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Thursday, December 17, 2009

THE GOOD 12 v3.0 - PART X


Parallel parking a smart fortwo, the Mercedes-Benz-developed city car, comes as easily as selecting new music on an iPod click wheel. Natural simplification of the automotive breed is the smart's calling card. Dial 7-627-836-7896. "You've reached smart fortwo, all the car a duo'll ever need," the operator says.

Fuel economy in GoodCarBadCar's long-termer has been better than the EPA estimates. Driving the smart is.... a blast. The smart's steering is active, grip is always surprisingly abundant, and the shifter becomes your friend once you become a learned fortwo driver. This adds up to an itty-bitty microcar that's truly fun to chuck across a twisty backroad.

However, 10/10ths driving pleasure isn't appropriate grounds for buying a smart fortwo, whether it's in pure, passion, or Brabus trim. smart cars are money savers. Budget helpers. Wallet thickeners. Fund protectors. Running costs are ridiculously low once the resale value, fuel costs, maintenance, and insurance are taken into account along with the low MSRP. Have fun. Save your money.


Engines: 70 horsepower; 68 lb-ft of torque from a 1.0L inline-three

Base USD Price: $11,990

City Mileage: 33 mpg

Across The Pond: In other parts of the world, Mercedes-Benz fits generation 451 of the smart fortwo with a highly efficient 0.8L diesel and, in some cases, a turbocharged 1.0L triple generating around 100 horsepower. While smart sales are inconsitent in the United States, it seems likely that the availability of unique powerplants (or even a 5-speed manual tranny) could spur smart sales to a loftier plateau.

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