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Big myths surround small car

Despite being the smallest car on the road — much smaller, in fact,than Amy Winehouse’s hair — there is much to say about the Smart fortwo.


Despite being the smallest car on the road — much smaller, in fact, than Amy Winehouse’s hair — there is much to say about the Smart fortwo.

And I find whenever someone starts a conversation about the fortwo at a gas station, car show, street corner, or miniature dog convention, there are many misconceptions about it. Let’s start with the facts.

The fortwo coupe is priced at $14,990, the fortwo convertible at $21,250 — not $35,000 as some people have guessed. That price is reduced by a further $2,000 with the government’s soon-to-expire ecoAuto rebate — making the base model $12,990 before taxes. The only car priced lower is a base model Hyundai Accent for $9,995. So it’s certainly inexpensive.

Safe? Yes. In the photos you see here, the silver part of the car is actually a high-strength steel safety cage. In frontal, side and rear crash tests the car has been proven both in Europe and in North America as one of the safest small cars.

The fortwo’s small size brings a host of other advantages. It will complete a U-turn using little more than two lanes of traffic. You can park two into one standard-size parking spot. Its engine is mounted behind the seats and under the cargo area, giving good traction in slippery conditions. It’s space-efficient, too: The trunk offers more space than behind a Mini’s rear seats. And if you really need to move a baby grand, the passenger seat folds down flat.

A few more stats: The fortwo will top 140km/h; it’s the third most fuel-efficient car on sale in Canada; and the only one sold with a three-cylinder engine.

But should you buy one? If you’re tired of driving a boring car, don’t need a lot of space, commute frequently, keep your music as MP3s, have a blog, or use Twitter — this car’s for you.


 
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