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2013 smart fortwo

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2013 smart fortwo Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 3.5

When the Smart Fortwo debuted in 2008, America's smallest car garnered an instant following as buyers flocked to this 2-seater for its low price, good fuel economy, and the sheer Euro-chic factor it brought to our shores. The years since have not been so kind to Smart, a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz. Since its launch, the Smart Fortwo has been met with mediocre reviews and dwindling sales. Additionally, better vehicles such as the Scion iQ, Chevrolet Spark and Fiat 500 have entered the microcar scene. Meanwhile, cars such as the Ford Fiesta and Nissan Versa offer comparable fuel economy and more room at a similar price. The 2013 Smart Fortwo coupe and cabriolet can sneak into the smallest parking spots, along with the newest member of the family, an all-electric model.

You'll Like This Car If...

If finagling your car into the tiniest of parking spots is a daily difficulty, you'll appreciate the fact that the Smart Fortwo is the smallest new car in America. At just 106.1 inches in length, the Smart is less than half as long as a regular-cab Ford F-150.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Fortwo's nervous highway manners and its unrefined automated transmission make driving feel like a chore rather than a privilege. Unless you're married to some facet of the Smart, there are plenty of compact and subcompact cars that offer far better road manners, more standard equipment, and seating for five.

What's New for 2013

The biggest news for the Smart lineup is an all-new electric version. The plug-in Fortwo is more powerful and will goes farther per charge than its previous, limited-quantity EV version. The standard lineup sees the addition of two special editions and a Brabus sport package.

Driving the fortwo

Driving Impressions For a vehicle with such a short wheelbase – a mere 73.5 inches – the 2013 Smart Fortwo's ride is surprisingly comfortable. However, the Fortwo's road manners become increasingly skittish...

as it leisurely gets up to speed. This car is no picnic on freeways. We also grew tired of having to make constant steering corrections to keep the Smart Fortwo on course. Then there is the Smart's automated manual transmission, which changes gears with all the grace of a farm tractor. A top speed of 90 mph and a 13-second 0-60 mph time combine to make the Smart Fortwo one of the slowest new vehicles on the road. If there's a silver lining, it's that you get to "floor it" on a regular basis, and no self-respecting cop would ever pull you over. There is one thing the Fortwo excels at: maneuverability. With its tiny footprint and turning radius of under 30 feet, the Smart Fortwo could be the easiest vehicle you've ever parked.

TINY TURNING RADIUS
With a 28.7-foot turning circle, you'd have to hop on a Schwinn to do better than the Smart. This enables the Fortwo to flip U-turns like nobody's business and slide into the tightest of parking spots.

TRIDION SAFETY CELL
A (legitimate) concern about driving a car as small as a Smart is the potential to collide with a larger vehicle, which in the Fortwo's case is, well, any other vehicle except a Smart. To ease those worries is the Smart's high-strength steel cell. Inspired by racecar roll cages, it helps distribute energy if a crash occurs.

2013 smart fortwo Details
Interior

The old adage of "Never judge a book by its cover" is appropriate for the 2013 Smart Fortwo. Though tiny on the outside, the Smart's interior is surprisingly roomy. The Fortwo's tall shape creates ample headroom and legroom for two passengers, while the floating design of its dash adds to the cabin's sense of spaciousness. The Smart's rear cargo area is quite a bit smaller than that of a subcompact, but is large enough to swallow a bag of golf clubs. For further cargo flexibility, the passenger seat folds flat to carry additional items.

Exterior
2013 smart fortwo photo

With its almost toy-like size and shape, the Smart Fortwo looks like nothing else on the road. The Smart Fortwo has a tall profile, doors that take up the majority of its sides, and a long wheel-base relative to the car's actual length. Body panels are made of dent-resistant plastic, a plus for the shopping cart-laden urban environments for which the Smart is intended. On coupe models, the Fortwo's roof can be had as a conventional, solid one or as a large, see-through panel made from polycarbonate. Cabriolet models have an automatic soft-top that can be opened to various positions at any speed. Cabriolet models also have removable roof side bars for a more open experience, and a glass rear window housed within the fabric roof.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The Smart's base trim is dubbed Pure, but it might better be called Spartan because this model is so lacking in creature comforts most of us now take for granted in a new car. Forget not just having power windows – you'll have to crank your own – for its tempting starting price of around $13,000, you won't even get a radio. Air conditioning, too, is considered an option in this model, as is power steering. What you will get are power door locks and a 2-spoke leather steering wheel. Spending over $2,000 more and stepping up to the Passion model brings a panoramic roof, air conditioning, power windows, and yes, a radio with two speakers and a USB input. Safety features include eight airbags and stability control.

