Smart ForTwo Passion Coupe Review with Chris Moran. Presented by D&M Motorsports.


The Smart Fortwo is an all-new brand and model in the United States for 2008, sold at a select number of United Auto Group and Mercedes-Benz dealerships across the country.

Introduction

Revolution, dud or something in between? The 2008 Smart Fortwo could be any of these, but which one depends on how Americans respond to this long-awaited city car as it starts to trickle into dealerships around the country. The previous generation has sold more than 770,000 units in other parts of the world since 1998, appealing to urban customers who gravitated to its sky-high fuel economy and park-anywhere size. While most Americans have probably seen a Smart car, only time will tell how many pick one as their daily commuting partner.

Not that it comes as a news flash, but the Mercedes-built Smart is small. Really small. It's more than 3 feet shorter than a Mini Cooper and only a foot longer than an E-Z-GO golf cart. It seats only two people, with a fair-sized trunk above the rear-mounted engine. Yet that silver or black strip that loops around the Fortwo's side is what differentiates this minicar from the E-Z-GO.

Known as the Tridion safety cell, this cage of high-strength steel allows the Smart car to withstand impacts as well as or better than much larger cars. An impressive array of other safety systems -- side airbags, antilock brakes, brake assist, stability control and traction control -- add to its ability to thwart occupant injury. Plus, axles placed close to the passenger compartment provide additional protection in side impacts.

Other markets get diesel and turbocharged gasoline engines, but the America-bound Fortwo will only come with a 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine. Saddled with 71 horsepower, this powertrain will be able to motivate the 1,804-pound Smart from zero to 60 mph in 14.1 seconds. The wonky five-speed automanual transmission found in the last Smart car has been replaced by an allegedly improved one, which makes us wonder how awful the predecessor was, considering the new car's herky-jerky motions and extreme shift lag. After a quick drive, it will leave you wondering how it's in any way superior to a traditional automatic or clutch-pedal manual.

In total, the Smart has just enough pep around town, but it feels woefully lackluster (and a little worrisome) on the highway. But that's a pretty good way to sum up the entire Smart Fortwo experience. For those who spend 90 percent of their driving time by themselves in traffic or meandering through congested city streets, the Fortwo makes sense (as long as they can put up with the wonky transmission). Its tiny dimensions make finding a parallel parking spot a relatively simple exercise -- although the new model is now too long to be parked perpendicularly on the street. Also, speeds in the city should rarely get so high that the mere sight of a Navigator makes you pack the dashboard with statues of St. Christopher.

But for those who routinely drive on the highway, the Fortwo just doesn't make sense -- even if it gets excellent gas mileage. A similarly priced subcompact will handle high speeds better; ditto the more expensive but greener Prius. The 2008 Smart Fortwo isn't a good choice for most consumers, but for certain urban-based drivers, it's most definitely worth consideration.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Smart Fortwo is a two-seat, subcompact city car available in two body styles. The hatchback Coupe is offered in Pure and Passion trim levels, while the convertible Cabrio only comes in Passion. The base Pure comes with 15-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, leather steering wheel and electric rear window defroster. Power steering, air-conditioning, radio, power windows and alloy wheels are optional on the Pure. The Passion gets all those basic features, plus a panorama glass roof, sport steering wheel with shift paddles, power heated side mirrors and a CD player. The Passion Cabrio adds an upgraded stereo with MP3-compatible in-dash six-CD changer, along with a manually operated canvas roof. Passion options include partial leather upholstery and additional gauges.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2008 Smart Fortwo is powered by a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine that produces 71 hp and 68 pound-feet of torque. Surprisingly, it requires premium fuel. The maximum speed is 90 mph, with a 0-60-mph time of 14.1 seconds. A five-speed automanual transmission drives the Fortwo's rear wheels and is shifted without a clutch pedal via a simple console-mounted stick (and column-mounted paddles on Passion models), and there is a fully automatic mode as well. With its 8.7-gallon tank, the Fortwo will return 33 mpg city, 41 mpg highway and 36 mpg combined.

Comments

    • Collgamer8
      Collgamer8

      I requeat to company director to come to India ...
      You will get more business than you expecting...

      about 1 month ago
    • amnart p.
      amnart p.

