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Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5
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PROS

  • Efficient engines
  • Fun handling
  • Surprisingly practical

CONS

  • Larger ForFour better value
  • Rivals cheaper

Verdict

The Smart ForTwo is back – and this time it means business. Priced above most of the usual city car suspects, it offers something a little different for sure, but is it worth paying more for?

For those who don’t need the extra practicality of two more seats, the low running costs, fun and refinement of the ForTwo are sure to appeal. The only issue is its big brother, the ForFour, only costs a few hundred quid more so seems the more rational choice. It’s this reason Smart predicts just 20 percent of sales with be the two-seater model.

That said, we do prefer the way the ForTwo drives. It’s going to be down to your personal situation as to whether the ForTwo can cope with your lifestyle, but if it can we think you’ll be richly rewarded for taking the plunge.

Surprisingly practical

Considering it’s a tiny little thing, there’s actually a fair bit of storage space on offer. It boasts a split tailgate to access the boot, and a passenger seat which folds down flat to allow longer items to be stored.

It’s 100mm wider than before, too, so there’s more interior space to play with. We found two large adults sat perfectly comfortably for several hours during our test, finding ourselves not left wanting for either shoulder room or headroom.

Two engines, not much power

The choice of engines is limited to a 1-litre, three-cylinder petrol with 69bhp or a 0.9-litre petrol which (with the help of a turbocharger) makes 89bhp. You’re looking a 0-62mph times over ten seconds regardless, though.

Happily, the fact that the engines live at the back of the car over the rear axle means that they’re not too noisy in the cabin. This feels a very refined car in general, to be honest.

From launch you’ll get a five-speed manual gearbox, but during 2015 a twin clutch automatic gearbox will join the range too. It’s a big step forward from the old Smart’s auto ‘box, let us say.

Fun to drive

One look at the engines’ performance figures might suggest this is a boring car to drive, but there’s an ace up the little Smart’s sleeve: it has a frankly incredible turning circle and brilliant steering.

This means it weaves its way through city centres like nothing we’ve driven before and it’ll turn far more sharply than a London black cab. That’s thanks to the lack of engine between the front wheels, which means they’re able to angle towards 45 degrees for maximum direction-changing agility.

The entire chassis has been totally revised for the new model, meaning far more suspension travel and thus a comfier ride.

To find out more about this stand-alone city car, read on for our full Smart ForTwo review.

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