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2012 ForTwo

Consumer Reviews

2012 smart ForTwo

$4,113 - $9,025  MSRP Range
2012 smart ForTwo

Review Score

4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5

25 Reviews
92% of drivers recommend this car
Score Breakdown
4.3 out of 5 stars Comfort
4.5 out of 5 stars Value for the Money
4.4 out of 5 stars Interior Design
4.4 out of 5 stars Reliability
4.2 out of 5 stars Performance
4.6 out of 5 stars Exterior Styling

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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 25 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Almost Perfect...with one serious problem.

by BulldogNYC from New York NY on Fri Nov 09 2012

My 2012 Smart fortwo is essentially perfect. It's solid black with a black leather interior and has a full package of nice options (heated seats, ambient lighting, clear roof panel, extra wide tires, stainless steel rear bumper). It's a handsome little car and is the easiest car to get into and out of because the seat and driving position are higher than most small cars. Visibility on the road is excellent, and the paddle shift feature on the steering column is a huge advantage in terms of responsiveness. It's a quick, tight little car. Further, being engineered in Germany and built in France, it makes an overall impression of very sound engineering. It is, however, quite stiff on the road, and you do feel the road surfaces features quite sharply, yet I prefer that to a "springy" or "bouncy" sensation from some other small cars on the road. Because the chassis is one solid metal form, the ride is quite stiff and the short wheelbase often causes the small car to "toss" a bit on imperfect road surfaces. Yet the overall sensation is one of control, and very good comfort. The interior is handsome, with two generously proportioned leather seats and an optional armrest that cleverly "dials" to the exact comfortable height to support the driver's right elbow (a huge advantage on longer drives). There is also an indentation in the door panels that creates a "cradle" for your left elbow, and the driving position is very comfortable. I'm six feet tall and weight 212 pounds, and fit comfortably in both the driver and passenger seats of my Smart fortwo. The air conditioner is a bit noisy, yet cools the car quite capably, even on extremely warm days. The vents allow you to channel the cooled and heated air from the car's air conditioning and heating systems, yet the range of air direction is limited (the vents do not allow you to guide the air below your shoulder level). Still, the cabin is extremely well sorted and inviting. For storage, I find the space behind the seats ample for four shopping bags, my hockey bag, and many other bulky objects. The top rear glass "hatch" is generally easy to operate. The bottom portion opens with two electrically assisted levers, and when folded down, supports 200 pounds of weight (for loading heavy items, it's ideal). Cleverly, there is a secret compartment for storage inside the back hatch. There is also a small "loop" on the rear of the passenger seat to hang your jacket. A small container that swings out from under the center instrument stack, to hold chargers and cables. The brakes and steering are both quite communicative and precise. This car is an awful lot of fun to drive and to be inside of, particularly in the City. In summer my commute was a pleasure because I avoided the hot, noisy subway for the cool and comfortable cabin of my Smart. Also, in NYC, many valet garages discount your monthly parking rate by 75% for Smart Cars, a huge savings. For mileage, I get perhaps 40 MPG, and can drive to my cabin in Maine on less than one tank of fuel. The Smart car, to me, feels like a well made diving watch. It has everything I need and nothing that I do not need in a commuter car. The one serious problem that I am struggling with is a transmission and starter electrical issue. In my first 7 months of ownership, the Smart car has failed to start easily on seven occasions. Once started, the car ran fine, and the dealer has made several attempts to diagnose and fix the issue by reprogramming the clutch software. In summary, it's not a car for everyone, but it's an overall wonderful car for a guy like me, in a City like New York. It's a Smart concept.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
3 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

33 out of 33 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

One of the most fun cars ever!!!!

