Smart, the two-seater city car from DaimlerChrysler, has received three prestigious accolades from leading motor industry experts, in the first year of official UK sales.
The first was the top slot in the Cap 'value for money chart' for the entry level smart & pure models, recognised as Britain's most economical car, with a 13.9 pence per mile cost over three years and 60,000 miles.
"Although the Smart has an automatic transmission, which tends to increase fuel consumption, it still offers frugal fuel use," said Sarah Nellis, running costs editor of Cap Monitor.
"Combined with the very low servicing costs and value for money purchase price, this creates a good all-round package in terms of economy. This reinforces the rule that if you don't spend the money in the first place, you can't lose it."
The Cap Top 30 is based on the ownership costs of cars, taking into account list price, fuel, servicing and depreciation over a three year/60,000 mile period.
Smart's environmental credentials have been recognised with the company being awarded "Environmental Car Company 2001" by the Institute of Transport Management.
The award recognises an organisation that has an exemplary environmental policy throughout all aspects of its manufacturing process and in the product.
Walter Scherg, general manager of Smart in the UK, said: "The principle of respecting natural resources is evident in all areas at Smart. From the production, with its thermal energy plant, the materials we use in production, through to the product, which is 85% recyclable, with extremely low CO2 emissions and excellent fuel economy."
Smart has also received praise from Auto Express magazine which carried out reliability tests on a two year old Smart to assess wear and tear.
No mechanical faults were detected after 30,000 miles and the amount of wear and tear on the engine was judged to be exceptionally low and the gearbox looked like new inside.
Mike Askew, associate editor of Auto Express explained: "The smart is a packaging masterpiece and our engineers were highly impressed with the way the car had stood the test of time. They struggled to find a single fault with the components which is testament to the build quality of the car."