In-depth Reviews

Smart ForTwo hatchback (2014-2019) - Reliability & safety

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

Carbuyer Rating

2.9 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Reliability & safety Rating

3.0 out of 5

As Smart is owned by luxury brand Mercedes, we'd expect the Smart ForTwo to perform well in forthcoming Driver Power surveys, although this hasn't always been true for the brand in the past. Smart will hope the new car can turn around its fortunes and it certainly feels better built than the old model.

Safety has never been an issue with the Smart ForTwo and it performs better than you'd ever expect of a model so small, though, achieving a four star Euro NCAP safety rating. Mercedes has conducted its own tests to prove the Smart ForTwo – with its tough 'Tridion' safety cell and rear-mounted engine – can safely protect its passengers from a head-on collision with the much larger Mercedes S-Class.

Smart ForTwo reliability

This Smart ForTwo was too new to feature in our Driver Power 2016 survey for specific models and the brand itself didn't appear in the manufacturer rankings, either. This makes it a little difficult to make definite pronouncements about the car's long-term reliability. The Renault Twingo did appear in 67th place, however, with an encouraging 47th for reliability. Considering how much technology they share, that’s a good sign.

Safety

Despite its impressive in-house safety tests, the Smart could only achieve a four-star rating when it was evaluated by Euro NCAP – it lost a star due to the absence of an automatic braking system. That meant the car could only score 56% in Euro NCAP’s recently introduced safety assist category.

Meanwhile, it was 7% behind the Volkswagen up!'s 89% score for adult occupant protection, but matched it for child safety and was 10% better at protecting pedestrians. The 2014 test the Smart was subjected to is also much tougher than the 2011 test the up! faced, because Euro NCAP has made its procedures more stringent.

Safety features available on the Smart car include an optional forward collision warning system, which can sense an imminent impact and warn the driver to take emergency action, plus optional lane-keeping assistance and crosswind assistance (which helps prevent the car being buffeted by strong gusts of wind).

Recommended

Special edition cars: the best, worst and weirdest
Jeep Cherokee SUV
15 Dec 2020

Special edition cars: the best, worst and weirdest

Most Popular

Best small SUVs
Best Small SUVS - Renault Captur
Small SUVs
14 May 2021

Best small SUVs

2021 Genesis G70 Shooting Brake estate revealed
2021 Genesis G70 Shooting Brake - side view static
Hyundai Genesis
12 May 2021

2021 Genesis G70 Shooting Brake estate revealed

Best new car deals 2021
Hyundai i20
Deals
14 May 2021

Best new car deals 2021

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
6 May 2021

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks