Is America ready to fully embrace the uncar micro-car? Smart invites you to think small with the 2012 Fortwo (it seats 2, so it’s for two).
Smart Fortwo Trims and Features
The 2012 Smart Fortwo is a 2-door, 2 seat micro-car that’s really in a category all its own, though it competes with the likes of the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit. The Fortwo comes in two hatchback trim levels, lovingly called Pure and Passion, as well as a Passion Cabriolet- AKA convertible. Smart offers an even more cartoonish all-electric model titled the ED (for Electric Drive; jokes are too easy), available for lease at select dealers nationwide.
Starting at just $12,490, the Pure Fortwo takes purity to heart: you get manual windows, a black fabric interior, and no radio or A/C- though the latter is an option, as are heated seats, interestingly. If you want some…Passion, get that (at $14,690) and receive power accessories, a radio, alloy wheels, and a panoramic roof. The Passion Cabrio is much the same, with one obvious difference. Options include a 6.5” touchscreen featuring navigation, Bluetooth, CD/DVD access, and a picture viewer (OK). If you’re already sick of my bantering, you can flip through every Smart option yourself now, at CarWoo!
Smart Fortwo Performance
Blink and you’ll miss it; Smart Fortwo models are propelled by a 1.0 liter 3-cylinder engine that musters up 70 horsepower and 68 lb.-ft. of torque. Transmission comes in the form of a 5-speed automated manual transmission, or Smartshift, which offers both manual and automatic shifting modes. Go with the Passion trim and you’ll get upgraded to steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for sportier driving- relative to the nameplate.
Smart Fortwo Fuel Economy
EPA estimates tag Smart Fortwo at 34/38/36 (city/highway/combined) MPG. And keep in mind that these numbers reflect a premium fuel requirement.
Smart Fortwo Interior Highlights
The realization of Smart’s size doesn’t really hit until you step outside and look back at the container you just buzzed around in. Those who don’t need a backseat actually receive a good amount of move-around room, enough even for taller drivers to get comfortable. Within this space are two different palates: go with Pure and receive unfiltered simplicity; the Passion offers a bit more internal flair. You’ll notice that the seatbacks extend pretty much to the back of the car itself, so people space takes precedence over cargo area. The passenger seat does fold flat, but even so, Fortwo’s cargo space maxes out at 12 cubic feet. This also means you’ll compromise rear visibility, as space extends vertically to the roof. If you want to see out the back, you’ll get about 7.8 cubes.
Smart Fortwo Safety
It seems like you could pick it up and throw it. This has led to some hesitation about overall safety, but Fortwo has Mercedes blood running through it, so you’re getting solid protection. Each Smart Fortwo is framed by something called a tridion safety cell, which I’m assured will keep occupants as snug as possible during any impacts. Smart standards include anti-lock brakes with brake assist, stability control, and Cornering Brake Control (CBC), among a slew of other safety acronyms. The airbag system includes front, side, and window bags (except for the Passion Cabrio), 2 knee bags, and side curtain bags that are integrated into the seats, so they’ll follow you through every incline. Completed government crash ratings aren’t yet available, however, both the hatch and Cabrio models score a 3/5 stars for rollover accidents. The IIHS ratings are a bit more comprehensive, giving Smart Fortwo the highest rating of ‘good’ for both frontal and roof strength tests.
Is it Smart?
Fortwo may get you laughed at, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t provide some intriguing features. The downside is clearly visual (it’s the size), but if you need a commuter and have a cat-sized parking space, you’d be wise to try Smart. Check out the 2012 Smart Fortwo now.