- New Car Test Drive
The second-generation Smart finally has a simple, modern interior that comes in a number of colors. There’s a small instrument panel behind the steering wheel, and a 3.5-inch color display with bits of information, as well as a touchscreen display at the central console with some knobs and dials. The tachometer is squeezed on top of the dash next to the windshield pillar.
The dashboard and door inserts are covered with a coarse-grained cloth surface, while the seats come in cloth or leather, with contrasting stitching available. You can turn the tiny cabin into your happy space, with the eight-speaker, 240-watt sound system. You could add smartphone integration, navigation system with real-time traffic and weather data, and the ability to turn things on and off in your car from a distance, using the Cross Connect app.
The seats are comfortable if a bit short, and they’re high so visibility is good. Surprisingly, there’s still ample headroom and adequate legroom, even for tall people. The engine sits under the high floor behind the seats, and there’s a retractable cargo cover behind the seats. Cargo space is 9.2 cubic feet, which is more than the Mini Cooper’s 8.7 cubic feet, and less than the Fiat 500 with 9.5 cubic feet.
Interior quality is not first rate and there is a lack of cargo/storage space. Two cupholders, small door pockets, a clever drawer under the center console that slides open into the passenger footwell. Instead of a spare tire there’s tire sealant with inflator, stored under a cover under the feet of the passenger.
The cabin is mostly quiet, except there’s tire noise when the road surface is coarse, and if you’re revving the engine real high, forget about having a conversation. Inconveniently, the Smart engine works best at high revs.