The roadster is mid-engined and whilst accelerating it has an exhilarating engine and exhaust note.
The roadster is mid-engined and whilst accelerating it has an exhilarating engine and exhaust note. You also soon get used to the distinctive noise of the turbo waste-gate as you decelerate or change gear - which is truly addictive!
The roadster is more than capable on 'A' roads and its performance is not hampered by its diminutive size. It is not quick in the sense of a Lotus Elise but it certainly gives you the illusion that you are driving much faster than you are - the smart roadster is good safe fun.
How It Drove - Ride and Handling
The roadster's overall ride is very firm and combined with its classic mid-engine/rear wheel drive layout and low centre of gravity you have a car that smart themselves describe as being 'built for one purpose - uncompromised driving pleasure'.
The safety conscious smart features an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) as standard. ESP uses selective brake intervention to stabilise the vehicle and also also incorporates further safety features such as Hill Start Assist (HSA) and Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA). The Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) including Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD), Selective brake intervention, Anti-stall assist and Cornering Brake Control (CBC) are also integrated into the ESP system.
The steering is direct and gives the correct amount of feedback to the driver keeping you composed and in tune with the road, electric power steering (EPS) is standard throughout the range. The ESP ensures that the car always follows the direction in which the driver steers, the result is excellent grip and road holding ability. However, it will break grip if pushed to the limit of its stability although under normal driving conditions this would be unnoticeable.
Unlike its short wheel base siblings the roadster rides well over speeds bumps and even though the ride is firm it won't break your back over the occasional pot hole. The car is more fun on country 'B' roads which allow for a more spirited drive. The roadster's wide tyres, ‘wheel at each corner’ stance, short overhangs and good weight distribution equal a car that offers a superb driving experience - forget the speedo and enjoy the road ahead.
smart roadster Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||smart roadster|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||10.9 seconds|
|Top Speed||109 mph|
|Transmission||SOFTOUCH automatic transmission (incorporating SOFTIP sequential 6-speed transmission) and steering wheel gearshift|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||65.7 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||2-years/unlimited mileage warranty|
6-year warranty against corrosion perforation from the inside
|Price (when tested on the 31/01/04)||£ 13,500|