Used smart fortwo review

The smart fortwo may be small, but has it a lot of character with its quirky looks and great manoeuvrability. Read on for the details...

Used smart fortwo
The smart fortwo is a unique car with its tiny size and quirky styling. Oh, and the fact it only has two seats, hence the name. The second generation of this fun little car was launched in 2007, with the third generation coming out in 2015. Being owned by Mercedes-Benz, smart cars are well-built and are perfect for city life. They're also extremely cheap to run, with a range of frugal engines. Both coupe and cabriolet models from both generations are available on the used market.


The first thing that strikes you when you look at a fortwo is, of course, its tiny body. The compact look of the car may not be for everyone, but if you like it, you're sure to get noticed when driving around town. It's a car for expressing yourself in, and with a generous choice of colour combinations (with options for the body, safety cell and grille), you're sure to find a fortwo that you like. Most models have alloy wheels, while the latest generation coupe models also come with a panoramic glass sunroof as standard.



The fortwo's cabin is modern and funky, with bold fabric colours and quirky shapes. It's comfortable too and all the controls are within easy reach (as it should be in such a small car). Equipment levels are fairly modest for Mk2 models, but this has improved a great deal for the Mk3, which offers the smart audio system, Bluetooth and automatic climate control as standard. There's a variety of interior colour schemes and optional accessories too, so there's plenty of choice on the used market.



The fortwo is designed for the city, and its driving is perfectly suited to busy urban environments. A unique feature of smart cars is that their engines are situated in the rear rather than the front, giving the front wheels more room. This, combined with the size of the car, means the fortwo has an incredibly tight turning circle and makes tight manoeuvres a joy. The steering offers a decent amount of feedback too, so for a car that makes the (normally stressful) experience of weaving through a city centre good fun, you'd struggle to beat the fortwo.


Practicality has never been a priority for smart - these are city cars, after all, and given the fortwo is built for a max of two occupants, it was never going to be spacious. What you do get is a cabin that's comfortable for both driver and passenger, and an easily-accessible boot. Obviously, boot space isn't huge, but there's enough storage capacity throughout the car for the bits and bobs you'll need for trips around town.

The cabriolet's roof is fabric and folds down quickly, adding even more fun to the fortwo.


Engines and transmissions

Mk2 models are available with a 1.0-litre engine offering outputs of 61bhp, 71bhp or 84bhp, all averaging an impressive economy rate of 60mpg. Performance wise, the best of these is the 84bhp, which benefits from turbocharging. Mk3 models offer either a 1.0-litre 69bhp engine or a turbocharged 0.9-litre that produces 89bhp. The former is good for nipping around town, while the latter is the better option if you regularly go further afield and need something with more punch.

Five-speed manual gearboxes are available for both generations. There are plenty of automatic Mk2 models too, though automatic was only added to the Mk3 in 2015, so this will be harder to get your hands on.


The fortwo was designed with city life in mind. It's an ideal choice for urban residents who want a car in which they can nip to the shops or to a friend's house, and it'll make parking in tight spaces an absolute doddle. The fortwo is a fun choice too, with its agile handling and range of eye-catching colours inside and out. Add in the cheap running costs, and you've got a car that's an attractive proposition for young drivers.

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