The Test: The awesomeness of the Smart Fortwo’s petite 22.8-foot turning circle isn’t apparent until you whip a U-turn on a two-lane road in downtown Portland without scraping the curb. And the short 9.7-foot length means you’ll find parallel parking everywhere.
While tiny cars usually deliver a skittish ride—the prior edition was downright terrifying on the highway—the entirely revamped Smart Fortwo feels confident. That’s partially thanks to a wheelbase that’s four inches wider than the outgoing model’s.
No, it’s still not large enough for weeklong road trips, with just enough room behind the two front seats for a couple of suitcases. Flip the front passenger seat forward and you gain a hair more, but it’s not quite enough for a mountain bike. Still, this fuel sipper with a diminutive 0.9-liter engine is perfect as a cheap, useful commuter that happily makes day trips to the trailhead and back.
The Verdict: America’s tiniest two-seater gets slightly less tiny and a lot more confident.
$14,650; 34 mpg city/39 hwy