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2013 smart fortwo

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2013 smart fortwo Review

By

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.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 3.5
  • 1.7
  • 3.5
  • 4.1
  • 5.1
  • 7.8
How It Ranks

#1

out of 3

Fuel Economy

#3

out of 3

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.5 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 smart fortwo Low/wide front photo 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
2013 smart fortwo Front angle view photo

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.
Favorite Features

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
2013 smart fortwo Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo 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
2013 smart fortwo Engine photo

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

Pricing Notes

The 2013 Smart Fortwo Pure has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price starting of just over $13,000. Better-equipped Passion models start around $15,600, and Cabriolets start around $18,600. The electric-drive Smart coupe is priced around $25,000, while the electric cabriolet is around $28,000. The Smart Fortwo has a tempting starting price to be sure, but it's not the lowest out there. The 2013 Nissan Versa and 2013 Chevrolet Spark start at under $13,000 and have more room and features. The 2013 Scion iQ, meanwhile, starts around $16,000, and a 2013 Fiat 500 comes in at $16,700. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are actually paying for the Smart Fortwo. The resale value of the Smart Fortwo is predicted to be average at best for the Pure trim, and worse than average for Passion coupe and Cabriolet trims.

To find out what consumers are really paying for this vehicle, first select a style to see the Fair Purchase Price| Calculate payments for this vehicle

Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more.

2013 smart fortwo Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 190 Ratings for the 2008 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Great in every way except these two

By on Saturday, April 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

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
Not Rated
Styling
10/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "great price, fun, surprising headroom & storage"

Cons: "can only be towed on a 4-wheel dolly"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Have had the car since spring 2007 and loved everything about it except to two items. My husband and I move often and also drive long distance (such as round trip Florida to Rhode Island) once or twice most years. The first problem is this car cannot be towed normally, which is a hassle due to our lifestyle. It has to be towed on a four-wheel dolly, which is a hassle with our Subaru Forester. The second problem is that the passenger seat does not lay flat so that the passenger can sleep while the car is being driven. Taken together both problems are very minor compared to all the enjoyment this car has provided."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Fantastic mileage, fun to drive, towable

By on Thursday, March 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,200

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: "Handles like a go cart on steroids!"

Cons: "None"

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

"Silver and black with motor home towing package. Always garaged and only used once to tow. Power windows and doors, A/C, power brakes only 8175 miles."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Great Car

By on Wednesday, March 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

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
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great price, great mileage, open air fun"

Cons: "Ride can be bumpy"

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

"I have owned this car for over 5 years. During that time the only service has been for oil changes and recommended maintenance. It is a blast to drive and I'm always getting stopped and asked questions. The convertible top is easy to open at any speed."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Love Love LOVE our Smart Car!!

By on Sunday, February 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,800

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: "Fun to drive, good mpg, EASY to wash & wax"

Cons: "NONE that we've found"

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

"We've had our 2012 for two years. (Less than 10,000 miles as we leave the AZ heat for five months each summer.) It took my husband a little while to get used to driving it as this replaced a 5-speed Miata - Zoom Zoom. There is really nothing offensive about this car. More storage room than you would expect. We average 37 to 42 mpg, depending on A/C use. Have taken it on 200+ mile road trips and it was wonderful. You can't beat it for in-town driving. You can make a U-turn in a driveway!!! Absolutely NO problems. Plan to drive this little gem for another 10 years or so."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Not a car for everyone, but a terrific car for me.

By on Friday, February 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive. Great mileage. Curious onlookers."

Cons: "Relatively high price for size of car."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"It may feel like driving a go-cart with a gear box. It does bounce over bumps more than a regular sedan 3 times it's length. But if you are not over 70 and don't need a snoozer of a ride, this car is fun. My wife drives it about 5000 miles a year around town and loves every bit of it. It has more leg room than most sedans. It's reliable, quick and fun to drive by shifting the gears with the cute paddle shifters on the steering wheel. I wouldn't drive this thing at 90 mph which I am told they will go, but for an economical drive around town, you can't beat the mileage or fun."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

dissapointed

By on Thursday, January 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"I have owned this care for 3+ yrs.PROS: Loved it for size and comfortable interior. Hate it for driving dynamics and minor but costly malfunctioning's. CONS: Driving: makes jerky mvnts when changing gears if you are not careful enough to push it very slow.(Great on highway tho, makes 70mi/hr w/o effort) Horrible on speed bumps. Costly , minor malfunctioning: radio broke down: would cost me $800(w/installation) to replace it! screeching brakes (still good but screeching) and cleaning didn't help it, mechanic said nothing he can do about it. Once the battery in the key died: I could open the car manually but would not be able to lock it manually. I can't open the car's hatchback door while car's keys are in and car is running. I am said, I love the compactness of this car, since I use it for commute only, but... because of above - will get rid of it..."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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