2011 Smart fortwo Safety

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Safety
For 2011, the Fortwo has eight standard airbags, including new knee bolster bags for the driver and passenger. Electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and side airbags all remain standard, and the passenger-side seat of this two-seater has a locking mode for the seatbelt, to safely fasten down a child seat.

Safety ratings from the federal government have been restructured for the 2011 model year, and the Smart Fortwo hasn't been tested or rated under the revised procedures. Under the outgoing ratings, the Fortwo earned top five-star ratings for side impact but earned three and four stars for frontal impact.

Ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) haven't yet been extended to the 2011 model, which is structurally similar, but the 2010 Fortwo received top 'good' ratings in frontal, side, and roof strength tests, with 'acceptable' scores in the seat-based rear-impact test.

While the 2011 Smart Fortwo is quite safe for a minicar, test results suggest it doesn’t fare so well in collisions with larger, heavier vehicles—of which there are plenty on U.S. highways.

Smart says the ForTwo's so-called Tridion safety cell provides occupant protection that rivals much larger vehicles. But tellingly, the IIHS crashed a Smart ForTwo against a Mercedes E-Class sedan in a typical frontal-offset collision, and found that the ForTwo did not fare well in a collision with larger, heavier cars.

The seating position in the 2011 Smart Fortwo is on the level of other cars, but without much in front or behind the driver it can also feel especially vulnerable. On the plus side, outward visibility is quite good.

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