Smart Car: Revolution Parked in a Tiny Package

It's no hot rod, but size is perfect for city types
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 2, 2008 12:30 PM CDT
Alan Chow, with the California Air Resources Board, an environmental agency, gets a driver's view of Daimler AG's Smart Car Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007, at the Los Angeles Auto Show.    (AP Photo/Ric Francis)
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(Newser) – Despite an underpowered engine and lousy transmission, the tiny Smart Fortwo can be a good buy—particularly for city-dwellers, Farhad Manjoo writes in the Machinist. The mini-ride makes parking, merging, and tight turns entirely new experiences. "It's the sense that you're unstoppable in this thing, that no corner of the city is off-limits, that this is the future of driving," Manjoo gushes.

Driving a Smart car can also appeal to one's inner exhibitionist. "The Smart elicits such curiosity that owners have taken to printing up FAQs to hand out to people they meet," Manjoo writes. The most common question: does it feel like a normal car? The answer: "It certainly does—at least, it feels like the front half of a normal car."