Published September 13, 2012
You either like the 2013 Smart ForTwo minicar, or you don't.
Few are ambivalent to a shape and a concept so divisive as the Smart, but U.S. sales would suggest that rather more people dislike it than appreciate its cheeky nature.
One popular misconception about the ForTwo from those rather less keen on it, is that you take your life into your hands every time you step behind the wheel. People equate size with safety, so the 8-foot Smart just doesn't look very safe.
That's where stunts like the video above come in--and as you can see, the 36 mpg ForTwo has all the strength you'd hope for, for something built by Mercedes-Benz.
In fact, Smart claims the Tridion safety cell can withstand over 3.5 tons, comfortably holding up a full-size SUV on its roof. A popular analogy is that of a football helmet, which is both strong, and in the event of an impact, spreads impact forces around the rather softer innards--be that your head, or in the Smart, your whole body.
You may also remember the crash test carried out several years ago by U.K. car show Fifth Gear, where an old-style Smart was smashed into a concrete barrier at 70 mph.
It ably showed the safety cell's strength, though the show's conclusion was that in that particular impact, the driver may not have survived--humans are a little more soft and squishy than their cars.
The current ForTwo is undoubtedly safer than an early example of the first-generation car (and has a larger, longer body through which to distribute impact forces), but such conclusions may not do a lot to reassure those who don't feel comfortable in such a small car.
Even if it can wear a full-size SUV as a hat.