8 feet 10 inches long. That is the smallest production car sold in the US. After watching it in its first iteration as the City Coupe, which launched in Europe only in 1997 we finally have a Smart car in the US. BMW has its Mini and Mercedes has its Smart. There may be no better vehicle to carve through city congestion without giving up the convenience of a car. There may also be no vehicle which can be owned by the masses and will attract more attention from onlookers. This tiny car attracts attention like an Italian sports car.
Tiny is hardly even the way to describe this car. A good measure is that it is four and a half feet shorter than a new VW Beetle or three feet shorter than a Mini. Despite this diminutive size, the Four two manages to maintain one of the highest levels of safety for a compact car in side impacts. Intense engineering was responsible for this, though there was little to be done for front impacts, where the Smart only gets middling ratings.
Bodystyles: Coupe, convertible
Engines: 1.0L I-3
Transmissions: 5-speed automated manual
Models: pure coupe, passion coupe, passion cabriolet, Brabus coupe, Brabus cabriolet
Smart is now offering a Kenwood navigation system that can be integrated into the dash of the car. Also new on the Fortwo is the smart drive app, which pairs the iPhone with the car. Once the iPhone is placed in the specially designed phone cradle, it becomes a media and navigation hub for driver and passenger –provided the owner pays the yearly navigation upgrade charge of $49.99.
Smart’s designers use the car’s Tridion safety cell as a focal point of the profile view. The steel cage can be ordered in a contrasting color to the doors around which it wraps.
Smart Fortwos can be ordered with bright-colored interior panels as well as two whimsical dashboard gauges: a clock and a rev counter. A navigation system is available.
The Smart Fortwo’s 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine can keep up with most traffic as long as you are in no hurry. Accelerating from 0-60 mph will take 12.8 seconds. Handling of the 1808-pound car is stable as the Fortwo is wide for its length and the rear tires are wider than the front tires.
The Smart features the Tridion safety cell (reinforced steel cage), electronic stability program, two front and two side air bags, electronic brake assist, acceleration skid control. NHTSA results in four crash tests: 3/5 (front passenger side), 3/5 (rollover rating), 4/5 (front driver side), 5/5 (side impact)
33 mpg city/41 mpg highway
- Cute styling
- 41 highway mpg
- Easy to maneuver
- Least-expensive convertible on market
- MPG not high enough
- Small and slow
- Short warranty
Fashionable, but not the best value
- Fiat 500
- Scion iQ