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I just got back from another trip to Europe for Reuters. I visited a number of customers in various countries. One country was Switzerland. Here our Reuters employees usually take the train into work and don't have a car when they are in downtown Zürich. Because of this, Reuters has purchased a number of cars for employees to use as they go visit customers. The car of choice? - the Smart car.

This little car has two seats only and a space for a backpack in the back. It felt like I was riding in an encased motorcycle as we ran around town. It is quite loud since you are basically sitting on the engine. Back home in St. Louis, Missouri, I drive an SUV and I felt rather naked and unsafe in this car - but at the same time it was rather interesting. It used something else I have never seen before: semi-automatic shift. It had a shift stick, but no clutch and to change gears (up) you pushed the stick shift in the forward direction. Crazy. Why not just make it automatic? Another interesting thing was that there were numerous parking areas that were for Smart cars only since they don't take much space. One Swiss guy was telling me that they plan on selling these popular European cars in the USA soon, but I can't picture too many folks buying this car for everyday use.

Posted on Thursday, May 20, 2004 6:51 AM Social Life , Gadgets , Reviews | Back to top

Comments on this post: The Reuters Putt-Putt Car

# re: The Reuters Put-Put Car
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I have seen several of these around the MS campus. Don't know where they are getting them from if they aren't imported.
Left by Chris Kinsman on May 20, 2004 8:17 AM

# re: The Reuters Put-Put Car
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And what if your 6'2 200lbs? Open a window?
Left by John McInnis on May 21, 2004 5:00 AM

# re: The Reuters Put-Put Car
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Those are extremely popular as rentals down here in South Africa.
Left by Ernst Kuschke on Jun 17, 2004 4:38 AM

# re: The Reuters Putt-Putt Car
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Smart vehicles use a very small front crumple zone. The new Smart Fortwo has been awarded 4 out of 5 stars in the Euro NCAP Adult Occupant Protection, 2 out of 4 stars in the Pedestrian protection test but it was not tested for Child Occupant Protection as it has no rear seats. The original Smart was awarded 3 out of 5 stars for Adult Occupant Protection.

In American tests using a five star rating, Smart cars received a four star safety rating for the driver from a front impact, and a five star safety rating for the driver for a side impact.
Left by Car Accident Claims on Jan 06, 2010 7:07 AM

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