The ForTwo remains a unique proposition. Its emotional showroom appeal is unquestionable and unrivalled in this class, and that, a decade after its launch, is an achievement in itself. This is still one of the most novel, innovative and clever cars you can buy today.
The Smart is an easy car to use around town. Its steering could use a little help at very low speeds, but it’s a doddle to park, even if end-on street parking is not as easy as it used to be because of the increased length.
Smart marketing men claim theirs is a “special” car, not just an economy model. However, its price next to rivals is certainly enough to make you question how much you value the Smart's quirkiness, and how much you really need to be able to park perpendicularly to the kerb.
Although the latest model is improved over its predecessor, the flaws that prevent the ForTwo from being truly viable as everyday, every-road transport are still there. Its lack of urge, distaste for motorways and recalcitrant gearchange ask you to make compromises that rival cars don’t.
So the Smart proposition is the same as it always was. For being seen in, and for parking, there’s nothing that can touch it. If you want a piece of product design, its appeal is undimmed. But we can come up with five rivals we’d choose above the ForTwo on all-round ability. If you want a car, think about looking elsewhere.
Although Smart has greatly improved a very flawed original, this one won’t prevent people who don’t understand the ForTwo concept from continuing to blame the little car for lacking the road ability of a conventional family hatchback. For those who do, though, the Fortwo is now a really enticing – and much less compromised – option.