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.
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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.