A friend let me borrow his 2008 Smart for Two Pure Coupe to test drive and see how these ride and handle. After taking a trip though town to run errands with a short jaunt down the highway, I am convinced that these will make excellent little electric cars.
These are brilliant little cars which were really intended for city driving, and that is exactly what they excel at. Quick from the light, nimble and easy to park with a decent fuel economy rating, these are hard to beat for that particular duty. If you have to take the highway for more than ten minutes a day you may not be the happiest customer the Smart for two ever had.
This little car is really fun to drive on surface streets with speed limits up to 50 mph. There is a bit of trepidation for me when taking a car this small onto a high speed motorway. I see no safety reasons why you should not go on the highway with your Smart for two, however I felt more in control of the little car at 50 mph or less.
Specifications have not changed much over the years, and it still sports a frugal 1.0 Liter three cylinder gas propelled engine. The output is rated at 70 brake horsepower, and 68 foot pounds of torque. This propels the 1800 pound overgrown golf cart up to cruising speed of 60 miles per hour in just over 13 seconds.
Cargo space is specified at 7.7 cubic feet with seats in their normal upright position. The leg room and hip room are fairly generous considering the short overall length of this car. In fact to give some perspective this car is 61.4″ wide, 60.7″ tall and only 106.1″ long. That makes it shorter than a Mini Cooper by three feet and longer than an “EZ-GO” golf cart by only a foot!
Fuel economy is a respectable 33 mpg city, and 41 highway and these have been verified to be within 1-2 mpg by the owner. He only drives a few miles to work each day and does not go on the freeway, and he averages 45 mph on the longest straight part of his trip.
One of the downsides I saw is that the cargo space is not sufficient to hold things like your golf clubs, or a big load of groceries. The front passenger seat is helpful with these, but if you have a passenger then your cargo area is limited.
The car is definitely less efficient when hauling around two guys with a combined weight near four hundred pounds, though there is definitely plenty of legroom and it is easy to get in and out of.
Back in 2008 you could get a base smart for two coupe for about $11,590 and if you added two essential items, a radio and air conditioning, then you would spend another $1000.
Other things to consider would be the fact that as a car for teens learning to drive you will hardly find a better deal. The fact that it can only carry two people makes it inherently safer for your child to own and drive since they simply cannot fit more than one friend in the car at a time, and there is no backseat to get them into any trouble. This car will keep your kid safer in the long run.
Overall my friend is very happy with his Smart for two and he was checking out the 2011 model, but he found it was too similar to the 2008. Now he is waiting to see the 2012 electric model. They finally began shipping 250 test market electric Smart for two cars in January 2011.