Big fun in a little package
When I told my husband I'd booked a smart fortwo as a test vehicle, his eyebrows went up just a notch.
“And where do you intend to put our son?” was his first question.
My answer? I get to play “single lady” for a week. Boom; thank you, smart fortwo.
Marital status aside, my week behind the wheel of the 2013 smart fortwo passion was both amusing and enlightening. This was my first time piloting the two-seater city-dweller, and I was hesitant about how I'd take to the just over -$18k (as tested) micromini. But take to it I did, quite a bit actually.
For the singletons out there who live in the heart of their city, travel short distances and loathe parallel parking, the 2013 smart fortwo passion is for you.
This vehicle is no country bumpkin. True, it could very well survive in the outskirts of town, but it just wouldn't be comfortable. After all, you don't wear your Louboutin's when you muck out the stables, right? The 2013 smart fortwo passion is made for city living, and that's just fine. From its size to its driveability, this little two-seater loves the urban life.
Packing a 70 hp punch via a 999cc in-line 3-cylinder engine which sits in the back, the 2013 smart fortwo passion's performance numbers are often followed by, “Aw, that's sweet.” However, considering the smart only weighs 820 kilos (coupe), the power-to-weight ratio means this micromini is an utter blast to drive. The seemingly paltry 68 lb-ft of torque is enough to rocket the smart fortwo up to a max speed of 145 km/hr and will have you leaving stops with enough gusto to make other motorists take note.
The 2013 smart fortwo passion's zippy good nature was easy to get used to, however, the transmission was not. I was a bit weirded out by the fact that the 5-speed automated manual transmission behaved precisely as a manual would, lagging between shifts (as if I was having trouble finding the right gear) despite there being no clutch. Thanks to the steering-wheel mounted paddles shifters, the transmission is easily tamed and controlled in just the right manner so as to truly enjoy every last drop of miniscule power (which feels like much more) that this micromini has to offer.
Driving dynamics in the 2013 smart fortwo passion are spectacular if only because it's you and four wheels. That's it. Throw it into corners, around parking lots, do donuts in your double driveway if you want (with a turning radius of just 8.75 m, it's possible... trust me); no matter what you choose to do, you'll have a smile on your face the entire time.
And, yes, it's a bit intimidating piloting the smart fortwo at highway speeds with 18-wheelers and the like, but I never felt unsafe or scared. The 2013 smart fortwo passion was solid, even at speeds, and held its ground even when the winter wind picked up considerably.
Smiling on the outside and inside, too
And you'll keep that smile every time you see your 2013 smart fortwo passion patiently awaiting your arrival for the next drive. I couldn't help but feel a certain bond with the smart fortwo, if only for its small stature -- I felt we understood one another: two little beings in a world filled with big, tall cars lumbering on around us every day. But I digress.
The smart fortwo passion is actually quite a good looking micromini when compared to others on the road in North America (true, there aren't many). While some may find it top-heavy, I think the proportions are spot on and work well for the little vehicle's shape. Determined looking, purposeful headlights adorn the smart fortwo's pouty front end, and symmetrical chrome accents and a subtle rear spoiler add a sporty flare to the coupe.
Inside, the modern look of the 2013 smart fortwo passion is evident. Decked out in bright red trim, my 2013 smart fortwo passion was all about street cred and presence. While not the roomiest (here's hoping you like any passenger you bring with you), with only 220 litres (340 if you load the trunk up to the roof), space is precious in the smart fortwo. However, Mercedes cleverly made use of what little surface area it had with storage nooks and crannies for gloves, cell phones, and even Starbucks lattes (yes, a venti easily fits and does not hamper your ability to reach the gear lever or the radio).
On the subject of the radio; the small space should allow for a stellar sound system, but I found my very much lacking in that department.
Smart choice for the singleton
So, after my week of singledom in the smart fortwo passion, I'm sold on the micromini idea. The smart truly is an intelligent choice for those sans family who travel short distances -- you can hit an estimated 5.3L/100km -- and live in the city where parking is a disaster and streets can be narrow. Sure, you're paying a premium for the Mercedes-Benz lineage, but I rather think it's worth it in the end.
Other Reviews Available For The 2013 Smart Fortwo Coupe
Auto journalist & Consumer Ratings
Editor's Review Highlights
2013 Smart Fortwo Coupe Specifications