I've never turned more heads with fewer dollars than while driving the 2010 smart fortwo coupe.
During my recent road test, this tiny two-seater probably received more smiles, nods and double takes than any high-end sports car or convertible I’ve had the privilege to bring home.
If you want to get noticed, the smart does the trick, and for a relatively low starting price of $14,990.
At this “pure” trim level, you get such features as power windows and locks, multifunction display and AM/FM/CD audio system with auxiliary input, but air conditioning, alloy wheels, Bluetooth and heated seats are extra.
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Still, you get a pretty decent list of safety items that include anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution and hydraulic brake assist, electronic stability program and four airbags.
Cruising along one of our superhighways, I was starting to get comfortable at typical highway speeds. Sure, there’s a bit of wind and road noise inside the cabin, but I’ve experienced worse in other subcompacts.
Then I noticed some debris up front, gusting across the highway and — wham — the smart was nearly blown sideways. Good thing I had both hands on the wheel.
Sure, the smart cuts the wind reasonably well from the front, but this tall, narrow box with tiny wheelbase felt vulnerable to crosswinds, and with a curb weight of only 820 kg (about 300 kg less than a Honda Fit I shouldn’t have been surprised at the buffeting).
But for zipping around town, the smart is in its element.