The smart roadster
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smart roadster Review

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smart roadster Review

The smart roadster has a 0-62 mph time of 10.9 seconds and a top speed of 109 mph - don't be down hearted if you equate driving pleasure with a 0-62 mph time of sub 6 seconds.

31 January 2004 Melanie Carter
How It Drove - Performance

The smart roadster has a 0-62 mph time of 10.9 seconds and a top speed of 109 mph - don't be down hearted if you equate driving pleasure with a 0-62 mph time of sub 6 seconds. The smart roadster's turbo charged engine output of 80bhp combined with its weight of around 790kg offers a power to weight ratio on par with more powerful and expensive sports cars. This ratio is an impressive 101bhp/tonne and the higher this value the more lively a car's performance.

The roadster is just as nimble around town as its smart siblings and acceleration is rapid. The SOFTOUCH automatic mode allows you to drive the car as an automatic which is excellent around town although the gear changes can be jerky. The kickdown function enables you to spontaneously change down a gear or two with the accelerator pedal. The roadster also features as standard a rev counter and digital gear display which recommends when to shift up and down the gears which could be useful when you are distracted by the numerous stares and comments that the roadster attracts.

The SOFTIP sequential 6-speed transmission is extremely intuitive, simply knock the gear lever forward to change up and backwards to change down. If you do get carried away and forget to change up a gear, the transmission will automatically shift up/down for you. On the open road the optional three-spoke leather sports steering wheel with steering wheel mounted paddleshift is our favourite. It enables you to change up and down the gears swiftly by using the two paddles without taking your hands off the wheel - in true F1 style. It also resulted in smoother gear changes than the SOFTOUCH automatic mode.

The roadster will comfortably cruise at legal motorway speeds although the road/engine noise does become a little tiring after a while and the stereo does nothing to drown the noise. You may also notice that some road users like to bully small cars and this can be intimidating especially when you are sat so close to the rear window. But generally most road users show great respect and admiration towards smart cars especially the roadster version.

smart roadster Reviewsmart roadster Review | Part Threesmart roadster Review | Part Foursmart roadster Review | Part Fivesmart roadster Review | Part Sixsmart roadster Road Test
smart roadster Road Test Data
Model Reviewedsmart roadster
  
Body TypeConvertible
ColourChampagne Remix
  
Performance (manufacturers data) 
  
0 - 62 mph10.9 seconds
Top Speed 109 mph
  
TransmissionSOFTOUCH automatic transmission (incorporating SOFTIP sequential 6-speed transmission) and steering wheel gearshift
  
Fuel TypeUnleaded Petrol
  
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
  
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
  
Urban44.8 mpg
Extra Urban65.7 mpg
Combined55.4 mpg
  
Insurance GroupTBA
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty2-years/unlimited mileage warranty
6-year warranty against corrosion perforation from the inside
Price (when tested on the 31/01/04)£ 13,500

The information contained within this smart roadster review may have changed since publication on the 31 January 2004. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local smart dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. carpages.co.uk © 2015