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Smart Car

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SUVs Watch Out - This Smart One Can Bring it on the Freeways

  • Mar 31, 2009
  • by
Growing up, one of the my favorite movies was Pretty Woman. I loved the idea of a man rolling up in a limo and rescuing me from some situation. Luckily, I've never been in any "Pretty-Woman" type situation, so there has never been a need for rescuing - "phew...".  Anyway, my husband may not have rescued me from anything over the years, but he did do the next best thing this past Christmas,when he handed me a set of keys to a brand-new Smart car. 

My initial reaction to this fantastic gift was "Holy man! Is this for real? Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, it's so cute! Oh and it's orange, my favorite color. Oh and it' so small." Yes, "it's so small." "Can I go on the freeway with this? Am I going to get run over?" My excitement was soon altered with fear of giant SUV's running me off the road and my little Smart getting squashed. So as with any fear, the only way to get over it was to go out and face the fear.

It was a Saturday around noon, my husband and I left our place hand-in-hand, exchanging words of appreciation and I-love-you's...just in case this adventure was to  be our last. We boarded my little Smart, buckled up and headed toward the 110 Freeway direction the California Science Museum. After a fifteen-minute drive towards the freeway we arrived at the last stop light right before the freeway ramp. The light turned orange for the perpendicular traffic and before we knew it the light turned green for us. My husband and I grabbed each other's hands, much like in the movie "Thelma & Louise" (not really, but that would've been funny), and we headed up the ramp onto the 110 merger.

The Smart only has 72 horsepower so the pick-up was nothing to rave about, in fact it probably kind of felt like gym class when you were picked last (not me, I was never picked last). Anyway, once the Smart got going, there was no stopping it. I mean, here we were in the little Clementine (hey, I just made that name up) zooming past Chevy SUVs, Toyota SUVs and Ford SUVs.  My little Smart was wagging its tail in excitement for the open road (until we hit bumper-to-bumper traffic near Martin Luther King Blvd.).

Anyway, the drive was smooth, pleasant and very comfortable. I never felt jeopardized because of vehicles' size. If anything, being small probably got us noticed. I mean think about it. Elephants are not afraid of tigers or lions, they're afraid of mice. They get out the way for mice, they run the other way! So watch out SUVs, this Smart (aka Clementine) is driving hard, safely and at the speed-limit on a freeway near you.

Sophie & Clementine the Smart Car

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April 14, 2009
Clementine! Great name! I've been wanting this car for 10 years now; it's time to get one.....
April 01, 2009
When my bf and I first drove out to California, I began to see more and more of these cars around: yellow ones, blue ones, etc. I started window-shopping for one right on the road. It seems perfect if all you want is a car to get you places (instead of being flashy)!
March 31, 2009
Love this review and I love your lil smart!!!
March 31, 2009
Clementine rules - and she has a pretty good sound system, too!
About the reviewer
Sophie ()
Ranked #195
Photography is one of my biggest hobbies - that, along with traveling. I love to read cultural and period books - it takes me to a time I've never known and I imagine myself living then. I enjoy all … more
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About this topic


Smart, formerly Smart GmbH (formerly MCC Smart GmbH), an automotive brand of Daimler AG, is a manufacturer of microcars and superminis based in Böblingen, Germany, produced in Hambach (France).

It is marketed as the "smart" in all lower-case, with the current Smart brand logo denoting a letter "c" for "compact" and an arrow for "forward thinking".

The idea behind the car was to create a vehicle easy to park and short enough to allow "nose-in" parking. Its length of 250 centimeters would equal the width of a regular parking slot, allowing two or three Smarts to park in the same space as one normal car.

The project, started by Swiss watch manufacturer Swatch, was nicknamed the "Swatchmobile". The name Smart is an acronym for Swatch Mercedes ART. Intended to use innovative features (such as a hybrid engine) and be affordable for young people, the Smart had similar design objective to the Citroën 2CV of the 1940s.

Swatch CEO Nicolas Hayek sought an established car maker to produce his Swatch car. After General Motors reviewed and rejected the project as potentially unprofitable, Hayek found a partner in Volkswagen. Due to VW's own financial weakness at the time, plans never reached a final stage so Swatch teamed up with Daimler-Benz. The purpose-built factory complex Smartville in Hambach, France, was established in 1994 as a joint-venture of Daimler-Benz and Swatch.

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