Car and Driver confirms the 2011 Smart Car is of little use to anyone who actually drives. Excerpts:
…It hums to 60 mph in 23.4 seconds, by which point it has already covered more than a quarter-mile of perfectly good pavement. The Smart ED is nearly as quick as a 1981 Chevrolet Chevette diesel (21.2 seconds). And that car had the word “vette” right in its name. The Smart does not. Like the Chevette, though, the Smart ED is rear-wheel drive.
We were mentioning how little we drove the ED, but that’s not really true. Cumulatively, we did cover some miles and used up some of our lives operating this thing. We just did it in spurts, is all. We took it to lunch every day for a week. And yes, people laughed at us.
When a member of our illustrious track-testing team brought the performance-results sheet to our desk, we admit that we snickered… Turns out, the Smart ED is not actually fast enough to stop. It’s governed to a top speed of 63 mph, and our standard brake test is from 70 mph to standstill. So we did it from 60 mph because, well, it doesn’t actually matter…
The lesson here is that not only is the ED’s range insufficient for those of us with lengthy daily commutes, it also would turn us into a rolling chicane. And we’ve got enough problems already. According to the EPA, the Smart ED’s range is 63 miles, but you can literally watch the charge from the 16.5-kWh, Tesla-sourced lithium-ion battery drain away after a brief, maxed-out expressway stint…
We took the Smart ED for a couple of terrifying trips on an expressway posting a speed limit higher than the Smart’s. The less said of this, the better. Except we note, with some pride, that we actually managed to pass a ’90s Buick LeSabre. That the Buick driver was possibly not entirely conscious at the time is not our fault.
It is not a Leaf. A Leaf is quicker, faster, has a longer range, and feels remarkably like an automobile that non-clowns might drive.