The Smart Car is a Smart Move!

Category: Feature, New Cars. Written by Cameron Wong 

“Hey what’s that?!”

That’s usually what you hear when people see the Smart Car Fourtwo in the Seattle area. The size, the way it handles, and overall appealing looks makes the Fourtwo a unique vehicle for the road.

Seeing the Fourtwo for the first time at this year’s Seattle Auto show, and you realize why the vehicle is so popular in Europe already. It’s designed for urban living. It’s small, mobile and gets great mileage. The EPA standards are 33/41 MPG, but according to driver tests, some say its closer 43/53. Either way, it’ll bring back the joy in city driving (if there ever was such a thing)
“It’s the right car at the right time,” explains a Smart Car service rep at the Seattle Auto Show. “People are asking for something different, and they see these cars and start asking how and where they can buy one.”
Buying one is the hard part in the Seattle area. There’s a 12 month waiting list for the Smart vehicles. But that’s not surprising considering the price and safety rating. Being Mercedes Benz owned, meant the Smart cars had to live up to the Mercedes high safety standards. The Fourtwo has achieved a 4-star frontal rating because of their Tridion safety cell and Crash box technologies.
And this car is no dummy when it comes to speed either. The Fourtwo may look small, but can reach up to 85mph and gets from 0-60 in 16.2 seconds. It’s not a race car, but the people who buy it, don’t want one.
Then there’s the price. For a Mercedes engine and a Swatch designed body, getting their base model convertible Cabriolet for under $17,000 is a bargain. The Coupe starts at just under $12,000.
The Smart Cars have been selling like hotcakes in Europe since 1998, but now it looks like Seattle area drivers are getting Smart. The local dealership near Southcenter sold a record number of Smart vehicles in 2008, and that’s including that 12 month waiting list. Smart indeed.
Standard Features for the 2009 Smart Fourtwo Cabriolet
Engine/ Drivetrain
1.0 L, 70 HP, 3 cylinder engine
5 speed automated manual transmission
Paddle shifters
9-spokes alloy wheels (15″) with front tires: 155/60 R15; rear tires 175/55 R15
Tire pressure monitoring system
Fully automatic convertible top with glass rear window
Projector beam halogen headlights
Side indicators in yellow
Exterior mirror trim in tridion color
smart premium radio (AM/FM, mp3-compatible 6 disc CD changer; aux input jack [radio 10])
smart sound system (2 tweeters, 2 mid range, subwoofer)
Full-size driver and passenger airbags
Head/Neck side airbags
esp® – electronic stability program with hill start assist
Anti-lock braking system (abs) with electronic brake force distribution
Hydraulic dual-circuit brake system
Integral safety seats
Seat belts with belt tensioner and belt-force limiter
Drive lock – auto-activation of the central locking when driving
Functional/electrical equipment
Air conditioning with automatic temperature control (incl. dust, pollen filter)
Power windows with one-touch lowering function
Electronic and heated side mirrors
Central locking system with remote control
Instrument cluster with multifunctional display (fuel-level indicator, coolant-level indicator, residual fuel indicator, service interval indicator, trip mileage indicator, clock, loose gas cap indicator)
Outside temperature indicator
Indicators with lane changer function
Front windshield wiper with speed-dependent interval wiping and wiper-/wash function
Electric rear window defroster
Electric tailgate release

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2 Responses to “The Smart Car is a Smart Move!”

  1. Alex on November 19th, 2008 6:37 am

    Yes, it LOOKS like the solution. But I drove a ForTwo through Los Angeles for my video podcast show thing – Alex’s Carmageddon (link above) – It’s a terrible, terrible car. You can’t get it with a stick, so it’s not zippy and the fuel savings are teeny – like the ForTwo itself. Check out the full review on YouTube or iTunes – links at my website or blog

  2. Grant on November 19th, 2008 10:38 am

    Hey Alex,

    Nice first video – I totally saw the Top Gear inspiration going on there. I don’t know if you were going for the Jeremy Clarkson style, but I definitely saw the similarities

    We’re actually planning on a test drive as well, but thanks for the heads up. Should be interesting to see in person!

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