The inside of a tightly packed city is the smart fortwo's playground. The only prerequisite would be that that city should have some pretty smooth roads. The suspension isn't really THAT stiff, more like that of a compact hot hatch, but after being constantly reminded about the way it rebounds after every bump can actually make you hate it. The shocks' travel is so small that in some instances it can give you the idea that you're riding a golf cart, not a car. Also, its petite wheelbase doesn't help in calming its seesaw movement whenever starting from a dead stop or in heavy stop-and-go traffic.
Apart from these minor downfalls, and we are including a horrendous gearbox whose insanely long gear changes can drive you mad before starting to get used to it, the smart fortwo can keep you smiling for a whole a day if driven in a busy town. Many of you have heard or have read about its ability to park almost anywhere. Well, until you try one out you can't really comprehend the sheer surprise and unabashed content we had squeezing among cars that occupy twice or even thrice the volume of our tiny test car.
With only 2,695 mm (106.1 inches) in length and 1,559 mm (61.4 inches) in width, the smart is a real midget on just about any road in the world. Its lilliputian exterior size and low turning radius (8.75 meters, or 28.7 feet) probably make it the best motorized solution for transport in an overcrowded city with cramped streets. A motorcycle, a scooter or even a bike are better at squeezing through heavy traffic than a fortwo of course, but with those you have to get through rain, dust and pollution, not to mention poor safety credentials compared to the little bugger we're bragging so much.
Parking is also a breeze thanks to its stunning 360 degree visibility, which makes parking sensors or rearview cameras obsolete. You get to sit almost as high as in a compact crossover/SUV, there's a huge LCV-like windshield and the car "ends" right after any window. Also, the front and rear overhangs are so short, you can actually touch the rear windshield with your right hand without leaving the driver's seat.
Although as we said, visibility is almost perfect all-round, we could have used a more "normal" interior rear view mirror, since the standard one is about as big as in one of Mary's make-up kits. Also, its shape is cute but dead wrong when it comes to actual utility. The overall fuel economy when it comes to strictly busy city driving for the 71 horsepower version is around 7 liters per 100 kilometers (US 33-34 mpg).Continue reading
Hold on, Lou Cheeka would like to say something...
I believe this is the first time I agree with mister Back, or whatever his name is. That British dude with more money than your average international hip hop star. The smart fortwo should be called smart fornoone. I can't even fit into that thing thanks to my new 'merican fast food diet. So I didn't get to test drive it properly, even though you all guys know I have my own ways of learning everything about a car without even getting inside.
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