It's got style, which creates its own appeal, but the hip urban persona of the Smart isn't matched by the level of equipment and features it offers. It's more like an early-Nineties economy car, with a mediocre audio system and unimpressive appointments.
At least the owner's smartphone can now help fill some of the gap. Last year, Smart integrated Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, navigation, and Internet radio into the car--though it requires a special cradle, installed at the dealer, to hold the smartphone that actually provides these capabilities.
Aside from last year's interior restyle--including a lockable glovebox--standard equipment on the Smart Fortwo has remained largely the same for several years. The base trim level on the coupe is known as Pure, with the higher-end package called Passion. (Cabriolets only come in Passion trim.)
The Pure level is so basic, it doesn't even include a sound system. It does include keyless entry, a display showing the outside temperature, and a rear-window defroster. But we expect most buyers to pay for Passion, which adds better-looking alloy wheels, power windows, automatic climate control, and a panoramic roof. It also includes an AM/FM/CD sound system, though at speed you still won't be able to hear much.
The premium sound system kicks that up to four speakers, plus a subwoofer; it's an option on Passion coupes, standard on the Cabriolet. Other options run the gamut, from cruise control and electric power steering--in our view, utterly superfluous--to air conditioning, heated seats, and fog lamps.There's also a rain and darkness sensor to operate lights and wipers automatically. But power-operated locks and mirrors aren't offered at all.
Special editions always move a few more units, and Smart has its share, most of them offering equipment from the discontinued Brabus performance edition. They always come with special paint colors, and typically bundle a navigation system, higher-performance audio, and alloy wheels, among other features.