Review

Smart ForTwo hatchback

Price  £11,125 - £14,220

Smart ForTwo hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Tiny turning circle
  • Extremely easy to park
  • Nippy and very cheap to run
Cons
  • Noisy at motorway speeds
  • Basic engine feels very slow
  • Disappointing crash safety rating

At a glance

The greenest
71 hp proxy 3dr £11,820
The cheapest
71 hp passion 3dr £11,125
The fastest
90 hp proxy premium plus 3dr £13,710
Top of the range
71 hp edition 1 auto 3dr £14,220

"The new Smart ForTwo offers an updated take on the clever, yet ultimately flawed, original Smart car."

The original Smart ForTwo two-seater was developed with inner-city driving in mind – famously, it could park perpendicular to the kerb, thanks to being no longer than a conventional car is wide. Small turbocharged petrol engines also meant it was cheap to run.

The original car wasn't without its faults, though. Its automated manual gearbox should have made it perfect for the city, but in reality it was jerky to use and slow to operate. The Smart's small size also gave it an unsettled ride and a susceptibility to crosswinds that meant it never felt at home on the motorway.

This car looked to address those problems – it feels more substantial than the original Smart to drive, while a smooth-shifting twin-clutch six-speed gearbox replaces the old five-speed auto. Some of the old car's core design features remain, though – the Smart still has a rear-mounted engine (for better safety) and dinky proportions. Unlike before, though, the FourTwo is now based on the Smart ForFour, which in turn shares mechanical parts with the latest Renault Twingo.

This Smart ForTwo is available with two three-cylinder petrol engines: a 1.0-litre and a 0.9-litre with a turbocharger for extra poke. Both offer extremely low running costs, but we prefer the turbo, as the 1.0-litre is seriously slow.

The car is instantly recognisable as a Smart product. It keeps the original's exposed 'Tridion' safety cell, which is painted in a contrasting colour to the rest of the body, and has the old car's upright profile. It's available in a variety of bright colours – inside and out – and there's scope to stamp your own character on the car thanks to a variety of customisable options.

All Smart ForTwos come with fuel-saving engine stop-start technology, LED daytime running lights, climate control, central locking and electric front windows as standard.

However, one of the old car's biggest problems remains – the latest Smart costs quite a lot more than conventional rivals such as the Volkswagen up!, Hyundai i10 and Fiat Panda.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.3 / 5

Small petrol engines and some clever design features mean the Smart ForTwo is cheap to run

Engines, drive & performance

3.3 / 5

Much better to drive than the old car, but the Smart ForTwo still isn’t ideally suited to long motorway drives

Interior & comfort

3.2 / 5

The new Smart ForTwo feels nicer inside than the old model and has lots of standard equipment

Practicality & boot space

3.7 / 5

The Smart ForTwo is a small two-seater, but it makes good use of the space it has

Reliability & safety

4 / 5

Tough new testing means the Smart ForTwo four-star safety rating is comparable to older five-star cars

What the others say

3.3 / 5
based on 2 reviews
3 / 5
In the cabin, a new dash and centre console design are far more upmarket than before but there are still some cheap looking plastics lurking around.
3.5 / 5
"One look at the engines’ performance figures might suggest this is a boring car to drive, but there's an ace up the little Smart's sleeve: it has a frankly incredible turning circle and brilliant steering."
Last updated 
16 Feb 2015
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