Quality » 5
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QUALITY | 5 out of 10
a nerve-jangling ride on neighborhood streets that are raggedy, a place where, oddly, it is supposed to shine as the perfect errand boy
Car and Driver
built for two passengers, but they enjoy an amazing amount of room considering the car's tiny footprint
the ForTwo's adequate 70-hp, 1.0-liter three-cylinder sits between the rear wheels and quickly heats up the rear cargo area for insta-milkshakes
Despite its tiny size, the high seating position makes you feel you're sitting in a small SUV
ForTwo's interior is never serene
Despite last year's dashboard update, the 2012 Smart Fortwo feels basic and plasticky inside--more like a small pickup truck than an urban cruiser. The accommodations for two people are lavish, with ample headroom for even those occupants well over 6 feet tall and good legroom too. Drivers with broad shoulders may find themselves touching their passenger, however, due to the narrow cabin.
Both driver and passenger sit in upright position, on rather short seats, and the steering wheel is more horizontal than in other vehicles. That gives the Smart an odd bus-like driving position, though it's the world's shortest bus. Cargo space behind the seats is very small, holding perhaps only three upright shopping bags. And to be able to fold down the passenger seat for more cargo space, you'll have to specify a folding passenger seat as an option.
At highway speeds, conversation is all but drowned out by road noise and engine howl, and the low-output sound system doesn't do much to overcome the roar. Add the Smart's busy, pitchy ride, its susceptibility to sidewinds, and you're looking at a car that embodies the opposite of refinement.
The 2012 Smart Fortwo offers a remarkable amount of space for two adults, but at speed, they won't enjoy the travel--the car's noise level, short wheelbase, and busy ride add up to the opposite of refinement.