The other day I blogged about test driving a Smart Car. Although I don't need a new car, my son has no car and needs one. Rather than have him spend his money on a new car, he'll get mine, and I will spend the money on a new car. I opted to get a Smart Car.
- Year: 2011
- Model: smart fortwo passion coupe
- Engine: 1.0 L, 70 HP, 3 cylinder, 5 speed smartshift® transmission
- Safety: electronic stability program with hill start assist, anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution, full-size driver and passenger airbags, head/thorax side airbags
- Extras: chrome accents, leather seats, heated seats, fog lamps, anti-theft alarm, surround sound system
- MPG: 33 city / 41 highway
- More info: 2011-smart-fortwo-flyer.pdf
When I told our daughter that I had bought a Smart Car, she immediately asked: "Are you going to look dumb in it?" I probably look dumb regardless of the car I drive. When my wife texted our son with the news, he texted her back: "OMG. How did you let this happen? You guys are turning into hippies."
My brother was concerned about safety. Although an anagram for Smart Car is "scar mart," I assured him that the safety features were Mercedes Benz quality. I also noted that I chose the color "rally red" in hopes that it would help other drivers see me. In my test drive of the car, I found:
- The automatic shift from first to second is a little rough. This is something you just have to get used to. The car has 70 hp — not 200 hp. You can mitigate this if you learn to let your foot off of the gas for the instant just before it shifts.
- I can get on the freeway. The top speed is 95 mph.
- I fit in the car. There's about a half inch between the top of my hair and the roof, but I do fit.
- The car has great visibility. Since it is a small car, it's like you are sitting in the middle of a glass bubble. You can see everywhere.
- The car has a range of 360 miles on a tank of gas.
- The default stereo is horrible. Despite playing with the bass and treble controls, it sounds like an AM radio at the beach.
- The doors are very lightweight. You need to give a little extra oomph to make sure they close tightly.
- I'm not saying my HP EliteBook 8540w is heavy, but when I put my laptop bag on the passenger seat, the car disengages the passenger side airbag because it thinks it is a small child.
Doing what's right for my family and the environment is alive in the lab.