Smart Cars South Portland ME

The Smart ForTwo joins us here in the U.S. following more than ten years of sales in Europe and has clearly benefited from the timeliness of its introduction. Amidst record-setting gas prices and a growing popular aversion to the conspicuous consumption of natural resources, the Smart brand was clearly a well-timed market entry.

Affordable Auto Sales & Service
(207) 878-7880
324 Warren Ave
Portland, ME

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Berlin City Toyota
(207) 321-3477
191 Riverside St
Portland, ME
 
Portlandvolvousedcars
(207) 883-5568
Portland Volvo 9 US Route 1
Scarborough, ME
 
Downeast Toyota
(207) 989-7515
21 Pierce Road
Brewer, ME
Services
Auto Body Repair,Auto Dealers

Shepard Chevrolet Pontiac
(207) 594-8424
181 New County Road
Rockland, ME
Services
Alignment Repair,Auto Body Repair,Clutch Repair,SUV Repair,Truck Auto Body,Van Dealers,Used Trucks Dealers,Auto Dealers

Portland Motor Sales
(207) 879-0124
513 Washington Ave
Portland, ME

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Rowe Special Credit
(207) 854-0038
152 Main St
Westbrook, ME

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Morong Brunswick
(207) 725-4323
314 Bath Rd
Brunswick, ME
Services
Auto Parts,Oil Change and Lube,Alignment Repair,Auto Repair,Brake Repair,Clutch Repair,Electrical Repair,Mufflers Repair,Radiator Repair,Retail Tire,SUV Repair,Transmission Repair,Tune up Repair,Truck Dealers,Used Car Dealers,Auto Dealers

Central Maine Motors Auto
(207) 872-9211
300 Kennedy Memorial Drive
Waterville, ME
Services
Alignment Repair,Auto Body Repair,Fuel Injection Repair,Radiator Repair,Truck Auto Body,Auto Dealers

Here and There Auto
(207) 277-3055
132 Guilford Rd
Cambridge, ME

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The Smart forTwo

Smart? Smarter! By David Vespremi, DriverSide Contributor  
2008 Smart fortwo 1

2008 Smart fortwo
Two of the most successful North American automotive brand launches in recent memory, Mini and Scion, both owe their success to a broad palate of customization options available to personalize these already attention-grabbing cars.





The West Coast’s car culture of treating the automobile as a blank canvas for self-expression has fueled an ongoing national fascination with tweaking out cars, as promoted in everything from MTV’s Pimp My Ride to the Warner Brothers Fast and the Furious movie franchise.

Still, it wasn’t until BMW and Toyota embraced the customization of their respective small car brands, Mini and Scion respectively, and actively sought out relationships with leading tuning houses that what formerly existed as a wink-and-a-nod relationship between auto manufacturers and a thriving cottage industry operating at arm’s length from the parent manufacturers blossomed into a truly symbiotic relationship.

The wheel and tire packages, suspension and performance engine upgrades for both BMW’s Mini brand and Toyota’s Scion brand established these diminutive market entries to be a similar personality extension to a teenager’s rhinestone encrusted cell phone or a starlet’s Hermes Birkin Bag and Chihuahua combo.

This then brings us to stuffy old Mercedes and their decidedly unstuffy microcar brand, Smart. The Smart ForTwo joins us here in the U.S. following more than ten years of sales in Europe and has clearly benefited from the timeliness of its introduction. Amidst record-setting gas prices and a growing popular aversion to the conspicuous consumption of natural resources, the Smart brand was clearly a well-timed market entry. Its initial sales success bodes well for Smart establishing the long-term staying power that Mini and Scion have both achieved.

Still, at launch both the Mini and Scion offerings had their novelty, too. What seemed to allow their stars to shine while those of similarly priced and equally fashionable offerings like the New Beetle and Dodge Neon faded, is that unlike the New Beetle and Neon, Minis and Scions responded especially well to enthusiast upgrades and proved to be capable platforms, able to accelerate faster, corner with more confidence, and look even better than they did when left unmolested. Just as a Mini or Scion owner began to feel a bit bored with their purchase and might otherwise have strayed to look for whatever the next flavor of the month might be, the aftermarket proved ready to deliver even more smiles for more miles.

This then brings us back to the Smart ForTwo. Its Euro-cool looks and miserly gas mileage, while certainly appealing, by no means establish it as a driver’s car. For one thing, its featherweight 1,800 pound curb weight and performance-ready rear-wheel drive configuration notwithstanding, the Smart is pokey on accelerat...

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