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Smart Fortwo: Is It Really That Great?

Updated on June 23, 2009

Smart Fortwo: Is It Really That Great?

Most people look at these and laugh, saying “They are crazy for driving that thing.” Are people crazy for driving the Smart Fortwo? Or is it actually a “Smart” move?


The Smart Fortwo has a fuel economy of 36 mpg. That’s great and all if you want to save gas, but there are many more cars that get equal or better mileage, with better safety features. Cars that equal this from Toyota are the Yaris, with 36 mpg on the highway, the Corolla, with 35 mpg on the highway, the Matrix with 32 mpg highway, and the Prius with an astonishing 45 mpg highway, and 48 mpg in the city! Nissans with similar mileage are the Sentra and Versa, both with 34 mpg. Ford cars with 34+ mpg are the Fusion and Escape Hybrid (SUV), with 34 mpg, the Focus and Focus Coupe, with 35 mpg, and the Fusion Hybrid, also with an outstanding 41 mpg! The Chevy HHR has 32 mpg (also an SUV), the Chevy Aveo, Aveo Sedan, and Malibu Hybrid all get 34 mpg, and the Chevy Cobalt XFE gets 37 mpg. The Mini Cooper Hardtop gets 37 mpg, and the Mini Cooper Convertible gets 36 mpg.


The Smart Fortwo Pure starts at $11,990, and the Passion Coupe starts at $13,990. Not bad, but what does the competition sell for? The Ford Focus starts at $15k, the Focus Coupe at $16k, and the Fusion Hybrid at 27,000 dollars. Now the Chevy’s have better prices mileage-wise. The ’09 Aveo starts at $11,965, the the ’08 Aveo starts at $10,235, and the Cobalt starts at $14,990. Toyota Prius’s start at $22k, but the prices go down from there. The Matrix is $16,290, the Corolla is $15,350, and the Yaris starts at $12,205. The Nissan Sentra starts at $16,730, and the Versa at $9,990!


In crash tests, the Smart Fortwo received “Good” reviews in the front and side tests, and an Acceptable in the rear crash test. The Smart car weighs about 1/3 as much as the BMW X5, which is a midsize SUV, making it the smallest car the Institute in Arlington, Virginia. The Smart Fortwo weighs about 1,800 pounds, 700 lbs less than the Mini Cooper! It is also 3 feet shorter than the Mini Cooper. The car is classified as a microcar, meaning it is smaller than a minicar. Since, front crash test ratings cannot be compared across weight classes, just because the Smart Fortwo got “Good” ratings, does NOT mean it is safer than a larger, heavier car that gets ratings less than “Good”. The designers did do a good job of creating a frame that crunches well decreasing the force of the impact. Smaller cars have been made safer over the years, but large cars have also improved in this too. In 2006, 106 million people minicars that were less than 3 years old, died in car crashes, while 69 million people died in larger cars in a wreck.


Do not buy this car because it is light and gets 36 mpg. There are numerous other options in the price range, with the same fuel economy, and that weigh more, adding to safety ratings, to choose from. The best cars to look at that are most like the Smart Fortwo, are the Nissan Versa, Chevy Aveo, Toyota Yaris and Prius, Mini Cooper, and the Ford Focus and Focus Coupe. All of these cars are heavier, so that if you get in a crash you won’t bounce off the car you hit into another lane, just to get hit by a second car.

Personally, I would not drive the Smart Fortwo on the highway to work and back everyday, as I would be too scared. However I do not think I would mind driving one around town once or twice, just to see what it is like. I would rather buy a Ford Focus or something similar to that.

What would you do? Would you drive it?


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    • profile image

      miket 7 years ago

      i agree with jim he did post a true fact and your the idiot parker not him.. so thanks but your stupid

    • profile image

      Morgan 7 years ago

      Ah because Jim posted a true fact.. That you fudged the mpg, he's never allowed to post again.

      Woooowwww shocking for a dignified author and reporter.

    • parkerk393 profile image

      parkerk393 8 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Hey there, Mr. Jim. Your attitude smells worse than your product. Did you write this hub, Jim? No. No you didn't. I don't wanna see your name on any of my hubs or other hubbers hubs again. Do you understand me?

    • johnb0127 profile image

      johnb0127 8 years ago from TX

      Jim, your an idiot

    • profile image

      Jim  8 years ago

      People drive the Fortwo everyday on freeways and have even gotten speeding tickets in them. You really should not compare the Prius to the Smart (unless you are getting a fully loaded Brabus edition) since the cost to get into a Prius is much higher than the basic Smart or any of the other vehicles listed. Also make sure you are using comparable figures. The Fortwo gets 33 mpg in the city but 41 on the highway. You used highway mileage for the other vehicles...

    • JakeAuto profile image

      JakeAuto 8 years ago from Calif.

      Good points, seems like too much money for so little car.

      The Smart looks like one's driving a phone booth, I believe Car & Driver labeled it "the slowest car sold in America"

      There's an electric version being shown that has optional fake motor sounds as a pedestrian warning.

      There are modified Smarts using 160HP superbike engines that do 0-60 in 5 secs.

    • parkerk393 profile image

      parkerk393 8 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Haha, I see a few here and there in the US. Thank you very much!

    • earnestshub profile image

      earnestshub 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      They are over-priced and clunky to drive anyway! We have a few in the inner cities in Australia, but they are never owned by anyone who knows ebout cars. Good hub, and well written, thank you.

    • parkerk393 profile image

      parkerk393 8 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Haha! A coffin! That's hilarious! No I would never drive one on the highway with all of those 18-wheelers and large trucks. Thanks for the comment.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

      I might drive it around the house (if my house were a little larger).  Don't think I would be very comfortable driving next to Hummer, Escalades and 18-wheelers. On the other hand, I guess it could be used as a coffin.