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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
SMART FORTWO CABRIO A DREAM FOR CITY COMMUTERS

By NITISH S. RELE – motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Merely 8.8 feet in length, 5.4 width and 5.1 height. Top speed is 94 mph. And only two can ride in the two-door Cabrio. You get the picture. The 2017 Smart ForTwo is not for everyone, especially those with huge families. But the rear-wheel-drive car serves the purpose of zooming by on congested city streets or snatching a parking spot.
A 0.9-liter inline 3-turbocharged engine puts out 89 horsepower @ 5500 rpm and 100 pounds-feet of torque @ 2500 rpm. That does not deter the Smart from keeping up with heavy lead-foot drivers on the road mainly because of its 2,000-pound weight (0 to 60 takes 11.6 seconds). It is coupled to a 5-speed manual or 6-speed auto while suspension is handled by an independent multilink front and De-Dion rear axle.
The quirky-appearing Smart sports a honeycomb grille that is surrounded by rhombic headlights and LED daytime running lights. The soft top can be powered open in just 12 seconds while the car can turn 22.8 feet from curb to curb and 24 feet from wall to wall. The interior is tasteful with standard cruise control, auto a/c, power windows and steering, three-spoke leather steering column, height-adjustable driver seats, fold-down passenger seats, removable roof bars and a 3.5-inch color display. Indeed, all materials and craftsmanship are top-notch.
Mercedes-Benz, manufacturer of Smart, has used high-strength steel for the tridon safety cage to ensure occupants are protected in the miniscule car. Dual front and side airbags, side curtain, antilock brakes, crosswind assist (detects wind gusts and applies brakes to reduce drift), hill start assist and alarm system boost its defenses.
Based at $18,900 and topping at $22,170 with options, the gas-sipper Smart ForTwo is quick off the mark, agile, reasonable and, best of all, an attention-getter. And a dream to park or navigate city traffic, of course!

Smart ForTwo
Tires: 165/65R15 front; 185/60R15 rear
Wheelbase: 73.7 inches
Steering: electromechanical rack-and-pinion
Fuel capacity: 8.7 gallons
City: 33 mpg
Highway: 38 mpg
Web site: www.smartusa.com

CALLING ALL SMART DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com