The first generation of the smart fortwo was known to be very jerky because of its golf-cart wheelbase and stiffer-than-a-British Royal person suspension. Well, the second generation is not exactly better when it comes to the suspension's ability to soak in potholes or tram rails. Trying to make the car even less prone to tipping with the shiny side down, smart engineers have mildly increased the wheelbase, the front and rear tracks and stiffened the suspension even more. This translates into a feeling of driving a really really high cart.
It doesn't exactly have a kidney punishing suspension setup, but your bums will definitely feel every "sleeping policeman" resting on residential area roads. This is not the worst part about it, since the sea-sickness-inducing movement is even more present. Let's put it this way, every time you blast from a (green lit) stoplight, you are in the middle of an atrociously long gear change or you brake hard, the car will either dip or surge. Or both, although not simultaneously.
After a few miles in it you kind of become acquainted and even begin to like the nose-up/nose-down movement, but the horrible gear changes can still get on your nerves in certain occasions. As we mentioned before, our test car was the "pulse" model, which in mortal language means it was equipped in standard with paddle shifters on the steering wheel for the automatized five-speed manual transmission, a manual air-conditioning system, electrically-operated windows and mirrors and a somewhat decent audio system with mp3 support.Continue reading