at just 1.66m in width, the smart fortwo seems like the ultimate city car.
It's 'a tiny footprint that makes a big impact' but does it make an impact with us?
It's not that often that we feature smaller cars on our blog, so we thought we'd put that right by featuring one of the smallest road cars on the mass market – the smart fortwo. Starting at a whisker over £10k brand new for the basic model, there has recently been a flurry of activity for the third-gen smart fortwo for sale on the second hand market — you can pick up a 14 plate for under £5,500* on findandfundmycar.com.
Starting life in 1998 as the original SmartCar (or Smart City Coupe), over 2 million units have been produced in almost 50 countries worldwide. Over the years, it has evolved under the bonnet while still being instantly recognisable from the outside. The first thing you'll see in any smart fortwo review is a bit about its size (and at just 2.7m long and 1.7m wide, it's easy to understand why) but what – apart from this USP – will convince you to buy one?
Co-developed with the Renault Twingo, the third generation fortwo looks and feels a little more solid than its predecessors; it's a touch wider thanks to new crash regulations meaning it has less of a 'toy car' feel . There have been a few more changes including the introduction of an automatic transmission model and one that includes a turbo injection (which is fun, but ultimately unrewarding when compared with the regular engines in terms of price). As if the turning circle of the smart fortwo wasn't small enough already, the developers have managed to make it smaller still. Great for parking and city driving sure, but there's little else that it comes in handy for.
The suspension on the third-gen is a vast improvement too. It grips the road much better than before, entering and exiting corners with four wheels still on the ground; the fact that this is a plus point only goes to show how hair-raising a drive it was before. Potholes and speed bumps can still be an issue if not navigated properly, so if the roads around you aren't in tip top shape, beware!
Despite the small increase in width, the luggage space is still minimal. We doubt you're planning a fortnight touring the country in your fortwo, but it's worth pointing out that there's just enough space for your work stuff – an overnight bag at best – just behind the seats.
We don't need to tell you that this is ultimately a nippy city car. It's great for getting around busy streets and can slide in effortlessly into the smallest car parking spaces — if you've got the money to spare, it would make a great car for city living. Overall, it's a vast improvement on the second-gen and if we were to choose we'd go for the 1.0 Passion model. They start at £11,195 brand new, but keep your eye on second hand smart cars using our intelligent search function and pick up a bargain.
(*at the time of writing.)