How does the city car cope on long journeys? We took it on a 250-mile motorway journey to find out
13 February 2017

After it was dinged in a car park a few months ago, I’m glad to report the Smart Fortwo is, well, smart again after having its rear bumper replaced.

I then finally got the chance to take the Fortwo out of its urban driving comfort zone and into the wilds of East Sussex for a few days on a yoga retreat. This meant doing a round trip of roughly 250 miles on mostly motorways and fast A-roads, so I was interested in how the Smart would cope and how stable it would feel at higher speeds.

I couldn’t have chosen a worse day for it: the trip there was cold, windy, very wet, with driving rain the entire way, and dark. But I was pleasantly surprised by how the Fortwo could, with positive use of the throttle pedal, accelerate up to speed and respectably keep up with fast-moving motorway traffic.

It’s down to the more powerful 89bhp turbocharged 0.9-litre motor providing the extra oomph. I don’t think the lesser-powered (70bhp), non-turbo unit would cope that well. Equipped with the auto ’box, the 70bhp car achieves the 0-62mph slog in a smidgen more than 15 seconds, whereas my Smart, with its souped-up engine, manages it in 10.4sec.

Having to pass high-sided juggernauts at 70mph was a different matter, though. The Fortwo got blown about a fair bit and I had to keep a firm two-handed grip on the steering wheel. Despite the Smart having something called ‘crosswind assist’ in its safety equipment arsenal, it didn’t feel like it was doing much on blustery open motorway stretches, either, but I found slowing to around 60mph helped a lot.

One thing I wasn’t expecting to put to the test was the Fortwo’s off-road capabilities. I missed the turning into the village and drove up a deeply rutted, extremely narrow, muddy lane with deep puddles in the pitch black. Without the car’s insanely tight turning circle, I would have been well and truly up a certain creek. 

SMART FORTWO PRIME COUPÉ

Price £12,415 Price as tested £14,750 Economy 38.4mpg Faults None Expenses None Last seen 26.10.16

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Fending off attack

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Smart Fortwo

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Comments
9

13 February 2017
How can something so light, so small and with so little power use so much petrol? Please check for leakages before Smart see this report and ask you to refrain from printing this fact (or take the car back).

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

13 February 2017
I used to have a FourTwo Cabriolet and did 200 miles a week along the M62 (highest and windiest motorway in UK)! Yes, it wasn't as relaxed as large saloon but hardly awful. I used to happily go along at 70-80mph. Melanie is welcome to have a go on my old classic Triumph motorbike! Now that really is blustery going past a large truck without a tridon roll cage or crosswind assist!

 

 

 

13 February 2017
Fully agree, xxxx. How can the automatic version do 0-60 (I refuse to accept 62mph as the benchmark) in over fifteen seconds? There are buses that are quicker than that.

13 February 2017
Fully agree, xxxx. How can the automatic version do 0-60 (I refuse to accept 62mph as the benchmark) in over fifteen seconds? There are buses that are quicker than that.

13 February 2017
We achieve over 50 mpg in a car with 7 seats, so when you consider you would need three of these things to carry a family of 6 it makes this seem a bit thirsty, obviously larger families are not short listing one of these things but it begs the question, why limit yourself with such a small vehicle with no obvious benefits ?

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

13 February 2017
I had a FourTwo. I had no need for 7 seats. I lived in a very pretty Yorkshire Dales village but the 1700's village designers did not plan for cars! Outside of my cottage I had a 3 metre long patch of drive I could park. Only a Smart would fit. I have since moved and now have a family and larger car but the Smart is one of those cars that I owned that I really do miss. My biggest gripe was street side paid parking charged me the same as a 5+ metre long SUV, but I took up half the space!

 

 

 

14 February 2017
Have a nice life.

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

14 February 2017
The smart for two is perfect if you have no friends or family or happen to travel back in time to an era before cars were invented, ahead of its time I would say. Overlooked that one Deps !

 Offence can only be taken not given- so give it back!

14 February 2017
Fuel economy isn't the only reason to buy a small city car. Getting it parked easily, darting in around town, yet with decent equipment is more important to some buyers than having more seats than actually get used. The smart is pretty good at that. Basic cars have climate and criuse control as standard, for example.

Besides, small turbo engines, not just in this car, never get mpg that is that outstanding. Think of all the complaints about Fiat's Twinair, Ford's Ecoboost etc. If you haven't seen them, google. You also have no idea how this particular car is being driven. Sounds like it majorively in the city, so just under 40 isn't particulary bad for lots of stop start driving on an engine that is probably rarely warmed up fully. I doubt that the aforementioned 7 seater would get 50mpg with that sort of city driving style, let along 40. I have a Scenic with a 1.5dci engine in it. City driving when it is cold does not produce good mpg!

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