From £9,220
The Brabus engine and suspension upgrades are well judged, but they don’t come cheap

Our Verdict

Smart Fortwo 2007-2014

The Smart Fortwo is a unique proposition. Its emotional appeal is unquestionable and it is one of the most novel and innovative cars available.

  • First Drive

    Smart Fortwo Electric Drive

    
Electric power suits this perky Smart, which works well as city wheels. And with a £5000 government subsidy it’s well-priced, too
  • First Drive

    Smart Fortwo Brabus

    Hot hatch looks for refreshed Fortwo city car, but it’s still a case of style over substance
29 August 2007

What is it?

Smart is ramping up the appeal of its second-generation ForTwo with a new top-of-the-range Brabus model in a bid to tempt the increasing number of us looking for a dedicated city car.

As with the first-generation model, this latest Brabus take on the ForTwo brings all the hallmarks of the illustrious German tuning company – aggressive good looks, a more opulent interior, added performance and improved roadholding.

What's it like?

It's as much fun as it sounds, although the modifications add some 20 per cent to the price of the Smart ForTwo Passion.

Nestled up back over the rear axle, the 1.0-litre turbo engine receives added boost pressure and a more free-flowing exhaust, while torque increases from 88bhp to a more muscular 103lb ft at 3500rpm.

The revised output gives the two-seater surprisingly spritely acceleration. Smart quotes a 0-62mph time of 9.9sec, but with a underlying growl to the exhaust note and some stirring wastegate whistle on upshifts it feels faster. But it’s the extra torque that really makes its presence felt from standstill and by providing improved in-gear shove. Happily, it all comes without great detriment to fuel consumption, which is put at almost 55mpg.

Allied to the more powerful engine is the reworked suspension, which provides firmer springs and dampers, as well as larger anti-roll bars. Together, it provides the top-of-the-line Smart with a tauter handling, although the steering remains disappointingly slow at a long-winded 3.4 turns lock to lock.

Should I buy one?

This Brabus reworking mightn’t appear much, but it is a distinct improvement, offering improved dynamics and performance while retaining the tiny two-seater’s manoeuvrability and charm.

Had Smart included the upcoming stop-start system, to be offered on standard models from October, to get its CO2 rating under the 120g/km figure at which London’s C-charge kicks in, the Smart Brabus would have been a more justifiable option.

Join the debate

Comments
1

22 March 2014
Ive driven two Brabus Smarts, the beautiful Roadster and the fabulous ForTwo.
I cannot think of any car other than a Smart where the sense of anticipation and enjoyment is increased after every drive.

That may sound strange to your average car owner, but if your a committed Smart owner like myself you will know what I mean.

Ive owned a ForTwo Cdi diesel for the past four years, the suspension is firm but look at the cars wheelbase.

I love the gearbox and the way it behaves, its what makes a Smart unique and great fun to drive, I even find the automatic function agreeable if you know how to use it properly.

The sense of speed and performance from a car weighing less than 800Kg with over 100Hp is amazing.

Until you've actually driven a Smart ForTwo Brabus around narrow country lanes you cannot imagine the sense of fun.

I am a diesel owner and would never go back to a petrol car, but if I did have a spare £!5K I would certainly buy a Brabus even though its got a petrol engine.

If anyone can remember driving the original Austin Cooper S from the 1960s for the first time, the Brabus Smart has the same levels of enjoyment and grip but with over 100Hp from its tiny 1Litre engine no other car is as fun to drive.

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