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The Edmunds.com review of the 2008 American Smart is now online: http://www.edmunds.com/smart/fortwo/2008/review.html. It's basically positive, with good coverage of safety and ride:

"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."

"A car with a wheelbase as short as many vehicles' widths shouldn't be expected to glide down the road like a Mercedes S-Class, but the new 2008 Smart Fortwo manages to deal well with bumps and thumps. High-speed stability is also pretty good, although strong crosswinds can wreak havoc on its boxy shape. Handling largely depends on how one equips the Smart Fortwo. A base Pure model with manual steering and narrow 15-inch front tires feels ponderous and the front tires give up quickly in corners. Upgrading to power steering and wider tires provides a more adept driving experience, and actually makes zipping through city streets fun."

The only drawback Edmunds notes is that it thinks the Smart is better suited for city driving than for highway driving.
 

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A base Pure model with manual steering and narrow 15-inch front tires feels ponderous and the front tires give up quickly in corners. Upgrading to power steering and wider tires provides a more adept driving experience, and actually makes zipping through city streets fun."

The only drawback ...
edmunds appears confused on usa smarts.

1) as i recall, all usa smarts, pure, passion, convertible, have the same width/size tires?

2) edmunds power steering comment was strange. at the smart summer event, was told the smart i was driving, did not have power steering. my american car has power steering. the smart steering felt fine, normal, easy to steer. while i did not drive a power steering smart, i had no inclination thoughts of a 'need' for power steering.

3) edmunds mis-stated the passion has power steering standard. instead, its an option on passion, as i understand.

edmunds likely "assumed" the passion it drove, had power steering while having fun zipping through streets. instead, that passion likely did not have power steering. a sort of placebo affect, of thinking it is, so it must be so. unknowingly confirming, no power steering is needed.

the pure without power steering is likely just as fun zipping through streets, as the passion without or with power steering.

in fact, its likely more fun in the pure, because the pure without power windows, mirrors, air (if air is not added as an option), has less weight than the passion.
 

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It almost seems like they just tacked on the previous, first-impressions type review. They mentioned the previous review when they talked about the shifting, but somehow the first portion seems to read like a whole lot of deja vu. Anyone have the link to edmunds' first one to compare?
 
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