This Is Not A Smart Car

Illustration for article titled This Is Not A Smart Car

Car ownership is supposed to be a matter of some self-identity and pride. A good ride is an extension of your personality, a face to show a mechanized world. Add in a personalized license plate and you expect your car to speak your truth.

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So what to make of the show on display here? A petulant teen who didn't get a desired first (or second, or fifth...) pick? A test vehicle owned by a competitor with a bit of snark to spare? Morrissey-grade self-loathing? We feel for the soul tortured by the inner angst and shame this registration so clearly expresses.

Life is short; there's no need to be so hard on yourself. Especially if you're paying extra for the privilege.

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(Hat tip to Donny Nordlicht!)

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DISCUSSION

smart
Miss Mercedes ♥✈ Too Many VWs

"DUMBCAR" is actually a member of the Smart Car of America forum ironically.

But that isn't why I've come from the depths of Jalopnik's lurkers area (I maybe have like a total of three comments here).

Let me start by saying that I don't own a smart...yet...But I have taken one on a road trip and have actually done my homework, unlike most of the trolls who just mindlessly bash.

The smart fortwo (it isn't "Smart Car" for starters) isn't as bad as a car others make it out to be. I can almost guarantee that more than half of those who posted a comment here have never even driven a smart before. It's a tad unfair to be compared to the likes of Prius owners or even Mercedes owners.

I'll be the first to admit that the transmission isn't the best in the world, and the ride can be unforgiving on less than perfect roads. The price is also a sad factor to account for, it IS expensive but you almost get what you pay for. The Mitsubishi engine is almost bulletproof and 100,000 mile smarts drive just like they drove off the showroom floor. The used one I'm buying next month has 42,000 miles and drives just like the test driver I had last year with just 1,200 miles.

The other problem is fuel economy and the lack of seating for the price. Yes, for the same price you can get a car with twice as much room, the same safety rating, and the same fuel economy numbers. That's the problem smart and Fiat are currently facing. Scion will be joining in later this year with the same problem.

Sadly, fuel economy is the way it is because of the EPA. The same smarts that are here in America get 50-60 USMPG over there in Europe. And they have a diesel version that achieves a whopping 90 USMPG as well. If that wasn't good enough, Brabus makes their performance models, a few of which get to 60mph in the 8 second margin and up and even faster than that. So, ironically, we just have the wrong smart...

The fortwo is full of character. The only other similarly priced car that even comes close to having the smart's character is the Fiat. Why is simple, smarts don't take themselves very seriously. Everything they do will surprise you in one form or another. They aren't very fast (90mph top speed) but they make every mph fun. It's hard to describe, but Jeremy Clarkson himself experienced it in the little roadster, which is just like a fortwo, only that it can actually take a corner at speed. They're built like a little Mercedes, but a lot more cheerful and user friendly than a Mercedes. They're like a little pet that you drive...

[vimeo.com]

I will agree, some owners are asshats, but others are the nicest people in the world. So much that the one I took on the road trip wasn't even mine or one owned by a dealer. Like the Corvette owners' club, they have regional and national meets that are actually quite fun to attend, even if they're 30+ years older than me!

The final misconception I'd like to address is safety. No, they aren't as safe as a Tahoe but they're quite solid and can hold their own in a crash and on a highway...but a deathtrap they aren't...

But in all, smarts aren't the POS deathtraps people make them out to be (I mean, how have they sold 1.5 million of them over the past 10 years????), we only have the wrong one.

I end with the the folks at Fifth Gear, who sadly (because TG is better) were the only big time motoring show to review the current fortwo...