Tuesday, 11 September 2007

What's outside today 20 - Smart For Two Passion

This is the Smart For Two Passion which we have been using for the Verdict test.

This thing really impressed me. If you accept the limitation that it's a strict two-seater, there are virtually no compromises. The passenger cabin is actually pretty spacious and there's even a fairly useful amount of luggage space (over 200 litres - which is enough for, say, two bags/cases that use the full airline carry-on baggage dimensions). The 1 litre engine is easily powerful enough to keep up with other traffic, even on the motorway, and the For Two stays very well planted for something that looks a bit topply.

Our test car had an automated manual gearbox - this one seemed to change gear a bit more quickly than those on some previous models, where this arrangement came in for a bit of criticism, but still seems to suffer a slight delay. The cheapest models don't have the 'automatic' function but still do without a clutch pedal; you change gear either by nudging the gear-stick forwards (to change up) or backwards (to change down), or use the steering-wheel-mounted paddles that are provided. Overall, a cracking effort.

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