The Smart fortwo is an icon, and like many icons it has some flaws. The original had many and they ran deep but we are very pleased to report that the latest fortwo is an altogether more polished performer. One of the omissions was the availability of a diesel version in the UK. After much deliberating Smart finally decided to give it a go.
The fortwo has always been about blending great fuel consumption with a micro-sized exterior and a Tardis-like interior. Given this it is strange that Smart resisted bringing the diesel model here for so long. Often at this end of the market diesel doesn’t offer any CO2 advantage over petrol but the Smart diesel most certainly does.
Emitting just 86 g/km of CO2, the diesel fortwo delivers the class-leading CO2 emissions that the fortwo always promised. Crucially it is way ahead of the majority of the market, which makes the compromise of ditching the rear seats rather more palatable. It’s great to see too that it has a diesel particulate filter.
The engine itself is a 3-cylinder 12 valve turbodiesel which produces a worryingly small 54 bhp. Whilst the lack of power is reflected in the 0-62 mph times, what they don’t tell you is that it has 96 lbs/ft of torque between 2,250 – 2,500 rpm compared to 68 lbs/ft at 4,500 rpm for the 71 bhp petrol. This makes it much quicker in-gear than the figures imply. Our big issue with the fortwo is the semi-automatic transmission, which is very slow to change gear.
The diesel fortwo ensures that the Smart continues to break new ground. It has a quality feel and the interior space for two adults is amazing. There is even more luggage space than you might think. In addition whilst still not a bargain, the diesel fortwo is affordable. It brings really low CO2 cars to the masses.