2003 smart fortwo - city coupe Reviews from UK and Ireland

2003 smart fortwo - city coupe 698cc turbo

Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 698cc turbo Semi-Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10
Distance when acquired67445 miles
Most recent distance88233 miles

Summary:

Desirable but flawed

Faults:

Valves burnt out due to engine burning oil.

Turbo/manifold assembly replaced.

Both front springs have broken in half.

General Comments:

Got a year from this car pretty much trouble free, except for the front shocks breaking, THEN

Xmas 2009 the car broke down, ending up at a local "official network dealer". 2 weeks later a bill for £1504. I thought I had a new car, how wrong I was.

Long story cut short, my car had a new turbo fitted as well as the valves being done. My car came back to me, and the first thing I noticed was how slow it was; the garage had re-flashed the ECU unit once the new turbo was fitted, PUTTING THE CAR BACK TO ITS FACTORY SETTINGS. The re-flash took the remap off of my car; a total waste of money (£300) and "since it's an after market conversion, it can't be put back on your car" (quote from Merc dealer) BE WARNED.

3 months later, the thing has started to use oil at a rate of 200 miles per litre, due to the fact it was run with no oil in the engine; this was something I did not contribute to.

For those of you who don't know, it's recommended you check the oil weekly on these cars as they DO BURN oil at a rate of 0.6ltr every 1000km; running them low on oil will get you "turbo death" in the end, so check the oil regularly.

These cars also suffer from the oil scrapper rings, which are located underneath the piston ring; they are supposed to prevent oil entering the combustion chamber, but after a while get "gummed up" and don't work as they should, allowing oil to mix with the fuel, and the car burns the mixture. It should be noted here that oil burns hotter than petrol, so if your car is burning oil/petrol mixture, you can start to kiss goodbye to your valves, as they will start to burn out.

A good recommendation here, is if you wish to purchase a smart, buy one with the least miles on that you can, preferably a 1000 miles and no visits to an official network dealer; that way it's up to you where you get it serviced.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 2nd July, 2010

2003 smart fortwo - city coupe Passion

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance25000 miles
Previous carBMW 5 Series

Summary:

Totally practical and sensible in todays motoring environment

Faults:

The brake light switch has failed twice.

General Comments:

I wanted a sports car to satisfy the cravings of my mid life crisis. I could not find anything in my price range which suited me for my size of 6'2" and 17st. For me, the car looks simply superb. Once inside, there is oceans of room. Honest.

Driving is another thing, it's like a go cart. That is the only way I can describe it.

Running costs are a laugh and there is no better buzz than overtaking someone! Some drivers do not like being overtaken by a Smart! It is THE only way to travel.

It has completely satisfied my cravings for a sports car! What would I change it for? An officially imported diesel version, that is all.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th April, 2006

2003 smart fortwo - city coupe Passion 700 turbo petrol

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 700 turbo petrol Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired4000 miles
Most recent distance21000 miles
Previous carMazda Eunos

Summary:

Excellent

Faults:

Headlight main beam bulb.

Rear wiper blade.

That's it - nothing else has needed any attention.

General Comments:

I have owner this car for about a year now and travelled about 15,000 miles.

It has proved fantastically reliable, very economical (averaging 56.4 miles per gallon), it cost pennies to run and I regularly do a 500 miles round trip.

People that make fun of these cars should go and drive one - it feels like a big car to drive - and the safety has been proved over and over...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th December, 2005

2003 smart fortwo - city coupe Pure

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission Semi-Automatic
Performance marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.2 / 10
Distance when acquired90 miles
Most recent distance11500 miles

Faults:

Unusually noisy engine at 6000 miles, dealer replaced the drive chain under warranty. On the day I was taking it to be repaired I started the car to find several warning lights on and failed hill start assist: I had to be towed to the dealer.

This was due to a faulty brake switch, replaced under warranty.

Drivers side window rattle, repaired under warranty.

Cracked drive shaft boot. (manufacturers fault) Replaced under warranty

General Comments:

This car is different and gets a lot of attention.

The suspension is too hard and feels like I'm driving over mountains whilst on a bumpy road.

The seats are quite comfortable and there is plenty of room.

I have had service fron two different smart dealers and I have found the service to be terrible. This really lets the car down.

I would never buy a car from this manufacturer again simply because of the appauling customer service.

The second year service cost £263, this was just for the basic service. I was given information about what had been checked on the car, this included details of parts replaced that aren't even fitted to the car in the first place, i.e the soft top had been checked (this model doesn't have a soft top)

This car gets a lot of attention, I have left it outside of a bank to go to the cash machine, turned around and there was several people standing around looking at it. The attention can be a good thing but it can be bad, i have found chewing gum stuck on it a couple of times.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th July, 2005

Average review marks: 7.2 / 10, based on 5 reviews