After its US market debut in January, the Smart ForTwo was a big success for Mercedes with customers lining up to get the German little guy. The car’s fuel efficiency, its great image and the small size which makes it a perfect urban car, made Smart sell very well (almost 4,000 units sold so far and 30,000 reservations). However, its small size is also a big disadvantage and many were expecting the safety tests’ results before deciding to buy the car. And the news aren’t good at all.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the first results of the crash tests and these aren’t doing Smart any favors, because, during side tests, the driver door unlatched and opened and officials said that this could lead to a driver or passenger being ejected from the car. So the Smart ForTwo got a 4 stars rating for driver safety and only 3 stars for passenger safety. And that’s not all, because the crash test were made using a car similar in size with the Smart. Imagine what would be the results in case of a crash between a Smart and, I don’t know, a Chevy Suburban.
Even though it’s equipped with a steel safety cage, four standard air bags (two in front and two on the sides, for the head and abdomen) and it has standard Electronic Stability Control, the Smart still isn’t a safe car and shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. I mean, c’mon, the car’s 8-foot, 8-inch and it weights 1,800 pounds.