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Smart Fortwo Test Drive Review

Date: 20 February 2015   |   Author:

Category: City car
Key rival: Renault Twingo
P11D: £11,765
On sale: January 2015

Due to its size, the three-door Smart Fortwo is really limited to those firms wanting to make a specific statement, and the new design certainly does that. Whether you love it or hate it, there  really isn't a competitor like it.

While it may look small, there's a surprising amount of head and shoulder room in the cabin, while at just 2.69m long the car has a turning circle of 6.96m, which is more than 0.5m tighter than a London black cab. It means you can whip the Fortwo around corners and through city traffic with ease.

The 71hp three-cylinder petrol performs best in the city. There is a 90hp version and it's a hell of a lot more fun, but the lower-powered engine is expected to be the best seller. It, however, struggles when out of town, particularly on inclines, and the cabin is quite noisy as you work the revs.

It's a bit unfair to criticise the Fortwo on interior space because it is what it is. You get a little parcel bay at the back, which has room enough for a couple of bags of shopping.

The odd thing is that it's only a £496 walk-up to the Forfour, and there's less than 2p per mile in it in terms of running costs, and £3 a month difference for benefit-in-kind payments. Surely that little bit extra is worth it for the added practicality of a usable boot, rear seats and five-doors?

But the biggest let down with the Fortwo has to be the interior. The car shares 80% of its components with the Renault Twingo upon which it is based. This means all the switchgear, like the indicator storks, gear stick and dash buttons, are all Renault. While customers might not care or even know it's a Renault beneath it all, it's just not unique, well-built or funky enough.

The Fortwo still stands out on the road and it does ride and drive better than the second-generation model, but fleets could get a lot more for their money.

Smart Fortwo 1.0 Prime 71

Model price range               £11,070-£13,765
Residual value                                     35.1%
Depreciat­ion                                          £7640
Fuel                                                       £4216
Service, maintenance and repair           £1928
Vehicle Excise Duty                                     £0
National Insurance                                   £633
Cost per mile                                           28.7p
Fuel consumption                              72.4mpg

CO2 (BIK band) 93g/km                         (11%)

BIK 20/40% per month                        £22/£43
Warranty                            3yrs/unlimited miles
Boot space                                          260 litres
Engine size/power                           999cc/71hp


The Fortwo is unique, but it can't be recommended beyond its image
  • There's only one Smart Fortwo
  • Much better models are available at this price