      ชอบมากครับ

      about 6 months ago
    • meme , shosho
      meme , shosho

      oao

      about 11 months ago
    • Jim Davis
      Jim Davis

      Love my 2015

      about 1 year ago
    • Esteban GV
      Esteban GV

      mi smárt es mejor

      about 1 year ago
    • Yvonne Reilly
      Yvonne Reilly

      Mine is the same exact color and rims . Same passion trim too. The only problem I ever had with it would be sensitive tires. I had to replace a few tires , including one rim . But the gas mileage itself pays for the value of the car. It's really cute too. Doing oil changes on them is relatively easy even for a beginner if u never changed oil before . I just replaced the battery on my 2009 Passion and paid $175 for a duralast gold . 😊

      about 2 years ago
    • Trung Đỗ
      Trung Đỗ

      VN ma co xe hơi the nay thì hay biết may

      about 3 years ago
    • Solar CowboyZ
      Solar CowboyZ

      I love my SMART car!

      about 5 years ago
    • Pam411 P
      Pam411 P In reply to Solar CowboyZ

      +All Things Cars how much is the insurance?

      about 1 month ago
    • All Things Cars
      All Things Cars In reply to Solar CowboyZ

      I decided to dislike it because the insurance costs on it is more than a Lincoln from the 1980s lol

      about 1 year ago
    • Marshall Steeves
      Marshall Steeves In reply to Solar CowboyZ

      Me too!

      about 1 year ago
    • Josh McCarthy
      Josh McCarthy

      4,400 miles isn't new

      about 5 years ago
    • Youssef Youddef
      Youssef Youddef In reply to Josh McCarthy

      Josh McCarthy wwwehtzzehtgehrwhztwzrzeeeeeezehtzzeehrezttezttegzegtzrreutetezzerzteeetreteezrettettetetetrtee5tetetereteeettetretrrwtzreteetertetz

      about 8 months ago
    • cody herron
      cody herron In reply to Josh McCarthy

      for a 2008 in 2012, yeah it really is.

      about 4 years ago
    • KniffoBerlin
      KniffoBerlin

      2:28 This is the no seatbelt edition. Very rare.

      about 5 years ago
    • S3 XY
      S3 XY

      i have a smart as my first car very fun/good commuter car i love driving it but i dislike the transmission but the new electric smart is amazing

      about 5 years ago
    • Andrei Dobrescu
      Andrei Dobrescu

      welcome to the group. lol

      about 5 years ago
    • ShadowWolfTJC
      ShadowWolfTJC

      I'd very much prefer to drive one of these to and from work over my minivan. I'd imagine that such small 2-seater vehicles would be much more energy efficient than the traditional 4-seater cars, much less the minivan that I own.

      about 5 years ago
    • Jack Use
      Jack Use

      Did have, the English people better than ?
      I don't think so !
      It's so easy to be critical ! But just have a look on the "british cars..." (if they exist ?)
      English people have now a choice : between sustain the European or the American economy ! If you will be next to american's... so leave ! take out the anchor and rame to quit european continent ! If not... do the necessary to our face !
      Thank you to be MUCH more "modest" ! It's a necessity today (for you), before to be forgotten by all !

      about 6 years ago
    • Matt Hooker
      Matt Hooker

      it depends on where you live.

      about 6 years ago
    • Joshuabrutl
      Joshuabrutl

      So where is Chris Moran at now ?

      about 6 years ago
    • The G Dawg Era
      The G Dawg Era

      You mean Coupé ;)

      about 6 years ago
    • Jimmy Schmidt
      Jimmy Schmidt In reply to The G Dawg Era

      Coupé

      about 6 months ago
    • Lord Twaddle
      Lord Twaddle

      It's pronounced Coupe! For goodness sake..

      about 6 years ago
    • luismondo1
      luismondo1

      Yes it is in many aspects, our cost of living is really low. They sell the Smart car over here but not very successfully, almost for the same price you can get a Honda Civic, some small businesses use them for home delivery or service to increase profits

      about 6 years ago
    • luismondo1
      luismondo1

      I live in Texas and as we say "everything is bigger in Texas", those little things look funny arround big pickup trucks and SUVs, anyway I'm not a truck guy, I drive a sport Acura RSX and even if I wanted to buy a spare car I would never pay US$13000 for such a small car

      about 6 years ago
    • luismondo1
      luismondo1

      does it run on AA or AAA?

      about 6 years ago
    • luismondo1
      luismondo1

      Can I get it in ToyRus???

      about 6 years ago
    • redhotcustoms
      redhotcustoms

      People diss these things, but really, if I could afford a second car, i'd pick one of these up for autox. I only have one dislike for the Smart car, the transmission is retarded. Not a stupid idea retarded, I mean it really is retarded in the traditional sense of the word, slow and holds you back. If they could fix the transmission, it would be my top choice in the price range and size range. I liken it to a slower, 2 seater Mini.

      about 6 years ago
    • Pam411 P
      Pam411 P In reply to redhotcustoms

      What's wrong with the transmission m?

      about 1 month ago
    • kasagar
      kasagar

      Hi Chris
      Very nice review, thank you
      2009 Cabrio .. More Smiles Per Mile :-)

      about 7 years ago