You can check out their blog post here. It is a fair report and I am interested in how Consumer Reports actually rates the 451. Many 'professional' reviewers have been quite jaundiced about their view of the ForTwo and I believe many simply do not understand how to use basic features like the automated manual transmission. They seem to be hamstrung by their preconceptions and driving experience.
I used to think Consumer Reports was the ULTIMATE word on unbiased evaluations. Then I got into the personal computer business and got to know those products quite well at the time they decided to rate some of the existing machines. I was shocked to discover so many incorrect facts and statements about some of the products such as stating that one serious drawback for a particular computer was that it didn't have a hard drive available, but I had been a dealer for that very product line for several years at the time and I had NEVER seen one of those computers that hadn't come with a hard drive. From that point on, I ALSO realized that I had been wrong to have 'blind faith' in their evaluations and that there may be more to the story than they were reporting. Ever since I, too, have taken everything they say with a grain of salt. I now do a lot of my OWN research and seek information from several sources before making my OWN decision. I've been happier with my purchases, too, since then.
A lot of reviews seem to not UNDERSTAND this car segment. They seem to have to compare it to a Cadillac for ride, power, comfort features. People have to realize that the world is changing and the automarket right with it. We have to compare appples to apples here!
I didn't have a problem with the article at all... seemed to hold water in my opinion. I will agree the Smart is more dangerous than that Cadillac, but let's be fair and compare the Smart to a vehicle on the road in numbers far greater than the Smart: Motorcycles and scooters. I drove a bike for years, and let me tell you, they are dangerous thingees. So plunk me down in a an infinitely safer Smart any day.
And it will take more than 30,000 Smarts and > 4 buck gas to change the mindset of Americans, but I'll tell you it will come to pass, and sooner than you think. We've been addicted to the bigun's for a long time, but even Detroit "gets" it. Ford is shuttering SUV plants FAST, and concentrating on smaller vehicles like the Fiesta.
In my lifetime I really think I will see the tide turn here.