The Smart’s extra 55mm of wheelbase and 43mm additional width translate into a slight increase in interior room. The passenger seat is still offset slightly behind the driver’s seat to create extra shoulder room in what is, at 1260mm, still a relatively narrow interior. Legroom and headroom are plentiful, though, and there’s a large glass area, so the interior feels light and airy.
The straight – rather than S-curved – dashboard (US crash regulations have to contend with passengers who aren’t wearing seatbelts) also aids the spacious feel. Sitting in the Smart feels roomier than in any rival’s front seats. Fit and finish are fine, too. Smart parent Mercedes has looked to alternative materials to raise the perceived quality, with some success.
The doors and dashboard are topped with what feels like wound cotton and it feels very classy. But the new Smart is not as funky as it was before. No longer are the heater vents stepped out on little spherical pods, for example.
The ForTwo’s boot is bigger than before but still small, at 220 litres, yet its split tailgate means that you can at least stack loads in it tightly through the glass hatch. What the Smart still doesn’t have, of course, is rear seats, which is where a Panda, Up or 107 hold a distinct advantage.