2000 smart fortwo - city coupe Pulse 0.6 turbo petrol from UK and Ireland
Wonderful, fun, involving, cheap motoring
Only that the off-side brake light periodically fails.
Very cheap to run, about 60mpg, that works out as about 230 miles for 14 pounds - full tanks worth. Group 2 insurance and low car tax.
Very spacious, strange, but true, there feels like more space in here than in my old Scorpio, perhaps because it's tall inside, like a mini MPV and having a glass roof probably helps.
Fun to drive, though twitchy on the edge, and with similar electronic stability to an A class, complete with anti-locking brakes, safe to drive. With an engine sound like a turbine, sounds like a baby 911.
One thing: Transmission. The semi automatic gear change is great, although in fully automatic mode it's a bit brutal. But the real problem is in the way the gearbox shifts down automatically when you slow to a halt. Imagine coming up to a roundabout and slowing slightly, the gearbox automatically changes down, you see a gap in front of a lorry and press the accelerator. For an agonizing full second nothing happens as 70% of the time you catch it in the process of changing down, then mercifully it takes off like a scolded cat in front of a startled lorry driver. The secret is to allow the space and have faith - and spare underwear.
But if you want a cheap car that's fun and you only need to carry one person at a time, buy it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th January, 2004
29th Jan 2004, 15:12
Good preview, but 0 miles in 3 years you must have a mileage reprogramming kit.
17th May 2004, 14:57
The key to the semi auto gearbox is to only let it change down if you come to a stop.
Knock down into the correct gear i. e second or third in good time like you would in a manual car.
This way you don't have to wait for the gearbox to change.