NEW_CAR_PREVIEW

2013 Smart Fortwo Preview

7/26/2013
Fast Facts:
  • Electric drive model is available
  • Two special editions debut
  • Vehicle's size facilitates parking
  • Two-seater promises fuel efficiency
  • Coupe and convertible models are available

Introduction
The 2013 Smart Fortwo is a subcompact 2-seater that's available as a coupe or a convertible. It's made specifically for city driving, and is now in its second generation. (When first introduced, in 1998, it was called the Smart City Coupe.) The Smart Fortwo is available with a small gasoline engine that requires premium fuel, or with an all-electric drivetrain. The 2013 Smart Fortwo's entry-level model is basic, but many options are available. The 2013 Smart Fortwo has few direct competitors, but it might be considered by those who are also looking at the Fiat 500 and the Scion iQ. Available trim levels include the Fortwo Pure coupe, Fortwo Passion coupe, Fortwo Passion cabriolet, electric drive coupe, and electric drive cabriolet.

Exterior Features
The 2013 Smart Fortwo features 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers on the base model; all other trim levels feature 12-spoke alloy wheels. A panoramic roof with sun screen is standard on the Passion coupe and the electric drive coupe; a solid roof is standard on the Pure coupe and optional on the Passion coupe. The cabriolets have a fully automatic convertible top (black is standard; red and blue are optional) with a glass rear window. Standard features on the base model include projector beam halogen headlights, and body-side turn signal indicators in yellow. Fog lamps are optional. Power and heated side mirrors are standard on all but the base trim level. Exterior colors include black, white, red, light blue, silver, and metallic or matte grey. The Sharp Red limited edition is black with a bright red stripe half-circling the body; the Ice Shine edition includes a white stripe.

Interior Features
The base trim level of the Smart Fortwo includes black upholstery. Upper trim levels offer a choice of black, red, or beige upholstery, with leather optional on the electric drive models. Heated seats are available for all trim levels. Air conditioning is optional on the base Fortwo Pure, and standard on the others. Dashboard gauges are standard on electric models, and optional on the Passion trim level. All Fortwos have a fold-flat passenger seat. A driver armrest is optional on the base trim level, standard on the others; a center console storage area is optional on all trim levels. Standard storage areas include a molded area in the dash, lockable glove compartment, and door nets, plus storage areas beside the steering wheel and in both doors. A radio is optional on the base trim level, and standard on the others. A navigation system and a surround-sound system are optional on all but the base trim level. The Sharp Red and Ice Shine special editions include special stitching.

Optional Features
Option packages available for the 2013 Smart Fortwo include the Cruise Control package, Leather Seating package (electric drive models only), Kinetic Green Appearance package (electric drive models only), Comfort package (Passion trim level only), Style package (Passion trim level only) and Technology package (all but base trim level). The Comfort package includes black leather seating surfaces, heated seats, electric power steering, and a luggage compartment cover. The Style package adds 3-spoke alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, ambient interior light, and dashboard gauges. The Technology package includes surround sound and a navigation system. Various wheel designs are available at a premium. Many of these enhancements are offered as individual options.

Under the Hood
The Smart Fortwo's 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine is tucked into the back of the vehicle. It generates 70 horsepower and 68 lb.-ft. of torque. A 5-speed automated manual transmission is standard; it sends power to the rear wheels. The Smart Fortwo electric drive replaces the gasoline engine with a 55-kw electric motor powered by a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery pack. Estimated range is greater than 60 miles, according to Smart, and the maker claims that the Fortwo electric drive recharges in 6 hours via a quick-charge 240-volt power outlet.

Fuel Economy
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Smart Fortwo are:

  • Fortwo: 34/38/36 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Fortwo Electric Drive: 100 MPGe

Safety
The 2013 Smart Fortwo features hydraulic dual-circuit brakes, a tire repair kit, electronic stability with hill-start assist, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, driver and passenger air bags, knee bolster air bags, window-curtain air bags, and head/thorax side air bags.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not performed crash tests on the 2013 Smart Fortwo models, but those equipped with the standard gasoline engine receive 3 stars (out of 5) for rollover resistance. In crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the 2013 Smart Fortwo received a "Good" rating--the Institute's highest--in the moderate overlap frontal-impact test, and for roof strength. The Fortwo received an "Acceptable" rating in rear-impact crash tests from the Institute.

Additional Research:

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