Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 Fiat 500 VS 2013 Smart ForTwo Near Scottsdale, AZ

Responsive image

2013 Fiat 500

Responsive image

2013 Smart ForTwo

Safety Comparison

The 500 has standard Reactive Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Reactive Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The ForTwo doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 500 Lounge offers optional ParkSense ® to help warn drivers about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind their vehicle. The ForTwo doesn’t offer any parking assist system.

The 500’s blind spot mirrors use wide-angle convex mirrors mounted in the corner of each side view mirror to reveal objects that may be in the driver’s blind spots. The ForTwo doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

Compared to metal, the 500’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Smart ForTwo has a metal gas tank.

Both the 500 and the ForTwo have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The Fiat 500 weighs 478 to 682 pounds more than the Smart ForTwo. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Lighter cars are also affected more by crosswinds.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the 500 is safer then the ForTwo:



Overall Evaluation



Head Restraint Design



Distance from Back of Head

35 mm

64 mm

Dynamic Test Rating



Seat Design



Torso Acceleration

10.9 g’s

14.4 g’s

Neck Force Rating



Max Neck Tension



(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

Instrumented handling tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and analysis of its dimensions indicate that the 500, with its four-star roll-over rating, is 6.7% less likely to roll over than the ForTwo, which received a three-star rating.

For its top level performance in frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the 500 as a “Top Pick” for 2012, a rating only granted to 143 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The ForTwo was not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty Comparison

The 500’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the ForTwo’s (5/50,000 vs. 4/50,000).

There are over 2 times as many Fiat dealers as there are Smart dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 500’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 500 has a standard 105 amp alternator (120 amp - 500 Abarth/Turbo). The ForTwo’s 90 amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine Comparison

The 500 has more powerful engines than the ForTwo:



500 1.4 SOHC 4 cyl.

101 HP

98 lbs.-ft.

500 Turbo 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

135 HP

150 lbs.-ft.

500 Abarth 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

160 HP

170 lbs.-ft.

ForTwo 1.0 DOHC 3 cyl.

70 HP

68 lbs.-ft.

ForTwo electric motor

74 HP

96 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The 500 has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the ForTwo (10.5 vs. 8.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The 500’s standard front disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The front discs on the ForTwo are solid, not vented.

The Fiat 500 has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the ForTwo. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes which work much harder than conventional brakes.

The 500 stops shorter than the ForTwo:



80 to 0 MPH

228 feet

230 feet

Road & Track

60 to 0 MPH

134 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the 500 has larger standard tires than the ForTwo (185/55R15 vs. 155/60R15). The 500 Abarth’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ForTwo (205/40R17 vs. 175/55R15).

The 500 Pop/Lounge’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the ForTwo’s standard 60 series front tires. The 500 Abarth’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the ForTwo Passion’s optional 55 series front and 50 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 500 Abarth offers optional 17-inch wheels. The ForTwo’s largest wheels are only 15-inches.

The 500 has a standard space-saver spare (not available on Abarth) so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the ForTwo, it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Fiat 500 has fully independent front and semi-independent rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Smart ForTwo has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The 500 Abarth has front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the 500 Abarth flat and controlled during cornering. The ForTwo’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The 500 has standard power steering to make quick and controllable low speed maneuvers easy. Power steering costs extra on the ForTwo.

The 500 has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The ForTwo doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 500’s wheelbase is 17.1 inches longer than on the ForTwo (90.6 inches vs. 73.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 500 is 4.9 inches wider in the front and .5 inches wider in the rear than on the ForTwo.

The 500 Abarth handles at .87 G’s, while the ForTwo Passion pulls only .71 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 500 Abarth goes through Road & Track’s slalom 12.6 MPH faster than the ForTwo Passion (70.2 vs. 57.6 MPH).

Passenger Space Comparison

The 500 has standard seating for 4 passengers; the ForTwo can only carry 2.

The 500 has 28.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ForTwo (74 vs. 45.4).

The 500 has 2.5 inches more front hip room and 1.4 inches more front shoulder room than the ForTwo.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 500 has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the ForTwo (9.5 vs. 7.8 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 500 easier. The 500’s trunk lift-over height is 27.7 inches, while the ForTwo’s liftover is 29.2 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

The 500’s standard tilting steering column adjusts to different sized drivers and makes entering and exiting easier. Smart doesn’t offer tilt steering on the ForTwo.

The 500’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. The ForTwo Pure doesn’t offer power windows.

The 500 has standard power remote mirrors. The ForTwo Pure doesn’t offer either a remote driver side or passenger side mirror. The driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

The 500’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Smart only offers heated mirrors on the ForTwo Passion.

The 500 Lounge’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The ForTwo doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

To help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, the 500 (except Sport) has standard steering wheel controls for the radio. The ForTwo doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the 500, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the ForTwo.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The 500 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the 500 will retain a greater percentage of its original price after two and four years than the ForTwo.



Four Year

35% to 36%


Two Year

51% to 52%


Recommendations Comparison

The Fiat 500 won the First for Safety award in Kiplinger’s 2012 car issue. The Smart ForTwo didn't win any award.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 500 second among subcompacts in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The ForTwo isn’t in the top three.

Strategic Vision rates overall owner satisfaction with vehicle quality. The Fiat 500 is ranked first in the Small Car category. The Smart ForTwo is ranked below average. The 500 received the 2012 “Total Quality Award.”

The Fiat 500 outsold the Smart ForTwo by over four to one during the 2012 model year.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.