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
Read our previous reports here: