The 2009 smart fortwo passion represents a significant step above the entry-level smart pure trim, since it comes equipped with such standard features as a tinted panorama roof with a sunscreen, air conditioning with automatic temperature control, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, power windows, and a two-speaker AM/FM audio system with a CD player and an MP3 input jack. Other standard features for the '09 fortwo passion include a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a central locking system with remote entry, an outside temperature indicator, a fold-down passenger seat, and fabric upholstery. Drivers can opt for a textured hardtop in place of the panorama sunroof. Other options include heated seats, a premium sound system with a 6-CD changer, and a Comfort Package, which adds power steering, leather seats, and foglights. Outside, the fortwo passion displays such features as projector-beam halogen headlights and 15-inch nine-spoke alloy wheels.
Under its diminutive hood, the fortwo passion houses a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine, which produces a relatively minuscule 70 hp. The engine mates to a five-speed automated manual transmission, which offers both automatic and manual operation. Since the automatic mode has generated mixed reviews, most owners opt for manual shifting, which they accomplish by pushing the shift knob forward or back to upshift or downshift. No clutch is required, and the fortwo passion doesn't include one. However, it does include electronic stability control, which helps drivers stabilize the rear-wheel-drive vehicle in slippery road conditions or tight turns by applying the brakes and reducing engine torque. In addition, antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution aid the driver in emergency stops. The '09 smart fortwo passion also comes equipped with automatic hill-start assist, which keeps the car from rolling backward when accelerating from a stop on a slope.