The Smart For two CoupeFebruary 4, 2015
The tiny size of this car makes it a breeze to park anywhere. It is extremely cheap to run and has very low emissions. It is also noisy and has poor driving manageability. The Pulse models seem to be missing some kit as well.
A 1.0 three-cylinder petrol engine, is available with 101- 83- or 70bhp. There is also a diesel engine with 54bhp that is 0.8 litres. Cheapest is the 70bhp petrol and the diesel seems to be slow running.
Power steering is not standard. Due to its small size, stiffer suspension is needed in order to stop the Fortwo from tipping over on curves, which makes every feeling in the surface of the road, seem to be magnified and felt by the occupants in the vehicle. The front tyres also run quickly out of grip.
The engine sits directly behind the seats so whenever acceleration is used, there is a thrum that is distinctive and becomes an annoyance during long travel. The gearbox is semi-auto but up-shifts are jerky unless you ease up on the accelerator.
All models are economical to run and insurance is very cheap. The average economy range is 54.3mpg right up to an astounding 85.6mpg.
The interior is quite solid and feels durable, but the controls for the heater are a little flimsy. In 2012, the JD Power survey rated the Fortwo as fifth in its class but feedback from owners said that it had a below average mechanical reliability.
All models come with a stability control system for better control on less than ideal road conditions. Both passenger and driver’s side airbags are also standard but it is only an option for side airbags. There are no deadlock which slightly diminishes security, but there is an engine immobiliser to help foil thefts. Also an option in basic models is a glovebox that locks.
The interior is laid out well and is distinctive. All dials and buttons are user-friendly. Unfortunately, the Fortwo will not be comfortable for everyone since the steering wheel is stationary and there is no adjuster for seat height. For an interior with colour, you will have to choose the Passion model.
There are only two seats so this is not a practical family vehicle, but two large adults fit in very well. The doors open wide for ease of entering and exiting. The boot is not overly large but it has a capacity of 220-litres, which compares well with other city cars.
The entry-level Pulse models come standard with power windows, Bluetooth, air-con, gearshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel, and alloy wheels. The Passion models add in satellite navigation and a glass roof. The Brabus adds in some luxury with heated leather seats, a bodykit and a sports suspension.