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STYLING | 7 out of 10
fuses wraparound panels and extended fenders in an extroverted, ultra-chic package
Controls are simple and well laid out
this street-legal Tonka toy is again very tall, very narrow, and very short
Making its American debut in 2008 is the Smart Fortwo, a European micro car that has been on sale across the pond for the past decade. Despite its small size, the 2008 Smart Fortwo has a visual impact that far exceeds its physical dimensions.
The exterior of the 2008 Smart Fortwo is unmistakable, both for its size and its actual styling. Automobile observes, "this street-legal Tonka toy is again very tall, very narrow, and very short." Kelley Blue Book says "the body panels are made of dent-resistant plastic," while Cars.com adds that the design "fuses wraparound panels and extended fenders in an extroverted, ultra-chic package." Cars.com reviewers also write that the 2008 Smart Fortwo "generates more interest among observers than some that cost 10 times as much." All Smart Fortwos feature a "silver or black strip that loops around the Fortwo's side," which Edmunds says is the visual evidence of "the Tridion safety cell." The Smart Fortwo comes "in two body styles," according to Edmunds: "a hatchback Coupe" that "is offered in Pure and Passion trim levels" and a "convertible Cabrio" that "only comes in Passion." Edmunds adds that the exterior of "the base Pure comes with 15-inch steel wheels," while the Passion trim adds "alloy wheels" and "a panorama glass roof" to provide some visual distinction.
The interior of the 2008 Smart Fortwo isn't quite as radical as the exterior, but reviews read by TheCarConnection.com approve of the logical layout. ConsumerGuide praises the Smart Fortwo for having controls that "are simple and well laid out," along with "easy to see" gauges and the "unobstructed" speedometer. Kelley Blue Book calls the overall interior styling "unique, but not as quirky as the car's exterior design might lead you to expect." Those same Kelley Blue Book reviewers also find that the "relatively compact instrument panel and open space where you'd expect a center console all contribute to an interior that feels less confined than that of the significantly longer and wider MINI Cooper." Cars.com writes "the cabin has a cartoonish look, with dimpled upholstery on the dashboard and kitschy plastic air conditioning controls" and a dashboard that "curves away as it descends." For those seeking a more customized interior styling touch, Edmunds notes "there are a number of monochromatic and two-tone interior options available to liven things up."
No other car under $20,000 draws as much attention as the 2008 Smart Fortwo.