2013 smart fortwo OVERVIEW
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.