Optional Equipment

Extras on the Pure trim model include an AM/FM radio with USB and auxiliary inputs, heated seats, air conditioning, power steering, and cruise control. Passion models can be made more passionate with a navigation system, heated leather seats, Bluetooth, cruise control, power steering, and LED running lights.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Smart Fortwo is powered by a 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder Mitsubishi engine that makes 70 horsepower. That isn't a lot of power, but at less than 1,900 pounds, the Smart doesn't have much mass to move. The engine is located in the rear of the Smart and, unlike most other small cars of its ilk, drives the rear wheels. The sole transmission is a very unrefined 5-speed automated manual. Highway fuel economy on the Smart is rated up to 38 mpg. That figure is good, but you might expect better from such a tiny vehicle. Also note, the Smart Fortwo uses premium gasoline. The all-electric Smart uses a 55-kilowatt motor powered by lithium-ion batteries, and has been rated by the EPA to achieve the equivalent of up to 122 mpg in city driving.

1.0-liter inline-3
70 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
68 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 34/38 mpg

Electric magneto motor
Horsepower TBD
96 lb-ft of torque
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 122/93 mpg equivalent

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2013 smart fortwo Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 214 Ratings for the 2008 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Great city car, but expect some set-backs

By on Monday, December 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "decent price, fun to drive, park anywhere"

Cons: "shoddy transmission, bumpy rides"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I bought a 2012 smart car about a month ago for my wife, who doesn't drive very well but needs a vehicle mainly to get to and from work (which isn't too far from our home). The overall design of the car is quite nice. It stunned me for a while when I'd get out of the car and literally a step away is the back of the car. You might look weird inside it at first, but you'll get used to that. The headlights are VERY bright, providing plenty of sight for night travel. The interior is quite spacious and comfortable, with plenty of adjustments to be made to the seats in order to accommodate you. The "trunk" space is fine for us, since I have a regular-sized car when I need to transport goods or people. My biggest complaint with the interior design is the location of the ignition--right under the armrest--as well as the shifter. Now, the armrest is also adjustable, and you can even pull it up and out of the way, but it's one more nitpicky thing you have to deal with. If you're driving with someone in the passenger seat who is tall, chances are their leg with get in the way of the shifter. I accidentally grabbed a friend's knee when I went to shift into drive. It was awkward, but again, not a major point of concern. The radio is nice, and the inclusion of a usb and aux port in the glove compartment for added media options is great. How does the car handle? Well, as other reviews have stated, the transmission is pretty terrible. When the computer shifts the car, you can very a very apparent stalling until it takes. Not a game-changer, but I hear there are other similar-sized cars such as the Scion IQ that handle better in that regard. The car takes every bump like a weakling. I live in a city with pretty bad streets, and every bump is like an earthquake. However, I don't agree with what others have said about highway driving. I think it handles quite nicely on the highway, even with decent winds. I've driven by large vehicles and never felt like I had to death-grip the wheel."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great Micro car.

By on Thursday, December 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "This car is a blast to drive a had turner."

Cons: "None if you're going to purchase it for what it is"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"One of the funnest cars have ever owned. It's Pappy. I love the convertible being able to go up and down even it quick rates. Simple to park easy to get in and out. Great in traffic. Fine for long halls. I love the car. I would recommend it to anyone any day. Don't fix The only thing I would say is don't expect it to be a manual or an automatic transmission it is a manual automatic. So it's stupid like a manual but you don't touch it like an automatic if you wish you can use the paddles. Love it. Average in the mid 40s for gas have gotten 50 on the interstate. Lastly I would say I am a big guy big shoulders tall and I fit in this thing varies. Remember the first time I saw the left tackle for the Redskins John Jansen driving around town and one and thought to myself I got to get one of these."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Most fun car ever!

By on Wednesday, December 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "This car has been an all "pros" car for me."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love my 2008 Smart Fortwo. It is the most fun car to drive! I only drive it in manual for the best control. I have never had a problem with it. It is most reliable, it gets great gas mileage especially if you stay under 65 mi/gallon, but it speeds up to 90 easily if you must. I live 90 miles from the closest smart dealership, but I only take it there for the major checkups, and have minor stuff taken care of locally with a German car shop. This is the lowest car maintenance ever. Unfortunately, I have to sell my adorable smart because I just bought a new ELECTRIC Drive Smart!"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

The smartcar is a beast!!

By on Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Park anywhere!"

Cons: "People get jealous!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The smart car is a flat out beast!! No other way to describe it! I can park it anywhere in Manhattan! It is awesome!!"

18 people out of 36 found this review helpful

Fun to drive, in town and on the road

By on Thursday, September 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great qualiy, fun to drive, feel safe driving."

Cons: "Short wheelbase has choppy ride over bumps."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have owned 2 Smart Passion vehicles. Both run and ride great, considering the short wheelbase. I drove one from Texas to Arizona and averaged 42mpg. Only problem was having to take it out of cruise control over the mountains."

11 people out of 14 found this review helpful

ont bad for what it offers

By on Sunday, September 20, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: other

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "it was fun to drive"

Cons: "heater motor could use some improvement"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I found this smart car to be all right over all considering the size and room it has to offer. a nice little run around car."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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