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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 smart fortwo

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Expert's Rating

2.5Fair

MPG 34 City / 38 Highway
Pros
  • Surprisingly roomy cabin
  • Ease of parking
  • Tight turning radius
  • Excellent fuel economy
Cons
  • Less stable at high speed
  • Limited cargo space
, Automotive Editor -
As a stylish city runabout that can be purchased cheaply and parked with great ease, the smart fortwo has its appeal.

Introduction

Although it's relatively new to American buyers, the smart has been around since the 1980s—at least as a concept. The tiny city car conceived by Swatch's CEO once had backing from Volkswagen, but only came to the European market in the late 1990s under the guidance of Mercedes-Benz.

A decade later—in 2008—smart released its first U.S. models: the smart fortwo convertible and smart fortwo coupe. These compact and thrifty cars have continued with niche success through the 2013 model year.



Minor exterior changes, a driver's side armrest and optional leather upholstery bring the smart into 2013. Otherwise, this year's fortwo is identical to the 2012 model.

The fortwo comes with a 1-liter three-cylinder engine that produces a paltry 70 horsepower and 68 pound-feet of torque. With the aid of a five-speed automated manual transmission, it delivers excellent fuel economy: 34 mpg city and 38 mpg highway. It does, however, take a leisurely 14.1 seconds to reach 60 mph—this lethargy makes highway merging an adventurous proposition.

Where the smart fortwo really shines is in its price point. The entry-level pure is priced just north of $12,000; the passion, meanwhile, starts at under $15,000. Not many cars in the modern era come this cheaply. But don't assume a smart includes lots of standard features—the pure's base price doesn't include a radio.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 smart fortwo
Starting price
$7,488

2013 smart fortwo Pure

Recommended for: Buyers who want inexpensive car with great mpg to get around town.

The 2013 smart fortwo’s base model is the pure and it comes standard with: manual side-view mirrors; 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps; preparations for a two-speaker audio system; a tire pressure monitoring system; projector beam headlights; intermittent wipers; front disc brakes; traction control; electronic stability control; anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution; a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob; a coin holder; front cup holders; outdoor thermometer; a flat-folding passenger seat; manual windows; a clock; and a passenger-side vanity mirror.

2013 smart fortwo
Starting price
$7,488

2013 smart fortwo Passion

Recommended for: Buyers who want a few amenities in their city runabout.

The Passion is the top trim for the smart fortwo coupe, and standard equipment includes: a panoramic roof with a sun screen; 15-inch, 12-spoke alloy wheels; electronic stability control; anti-lock braking; traction control; side, window-curtain and knee bolster airbags; keyless entry; power windows and door locks; power and heated side-view mirrors; automatic wipers and headlights; smart radio with auxiliary inputs and USB port; a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob; automatic climate control; black, red and beige no-cost interior colors; and a driver’s side armrest.

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