The Smart Fortwo is more fun to drive on tight, congested city streets at low speed than even the MINI Cooper.
But as soon as the traffic thins out and the roads open up to the beltways and interstates, the Fortwo's cons--a hard ride, a noisy interior, the lack of power, and tense roadholding--become more serious drawbacks.
Factor in the middling fuel economy of only 33 mpg city, and the "wow" factor is quickly muted.
The Toyota Yaris, the most fuel-efficient small hatchback, with ratings of 29 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, feels downright substantial next to the Fortwo, with a real backseat and the legs for occasional distance driving, and the sprightly MINI Cooper is just as good, at 28 mpg city, 37 mpg highway.
Hybrids like Toyota's Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid get substantially better fuel economy than the Smart, in a much larger package, albeit at a much higher price.
|2008 Smart fortwo||2008 Toyota Prius||2008 Toyota Yaris||2008 MINI Cooper|
|$11,590Browse Used Listings||$21,500Browse Used Listings||$11,550Browse Used Listings||$18,050Browse Used Listings|
|33 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy||48 MPG City / 45 MPG Hwy||29 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||26 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I3||Gas/Electric I4||Gas I4||Gas 4-Cyl|
|2-Door Coupe Pure||5-Door HB Base (SE)||3-Door HB Manual (GS)||2-Door Coupe|
|Rear Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front wheel drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|2 Door Coupe||5 Door Liftback||3 Door Hatchback||2 Door Coupe|