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I don't think this has been posted yet:

http://www.caranddriver.com/previews/14310/first-drive-2008-smart-fortwo.html

Pretty good and fair review I would think. I used to subscribe to this mag years ago and got a bit tired of them razing on anything not deemed sporty enough. And a couple of of writers always seemed to be writing columns that seemed to mock the idea of [gasp!] fuel efficent cars. I wonder if they're still kicking around.
 

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Just look at the Toyota Yaris, a similarly priced car with slightly inferior fuel-economy numbers that has a back seat for those occasions when the whole family goes to dinner. The Yaris isn’t one of our favorites, either, but the execution is much better. Schembri points out that the Yaris isn’t the kind of car your neighbors will come over to talk about, which is true. We guess it’s a question of how much you like your neighbors.
Oops, busted. They found out why I was buying the smart. Chick magnet and talk with the neighbors. I'll never mind how good it goes and stops. Gotta love it!
 

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compares it to lamborghini, and ferrari.
that cant be all bad. :D

generally, its a pretty enthusiastically positive writeup.

some great photos of the red/silver/red, seldom photoed with top down.

it would be interesting, to know how much money could be saved, if they put in a stardard smooth manual transmission. and how much the mpg could be boosted.

wonder if there is a space problem, or ?, as to why they didn't offer the manual with clutch pedal. other than, they thought too few americans knew how to drive a manual with clutch.

seems the std manual would be a treat to drive.
 

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Funny, despite all his wise ass remarks the Smart still came out smelling like a rose. A good, objective review I think. :)

Mr. Cash: IMHO I still think The Auto/Manual tranny is the best idea for what they are selling as a city/commuter car. No one wants a stick shift in the city. Maybe down the road (so to speak) when our Smart gets a foothold in the market. :)
 

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Good review overall, especially from C&D. Some great comments about design, fit and finish and execution. Didn't like the brakes, transmission or acceleration.
Well, it's an urban commuter car by design, so the low power is to be expected and is necessary for good mpg. I agree with their comments that for a second generation car the brakes and transmission should have had the kinks worked out. We will have to drive the car accordingly. Same for the problem with crosswinds; the smart isn't meant to be a highway cruiser but even in our cities we have to get on an Interstate stretch occasionally, so plan for windy days.
 

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Were you guys reading the same article as me? They slammed the transmission, braking and high speed handling pretty thoroughly.(Not much left but the engine, and, other than the '81 Peugot Diesel comparison, they gave us a by on that one because of the fuel efficiency).

In the past, the opinion of the C&D writers has aligned fairly poorly with my own. Without adequate driving experience in the Smart, I can't comment on their opinion this time. I have found Motor Trend, typically, to be much closer to the mark. Anyone see a Smart review from them yet?
 

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CDs review of SMART

We've friends who live across the border in Ontario and have the diesel SMART (or,had)and I have to say; I was dismayed by CDs review of the americanized version. The review of the transmission and brakes seem to mirror the real life Canadian version.
We put down the $99. pre order fee but are now looking at holding off untill we see if the glitches are worked out. Fuel economy is but one part of the equation (YUGOs had good fuel economy)
 

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We've friends who live across the border in Ontario and have the diesel SMART (or,had)and I have to say; I was dismayed by CDs review of the americanized version. The review of the transmission and brakes seem to mirror the real life Canadian version.
We put down the $99. pre order fee but are now looking at holding off untill we see if the glitches are worked out. Fuel economy is but one part of the equation (YUGOs had good fuel economy)
Given the long lead time, you should put your $99 down just to have a chance at getting one by the end of 2008. If you subsequently decide the Smart isn't for you, they will quickly refund you your money.
 

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The transmissions definitely is a love-it or hate-it thing; I'm also in the boat of not having driven it, and will just have to see for myself.

I'll say one thing, basing my entire opinion on the youtube video of the shift delays, I don't know what the fuss is about.
 

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Hey Props, I agree with you. I DID get to drive one, and it was one of the euro ones that supposedly is a little worse than the one on the US spec ones. I did not have a problem with the transmission at all. Granted, I can drive a manual without an issue, I drove the smart in full "auto" mode and let it shift itself, and still did not see an issue with it for me. Again, different strokes for different folks I guess.
 

