People who have tracked the advancements of Daimler AG's stylish and petite Smart Car while questioning its safety features need speculate no more. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently crash-tested the Smart Car Fortwo and concluded it performed so well that it deserves the Institute's best ratings for front- and side-impact protection. Its rear-crash scores were “acceptable” – the Institute's second-highest rating.
Driving the Smart Car Fortwo in the United States reveals just how unique it really is. Like the VW New Beetle and Mini Cooper preceding it, the Smart Car draws stares. However, contrasting those cars which revitalized an accessible car sector with their nostalgic design, to tiny and fresh Smart Car, it's different from everything else in traffic. Its zippy 74-horsepower engine will take you 0-60 in 4.2 seconds – and 36 miles on a tank of gas.
Daimler AG has been taunting the American public with the prospect of a Smart Car since the brand's establishment in 1997. Daimler executives will tell you the car wasn't ready until now. The second-generation Smart Car Fortwo, the one being driven in the United States, was definitely rebuilt with the American market in mind. First of all, Daimler had to guarantee the new car met emissions policies in all 50 states in addition to federal collision regulations. It’s still rather easy to see that Daimler is benefitting from an opportunity. Now, more than ever before, Americans are considering the ecological effect of their cars and looking for – you guessed it – smarter choices. So, because some 770,000 copies of the first-generation Fortwo have been sold in 36 countries, the most compact car will take on the world's chief automotive market.
So, just how compact is the Smart Car? Considering it’s a smidge longer than 106 inches, the Smart Car Fortwo is more than three feet shorter and approximately five inches narrower than the Mini Cooper. That's rather small. However, with an upright driving position and an additional five inches in height, the driver's view of the road is much better than its size suggests. The inside of the Fortwo is astonishing as well. As its name specifies, the Fortwo is definitely a two-seater, but the driver and passenger have sufficient leg- and headroom. Although the cockpit is narrow, the driver’s seat is six inches forward to circumvent any unnecessary rubbing of shoulders. Yes, there is some cargo space, albeit restricted to the small area behind the seats. There is 12 feet available if you stack your luggage to the roof, and 7.8 cubic feet if you stack it to the beltline.