2008 smart fortwo vs. Its Competition

2008 smart fortwo
Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

The Smart Fortwo is more fun to drive on tight, congested city streets at low speed than even the MINI Cooper.

But as soon as the traffic thins out and the roads open up to the beltways and interstates, the Fortwo's cons--a hard ride, a noisy interior, the lack of power, and tense roadholding--become more serious drawbacks.

Factor in the middling fuel economy of only 33 mpg city, and the "wow" factor is quickly muted.

The Toyota Yaris, the most fuel-efficient small hatchback, with ratings of 29 mpg city, 36 mpg highway, feels downright substantial next to the Fortwo, with a real backseat and the legs for occasional distance driving, and the sprightly MINI Cooper is just as good, at 28 mpg city, 37 mpg highway.

Hybrids like Toyota's Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid get substantially better fuel economy than the Smart, in a much larger package, albeit at a much higher price.

2008 smart fortwo2008 smart fortwo
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2008 Toyota Prius Touring2008 Toyota Prius
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2008 Toyota Yaris 4-door Sedan Auto S (Natl) Open Doors2008 Toyota Yaris
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2008 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2008 MINI Cooper
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Quick Specs
The 2008 Smart Fortwo is a very competent, fun-to-drive city car, not just a novelty, but with so many caveats, most people would be best served by a hybrid or larger small car.
The 2008 Toyota Prius isn’t that entertaining a car to drive, but it delivers exceptional fuel economy and a roomy interior.
The 2008 Toyota Yaris is one of the cheapest, and cheapest to run, of all new vehicles.
The 2008 MINI Cooper didn’t need change, but change has done it some good.
MSRP From   
Gas Mileage   
33 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy48 MPG City / 45 MPG Hwy29 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy26 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy
Gas I3Gas/Electric I4Gas I4Gas 4-Cyl
EPA Class   
Style Name   
2-Door Coupe Pure5-Door HB Base (SE)3-Door HB Manual (GS)2-Door Coupe
Rear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront wheel driveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity   
Passenger Doors   
Body Style   
2 Door Coupe5 Door Liftback3 Door Hatchback2 Door Coupe
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2008 smart fortwo vs. 2008 Toyota Prius2008 smart fortwo vs. 2008 Toyota Yaris2008 smart fortwo vs. 2008 MINI Cooper