Smart Fortwo (2004 – 2007) Review

Smart Fortwo (2004 – 2007) At A Glance


+Handles better than original LHD version. Funky looks, perky enough in town and low running costs.

-Unsettled ride. Sluggish gearshift. Rearmost side windows leave the cabin vulnerable to theft. Some engines are short-lived.

They've been around for years. At first, enterprising independents started importing them. Then, when Mercedes Benz saw the opportunity being missed, official imports began. And, at a launch price of just £5,400 for a base model Smart & Pure, it wasn't a bad little buy.

But, for the British and Japanese markets, there was one tiny problem. The Smart was left-hand-drive only. And, the way the car was constructed, there was no way of converting it to right hand drive.

So Smart itself set about the task, and built a new floorpan that effectively mirror-images the left-hand drive car. While previously the LHD Smart was fine for use in town, and excellent for the disabled who could emerge kerbside, the RHD option opens the market to everyone. And the car makes a lot of sense.

For a start, it's only 2,500mm long (eight feet two-and-a-half inches), so takes up half the road space of an executive saloon. Very logical if there's only one of you commuting in it. Official fuel consumption for all models is 46.3mpg on the urban cycle, 65.7mpg extra-urban and 57.6 combined.

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Child seats that fit a Smart Fortwo (2004 – 2007)

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Ask Honest John

Car supermarket has sold me a dangerous car - what should I do?
"I recently used a car supermarket to purchase a second car. I used this company because I thought they were reputable and on their website stated their cars were comprehensively checked. However upon driving home after a few miles there were issues electrically, no power or acceleration past 3000 revs and the brakes didn't work! Any advice on how to proceed? The car will be going back to the car supermarket, but surely there are issues here for the fact they've knowing not checked the car to see if its safe before selling?"
Use the Consumer Rights Act 2015 to reject it outright for a full cash refund. Explained here: Which Smart was this? If a ForTwo, the problems aren't surprising. If an original model ForFour then that wasn't a bad car. It just missed its market by two years.
Answered by Honest John
Can you suggest a replacement for our Smart Car?
"I want to exchange my 2004 Smart Fortwo for a similar small car, predominately used for short in-town journeys. We have another car for longer trips when three or more seats are needed. It needs upright seating to cater for my husband's back problem and I am hoping for better mpg than the Smart, but accept my figure will be nowhere near published consumption. Could you recommend two or three alternatives? "
I suggest the Toyota IQ 1.0-litre. Its emissions are 99g/km so it's road tax exempt, and also London Congestion Charge exempt once registered. Alternatively, a KIA Picanto 1.25 ISG or a Hyundai i10 Blue.
Answered by Honest John
Issues with my used Smart car.
"I purchased a car from a dealer 5 weeks ago. At the time he had said he had replaced all the plugs but if had problems to bring the car back. 2.5 weeks later thecar broke down and I had it towed back to the dealer to be fixed. He has had it for nearly 3 weeks now and is saying that his warranty company won't cover the cost and has asked me to contribute to it. He hasn't fixed it yet and has said that I have broken the engine by over reving it - which I haven't done! I am a careful driver, and lets be honest it's a smart car you couldn't boy race it if you tried! He is really dragging his heals about fixing it, I have refused to pay any money as he told me it was to do with the plugs and coils. But I can't seem to get an answer about when my car will be fixed and when I will get it back."
This happened so soon after purchase that you can hold the dealer liable. See:
Answered by Honest John
Smart Fortwo engine life - is this true?
"Our MB/Smart Service Dept reckon we will need a new engine at 70,000 miles. The car goes as well and uses the same amount of oil at 65000, current mileage, as it did at 44000 miles; about 2Lt/10000miles. Sounds like sales talk to me. What sort of engine life could we expect doing about 10,000 per year?"
MB only ever warranted this engine to 25k miles. Some go on to past 100k miles, but not many.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

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