Smart Fortwo Brabus review - Small car, big fun, huge price - Performance and 0-60 time

Far more capable and fun than we could have expected, but it's hard to ignore that price tag

Evo rating
Price
from £16,585
  • Cheeky, surprisingly agile
  • Expense, dynamically compromised due to its size and shape

Performance and 0-60 time

With a 0-62mph time of 9.5 seconds you’ll be forgiven for calling the Smart leisurely. This is largely a factor of its 995kg heft, 215kg heavier than its predecessor (which is only a tenth slower despite its automated manual gearbox) and an awful lot for a car with a footprint stretching 2740mm long and 1663mm wide.

The Renault-sourced 898cc engine doesn’t garnish the Brabus with any additional excitement (either over the Renault, or its competitors) and fails to replicate the audible pleasures of the previous generation car. It’s still noticeably a three-cylinder engine and it’s admirably smooth, but that’s where the intrigue stops.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

Despite turbocharging, the Smart’s throttle response is decent and the outright performance feels perfectly respectable at normal road speeds. As a result, overtaking on A-roads and motorways is something you might actually entertain, and it makes the 103mph quoted top speed seem perfectly believable.    

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/volkswagen/golf-gti/22866/new-volkswagen-golf-gti-leaked-ahead-of-reveal
Volkswagen Golf GTI hatchback

New Volkswagen Golf GTI leaked ahead of reveal

Following a slew of spy shots last year, a camo-free Mk8 Golf GTI surfaces online
20 Jan 2020
Visit/lotus/202124/lotuss-badge-engineered-specials-from-cortina-to-carlton-and-vx220
Lotus

Lotus's badge-engineered specials: from Cortina to Carlton and VX220

Some collaborations more secretive than others, a handful of models have received backing from Lotus over the years. We've gathered the very best
19 Jan 2020
Visit/ford/202122/ford-focus-rs500-v-audi-rs3-new-v-used
Ford Focus RS

Ford Focus RS500 v Audi RS3 – new v used

One’s an eight-year-old Ford, the other a brand new Audi. But which of these five‑cylinder superhatches deserves your £45k?
18 Jan 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019