Photos & Words: Evan M Yates
Exterior: It’s difficult not to appreciate the matte gray finish our test vehicle was adorned in. It lets everyone know you acknowledge the vehicle’s minuscule dimensions but still think it’s worthy of an appealing aesthetic. Outside of that, it’s a little hard to take the looks seriously simply because its tiny stature is just not something we’re used to seeing everyday in the US. The effort is appreciated, however.
Interior: The interior of the Smart Fortwo is actually just as roomy as most economy cars (for the front passengers, of course). The seats are fairly comfortable, the driving position is proper and there’s ample room for people that are above six feet tall like myself. Due to its space limitations (I assume), there is no center console but they’ve managed to incorporate multiple drink holders somehow. I would much rather have a solid location for my phone and other items than a place to put two more bottles of water. As to be expected, the Smart Fortwo also has considerable wind noise inside the cabin, as there probably isn’t much or any sound deadening throughout the vehicle.
A/V: The electronics in the Smart Fortwo are pretty basic but functional and the sound system is probably a touch better than a pair of portable Bluetooth speakers. I assume this car wasn’t packed with a myriad of electronics to save weight or simply to keep the cost down.
Performance: The Smart Fortwo’s performance capabilities rely solely on your expectations and intended use. If your commute is predominately highway travel then this particular vehicle is one of the last economy cars you’d want to own. It’s loud, it doesn’t accelerate fast enough to pass other vehicles and most importantly, it kind of bounces around on the highway. One big gust of wind and you’re virtually into the other lane. And this isn’t due to poorly designed suspension; it’s just the odd shape, tiny size and lack of weight. However, if you intend to use the Smart Fortwo in a congested urban setting, there may not be a better vehicle for you out there. Most notably, you can virtually park this vehicle anywhere. Find a tight spot, and you can cram it in there. I found out that I could park four of these vehicles in my garage – and my garage is fairly compact. You can certainly perform a U-turn in even the tightest of situations, too. Other tidbits worth noting is that the Fortwo seems to idle rather roughly in certain situations. Not that anything is wrong; I just don’t think it’s built to sit in one place for too long. It will also slide back on hill as if it were a manual, which certainly takes some getting to use to it without a clutch.
Final Verdict: If you’re comfortable enough in your skin to get in and out of such an odd vehicle every day and live in the city, there may not be a better vehicle on the market for you. Oh, and it only takes $13.00 to fill up the tank!
Damage: $ Pure, $15,400; Passion, $16,890; Prime, $18,240; Proxy, $19,230
Power: 89 hp, 100 ft lb
0-60: 11 sec
Gas Cash: 33/39 MPG