- Cheap to run
- Funky styling
- Lots of standard kit
- Only two seats
- Interior quality not the best
- Poor ride refinement
Iconic two-seater is great around town
The Smart ForTwo is one of the most iconic cars of the 21st century. First introduced in 1998, the Smart was a car directed towards city living. Designed so that it could be parked at a right angle to city kerbs, the Smart offered great practicality for two people to manoeuvre around busy cities. Nowadays, the Smart faces some tough competition. With so many city cars currently on sale, the ForTwo struggles to be the best in class. It’s still has iconic looks, and a tiny turning circle, but other cars are classier, more spacious, and more flexible.
An update in 2014 featured a complete redesign. The ForTwo is now based on the same platform as the Renault Twingo.
Funky design and modern technology
The interior of the ForTwo is clearly aimed at young, professional drivers, but the latest version is also more practical. There’s more legroom, and there’s also an incredibly funky design.
The dashboard of the ForTwo is a contemporary, vibrant affair. A variety of shapes are used throughout the cabin, which should in theory be messy and difficult, but in fact controls are simple to find and easy to use. Colour coded interior trim is also common in ForTwos, which make for a personalised, unique look. Materials quality however isn’t the best, with some cheap plastics featuring throughout the cabin.
Space isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a Smart car, and the latest ForTwo is no different. There’s only room for two people, but the boot capacity is actually pretty impressive. With 350 litres packed neatly in, there’s more room than you’d get in a Skoda Citigo (251 litres), and amazingly, more room than in the much bigger Ford Focus (316 litres). For such a small package, that’s massively impressive.
Spec levels in the ForTwo are very impressive. Even in the most basic Passion trim you’ll get climate control, electric windows, alloy wheels, cruise control, LED daytime running lights, and stop/start technology. Most buyers won’t need more than this, so it doesn’t really make too much sense upgrading from this.
Overall, the interior of the ForTwo is pretty impressive. Obviously, there’s only two seats, so it’s never going to be the most practical car. There is however lots of storage space, a funky interior design, and impressive levels of kit. All in all, it’s a great package.
Great around town, but not much else
The ForTwo is a car that’s designed to be good around town, and in this respect, it performs very well. The tight turning circle and light steering make weaving through traffic and parking a doddle. Get it out of the city however and the ForTwo starts to struggle. At higher speeds the steering feedback is vague, and doesn’t feel particularly safe on motorways. It’s not really a car designed for this purpose, but rivals offer greater flexibility in this regard.
Ride refinement is one area in which the ForTwo disappoints. Even around town the suspension system struggles to cope with rough surfaces and potholes. It never really feels settled, and at higher speeds things get even worse. The Volkswagen Up! offers greater refinement in a city car, and is better on motorways to boot.
Gearbox options in the ForTwo come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a five-speed manual, which features a short, sharp shift, and is great to use around town. There’s also an optional twin-clutch automatic, which shifts through the gears with ease. Either gearbox suits the ForTwo down to the ground.
Small, economical, and green
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your ForTwo, you’ve only got one fuel type- petrol. There are two engines in the range, and both offer good city performance, exceptional fuel efficiency, and great green credentials.
If it’s power you want from your ForTwo, you’re more than likely going to be disappointed. The 3-cylinder 0.9 litre turbocharged petrol engine is nippy around town however, so it’s a great option to consider. It produces 90bhp, and will get you from 0-62mph in 10.4 seconds. It might not sound fast from the figures, but it feels it around town.
Eco-friendly buyers will be pleased to learn that all ForTwos are great cars if you’re looking to help save the planet. All models in the range have sub-100g/km of CO2 emissions, so you won’t be paying any road tax. The greenest (but not by much) is the 1.0 Edition 1, which produces 93g/km (the more powerful 0.9 litre turbo only produces 97g/km). The 1.0 litre engine is also the best for money-savers, as it offers up to 68.9mph (the more powerful engine still offers 67.3mpg).
Whichever engine you go for in your ForTwo, you’re going to get a green, efficient engine. The more expensive, more powerful 0.9 litre petrol engine performs slightly better around town, so is worth considering.
Four star NCAP, good safety equipment
Like most cars in its class, the Smart ForTwo failed to achieve the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. Only the Volkswagen Up!, the Skoda Citigo, and the Seat Mii have achieved this feat in the city car class. With scores of 82% in adult safety, 80% in child safety, 56% in pedestrian safety, and an overall 4-star rating, it’s still one of the safest cars in its class. There’s also plenty of safety kit as standard. Even on the most basic models you’re going to get an electronic stability program, ABS, hill-start assist, the usual array of airbags, and cruise control. For such a small car, the ForTwo is impeccably safe.
Great day-to-day value for money
The Smart ForTwo offers buyers exceptionally good value for money. It might not be the cheapest car to buy upon initial purchase, but low C02 emissions, and impressive fuel efficiency throughout the range make the ForTwo an incredibly cheap car to run day-to-day. You’re not going to get many city cars that provide better value than the ForTwo.
Insurance costs in the Smart are impressively cheap. This varies from model to model, but as the ForTwo is so small and safe, it’s not going to cost you an awful lot. The cheapest model in the range is the 1.0 Passion, which is in group 3, whilst the most expensive is the range-topping 0.9 Turbo Proxy Premium Plus, which is in group 9.
Depreciation is a factor with the ForTwo, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Smart ForTwo remains one of the best city cars on sale. It’s not quite as well-rounded as some rivals, but it’s iconic looks mean that it remains a best-seller. With a well-designed interior, efficient engines, and impressive standard kit, it’s not hard to see why.
Buying a used Smart ForTwo online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Smart ForTwo for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used ForTwo. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Smart ForTwo online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Smart? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Smart ForTwo, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used ForTwo, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Smart to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.