Review: 2001 Smart

Posted on 09. Dec, 2001 by in Auto News

Speed matters. How to play the size. A Lamborghini Murcielago can climb 200 mph on a highway, but it's slower than a pair of roller skates down a busy street. Give Mercedes' chic new SMART Car. It is tiny, small enough to dart through any gap larger than an NFL lineman. It's fast-well, "tangy". It uses less fuel than a John Deere lawn mower. In fact, the SMART an urban rider's dream come true. It is not.

Oh, but you did not want, would it? It's so cute! SMART has the charm of a baby animal: tiny body, big head and big, sad eyes. Awwww. Look! The cooler is smiling at you! Unlike the highly touted MINI, SMART Pokemon-morphed-with-a-golf-cart design both captivates and frightens. You do not want to view the SMART as much as take home and cook it to buy a hot meal.

Inside the SMART is still lovable. The car offers a number of "big car" toys: central, air conditioning, sunroof, navigation system, CD player and much more. All the details-from the slice of pizza door handles are holder/ashtray- into the cup fresh, without being pretentious. As a "real" Merc, all controls work and work well. The wipers sweep. The air ventilation. The more time you spend in your car, the more you will understand why SMART is, stylish and intelligent.

Funky touches like the twin periscopes emergence from the dash (clock and rev counter) get all the press, but the ergonomics deserve real attention. The cabin is above the engine (where else could they say?) Is attached by. Practically level with SUV drivers This lofty seating position with an epic windscreen and large side windows combined offers a panoramic view. Sitting behind the wheel, embedded in the heated seats, you would swear you were driving a MPV.

If you style, comfort and political correctness especially appreciate to stop here. Note that DaimlerChrysler SMART import in the U.S. sometime in the next year or so, and plans to head for the brand according trendy website. Well, for those of you who appreciate the joy of driving boast more than PC, hold. It gets rough.

In order to thrive in their natural environment, need a city car quick and precise steering, to boldly go where no SUV has gone before. Unfortunately, the SMART-tip is strongly supported underrepresented at low speeds, changing direction from a standstill requires a male "quick-fix". Even worse, you have no idea how far you turned the wheels until you set-at which point you can easily make yourself relentlessly toward the bumper of something great and. Once you get started, the steering is sharp and perfectly weighted. Which is just as well. Past 40 mph, the panel-town car out of the path rather than the 17th Century sailing ship blown.

The only thing. Difficult than holding the SMART on a steady bearing varying speeds Mercedes can rightly claim to build some of the world's best automatic transmission. Now they can claim to build the world's worst. The SMART autobox "swallow" not their changes. It stops, thinks about it some more thought, it gives you the next gear. It is the perfect car for the Japanese, the sudden loss of momentum forces you to bend between gears.

Floor it-the usual method for sweeping a Mercedes engine and it is not so much "kick-down", "cut out" as. At the exact moment you / need a little more oomph to make, is the handbag sulk big motor in a second long. You can turn automatic with sequential style shift. The faux-manual option shortens the changing times, but only slightly. Personally engaged in the course emphasizes the "light the fuse and wait 'gear change. A sporty drivers will find the voltage … unbearable.

The SMART handling is also much less than excellent. While SMART is not a sports car, even a bumper car is fast enough to challenge the gods to use. In this case, wins the gods. Mercedes modified the SMART suspension after the A-Class "elk test" debacle, so. Any possibility of tipping over in a corner Simultaneously denies the SMART TRUST PLUS stability system drivers a chance, what we call enthusiasts "fun". And it's hard to ride.

SMART had everything: style, comfort and speed. MB the "ultimate city car" is disappointed by lousy steering, an uncooperative gear, a stupid suspension and a zero-to-60 time of 15 seconds north. Of course, this focus on the dynamic capabilities car beside the point. There is a whole forest of eco-warrior ready to remember that SMART not about performance or driving pleasure. It is about the preservation of our dwindling resources, 40 + miles per gallon and 85% recyclability. Is not that the truth.