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I can drive a manual without an issue, I drove the smart in full "auto" mode and let it shift itself, and still did not see an issue with it for me.
I have the same observation. It does feel like a manual transmission, with the jerkiness sometimes if poorly driven. If you are expecting a smooth unnoticeable shift like a automatic you won't get it. If you drive manuals, you'll think its no problem.

It takes a few hours to get used to the difference, play with the paddles and get in sync with your smart.
 

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I drove the tour version and the demo guy riding along said the US version will shift quicker than the demonstrator I was driving. Was not sure to believe him or not.

It did bother me how it shifted, I think partly because with my manual cars (MG & Triumph) I take special car to ensure each gearchange is smooth. My drive was short - to short to determine what adjustments I would need to make to drive the car smoother.

I aslo found the steering took to many turns lock-to-lock, but since I ordered power steering, I hope this is not the case with my car.

For those wondering why no manual clutch pedal - for me, as much as I love manuals, I do not want to commute in one. For those with a less stop and brake light plagued commte, then it makes sense - but thats not what this car was designed for.
 

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...I aslo found the steering took to many turns lock-to-lock, but since I ordered power steering, I hope this is not the case with my car...
The difference in steering ratio is very small between the manual system (22:1) and the electric power steering (21:1), so you will probably not see much difference in the number of turns lock-to-lock. Of course the EPS system will make it much easier to physically turn the wheel at a dead stop.

BTW, steering ratio is defined as rotation of the steering wheel divided by resulting rotation (about the steering axis) of the road wheel. So for a particular car, the bigger that ratio the more you have to twirl the steering wheel to execute a turn of given radius.

Although the smart requires a lot of turns lock-to-lock, it has a very small turning circle compared to most cars. I think you will find that for a turn of given radius, the amount of lock required is not excessive.
 

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The transmissions definitely is a love-it or hate-it thing; I'm also in the boat of not having driven it, and will just have to see for myself.
if you keep this in mind, you will likely enjoy it. :toot

its ' n o t ' an automatic transmission.

its a ' m a n u a l ' transmission.

it shifts like a manual.

' e l e c t r i c i t y ', not your foot, shifts the transmission.

so the clutch shift pedal, is not necessary. so, there is none.

but its still a manual, and it has to shift like all manuals shift.

mercedes engineers decided to give you a new invention,

using electricity, to relieve you of having to push in the clutch pedal yourself, when the engine shifts.

electricity pushes the clutch pedal, inside, automatically, for you.

you still have to take care of the gas and brake pedals yourself, unless they update before year end. ;)

with this in mind, enjoy a new transmission invention, to simplify your driving experience while keeping mpg manual transmission efficiency benefits, from the worlds most prestigious production automobile company in the world,

mercedes. :spots
 

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smart House Venice now has North American spec cars for test drives. Took my first spin behind the wheel for a quick test drive in the USA version.

Transmission is MUCH smoother than the Euro version I drove last summer. smart rep said shift points between 1 and 2 and 4 and 5 have been set slightly earlier than the Euro spec cars. Shifts were very smooth, not automatic transmission smooth but with a steady foot on the gas it felt like someone who knew how to drive a clutch was shifting for me.

With the paddles I should be able to do it even better with some practice, but a 5 minute drive around the block is not enough time to learn. When the transmission is in +/- mode the transmission does not upshift at all. But if you leave it "in gear" (2-5) it will downshift back to first when you stop. Double taps on the paddles or floor shifter move you up two gears at once. And flooring the fas pedal also downshifts for passing. Sweet.

Transmission is not an issue with me now.
 

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I have to add, after re-reading the article and reviewing the critique of the tranny and ride. The writer is a bit of a dick...constantly comparing it to Lambos and Ferrari. Am I impressed that he drives these cars? NO! The afformentioned "problems' IMHO are just a matter of getting used to the car. As it is, whenever you make a significant change in your driving machine, ANY car is going to feel different than what you drive now.
 

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Pricing starts at $11,590 plus a destination fee that hasn’t been worked out yet. We presume it will be lower than the industry average because the guys down at the docks can pack more miniature Fortwos onto each truckload. No, that’s not true
damn myth busters, I was certain four fortwos could be packed into the space a normal sized veh would take
 
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