The trend is changing in America. Long gone are the days where it was okay to drive around big gas-guzzling SUVs and Jeeps. The Smart fourtwo takes baby sips of gasoline and is just a bit larger than a golf cart, making it easy to park, no matter how packed the parking lot is. Unlike a golf cart, however, the 2008 Smart fortwo is surrounded by a Tridion safety cell, a construct of high strength steel able to resist blows that even a full-size car can’t handle. The powertrain isn’t anything to get excited over, or bring to the race track for that matter.
Body Styles: hatchback, convertible
Engines: 1.0-liter three-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed auto-manual
Models: Smart fourtwo Pure, Smart fourtwo Passion, Smart fourtwo Passion Cabrio
The 2008 Smart fortwo is a new brand model for the U.S. market. It appears only in a few United Auto Group and Mercedes-Benz dealerships throughout the U.S.
The exterior and size of the 2008 Smart fortwo is likely the biggest reason most consumers will choose the vehicle. The vehicle is very small, just a bit larger than the average golf cart. It is three feet shorter than the MINI Cooper, just to give consumers a clear picture of how small it truly is. The 2008 Smart fortwo comes as a hatchback or a convertible with a manually operated cloth top. Standard features on the Pure model include 15-inch steel wheels and an electric rear window defroster. The Passion gets a panorama glass roof and power heated side mirrors. The Passion Cabrio has the convertible roof.
The 2008 Smart fortwo’s interior is small, but oddly enough, it feels quite comfortable. There is a lot of space for the driver and passenger. The seat is perfectly designed for taller drivers, and the passenger seat is offset six inches back to give the passenger lots of legroom. The trunk holds 12 cubic feet of space, but a little less when the convertible top is packed away. The design is very simple, but elegant, with the gauges livening things up. Get the Passion for better equipment. Standard features include keyless entry and a leather steering wheel. Power steering, air-conditioning, a radio, power accessories, and alloy wheels are optional on the Pure. The Passion includes these optional items but adds a sport steering wheel, shift paddles, and a CD player. The Passion Cabrio adds and MP3 compatible in-dash six-disc CD changer with optional partial leather upholstery and additional gauges.
Performance & Handling
The 2008 Smart fortwo has one engine option, a one-liter, three-cylinder engine that produces 71 horsepower with 68 lb-ft of torque. The engine requires Premium fuel. The engine has a top speed of 90 mph with a zero-to-60-mph acceleration time of 14.1 seconds. The engine is paired with a five-speed automanual transmission that does not use a clutch but uses a console-mounted stick instead. Consumers expect the 2008 Smart fortwo to feel a bit like a golf cart while driving, but the vehicle handles bumps surprisingly well considering the short wheelbase. Strong winds may make consumers feel like they're driving a cardboard box, however. The small 15-inch tires aren’t exactly great for turning corners at speed either. Power steering and wider tire upgrades solves this problem. The automanual shift is the real problem. The shift lags between first and second, requiring drivers to take their foot off the gas to prevent whiplash. Automatic causes the car to whip back and forth no matter what you do.
The 2008 Smart fortwo comes with standard side airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control, the Tridion safety cell made of reinforced steel, and with built in crush zones at the front and rear to absorb impact. The 2008 Smart fortwo received four out of five stars for driver protection, but only three out of five for passenger safety. It did receive a five star rating for side crash protection. The IIHS gave the 2008 Smart fortwo a ""good"" rating for front and side impact.
EPA Fuel Economy
Smart fortwo: 33/41 mpg city/highway
- Extremely low fuel consumption
- Great for city driving
- Comfy interior
You Won't Like
- Transmission searches
- High price
- Floor-mounted brake pedal
- No highway capability
The perfect car for city dwellers who rarely venture out.
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