By James Bergeron

Photo Gallery:
2009 smart fortwo

Day 1:

2009 smart fortwo
Click Image to Enlarge

I am sure I have written the words, “This week I am back to basics” before. Well, if I have it was a lie because I have yet to test drive a vehicle more basic than this week’s ride, the smart fortwo coupe. My tester is a “pure” model with very few options, so I am back to basics for real this time, and basic is very basic — I can’t remember the last time I drove a car with manual mirrors!

It does have A/C, though, so at least I am not having to sit, waiting, for the windows to defog for hours in the rain. Other standard features of the “pure” make up a very short list. Keyless entry, power windows, ABS braking with electronic brake distribution, electronic stability control and an AM/FM/CD player with two speakers are about the only items I would consider features on the “standard features” list. The rest include things like a roof, heated rear window, seats, etc., all things you pretty much expect in a car.

2009 smart fortwo
Click Image to Enlarge

But that’s okay; there’s nothing wrong with basic transportation. My tester does have a few “options,” like a tachometer and clock pod on the dash, which were added as a $160 option, and $55 all-weather floor mats round out the goodies. Standard is a 70hp three cylinder engine, replacing the previous 45hp diesel, a switch made as an appeal to buyers in the diesel-hating US of A. The fortwo uses a five-speed automatic transmission with manual mode to transfer power to the rear wheels. The entire drivetrain setup fits in the “trunk” area just over the rear wheels, so it’s quite the engineering marvel, really.

Rated at 5.9L/100km city and 4.8L/100km highway, I hope to achieve somewhere around the average of these two numbers (5.4L/100km), a figure that would make this the second most fuel-efficient vehicle I have ever tested besides the Honda Insight, which achieved 5.2L/100km over the course of the week. I hope the smart does better, because if not, I really do question the purpose of this car, given some of the compromises that must be made to drive it — the most notable being only having two seats.

2009 smart fortwo
MSRP as tested (excluding destination): $15,205

For more information on smart and the fortwo visit smart Canada

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