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2014 Smart fortwo Comfort & Quality

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Comfort & Quality

While the Smart ForTwo's interior has been upgraded a few times, it remains basic, stark, and plain inside. There's plenty of room for two adults, with ample headroom and lots of legroom even for those over 6 feet. The cabin isn't all that wide, though, meaning that two broad-shouldered people may find that they touch.

The seats are somewhat short, but drive and passenger sit upright and relatively high--on top of a hollow two-layer floor that holds a gas tank in the gasoline version and a lithium-ion battery in the electric Smart. The seat height contributes to a feeling of confidence while driving the shortest car on sale. But the steering wheel is more horizontal--bus-like--than in other small cars.

The 2014 Smart ForTwo is basic inside, offers minimal amenities, and is loud and uncomfortable at speed.

Behind the seats, there's minimal cargo space, since the engine or electric motor sits underneath the load floor. You might fit three shopping bags, but if you're traveling, use small soft luggage. A folding passenger seat is available, to increase storage space, but it's an extra-cost option.

In town, the gasoline car's jerky transmission pitches the Smart back and forth. The engine howls at higher speeds, and lots of road noise is transmitted into the cabin. The weak sound system isn't able to drown out much of the noise. The electric car is considerably quieter, with only some whine from the power electronics--but it too suffers from road noise at speed.

Altogether, driving a Smart can be considered the automotive equivalent of skateboarding in traffic: It's nimble and close to the action, but it's also loud and sometimes scary. It's the opposite of refinement.

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