Smart Fortwo Performance
Reviewers dislike driving the 2013 Smart Fortwo because it’s slow and unrefined. They add that its rough transmission is one of the worst on the market. Still, the Fortwo does well in city life because it’s very easy to park.
- "The Fortwo's nervous highway manners and its unrefined automated transmission make driving feel like a chore rather than a privilege." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Unfortunately, there are far more drawbacks that keep the … Smart Fortwo from being competitive against other small cars. While we consider its humble 1.0-liter engine adequate for city crawls, the single-clutch, automated manual transmission is one of the worst transmissions on the market today." -- Edmunds (2012)
Acceleration and Power
The 2013 Fortwo has a 1-liter, three-cylinder engine that makes 70 horsepower and a five-speed automated manual transmission. The EPA says it gets 34/38 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class, but low for such a small car. The Fortwo requires premium gasoline.
Test drivers say that overall, the Smart Fortwo’s performance is unrefined. They say its weak engine is only good for city driving. Car reviewers also dislike the automated manual transmission, calling it one of the worst transmissions on the market. They say it’s crude, rough and shifts slowly.
- "The ForTwo was designed mainly as a low-speed urban runabout. As a result, gas-engine models lack sufficient power for easy merging onto fast-moving freeways or swift passing on two-lane country roads." -- Consumer Guide
- "Then there is the Smart's automated manual transmission, which changes gears with all the grace of a farm tractor." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Don't expect too much in the way of driving refinement with the … Smart Fortwo. Ruts and bumps in the road are acceptably damped and the Fortwo can be fun to drive around town, but the tiny car is easily upset by crosswinds and gusts from passing trucks on the highway. Furthermore, the automated manual transmission is as crude a unit as you'll find in any car. Shifts are not only slow, but they're also accompanied by a significant lurch." -- Edmunds (2012)
Handling and Braking
Reviewers say the Smart Fortwo has a very bumpy ride over rough roads. Another reviewer adds that when the Fortwo’s on the highway, it quickly falls victim to crosswinds, which makes it feel unstable. The same test driver mentions that the Fortwo tilts too much when he takes it around corners. Critiques of the brakes are also negative, with one reviewer saying that the brakes are weak.
- "Unfortunately, the car gets tippy at even modest cornering speeds, and it's a real handful in gusty crosswinds on the highway, even though the rear wheels are spread further apart than the fronts to enhance stability. In short, the ForTwo behaves exactly as you'd expect of a four-wheeled ‘phone booth.’" -- Consumer Guide
- "This car is no picnic on freeways. We also grew tired of having to make constant steering corrections to keep the Smart Fortwo on course." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The execution is disappointing: I found the pedal rock-hard, imprecise and never all that powerful. After two days' driving, I still couldn't stop the car smoothly." -- Cars.com (2008)
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