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Brabus Smart FourTwo – on sale now

Smart

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Review

Individuality is what the Brabus Smart FourTwo is all about – from its leather seats, spoilers, side skirts and wide 16in alloys to its tuned 74bhp three-cylinder turbo engine.

It’s capable of 94mph (10mph more than standard), and it’s a car designed for that person who asks for a little bit more than practical transport.

Who that person is we'll come to later. Smart is a bit of a love it or hate it brand: some think it’s quirkily cool…some think it's quirkily weird. Either way it is undeniably quirky, from the way the door opens almost the whole side of the car, to the paddle-shift auto gearchanges that make the whole car see-saw back and forward.

It also looks like it could be the head of some kind of gigantic robot any Power Ranger would be proud to be seen it – but there’s no denying it draws a smile…good or bad.

At under three-quarters of a ton gross weight, the 74bhp engine feels suprisingly quick and copes with long distances and motorways with no problem. And at just 2.5 metres long it’s a total cinch to park.

Add that to the 53.3mpg (combined) and you'd be right in thinking this was a stylish, useable and practical town car for today’s up and coming urban types… except for the price tag of £12,775, which at over £600 more than a Mini Cooper is just not competitive.

After three years or 30,000 miles the Brabus Smart FourTwo will have lost 65% of its value, compared with a Mini Cooper’s retained value of 52% over the same period, according to CAP. You have to ask yourself, in this well informed buyers’ market, just how smart a move the Brabus is.

First drive: Smart ForTwo – on sale September

Few cars are as distinctive as the Smart ForTwo. The original model drew a storm of publicity when it entered the UK new car market in 2000 – initially in left-hand drive.

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