by Ace from Des Moines, Ia on Sun Feb 10 2013

I have been in the car business for 33 years and have owned hundreds of cars this is one of my very favorites ever!!! It's rear wheel drive, rear engine makes it good in snow and quiet for a small inexpensive car. the plastic exterior panels are tough and rust resistant like a Saturn. It has large doors and sits high so it's very easy to enter and exit even for large people. It's transmission is an automated manual 5 speed that will shift itself or you can shift it with the steering wheel paddle shifters. It feels weird at first but once I understood how it works it's really cool!!! I was surprised how it will run all day long 80-90 mph on the highway without even feeling like it is really working hard. It's not a rocket taking off but it will always keep up with traffic and once up to speed it will surprise you how well it maintains fairly high speeds for such a tiny micro car. I would never have even thought of buying one due to all the negative I have read and heard but my wife has been wanting one for years because she thought they were so cute.so I finally gave in and bought her one for Christmas. I liked it so much I bought a second one for myself. Maybe I have lost my mind but I really enjoy & look forward to driving them. They are so easy to park too. I can park two in one garage space easy!! They also have a high safety rating and 8 airbags!! I ride a motorcycle so safety in any car is going to be good to me. I did hit a fairly large deer last week at about 30 mph and the damage to my little Smart was minimal. Parts are way reasonably priced too. If I had one complaint it would be how the wind will rock the little car on the highway but I never really feel like I'm fighting the wheel because the steering is really quick like a go-cart. It's good, cheap, fun transportation. Love it!!!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

15 out of 15 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Less is more

by insightful from Ky on Sun Dec 08 2013

Title says it all, if single or just a couple its all you need. This is my fourth Smart and they are a reliable economical fun to drive minimalist form of transport. Think outside the box when approaching this car since it is totally unique and can't be compared to a normal vehicle, you wouldn't compare a Harley to a car and the same is true with the Smart. It excels around town and always gives more than is expected cross country which leaves one satisfied. It can be faulted in ride over terrible roads, not as economical as some expect for its size but is probably the most highly developed small car ever with outstanding safety ratings. One lasting impression of the Smart is every feature of the design was done for a reason and was not part of the evolutionary process that other cars have been through. The rule book for normal cars does not apply so it has to be approached with an open mind and studied at length to dispel prejudices to fully appreciate the concept.

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Great Buy

by Smart40 from Rochester, WA on Thu Feb 11 2016

This is a Great Car for people who know what they're buying!!! I had a Mitsubishi Lancer Rally Edition before this. If you're looking for; an SUV, a V8 or Rally-Like handling... This is not for You. This is for a Smart, Common-Sense Style driver who knows how to; Look Ahead, Enjoy Comfort and Great Mileage. I own the coupe and have been incredibly happy with it's ride and performance. I have no issue reaching 60 by the end of an On-Ramp to the Freeway and after that it's quite snappy. It is light weight and very low to the ground, but still easy to get in and out of ( I have a torn disc and several herniated). The shifting and automated wipers take something to get used to... But Once you do, You'll Love It as Much as I do.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

smart fortwo

by aquablu2 from Fort Myers , Florida on Fri Jan 06 2012

This car is a blast and one of the best small cars on the market! Seating for two hence its name Fortwo and Mercedes Benz craftsmanship lead to a winning combination! Now with 5/50,000 mile warranty! This car is a magnet for people wherever i go! This is my 2nd smart and i am looking now for my 3rd!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

It goes with my Truck!

by Alyssa from Ocala FL on Fri Mar 17 2017

I am not picky. That being said I normally drive a good old Ford truck and love it. But it does eat the fuel and I drive quite a bit every day. By having both vehicles I have all my bases covered. A lil zippy thing that handles great and holds just enough, and compliments my old workhorse Ford that can move anything. Love them both!!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Does recommend this car!!

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

The Car Guy & His Smart -- 4 Years In

by BariPlayer from Kailua, HI (Windward Oahu) on Sat May 26 2018

Prior to purchasing my used Smart ForTwo Cabrio convertible I street drove (and drag raced at tracks located up & down the West Coast) a built-up 750 HP 1987 Buick Grand National for 17 years. I also owned a 2004 Pontiac GTO LS1 that I tweaked. After my move to Oahu I needed something MUCH smaller as the roads and parking spaces here are dinky! Being an all-out performance-oriented "Car Guy", getting a Smart was a HUGE change. I should note it has the Brabus performance wheel & tire package but not the suspension, as for some reason the original owner ordered it this way. I have owned my Smart 4 years now-- here is my "Short Take" HIGHS: (1) When driven using the paddle shifters, it's a lot quicker that it looks. (2) The looks on people's faces when you pass them at 105 MPH...in a Smart. (3) The stock suspension offers spry handling on curvy roads such as my commute route around the South Shore of Oahu (Kalanianaole Highway) (4) Excellent fuel economy (5) Super reliable..all I've done is give it gas, oil change/filter change every 10K miles, air filter every 20K, and tires-- that's it. I also detail it once a month. (6) You can actually use it to do a Costco run, as the front passenger seat folds completely flat. LOWS: (1) The designer(s) who came up with the idea of using an overly complex, electrically operated/pushbutton tailgate release mechanism Instead of a simple manually operated handle should be strung up and flogged with the lifeless body of their direct supervisor who approved it. I cannot begin to count the number of times I haven't been able to get the tailgate open and the "Emergency Tailgate Procedure" spelled out in the Owner's Manual calls for-- get this-- drilling two xxxxx in the tailgate interior panel, then using two screwdrivers ** simultaneously ** to undo the latches that are on each side. Invariably I end up swearing and pulling the crap out of the tailgate until it gives. On one occasion I had someone push the release button while I kicked the tailgate open from the inside. (2) The Cabrio's removable roof rails, which are skinned in metal-- are susceptible to RUST-- really?? On a car where you can change out all the exterior plastic body panels in a couple of hours?? And, good luck trying to find replacements. (3) The car's OEM rear springs should be 1" shorter to get rid of the "stinkbug" look. Lowering springs are available from the aftermarket, but still.... (4) Everyone asks if they can borrow it, as it is a perfect island runner. THE VERDICT: Like a can of SPAM Classic (not Teriyaki, Jalapeno or Chorizo SPAM), it's an acquired taste at first. But, if you cook it just right you are forever hooked.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

