Smart Fortwo tyres
The original smart was called the City Coupe on its launch in 1998. Its name was later changed to Fortwo when the company began to release other models.
The obvious thing about the Fortwo is its size. Instead of parallel parking with other cars, a smart can back right up to the kerb at 90 degrees to other cars. Two or even three of them can park that way in a single parking space – perfect for crowded cities.
The Fortwo has been available in convertible format and a few limited edition versions. Most of these only differ from the original in terms of the interior features – the chassis and engine have essentially remained the same. Among the Passion, Pure and Pulse editions are increased luxury features, for example, including a glass roof, a leather-covered steering wheel, air conditioning or a better stereo system.
Smart has also partnered with Mercedes tuning company Brabus to produce several limited edition cars. They key feature of these is their sporty appearance, with Brabus body styling and interior features. Ironically, the extra weight these add to the Fortwo means that these cars actually accelerate more slowly than the most standard Fortwo models.
The Fortwo range got a facelift in 2007 and a new version has been introduced recently. This features a slightly boxier design but retains all the features and size that existing smart owners love about their cars. The Fortwo diesel was discontinued in 2014 to make way for the new generation of the car. Few will mourn its absence. It was more expensive to buy than the petrol version, and at 10,000 miles per annum it would take eight years of driving to pay for the price difference between the two. Naturally few smart cars cover that kind of mileage.
Overall, the Fortwo is probably the most fuel-efficient petrol-engine car on the market. That it can’t compete on economy with hybrid or electric cars is beside the point. Since these cars are so thrifty with fuel and tend to cover small mileages, economy tends not to be an important factor in replacement tyre choice. Rather, the wet grip rating of different preplacement tyre choices is a more major consideration. This is especially so if your smart is used occasionally for high-speed motoring away from congested cities or towns. A higher wet grip rating means better roadholding and safety in all weathers and driving conditions.
By some way, Continental’s EcoContact and PremiumContact ranges are etyres’ best-selling tyres for smart owners. The wet grip levels offered by these tyres suits these small cars perfectly. Indeed many of them leave the factory fitted with these tyres – a perfect recommendation. Bridgestone tyres are another popular choice for the smart, and at a slightly lower price point both Nexen and Kumho tyres are worth considering and sell well. Finally it’s interesting to note that budget and economy tyres don’t really figure on the radar of smart drivers. Maybe that shouldn’t be surprising as these cars are as much a lifestyle vehicle or fashion accessory as a means of getting from A to B.