Smart Fortwo 2007-present
The Fortwo has its issues in terms of a poor ride and noisy engines, plus a lack of space compared with its four-seat rivals. However, if you only ever need to carry one passenger, rarely venture outside of the city and your priority is ease of parking, its tiny proportions are brilliant.
The Smart Fortwo also scores well for being cheap to run. The little three-cylinder petrol and diesel engines are frugal as well as low on CO2 emissions, while insurance and road tax are cheap.
Inside the Smart is well built and the two seats it does have will comfortably contain six-footers. Although the 220-litre boot isn’t massive, it compares relatively well with other city cars'.
There is also a cabriolet version, complete with an electric roof that slides back at the touch of a button, if you fancy seeing the cityscape above you.
Smart Fortwo problems
In the 2014 JD Power survey, the Smart Fortwo languished in 102nd place out of the 109 models tested. Owners complained of squealing brakes, heater-demister issues, a harsh ride and poor motorway refinement.
We spoke to Mike Northeast of Smartcar Specialist Ltd, who told us that people should check the drive-belts on MHD engines, which have a habit of coming off causing the engine to overheat. Also check for rusty exhausts and make sure the clutch on the automated-manual gearbox operates smoothly. If a car is fitted with Aircon Plus, check the system is working correctly – failed control units are common.
Cabriolet roofs are very reliable plus body-panels come pre-painted and are relatively cheap to buy and fit.
Check that the car comes with two keys, because replacements are expensive.
Petrol models start with the 70bhp 1.0-litre engine and we found this 2009 MHD Passion model with 17,500 miles. It comes with Bluetooth and satellite-navigation and is yours for £4949.
If you fancy something with a bit more poke, then this 84bhp model could be worth a look. It was registered in 2011, since when it has covered 25,000 miles and comes with the fully integrated sat-nav, panoramic roof and Bluetooth. It’s on sale at £5890.
The cheapest cabriolet we found was this 2011 Pulse Softouch, fitted with the 84bhp engine. It features air-con and lane-change warning lights and has covered a little more than 11,000 miles. The dealer has it available for £6940.
If you’re on a tight budget, we found this 2007 Pulse 70 model, advertised with 41,000 miles on the clock for just £3299.