• Nov 10, 2006



The hubbub surrounding the release of the redesigned Smart ForTwo has included the to-be-expected jokes about the car's tiny size, concerns about its perceived safety, and no small number of vocal defenders in the comment threads of our Smart posts. The pro-Smart crowd has touted the ForTwo's fuel economy and pointed out that the car's built-in safety cell has performed well in European crash tests. A few commenters pointed us in the direction of the Fifth Gear clip you see above.

In it, you'll see one of the official Mercedes-produced videos showing a Smart colliding with a larger MB sedan and looking pretty good afterward (though if you put a gun to our heads, we'd likely pick the Benz as the ride to be seated in for that scenario). That's just part of the vid's setup, however, as the main portion features Tiff Needlell showing us what happens when a remote-controlled Smart smashes into a concrete barrier at highway speed. It's pretty ugly to watch, though it's a fantastic demonstration of the minicar's ability to survive such a crash. Tiff even opens and closes the door afterward, which still latches properly.

Impressive? No doubt.

But the crash was so violent, and the deceleration so sudden, we shudder to think of what would have happened if the car had real passengers inside. In the end, it only serves as a reminder that no matter what car you're in and how safe it's been designed to be, you really don't want to be in any crash -- ever -- because real life isn't some controlled test.

[Source: YouTube]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      SMART ought to make a bumper system that extends when an impending crash is imminent. That way you could provide a decent sized "crush zone" without needing a larger car.
      • 8 Years Ago
      @31: jon, i don't find the full article at the moment, but believe me, they didn't remove the dummy between the sideshot and the crash. and he "survived" quite happily (slight harm on one leg, i think). this is the crash that was widely circulated when the smart entered european markets - and it wasn't shown to prove the insecurity of the car, believe me. if i find the pictures of the inside of the car after the crash, i'll post the link.
      • 8 Years Ago
      @8: what are you talking about? there WAS a dummy in that test, and the e-class didn't enter the smart's body - quite the opposite. (there was a longer segment of the smart/e-class video a few years back on european television when the smart was introduced)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Vega.take a look at the video again of the offset crash between E class and smart.Which car is entering which car's passenger cell?Which car would you want someone you care about in?
      • 8 Years Ago
      #1 - They are posting it as a reference to the new Smart being unveiled and the expected torrent of "it's not safe" comments.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Do Smarts go 70MPH ...


      ... actually, the interesting thing that they noted, is that the de-celleration would be the killer in this case; and even a large SUV would not be able to get around that factor.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #18
      You are right, ironic isn't it? But you really shouldn't call yourself such degrading things, I'm sure your not a jackass...

      #21
      You got the point wrong actually. An SUV as well as most other vehicles on the road here in the USA do more to absorb tension, the Smart doesn't absorb tension, the bodies inside do, which is the killing factor due to the 'rigid body structure'.

      • 8 Years Ago
      rob - so? If the NHSTA lets it through and you aren't the one driving one of the little buggers, what do you have to worry about. Let consumers decide if they belong here or not.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This is a rather old video, but it does show how many of the smaller new cars are being developed to withstand major crashes. Now they just need to find a way to allow the humans inside to survive the sudden stop.

      James
      • 8 Years Ago
      " considering that dude from top gear crashed at over 200mph and lived."

      He didn't crash into a wall at 200 MPH did he? Dale Earnhart crashed into a wall head on (at a much lower speed) with safety gear on and didn't survive.
      • 8 Years Ago
      And now I realize some jackass is going to point out that 'hwich' isn't spelled right.. it's just a typo.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think the arguments about the Smart's size and safety are moot. It's proven safe by testers at reasonable speeds. And the people that say they wouldn't ride in it because of all the large SUV's and Semis on the roads and freeways, saying it ridiculous to have something so small on American roads, obviously aren't motorbike/moped riders either.
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