This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Smart Fortwo Cabriolet (16-19) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

The cabriolet uses the same turbocharged three-cylinder 698cc engine as the coupe, but it’s only available with two outputs (the coupe has three): 61bhp and – in Brabus tune – 74bhp. Both outputs feel nippy enough around town, but only the Brabus has enough power for longer motorway trips. Six-speed semi-automatic gearbox takes a week or so to get comfortable with, but works well after that.

Simple and enjoyable to drive with light, accurate steering and good brakes, which is ideal for town driving. Short wheelbase and almost square stance means it drives like nothing else on the road The ride is good on most surfaces, but changes of road surface and potholes cause a lot of pitching and bouncing and there’s lots of bodyroll into corners.

All cars have a fully or semi-automatic gearbox; these were jerky, with slow changes on early models, but much improved on revised cars from 2002. Light steering and a tight lock prove that the City Cabriolet is in its element in the town. Even basic models get traction and stability controls, a semi-auto gearbox and ABS brakes.