The best small car I've ever drove.

by Drill Sgt Donald from Hartford Connecticut on Mon Jul 24 2017

This car met all my expectations plenty of head and leg room,it handle great and is great on the highway.I love the gas mileage.Awesome vehicle I recommend this car to all.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

Cuts my commute costs in half. Fits anywhere.

by BeardedScott from San Diego, CA on Tue Sep 12 2017

Let's be clear right off the bat, this car is not for everyone. It will not do 0-60 in under 10 seconds. It will not fit your whole family. It only has enough extra space for a light overnight vacation. But if you need an affordable, safe, comfortable way to get to and from work, even on freeways, this is the... smart... way to go. Plus: long term maintenance is going to be more affordable than any hybrid on the market. Do you know how much a Prius battery costs?! I've never gotten less than 35 MPG under normal driving conditions. Cuts my gas costs in half. Helps me keep miles off of my Thunderbird. I've checked all the crash tests and I am not only impressed, but I feel safer in this vehicle than any other vehicle I've driven. The engine performance is peppy enough. The driving experience is... unique... which has probably caused more negative consumer reports on this vehicle over anything else. If a smooth/sporty driving experience is your top priority in your next car, this is not the car for you. The legroom/headroom is astoundingly spacious. Suspension is strong/hard. Steering is tight. The car is small and light, so wind gusts can be exciting, but traction control and compact stance compensate sufficiently under all conditions I've come across so far. I haven't owned my smart car long enough to speak on its reliability, but I trust the Mercedes brand standards will hold up long-term. It's like driving a fuel efficient, space age, premium engine powered walnut! Like I said from the beginning, this car is not great for everything. But it is a smart economic decision if you can afford the investment for a commuter car.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsReliability
3 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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4 out of 5 stars

I love this Car!

by Chattieh10 from Brookfield, WI on Wed Jul 12 2017

It meets most of my needs! I have driven the 2016 modle and it also meets most of my needs. I like it because, it is so small, that I can get around other cars that have the extra seats in the back. We own a car with extra seats in the back, but only use it when driving with three or more people. Also, this car gets great gas km/L. It makes about 6.5 km/L but once and a while it goes to 6.25 km/L. To put that in the USA system it is about 38 MPG and once and a while 43 MPG. I think that is great! Oh, and when you step into the car, it really does feel like a four seater! I hope that was a small look into the car! Oh, and also, I got into an accedent with the car, where someone hit the side of my car at 60-80 km/h (35-45 MPH). Both my passanger and I were fine, as was the car. I needed fixing, which came to $1,400. Not bad for 60-80 km/h! So it is a safe car as well!

3 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsReliability
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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Our Take on the 2012 smart ForTwo

Editor's note: This review was written in May 2011 about the 2011 Smart ForTwo. Little of substance has changed with this year's model. To see what's new for 2012, click here, or check out a side-by-side comparison of the two model years.

The Smart ForTwo is a car that's been left behind in the competitive compact-car segment, and it's not hard to figure out why.

The ForTwo is the only car I've driven that I can't recommend to anyone. It's not that I dislike everything about the Smart; some things are — OK. It's just that the car comes with so many quirks, compromises and faults that the cons kill it in my book.

For a long time, two of the only reasons to buy a small car were that you couldn't... Read More