Smart Car Review by Jim McCue
by Jim McCue
Round Rock TX smartcenter
A big shout out to all the smart car fans!
My personal smart car review began when I took my 1st test drive in March 2008 at the Round Rock smartcenter in Texas. I want to give you a general overall review of the smart fortwo car, since I only took a short test drive around the dealership. I plan on taking my second test drive in Pittsburgh, PA during the first week in July 2008.
First, let me give you some background about my driving habits and needs.
- I drive a 2000 Dodge Quad Dakota pick-up truck with a 5 speed manual and love it.
- I also ride a 1992 Yamaha Seca II motorcycle with a 600cc size engine.
- I live in Boise, Idaho which is a small city/suburban community.
- With rising gas prices and doing a daily commute of 20 miles a day, I began to evaluate my driving habits and what I could change. I felt I could use a commuter car to meet most of my driving needs. But, which car? and then...
- I saw my first smart car last fall in Boise and simply fell in love with it and what it represented, mainly a commuter car.
- The more I analyzed my driving needs, the more I realized the smart car would best meet them, namely higher MPG and a fuel-efficient vehicle that meets about 90% of my commuting needs around Boise.
Next, here's my list of features I like about the smart fortwo:
- I love the exterior looks of the smart.
- It is very roomy inside for two people.
- The cargo space in the rear is big enough to carry 4 or 5
bags or several suitcases.
- The fortwo has great safety features, such as the tridion safety cell, four airbags and great braking system, so I feel very safe in one.
- I felt very comfortable in the bucket seats and loved the layout of the dashboard.
- With the engine in the rear, the smart gets around in the snow. Kinda like the VW bug I drove in college back in Pennsylvania, never had a problem.
- Getting an estimated MPG of 34 to 41 is much better than my 20 MPG from my truck.
Now, here's my list of features I don't care for about the smart fortwo:
- The transmission needs to be improved to get rid of the sluggish shifting. I feel I could live with it driving around Boise, but I have a funny hunch that the 2009 model will have fixed this problem.
- Wish it did not need more expensive premium fuel.
- Would like to see cruise control added along with tilt steering. Boy, am I spoiled or what?!
- I would seriously consider buying the 84 horsepower turbo engine if it was offered in the U.S. (maybe this will happen).
In summary, I think the smart car is the car of the future and it makes a statement that I want to make. Which is: "I can drive around in a small fuel-efficient car that satisfies most of my driving needs and uses less gas, pollutes less and takes up less space. This fortwo is good for U.S. and is good for the environment!"Bottom line:
I put my $99 reservation on the Passion Coupe model and hope to get a call next spring when the 2009 model will be available.
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