased to report that negotiations for a book deal and possible screenplay are now underway. I also got a tweaked back for my trouble, as did the Smart, which was out of commission for a few months while convalescing (stay tuned for specifics -- the damage was more extensive than the photo suggests). Anyway, we're all just tickled to have it back in the lineup. With the notable exception of those who get stuck driving it home.
Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com