Smart Fortwo Review
The 2013 Smart Fortwo ranks 43 out of 43 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 62 published reviews and test drives of the Smart Fortwo, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
The 2013 Smart Fortwo is ranked:
If you want a small car for the city and only need seating for two, test drivers think the 2013 Smart Fortwo is a decent choice. However, some say the Fortwo’s lack of standard features and sluggish, unrefined performance are very unappealing.
While the 2013 Smart Fortwo has some of the highest fuel economy ratings in the class and is very easy to park, most reviewers dislike the Fortwo’s performance. It comes with an underpowered, 70-horsepower, three-cylinder engine that reviewers say only delivers enough power for city driving. All models have a five-speed automated manual transmission, and critics dislike it. One reviewer even says it’s one of the worst transmissions on the market. Even when test drivers stick to city streets, most are disappointed with the Fortwo’s ride quality. It exhibits lots of body roll when cornering, and its suspension picks up too many road imperfections. According to the EPA, the Fortwo gets 34/38 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class, but low for such a small car.
The two-seat Smart Fortwo is one of the smallest cars on the market, but according to reviewers, it has a surprising amount of cabin space. They say that tall adults will have plenty of head- and legroom. Visibility is also good, but only in the coupe model. One test driver reports that when the convertible top is folded down, it hampers rear visibility. The Fortwo doesn’t have much cargo space, but reviewers say the available room is useful. Test drivers point out that the Fortwo’s cabin is made with a lot of hard plastics, but that’s common for a lot of small cars. The Fortwo, however, lacks standard features that are expected in this class. Air conditioning and a radio, for example, are optional. These amenities, as well as a surround sound system and navigation, can be added. Overall, reviewers think the Fortwo’s interior features are straightforward and easy to use.
- "As ever, the ForTwo is an exercise in Euro-centric minimalism, sacrificing the space, refinement, performance, and dynamic ability of conventional minicars for Tinkerbell size and maneuverability. With its unusual styling and Mercedes-Benz connection, it's really more of a fashion accessory than practical daily transport. Then too, it's not exactly cheap or that stingy with gas." -- Consumer Guide
- "There are plenty of more useful four- and five-seat subcompacts for the same price. But they won't make the same super trendy statement as the smart." -- Motor Week (2008)
- "The 2012 Smart Fortwo, with its lack of refinement, rough transmission and unpleasant highway ride, is one of the least desirable cars on the market. There are plenty of other cars we'd recommend as a compact city car." -- Edmunds (2012)
Other Cars to Consider
The Scion iQ is more expensive than the Smart Fortwo, but it has a lot more standard features including an upscale stereo, Bluetooth and 11 airbags, which is more than what the Fortwo offers. Though the iQ has four seats, reviewers don’t recommend sitting anyone in the back seats. However, that means the iQ’s folding rear seats expand the cargo area, offering more overall cargo room than the Fortwo.
The Mazda2 is more powerful than the Smart Fortwo, and test drivers like the Mazda2’s sharp handling. Though the Mazda2 is more expensive than the Fortwo, it offers seats for five, more cargo space and more standard features.
Details: 2013 Smart Fortwo
The 2013 Smart Fortwo seats two people. It’s available in coupe and cabriolet (convertible) models. The coupe comes in passion and pure trims, while the cabriolet is only available in the passion trim. There’s also an all-electric version called the Fortwo Electric Drive, but it’s reviewed separately. The base Fortwo doesn’t come with a stereo or air conditioning, but these features are optional. A navigation system and a surround sound system are also available. The Fortwo hasn’t changed much since the 2008 model year, so this overview uses research and reviews from 2008 to 2013.
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